Highways England has a critical role to play in the management and maintenance of the UK’s road infrastructure. The company aims to provide everyone with safe and reliable journeys through the way it operates, maintains, and enhances one of the most advanced road networks in the world. As a result, the organisation has a very diverse and dispersed workforce. Attracting employees with the right skills is essential to building and strengthening organisational capacity and the ability for Highways England to deliver its strategic objectives. Therefore, Highways England has always recognised the importance of providing an employee benefits scheme to help attract and retain the best talent. Highways England’s annual employee engagement survey identified the need to create a more comprehensive, easy-to-use programme as well as improve understanding of the various benefits available to employees. These factors were a key impetus for the development of a new platform. In addition, Highways England wanted to tie the benefits scheme into a more efficient and effective reward and recognition programme. As a public-sector company Highways England had to go through specified processes to select a supplier. The organisation also wanted to align itself with a company which would be a strategic partner rather than simply provide a service. Having gone through due process it was clear that Xexec was going to be a great fit. After a fairly short and intense planning and development period Extra Mile and High5 were launched via one unified portal which provides a fully tailored employee engagement experience for all 5,650 Highways England employees across the UK.
The platforms are accessible to all parts of the workforce, which includes a broad range of different roles, from engineers working remotely on its network, to those working in office locations. Using Xexec’s tailored online portal, Extra Mile offers access to over 3,000 discounts, alongside a dedicated reward and recognition platform (High5), and is the only UK integrated benefits package to incorporate lifestyle services. The portal can be accessed via mobile devices, anytime and anywhere, and replaces a previous programme which administered employee discounts, recognition and other benefits across four separate schemes, via different providers. Team members can now access employee recognition and a range of other employee benefits through one bespoke portal. In addition, Xexec ensured there was a focus on obtaining employee buy-in to the new scheme. Xexec ran a series of roadshows across all of Highways England’s major locations and created a bespoke welcome pack to make it easier for remote employees to engage with the platform.