Employer Talk: Hobbs
HR manager for Hobbs, Melissa Sincock, talks to account manager Aimee Wilkinson about the launch of Hobbs Rewards and the kind of reaction it has received from employees so far.
Aimee Wilkinson: What attracted you to Asperity initially?
Melissa Sincock: Well, to be honest we had heard praise already. Family members had joined Asperity at different companies, and they spoke highly about how Asperity worked, how it was integrated, and how it was easy to use.
AW: How easy has it been to implement the scheme?
MS: Completely easy, completely straightforward. From transferring childcare vouchers, right from the beginning straight to launch, everything’s been straightforward and very easy. All of the important things had been already thought of. It’s also had a really low impact on our time, which is what we need.
AW: In terms of the launch communications that were provided, how effective do you think those have been?
MS: Very effective, we have everything we need. From the posters in-store, to the letters that went out; the teaser emails, everything was done. That was a really nice surprise and made it really easy for me to delegate to people on my team to get things out in time.
AW: You’ve seen Asperity’s Communic8TM programme, which effectively attempts to overcome objections from employees, how do you think that works for the organisation?
MS: It gives peace of mind because we can see what we’re doing, we can plan it as well, we can plan other activities and communications around it. It’s good to see how the upcoming 12 months is going to evolve and what it’s going to look like. It also gives us ideas of different retail incentives that we can put in place at that time. It’s brilliant, it’s really useful.
AW: How does the Communic8™ service differ from the way you used to communicate your programme?
MS: Our old comms programme was very hit and miss. Because nothing was organised, we didn’t know how it looked, we didn’t have an external company really driving it forward. The company we were working with didn’t give any input for what needed to go out to the stores to keep it alive. With Communic8™ it’s organised, it’s arranged, it looks good and it’s well thought out.
AW: And how does your account manager help you in trying to achieve your objective in the benefit you were trying to provide?
MS: The main thing is the account manager drove it through to happening. We’re probably similar types of businesses, it’s good to have that person saying “what about this, what about that, have you done this, are you ready for this?” Otherwise things can be lost in communication, or put to the side. Our Asperity account manager has really driven that through and made sure we hit any deadlines we had. They’re there if we have problems setting up, or remembering our RewardManager™ password. It’s good to have someone who gets back to you straight away instead of several days later.
AW: Aside from account management, are there any other aspects in terms of innovation, or the Reward Gateway site itself that you like?
MS: Well the site itself looks good, it’s easy to use. We’ve got lots of people in retail that aren’t computer savvy, and need an easy system. So I sit with them for a couple of minutes and explain it. Everything’s integrated, you can even get the childcare vouchers on there. It’s a shame all reward companies aren’t like that!
AW: Has there been any feedback?
MS: Soon after launch we were inundated with employees coming in to thank us for setting up the programme – they’ve been using it so much already. I’ve had random people that normally don’t make a comment saying “this is really cool, I love it!” We’ve had some really positive feedback that people are going on and using it.
AW: Thinking back to your original objectives for the programme, how do you think Asperity is performing in helping you engage your employees?
MS: Our previous programme had less than 2% of our employees registered over a period of 4–5 years – we’re now a month into our new programme and we’ve already reached 27% engagement! It has definitely increased motivation. People feel like they’ve been listened to: they want discounts on their shopping, their day-to-day needs, and to have healthcare on there. Having run the Listening Forum with employees when we started thinking about rejuvenating our benefits programme, we have shown them that we’ve listened to them – and that’s really increased motivation.