Following a series of acquisitions, Barbon partnered with Thomsons to develop an integrated benefits scheme to secure cost savings and a bespoke communication plan to drive employee engagement and take-up.

The challenge

Barbon Insurance Group is the UK’s leading property insurance specialist, comprising a number of individual businesses and brands that provide specialist products and services to the property industry.

Barbon approached Thomsons Online Benefits in 2007 to develop an integrated benefits scheme designed to create cohesion following a series of acquisitions. With a diverse set of terms and conditions of employment, Thomsons needed to develop a single consolidated scheme and migrate all 800 employees to it. Barbon’s mission is to “listen to, value and reward” its people, so coming up with an attractive and engaging reward scheme was key to its business.


The Solution

Thomsons Online Benefits worked with Barbon to design and launch a brand new benefit scheme.

Benefits were harmonised across divisions to allow equal access for all employees. New benefits were added to the scheme, and existing benefits were re-brokered to secure cost savings. In addition flexibility was introduced to new and existing benefits, such as flexible holiday, pension, and medical insurance.

A second and fundamental part of the project however, was to support the new scheme with a bespoke communication plan to drive engagement and take-up. This was particularly important to Barbon as an organisation that believes its people are what make it a successful business. Communications collateral was used to improve understanding of the benefits offered, increasing employee perception of the value of the scheme and, ultimately, increasing take-up.


The result

Four years after launch, the results are impressive. Pension take-up tripled over the period and overall employee satisfaction increased by over 10%, reaching an impressive 83% in 2011. Furthermore, staff turnover has consistently decreased, halving in the three-year period measured.

Nevertheless, Barbon’s journey is not over. It continues to work closely with Thomsons to improve its benefits, reduce annual management costs and most importantly further drive employee engagement to maintain its status as an employer of choice.

Richard Walden

HR Director

Working with Thomsons Online Benefits provided us with the expertise and support we needed to create and build the high level of employee engagement that is needed for any business to succeed. They have been an invaluable partner, understanding the industry we operate in, and the challenges we face as a business. The results have been fantastic, four years on we are still working together to find new ways of engaging our employees.

The results? The numbers speak for themselves

Increase in overall employee satisfaction

Staff turnover level, having halved in a three-year period

Pension take-up in three years

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