The HOYTS brand is made up of two separate businesses. HOYTS Exhibition, which has 51 cinemas across Australia and New Zealand, employs over 2,500 people who predominantly work on the frontline. The other part of the business is Val Morgan, which is made up of 169 people across three advertising arms — Val Morgan, Val Morgan Outdoor and Val Morgan Digital.

At the heart of their organisation is the ability to bring people together.

“The connection component is really the similarity that drives all of our different businesses,” says Jodi Paton, Chief People Officer. “Our vision is really all about creating the cinema of the future. We've done a lot of work to really reset the benchmark of what cinema experience is in Australia. We talk a lot about our values underpinning the way we work and interact with each other, and we're constantly trying to do things better for our customers and clients.”

No. of employees



Cinema, entertainment and advertising


Australia & New Zealand

Engagement with the platform

Within 5 months of launch






Perks redeemed

Jodi says HOYTS’ “FIERCE” company values — Focused, Innovative, Excellence, Resourceful, Caring, Empowered — are embedded at every stage of the employee lifecycle, starting with recruitment.

“At the first point of interaction with a candidate, we introduce our values as the behavioural anchor that our teams use. Those values are then integrated into all of our people processes — through performance, reward and recognition, and so forth.”

A comprehensive care package

While HOYTS did offer good employee benefits, along with quarterly rewards, they were on the lookout for something more structured which would meet the needs of their geographically dispersed workforce.

Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the ‘Caring’ aspect of their values became an even bigger focus. HOYTS recognised the need for a comprehensive platform that would help the physical and mental wellbeing of their people.

HR Business Partner Polly Springfield says that the Perkbox app, and the vast content on its dedicated Wellness hub, “came at a really good time for HOYTS.”

She added: “We wanted to ensure that throughout the struggles of the pandemic, employees were not experiencing burnout and had the ability to prioritise their wellbeing. Wellness hub allowed us to be reactive to the pandemic and have a solution for things that were previously placed in the ‘too hard’ basket.

When managers began to recognise signs of burnout in employees, they could be proactive and provide recommendations for employees that they could then tailor.”

HOYTS also introduced “Wellness Wednesdays” across the business. This allowed employees to disconnect from emails and meetings on Wednesday afternoons, in favour of activities which boosted their wellbeing. Employees were encouraged to share how they spent that time, and Polly says that Wellness hub was seen as a great complement to this initiative.

“The HIIT section of the platform got a particular shout out for its heart-pumping nature, and the fact you could pick and choose workouts depending on your mood or ability to access equipment was fantastic. It is great that you continue to roll out different areas in Wellness hub, and because there are a lot of options under each section, there is a lot for people to choose from.”

Stretching salaries

Just as important as physical and mental wellbeing, was financial wellbeing. This was especially important in an industry that felt the impact of COVID-19, as Jodi explains.

“COVID-19 was a really challenging time for our business and industry in terms of lockdowns and restrictions. All of our employees took a reduced salary of some sort throughout the year. Everybody had to make sacrifices to keep the business afloat. We wanted to look at ways to offer rewards to our employees across the spectrum.”

To this end, the Perks hub aspect of the platform came in really useful. After initially launching to their office based employees, HOYTS saw 744 perks redeemed in five months, with collective savings of $10,000 and a 97% activation rate.

Perkbox’s global app means it can be used anywhere, at any time. Polly believes that the ease of use, as well as quality of discounts, has been important for both employer and employee.

“The response we've had from our employees is that they're very happy with the discounts and the platform has been quite good for us from a setup and administration point of view. The ease for our employees to access the perks straight away has been really good. It's very easy to navigate.”

Jodi agreed, stating: “A lot of employees are based on the frontline, operating directly out of cinemas. Being able to provide them with a flexible option which is not limited in terms of accessibility and resources available has been really valuable.”

Easy, efficient and cost effective

Polly’s thoughts on the ease of use from an administration point of view highlights another key benefit of the Perkbox platform — a quality experience at the back end. The dynamic dashboard allows businesses to see the impact of their engagement efforts, while they’re also able to customise the platform to suit their values.

For Jodi, this was key to HOYTS choosing Perkbox. It was important that the platform was tied to their FIERCE values, as well as being cost effective.

“What can we do to continue offering some kind of recognition albeit on a more values focused way of doing it? That was really our primary driver, wanting to have a channel of recognition without a high cost. When we looked at what was available and how it could potentially work for our business…, Perkbox just really fit.”

An all-round approach

HOYTS have continued to use Perkbox as a key component of their employee engagement efforts, rather than just an add-on. Polly believes it has a great part to play for both benefits and recognising the right behaviours and values.

We want to integrate Perkbox as part of our broader people strategy. For example, we've been looking at it from a training and development perspective. “There are currently a lot of conversations in the HR industry around the Great Resignation and retaining talent. Perkbox has been a great way for us to add value to our employees and I can't sing its praises enough.”

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