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19 Jun 2024

How a financial wellbeing programme helped Howdens boost more than just pension engagement

By adopting Standard Life’s financial wellbeing programme as part of its pension scheme restructure, Howdens saw more than just a boost to engagement levels



Regularly reviewing your pension scheme is a good way to make sure your employees’ needs are being met in the best way.

That’s exactly what kitchen giant Howdens did. An internal review revealed the need to enhance its defined contribution scheme to better serve its diverse and dispersed workforce. 

But with over 11,000 employees spread over 800 sites, Howdens was faced with the challenge of making sure its communications landed effectively, as well as improving engagement, financial confidence and retention. 

They approached us to help execute and communicate these important changes – and found that our holistic solutions and focus on financial wellbeing was key to the project’s success. 

Combining continuous communications and financial wellbeing solutions

To help reach every employee, we identified that a multi-channel engagement programme was required. We also recognised that to help deliver improved employee confidence and retention, we needed to look at supporting employees’ wider financial wellbeing as well as the usual pension provision.

We delivered an extensive suite of online and onsite communications, enabling every employee to understand the upcoming pension scheme changes - regardless of their location. This included a year-round, site-wide communications calendar, providing a continuous stream of information to keep employees informed. 

Not only that, employees were given access to tools that could have a direct, positive impact on their financial wellbeing. This included our open finance platform, Money Mindset, which allowed employees to see their finances in one place, set and track savings goals, and boost their financial knowledge with a library of bitesize content. 

The results revealed a clear correlation between engagement with our tools and communications, and increased financial confidence and loyalty:

  • More employees are saving for their financial future: Following the campaign, 50% of employees increased their pension contributions.
  • Employees are more engaged and likely to stay put: Those who noticed the communications were 4x more likely to engage with their pension. And those with a high recall of comms were 21% more likely to stay at Howdens for the next 12 months.
  • Employees  feel better about their money: Those with a high recall of communications were 81% more confident about their financial future.

These results highlight the importance of taking a wider look at what your pension scheme offers, so that it’s truly reflecting what your employees need and want. Supporting their wider financial wellbeing – beyond just pensions – could be the answer.

To find out more about Howdens’ journey, read their success story in full.

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In partnership with Standard Life

Standard Life are part of Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business. We both share an aligned ambition to help every customer enjoy a life full of possibilities.

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