United Kingdom

easyJet

We are using this case study to support your question around reacting to client feedback and subsequent outcomes. The briefing stage of any project is the opportunity for a consultant to listen to a client about their objectives for a project; the challenges they face; and the manner in which they would like to work with a third party. It is also the opportunity for a consultant to feed into the scoping discussion and bring their expertise; sometimes to challenge a client's thinking with alternative ideas and viewpoints. Ongoing feedback during the course of a project will (as long as it does not derail the project) ensure that relevant learnings are put to use immediately. We brought with us our experience of working with airlines – in particular the need to segment the workforce (pilots, engineering, management and cabin crew). We received precise feedback from easyJet about their workforce and used it as the basis of coming up with solutions.

The challenge

Following the pension changes imposed by the Government, easyjet needed to reassure and empower their staff to take more responsibility for retirement savings. The challenge was that many of their staff fly the globe and are not highly-paid with relatively low levels of financial awareness.

Research showed that traditional printed material or group presentations wouldn’t work and that rumours, misconceptions and good news easily spread. With this in mind, clear, upfront communications were vital.

The solution

We supported easyJet in building a self-help culture, helping employees make pension decisions using support/tools. Actions included:

  1. Ensured specific messages impacted each group correctly. I.e., we couldn’t confuse lower-earning cabin crew with annual allowance changes, but clarity was essential for high-earners.
  2. Developed a new member booklet aimed at covering all key points members would previously heard in one-to-one meetings (see example below).
  3. Implemented robo-advice through the ‘Money’ tool: easily accessible to dispersed workforce; flexible, offering bespoke communication tools to support our varied and diverse employees.
  4. Other mediums:
    • Carefully scheduled drop-in clinics in crew rooms between flights – these were to-the-point and provided staff with take-away digital and printed material. We also offered a helpline and targeted one-to-one support if requested.
    • Because online communications and Money offer readily-available support, we needed to ensure employees knew how to access it. Take-away items, FAQs and face-to-face support allowed us to promote this and gave clear call to actions directing employees to the help and support sections online where relevant.
    • See communications schedule for detail.
  5. Email volume is significant, and flying schedules reduce admin time. We needed employees to understand key messages.
    • A unique brand of benefit communications developed in 2012 meant employees quickly recognised our communications/knew reading was in their interest.
    • Messages were created by our communication teams and advisers, ensuring messages were engaging, plain-speaking, clear and concise (see particularly - rarely-made animated video).
    • Targeted Reminder messages mean individuals catch all opportunities, despite schedules.

The results

Our strategy to educate employees in challenging circumstances gained phenomenal results.

  • Cabin Crew - broken contribution records.
    • Unprecedented: 42% of cabin crew scheme members contribute, despite no requirement. Average employee contributions (in addition to 5% employer contribution) >government's minimum (total) AE requirements. Maximum employee contributions reaching 37%.
    • c10% contribute >10% of salaries.
  • Pilots - 98% (1,528 out of 1,554) active members (remainder opted-out due to Protected Tax Status). Average contribution (in addition to Company's 7%) is c10%. Maximum contributions reach levels of >75% salary*.
  • Management/Admin employees - 60% (592 out of 1,087) actively contribute their money. Maximum employee contribution is 72% of salary and average (before our contribution of 5-7%) is c 4.2%*.
  • Engineering/Production employees - 67% (88 out of 134) actively contribute. Maximum employee contribution is 22% of salary. Average is c4.2%*.

We also saw that:

  • Employee understanding of tax-relief and salary sacrifice savings means we enhanced employees' pension savings in 2015 by £640k.
  • High earners generated an open rate of 74% with 32% accessing Money guide.
  • Other employees: open rate of 41%/16% opening Money guide link.
  • Out of 5,800 active scheme members there were < 10 direct enquiries. Statistics show majority read communications.
  • Handful of conversations happened on pilot’s online network but were resolved c15 (with long-serving loyalty bonuses) decided, on advice, to decline automatic transfer of funds.
  • 62 general queries to helpline/one-to-one support.

Robo-advice - even before Money’s official launch, 1,800 employees actively used it, 1,170 logged-in more than once, avg 350 log-in monthly and 270 have added non-easyJet related benefits to their portal. During the Bonus exchange window we promoted Money and website usage increased in November.

*Figures are regular contributions; not allowing for further bonus sacrifice one-off exercises or employer (50%) NI saving pass-back

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