Product in Practice – Severn Trent Case Study

An attractive flexible benefits scheme has helped Severn Trent keep its employees motivated and engaged.

The challenge

Severn Trent Plc is a FTSE 100 company, providing water and treating waste water in the UK, and internationally.

In 2011, tough economic conditions, a harsh winter and regulated price reductions meant that improvements in performance and efficiency were vital for Severn Trent’s future growth.

The business identified that people performance would be a key element in overall business performance and set the objective of using benefits as a tool for engaging, motivating and retaining its employees.

In order to achieve this, Severn Trent wanted to improve the attractiveness and impact of the existing benefits scheme in a cost neutral way.

The solution

Before the start of the project to enhance Severn Trent’s benefits proposition, only one third of its 6,333 UK employees were taking advantage of the existing scheme. Working with Edenred, Severn Trent put in place a new benefits scheme structure which was easier to understand and use.

The new “Lifestyle” benefits scheme was divided into five clear categories: Your free time, Your life, Your health and wellbeing, Your peace of mind and Your offers.

A competition was used to drive registrations on the new portal and all communication was in a new more direct tone of voice.

The benefits were made available through a new branded online portal which acts as a one stop- shop for flexible and voluntary benefits with detailed information to help employees decide the ones that would best suit them.

Severn Trent worked with Edenred to widen the range of benefits available in order to appeal to a wider demographic within the business and reinforce Severn Trent’s attractiveness to potential employees.

The scheme also incorporated a dedicated telephone help desk where employees without access to the internet could manage their benefits or simply ask questions.

When it came to launching the new Lifestyle scheme, Severn Trent worked with Edenred to ensure all employees were aware how it worked and what was on offer.

Every employee received a printed benefits brochure which was sent to their home address.

Personalised emails and SMS messages were also sent to every employee while office displays, manager briefings and a roadshow were also used to draw attention to the new scheme.

The Impact

The new Lifestyle scheme met or exceeded each of the targets identified within the business at the outset:

  • Take up of benefits rose from 37% to 47% - 7% ahead of the original target.
  • The number of employees unaware of what was on offer fell from 3% to 1%.
  • The number of staff who said they would recommend Severn Trent as a good place to work rose 5% year on year.

The new scheme also delivered savings for Severn Trent with a 31% return on investment identified. Following the successful roll-out, Severn Trent has now built on the scheme, adding a new reward and recognition element to its online portal.

What Severn Trent said:

"The new Lifestyle benefits scheme has played an important role in retaining and motivating our people at an important time for Severn Trent. The opportunity to enrol in a wide ranging flexible benefits scheme has given us the ability to support a positive work-life balance while making us a great place to work. We put a lot of effort into designing a scheme which was strategically aligned to business and employee needs. This has paid off and employees now understand, engage with and appreciate their total reward opportunity."

Pay & Benefits Manager


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