Australian electricity and gas retailer Alinta Energy have been “running pretty hard and achieving a lot” over the last 18 months, culminating in being named an HRD ‘Innovative HR Team’ for 2019.
How does a company make such a list? Lots of inward-looking and a renewed focus on the experiences of employees, says Carrie Luzar, People & Culture Remuneration and Operations Manager at Alinta Energy.
“We've definitely got an employee experience lens over everything that we're doing and trying to build engagement, as I know everyone is,” she says.
Luzar says as part of the company’s current building phase they’ve taken the thinking of their sales and marketing team — where they map the customer experience — and applied this to employees.
“We basically mapped out the stages of that process and then asked ‘how would we want the employee to feel? And then how would we enable that feeling?’ So if we want the employee not to feel overwhelmed, for example, then what are the touchpoints that we can build in so that they've got information, but in a considered way that's not too much, too soon?”
Alongside a fresh leadership development program covering people leaders at all levels, also crucial to the employee value proposition was a review of their benefits offering — and a “burning platform to offer what they could” to help staff manage their incomes more tax effectively. All going well, the end result would be a greater ability to attract and retain talented staff.
“Historically we’ve had a small handful of novated leases — but all with different providers, so it was a headache for our payroll team, our tax team and even for those employees trying to deal with what they needed to do each FBT year,” she says.
A more efficient approach was required, which meant engaging a new benefits provider.
After reviewing several providers, we settled on Maxxia said Luzar. “They really ticked three key boxes for us:
1. A quality novated leasing service for our employees;
2. A great account management team who can help us manage the performance of the program; and
3. The added value of the Maxxia Rewards discount program that’s available to all employees, not just those who are packaging.”
For the program launch, Alinta staged onsite events at all their major offices, with Maxxia supplying coffee carts. All attendees received a small giveaway. Luzar says there’s been a pleasing take-up across the business since it launched just over a year ago.
“The results so far are that we’ve opened up a suite of benefits that employees didn’t have before, and have also raised awareness around the benefits of salary packaging including education about tax,” she says.
Crucially, Maxxia have maintained the momentum post-launch, with onsite visits that enable one-on-one discussions, and educational sessions tackling the intricacies of salary packaging. Luzar says these sessions have extended to the company’s remote sites, where staff have benefited greatly from salary packaging a range of living expenses through Maxxia’s Remote Area Benefit offering.
“We’re always keen to ensure our remote sites can access what’s on offer for our larger offices, so it’s great to have a benefits partner with the scale to provide onsite services for all our people.”
If you are looking to review your employee benefits program or would like to know what our benefits program could deliver for your employees, speak to the team at Maxxia about a strategic benefits assessment.