Carol McCrindle is a Payroll and Benefits Manager at Crown Agents Bank; a UK regulated wholesale provider of emerging market and G10 foreign exchange. CAB aims to be the key link between our focus developing markets in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America & Asia Pacific and Governments, Supra-Nationals, Financial Institutions, NGO’s & select Corporates in OECD countries. Here Carol tells us how Crown Agents Bank adopted Zest Benefits and how it has changed the way she works for the better.
How was the onboarding process?
We decided to use Zest as our new benefits platform in February 2018, in March, we started work on implementing it, and we were up and running by our deadline of June. Along the journey, we wanted a few tweaks made, so we ironed out the details over the phone, and also went to Zest’s premises to play around with and customise the software for our needs. The Zest staff offered us training which was appreciated by all. They were accommodating at every stage.
Why did you choose Zest as your benefits platform?
We have 170 employees, and we wanted them to have easier access to their benefits and to see exactly where we were spending money on them and the options available to them. Our previous platform hadn’t had any investment in it, and we wanted to give our employees more. Zest gave us features that weren’t previously available.
What makes Zest stand out from the crowd?
We love the fact that our employees can now view their full benefits statement in entirety, not only their elected benefits but also the ones that the company have offered to them at no cost to themselves. If someone is contemplating leaving the company (maybe they’ve been offered more money elsewhere) they might check Zest and discover that the actual amount they would be making at their new job would be less than they are currently making due to the lack of benefits that would now have to be paid out of pocket. This would include things such as the cost of Crown Agents Bank paying for their family healthcare, income protection and pension. Zest allows our employees to see exactly the cost to us of giving them these benefits and the impact it has on their base salary.
Is there any element of the software that you, or your employees, like in particular?
From speaking with employees and hearing their feedback, the overall response is very positive. Zest clearly shows them their core benefits and elective benefits and also other relevant information such as direct links to government websites for tax and National Insurance information. As a company, we’ve negotiated with local businesses for employee discounts including gyms, hairdressers and restaurants. These offerings can all easily be found on the Zest platform, and this has gone down very well. Through Zest, our employees can view information about our cycle to work scheme, smart parking and AXA PPP Healthcare. Zest will also only allow people to see what they themselves are entitled to under their corporate-grade; it won’t let them choose something for which they are not eligible.
Has using Zest made your job any more comfortable? If so, in what way?
It’s saved me time and a lot of manual work! This means I can focus on more critical things every month. In fact, it has saved time on both sides, for the company employees and me. In the past if an employee wished to change their pension contribution they would have had to put it in writing to me and then I would have had to submit it all manually, now that’s not the case, and it can all be put through the software. I take a report once a month, and that’s it. Employees themselves can change contact information, beneficiary details and don’t have to fill out endless forms. It’s all there online for them and for me which saves unnecessary duplication of work. The software is very cost-effective and extremely user-friendly. We told Zest exactly what we wanted from a Crown Agents Bank benefits system; they took our input and built that into Zest. The team we worked with was second to none.