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Success Story

Delivering a scalable benefits experience at Siemens Gamesa

March 1, 2021

A case study: How to offer your employees flexibility and choice in your benefits and wellbeing offering.
Health and Benefits|Ευεξία

The Challenge

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), a leading supplier of wind power solutions, required a new flexible benefit program and platform for its roughly 2,100 employees in the U.K. as part of its move to operating a stand-alone benefit offering. The new program needed to meet the requirements of its diverse workforce responsible for wind power solutions both onshore and offshore. SGRE was looking to offer its employees the flexibility to choose those benefits and wellbeing services that they valued most based on their individual preferences and circumstances, which could change over time.

But there were myriad challenges to address before such a program could be delivered.

  • Engage a diverse workforce. SGRE faced the challenge of increasing engagement in benefits across its entire workforce. Therefore, the new program needed to provide a great mobile-enabled benefits experience to engage and provide ease of access for all employees including those in SGRE’s factories and in the field.
  • Reduce risks and control costs through effective use of automation. SGRE needed to optimize benefit spend and make effective use of automation to reduce risks associated with the move to a new benefit program. In addition, part of the technology challenge involved ensuring a seamless transition from the parent company’s legacy flex program and at the same time, linking to SGRE’s new Workday HR system for new joiners, leavers, payroll adjustments and other changes.
  • Streamline administration. The benefits delivery process needed to be automated to reduce the administrative burden on the company’s lean HR staff. By reducing manual involvement through automation, SGRE also sought to better control administrative costs. To further control costs, the program required an outsourced contact centre and administration support.
  • Improve efficiency through combined administrative, consulting and broking solution. SGRE was also looking for a partner who could provide consultancy services to design and evolve the benefit approach to better meet the needs of SGRE and its employees on an ongoing basis.

Last, but not least, the project had an ambitious timeline ─ the new program had to be completed in four months. SGRE selected Willis Towers Watson, with whom it had an existing broker relationship, over other competitors to take on this challenging project. A key reason for this decision was the fact that Willis Towers Watson offered a scalable solution with a consistent employee experience using Benefits Access’ Ready Products, which are pre-configured products from best-in-class providers, assuring a fast, effective and efficient set-up.

The Willis Towers Watson Approach

With the tight deadline top of mind, Willis Towers Watson consultants introduced a streamlined benefit design and configuration approach using the Benefits Access digital benefits platform. It was critical for the team to work in an agile manner through all phases of the project.

Willis Towers Watson successfully delivered Benefits Access for Siemens Gamesa UK within a very limited timeframe using their excellent ready-to-implement products to simplify the previously complex plans we had in place.”

Emily Burleton | Global Reward Manager, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Limited
  • Requirements analysis. The Willis Towers Watson team held two days of intensive meetings with the small group of key stakeholders that included SGRE’s global rewards manager, the head of HR and the person responsible for managing data interfaces. During this period, the team was able to complete 90% of the requirements.
  • Configuration. Using Benefits Access, the team worked to ensure the new program met SGRE’s expectations.
    • Provide a consistent and scalable, easy-to-navigate experience. The team ensured with Benefits Access that the program was delivered through a user-friendly, online and mobile-first experience tailored to meet employee needs. As Benefits Access can be easily scaled, the desired level of personalization and choice could be offered where needed.
    • Use Benefits Access Ready Products. The team used 12 ready-to-go, pre-negotiated benefit products from best-in-class market providers and delivered three custom products, making it possible to meet SGRE’s tight deadlines. Weekly team calls and a strong working relationship with SGRE stakeholders kept the project on track. This approach of using ready-to-implement products helped speed up the configuration of Benefits Access and made sure SGRE could offer relevant choice and flexibility to all employees efficiently.
    • Deliver an integrated partnership. To help mitigate risks associated with different aspects of such a project, Willis Towers Watson offered SGRE an end-to-end partnership that covered advisory, broking, administration and support.
  • Testing and sign off. To streamline the testing phase, Benefits Access for SGRE was first tested by the Willis Towers Watson consultants. Next, three members of SGRE’s HR team conducted a week of intense testing of different scenarios and transmitted a daily issues log to which the Willis Towers Watson team would respond in 24 hours. By the end of the week, the client gave final approval and signed off.

The team was now ready to roll out Benefits Access with a branded, intuitive user experience accessible on any device at any time that could be scaled to other countries with varying needs as necessary.

The Results

The Willis Towers Watson team met all milestones and launched Benefits Access in just four months without any delays. The combination of Ready Products and custom products helped mitigate risks and reduced costs as well as the administrative burden on SGRE’s HR staff. The employee help function on the website efficiently routes employee queries for quick resolution, which frees up the time of the HR staff to focus on more strategic issues.

The Willis Towers Watson project team were fantastic – very pragmatic, calm and clear on the key deliverables to make the project successful and we had a great partnership to ensure we achieved our objectives. Thank you, Willis Towers Watson!”

Emily Burleton | Global Reward Manager, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy Limited

The first enrolment cycle achieved very high levels of engagement with 83% of employees logging in and 70% submitting selections. The new platform provides SGRE with an intuitive, globally consistent and scalable benefits experience that makes it easier for employees to better understand, shop for and enroll in their benefits.

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