Award-winning Project Rome

14 November 2014

Wolseley UK’s HR department has drawn attention across a plethora of awards ceremonies this year for its highly successful Project Rome, an initiative which has revamped the company’s pension and benefits offering.

The team walked away with the trophy for the ‘Auto-enrolment Innovation’ and ‘Defined Contribution Commuication Innovation’ awards at the UK Pensions Scheme of the year, as well as ‘Best HR Communications’ at the Institute of Internal Communication (IoIC).

Wolseley UK was shortlisted in all of the eight high-profile HR award schemes it entered, which included the HR Distinction Awards, Employee Benefits Awards, Workplace Savings and Benefits Awards, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the Melcrum Awards and Personnel Today.

Following the introduction of new compulsory pension regulations, Project Rome involved improving Wolseley UK’s Defined Contributions (DC) plan and moving  all employees over to the DC plan.

In addition, Wolseley UK’s DC pension scheme became even more accessible to employees, when it introduced auto-enrolment for the first time. Employees also profited from the introduction of flexible benefits and an additional 1 per cent of salary was given to employees to buy benefits.

Judges from the IoIC were particularly impressed that only 3.3 per cent of Wolseley UK’s 6,000 employees have opted out of the DC pension scheme and that 56 per cent accessed the website in the first month. Other comments included the appreciation of the project being linked to the company values and that Wolseley UK took the opportunity to overhaul the whole pension approach rather than just introduce auto-enrolment as an obligation.

Neil McCawley, Head of Reward, Benefits and Policy at Wolseley UK, added: “Ensuring that Project Rome was well communicated to every single employee in this business was integral to its success. It was developed by Wolseley UK people for Wolseley UK people, and we made sure that we used every channel available to get the message across. The results have been fantastic and spirits are high in the HR department at the moment as our hard work has been recognised by multiple high-profile organisations.”

Wolseley UK employee Gary Hitchens, Head of Strategy, added: “Wolseley’s a great place to work. It has a positive culture and offers excellent rewards such as the industry-leading pension scheme which is an impressive ‘stand-out’ benefit.”