The Liberty Global Success Story
Liberty Global is a multinational telecommunications company that specialises in video, internet and voice customers. With headquarters in London, Amsterdam and Denver, the business was founded after merging with Liberty Media in 2005.
Generating an annual revenue of $11.5 billion, and operating across six countries, Liberty has 10.8 million cable service subscriber and 20,600 employees. It’s a cutting-edge technology company that loves to innovate.
“What’s great about OneHub is the consistency … across the group and across regions.”
Catherine Bamina, Director of International Benefits, Liberty Global
The Liberty Global Success Story
The need for an evolving strategy
We spoke to Catherine Bamina, Director of International Benefits at Liberty Global, to find out how Liberty Global has adapted their strategy to address emerging trends and employee needs, with the support of Benefex. Wellbeing continues to be a key area of focus for Liberty Global as they rollout their benefits strategy across other brands in the group and different regions.
More flexibility and choice
“We have had many opportunities to look at benefits due to various mergers or acquisitions; it’s given us a chance to provide something different to what employees had before and we always focus on choice, flexibility and digitisation. With help from Benefex, we audited our benefits and focused on which needs aren’t being met – we were getting a lot of questions on hybrid working, family, parental leave and holiday.”
“We wanted to focus more on flexible benefits that are easy to access (for example, leveraging easy-to-use apps) and would support the employee experience, as well as catering to the needs to each region.
“To provide greater flexibility in the Netherlands, we introduced holiday pay which we transformed into a benefits budget – that means employees either receive it once a year, spread it out monthly or use it to buy voluntary benefits.”
Priority 1: Supporting wellbeing in hybrid–working
“Liberty was looking to support employees with hybrid working and address the lack of flexibility and heavy workloads that were impacting wellbeing. This also feeds into the need to stay competitive amidst a talent race: There is a shortage of skills in areas like cyber security and it’s hard to find candidates for roles.”
“We have found that we get the inevitable question when people sign up to the organisation: how flexible are we? They want to work for a company that shares their values, and this is not something that we would have heard about 12 months ago.”
Priority 2: Delivering consistent global benefits with local nuances
“Liberty Global consists of a number of operating companies with a distinct brand – or at least a degree of differentiation from the core brand. Therefore, we had the need to balance the desire for consistency around the employee experience globally alongside acknowledging the nuances of the country of company operating level.”
Evolving Liberty’s benefits strategy. “To support DE&I, Liberty is working with Benefex to build a more diverse and accessible portal. We are reviewing family policies and public holidays. We know that not everyone follows the traditional holidays; some employees would like to take time off at other periods more relevant to their religion. We are also looking at topics like gender affirmation, benefits and volunteering and policies that are more socially responsible. I think five years ago this was not on the agenda at all.”
Achieving personalisation as well as consistency. “In our case we have done different branding versus the Liberty Global central function because we have employees that don’t feel like Liberty Global employees (e.g. Virgin Media) – they feel more engagement towards their local brand. In terms of consistency, we are all looking at wellbeing in a similar way; we are focusing on financial, social and mental wellbeing, and grouping our benefits into that structure. Then we identify any gaps, ask people what they want, and see what is available in the local market.”
Bringing in the wins
“When it comes to setting up a benefits scheme, things can take longer to plan and execute than you might expect, but they are worth the effort. Showing the value of benefits was a definite ambition and as a telecoms company, everything needs to be digital.”
“We recently rolled out a new car scheme in the UK that was very well received. When you see employees wanting to stay at Liberty Global because they now have this great car, it brings satisfaction and is worth the hard work.”
“When we transferred about 500 employees from Virgin Media to Liberty Global, we were able to do it flexibly and digitally; afterwards, there was a survey about the transfer experience from a reward and benefits perspective. We were told that that the tools were smoother at Liberty Global than they had been at Virgin Media – and we had rolled out One-Hub two years earlier!”