SAS has been recognised for ‘Most Effective Benefits Strategy’ at the prestigious HR Leadership & Management Awards. The analytics leader was selected for its flexible benefits programme following the establishment of an Inside Sales and Customer Contact Centre in Dublin. The profile of the workforce changed significantly, requiring a more inclusive benefits strategy that retained features the existing workforce valued while providing benefits that suited the new employees.
The workforce is now multi-lingual to support sales across various EMEA markets and has resulted in a multi-cultural demographic of foreign nationals each bringing a multiplicity of needs and values when it comes to selecting a benefits programme to attract, engage and retain talent within a highly competitive market. It was also important to meet the needs of the existing workforce that had been based in Dublin for more than 25 years.
“We worked with our benefits partner, Aon, who were able to provide fact-based data from their database on up-to-date benefits information covering core benefits, allowances, annual leave and other benefits,” explained Sue Warman, HR Director, SAS Northern Europe & Russia/CIS. “This gave us a clear understanding of how our total reward and benefits offering compared with market, and what changes we needed to make to suit existing employees and give new employees the ability to tailor their benefits to suit their needs.”
There were multiple communications through various channels about the initiative, combined with a benefits day where partners and spouses were also invited. On-site support and helpdesk services were provided, including access to benefits agents through live webchat, dedicated email and dedicated phone lines.
“We were delighted with the results, which saw 100 per cent enrolment in the new programme and employee feedback has been very positive about the change,” added Warman. “Getting this award is great recognition for all the hard work that went into creating this new, more personalised benefits system.”
Launched in 2015, the HR Leadership & Management Awards are held annually for those demonstrating excellence in HR across Ireland. The awards are judged by a panel of distinguished HR practitioners, academics and business leaders.