Holiday Extras has launched a flexible benefit programme for their 400 employees in the UK in conjunction with Thomsons Online Benefits. Having been named as one of 'The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work for' six years in a row and KEiBA Employer of the Year 2012, Holiday Extras understands the importance of an excellent working environment to keep employees motivated and engaged.

Continuously striving to remain an excellent workplace and with a People mission of 'continuing to make Holiday Extras a truly amazing place to work and learn', Holiday Extras was eager to improve their employee reward scheme. Their previous benefits programme was delivering low levels of engagement while the administration burden was piling up high. Holiday Extras chose Thomsons Darwin™ to implement an online, flexible benefits platform - my.extras - to give their employees the freedom to choose their own benefits while cutting down on the administration burden.

Benefits were divided into three main categories: my extra wealth, my extra health and my extra lifestyle, giving employees the opportunity to pick from 15 different benefits (or 'extras'), from life assurance to discounted shopping.

Branding was a key aspect of the project and Thomsons worked closely with Holiday Extras to develop the look and feel for the scheme. Vibrant colours and informal language were used to engage the employees in a different and fun way, in line with their culture. Posters and presentations were created for the launch to communicate the new benefits to employees.

"Being often ranked as one of the best companies to work for, we truly believe in the importance of having a motivated workforce to deliver an excellent service to our Clients," commented Anouk Agussol, Head of People at Holiday Extras. "Working with Thomsons Online Benefits enabled us to take our mission to the next level by giving all of our team the power to choose their benefits and change them whenever, wherever. By creating an original and appealing brand for our benefits and using Darwin™ to manage them, we were able to raise participation while at the same time reducing our admin burden. During such difficult economic times, it is really important to us that we have a benefits scheme that makes life for our entire team just that bit easier."

During the two week launch window, an incredible 82% of employees logged into the site to choose their new benefits. Levels of benefit take up increased across all benefits but pensions were the most impressive, with an 83% increase on participation. Furthermore, the HR team was able to save valuable time as Darwin™ took care of all the boring admin.