During what have been turbulent times for many, Brambles has ensured that it engages and motivates employees through its benefits proposition, while also fully supporting all areas of wellbeing.
Recognising the strain that working through the pandemic has had on some employees, Brambles continuously informs staff about their benefits so that they fully understand their value and how they can help in their daily lives. This is especially true of the mental health support on offer. Demelza Dancey, manager, reward at Brambles, says: “We want people to feel they’re being listened to, especially those people that were working in the service centres; they had a tough time of it during the pandemic. For us, it was all about communicating with the plant managers, supporting them, understanding what they needed, and then delivering that. Whether that was [information] around the employee assistance programme (EAP), supporting their financial wellbeing, the mental health toolkit or mental health first aiders.”
Brambles, which has 1,600 employees in the UK, promotes its benefits package from the very first instance to ensure that everyone, such as candidates at the initial recruitment stage, are aware of the benefits available to them. To support this effort, the package is presented as a total reward package, giving employees oversight of all the benefits on offer and how they can assist in day-to-day living: “It helps people to really understand the value they can get out of their benefits,” explains Dancey. “We really want them to understand that what we have got is a fantastic, very comprehensive offering. We’ve recently looked at how to position the benefits more around our pillars of wellbeing: financial, physical, social and mental wellbeing.”
In March 2020, just as the national lockdown took hold, Brambles promoted the use of its online benefits scheme that staff can access through an app on their phones, and introduced the EAP. “We were in quite a good position to be able to respond to [the pandemic] and ensure that we had a number of different benefits coming online for it,” says Dancey.
Brambles regularly checks in to ensure it is providing the necessary benefits to fully support employees’ wellbeing. It takes a multichannel approach to reach staff through things like posters, app notifications, regular pulse surveys, and the reward team also works closely with the internal communications team to inform employees about benefits and gather feedback. “Having that mix is really important,” explains Dancey. “We have a year-long rolling calendar and link benefits to something externally, so that it’s a bit more relevant. Our service centres have a great relationship with the HR partners that work there, so they give us information hot off the presses in terms of what the team wants. We can respond and provide additional information, briefing packs or videos, for example.”