People Director Gemma Powell joined the growing property business in 2018, and having used Perkbox at a previous company, she was aware of its all-in-one advantages.
With a diverse employee base of around 240 people, it was important that the business could provide benefits that worked for everyone. In addition, there was already a strong culture of appreciation embedded within the business which needed to be continued.
Perkbox ticked the boxes on both counts and was very quickly taken on by Centrick.
“I knew the value add that Perkbox could bring,” says Gemma. As soon as I joined Centrick in 2018, it was one of the first things I set out to do, and the shareholders of the business were keen to look for options in that space as well. So it was one of the first things that we delivered and it’s supported our growth journey ever since.”.
Creating value for everyone
A key selling point over the years has been Perkbox’s ability to help employees save on both essentials and nice-to-haves. This has become especially important at a time of rising costs, and to date employees have saved over £25,000. Gemma believes the variety is what sets Perkbox apart.
“It’s definitely gone down well — there’s such a range available. Whether it’s a meal deal, or getting some new clothes — a personal favourite of mine is ASOS! — there’s lots of things that all of our teams can benefit from. We’ve got such a diverse workforce up and down the country. [Perkbox] is not all aimed at one consumer so there’s a good choice on the system.”
Employees are also given an allocation of 50 Flexi points each month. These can be spent on perks of their choice at no personal cost — ranging from a cup of coffee, to online therapy, to a streaming subscription. They can also choose to donate points to charity, with Perkbox giving the relevant amount in cash to charity.
“I think it's really positive that you've got some charitable options available for people as well,” says Gemma, before telling us a heartwarming story about how one of her employees used his Flexi points.
“Last Christmas, one of our employees found he had 3 or 4 months’ worth of Flexi points saved up. He decided to go to Greggs and buy 20 sausage rolls, and ask the Greggs team to give them to homeless people around the area. He didn’t want to use them for himself, he wanted to do something charitable.”
Shining a spotlight on everyone
Supporting employees economically is one part of the Centrick EVP, but as we mentioned earlier, they’re also really big on appreciation. Perkbox is used for their Employee of the Month awards, with business wide, peer-voted polls set up based on their three values — Vibrant, Exceptional and Team Player.
The winners — called “Centrick Legends” — are announced based on votes and receive both the company-wide recognition and a sum of Reward points. These points can then be spent on a reward of their choosing. Gemma adds:
“Everyone’s really invested in Centrick Legends at all of our business levels. We like to announce the monthly winners at company events and everyone gets really excited and champions each other for winning. It creates a really nice buzz.
We also announce a ‘Centrick Legend of the Year’ at our Christmas party, and that’s also generated from Perkbox engagement. So that will be an annual winner who gets a bigger prize pot.”
With nearly 600 recognitions exchanged since launching Perkbox, it’s clear that the platform — combined with Centrick’s excellent engagement efforts — has a big impact on culture and morale.
“The celebration side of things is massive for us and brings everyone together. It’s especially important for a company like ours where we’re a group of businesses — it joins the different departments together, in a really cool way.”
As well as colleague-voted recognitions, Gemma understands the importance of people being appreciated for good work in the moment. It’s why she allocates a budget of Reward points to each manager — empowering them to reward when they see fit.
“Our managers have a bonus pot of Reward points each month… so they can reward in the flow of work. If somebody does something outstanding, rather than waiting for the next review or team event, our managers are able to send them points there and then, to thank them for a job well done.”
While great benefits and rewards is something every HR professional wants to offer to their staff, the admin side of things is also important. You don’t need us to tell you that most HR teams are stretched for time — so being able to automate where possible can be a huge help.
Centrick have taken advantage of Perkbox’s Single Sign-On and HRIS integrations — meaning employees don’t need to remember additional passwords, and Gemma’s team don’t need to manually process starters and leavers.
“Wherever we can automate things as a team, that’s what I choose to do. I’m always championing us being more efficient where possible so we can offer a really transformational service to Centrick. Single Sign-On creates less clicks for users as well — it just means they can access all of the perks quicker and easier, and on the app they can stay logged in.”
A ‘no-brainer’ for companies committed to their people
As employees everywhere look for economic support and a company culture that appeals to them, benefits and rewards will play a key role. The partnership between Centrick and Perkbox has already stretched many years, and Gemma’s in no doubt that this will continue.
“Perkbox for us has a real influence on our culture. It provides that foundation and central space to celebrate success, recognise when someone’s gone over and above, and just say thank you to each other.
And then of course, there’s that extra piece on top in terms of the financial rewards. More and more people want those extra perks from their employer. Being able to offer such a wide range of benefits is just a really nice way of saying thank you for their hard work and loyalty.
Perkbox has such an impact on our cultural DNA as a business…it’s almost like a no-brainer. It’s always going to feature on our list of benefits and rewards.”