How the Wessex Group benefits from putting their staff first

"The investment we make in staff benefits is paid back through greater efficiency, reduced absence, better productivity, and our reputation as an employer of choice."

ECIS's Vicki Leslie sat down with Wessex Group Director, Simon Morgan, to talk about how having a strong benefits package and people first culture can be a valuable investment in the business as its leads to better outcomes for staff and customers.

Simon Morgan (pictured)

Why do you believe it’s important to offer employee benefits/healthcare services to your workforce?

I think the advantages of offering benefits to our employees is multilevel. It helps attract staff and definitely sets our remuneration package apart from most other employers. Once staff join the company, the ability to be able to access services quickly, meaning they can address issues early, means less distress for them and less time off and time away from work. Our people value the benefits offered and in practice, the early intervention it provides is invaluable.

How does it help your organisation in areas such as retention and recruitment?

It certainly helps retention and recruitment. I think it is certainly something that holds value, particularly now with the apparent difficulties in getting access to various services such as in-person GP appointments.

I know several staff who use the Babylon digital GP because they find it preferable to having a virtual appointment with their local GP. With the pressure on GP’s, having Babylon takes pressure off your local GP and provides access to direct services.

As a company what direct benefits have you seen from ECIS services

We know the benefits have helped our staff access treatment really quickly. We know staff members who have been treated and back to work within a week or two and pain free, which really helps productivity and morale.

What would you say to employers who are thinking about employee benefits but believe it’s an expense they can’t afford?

Within Wessex, we have a culture where people value the additional benefits of employment and the environment, they work in. Offering an exceptional benefits package aligns with the culture of the business.

Our remuneration focus is not just on the hourly pay rate. It’s about valuing our employees, looking after them and recognising the important role they play in the business.Having these benefits, help us further develop the culture of the business and encourages the retention of people who are looking at more than just their pay packet.

We conduct a staff survey every year and the questions people most agreed with were around the benefits provided, feeling valued and cared for. We have a culture of staying safe, working safely, and responding to the needs of our employees.

We’re not a charity and are, of course, profit driven. The investment we make in staff benefits is paid back through greater efficiency, reduced absence, better productivity, and our reputation as an employer of choice.

How would you rate the cost value of the benefits provided through ECIS?

When you compare it in the market, the level of benefits you get is excellent value for money. Obviously, there are options that provide lower benefits and underwriting so the cost is less but when comparing like for like, the value is outstanding.

How would you rate the service provided by ECIS?

The whole team is great. They all have a wealth of experience and queries are answered very quickly. If I ever need anything, I know they will sort it out for me.

Any other comments

In the electrical contracting industry, it seems that less and less operatives have the kind of benefits we offer. We’re pretty unique to our industry to provide the level of cover we do, and we take a pride in standing out.

We work hard to ensure our staff realise, understand and value the benefits they’re getting including PMI.

From a company perspective, we’re seeing more staff comfortable with informing us if they are off with a mental health issue which helps us support them. We’re always recommending the Bupa Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and the feedback we get about the EAP, direct access services and the virtual GP, has been excellent.
Awareness of mental health is much better and gaining traction but there is still some way to go.

About Wessex Group and Simon Morgan.

Wessex Group are a Top 50 UK electrical contracting firm in the UK. Simon Morgan, son of founder Tony Morgan, is a Director of the business along with his brother Ali Morgan. Together, they have carried on their dad’s drive and enthusiasm for the business and its people. We believe in treating all of our employees with respect and consideration, after all our staff and their expertise is what makes our business great. We are proud of our excellent retention rate and our overwhelmingly positive annual staff satisfaction survey results. Our staff consistently tell us that they enjoy working for a strong family business with inherent supporting values