Karbon Homes was formed following an amalgamation of three housing associations. It is now one of the leading housing associations in the North East of England and Yorkshire and has developed and implemented a fresh package of rewards and benefits for its new combined workforce of approximately 800 employees.
“We involved all our colleagues in the development of the new reward and benefits package, and they indicated that a flexible element would be preferred,” says Christine Wilkinson, Senior Business Partner at Karbon Homes. “Our £500 Flexible Pot has been designed for this reason and by having a cash element, is almost unique in our sector."
Karbon Homes recognised that they would need a platform for colleagues to administer their new Flexible Pot benefits. As a legacy organisation was already managing benefits on the You at Work platform, including Cycle to Work and childcare vouchers, they were able to re-engineer the system to provide a specially designed benefits portal for the new workforce.
“The team at You at Work have been really helpful in planning and implementing the new portal with us.” said Christine Wilkinson. “It enables colleagues to view information on each benefit and provides simple instructions on how to spend their cash pot.”
Colleagues have five options: take the cash; opt for private medical insurance; upgrade the basic health cash plan that all employees receive; choose reward gift cards; and/or donate some of their cash pot to a charity of their choice.
A generous core T&Cs package is also offered to colleagues including 37-hour week, 26 days holiday - rising to 31 after 3 years, flexi-time, career average re-evaluated earnings pension scheme (CARE), flexible working, occupational sick pay and birthday leave.
In addition to tailored email comms from the integrated You at Work Comms Manager module and branded posters, Karbon also utilise their intranet (Kore) with articles, team communications, and an information page. At the launch they also held four marketplace events for people to drop in and find out more about the scheme, view the portal and find out how the system works. Around 200 people attended.
“Colleagues now have a flexible amount to spend as they wish, enhancing their reward and benefit package which we believe will also be attractive to potential new recruits,” said Christine Wilkinson. “We are also looking at whether we can enhance the scheme with more benefits in the future.”