2017: A Year in Review

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Month by Month Review of Personal Group’s 2017 Highlights.

There were some huge events in 2017. Britain triggered article 50, starting the proceedings for us to leave the EU; Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States; Ten years after the Great Recession global economic growth started to accelerate, and stock markets hit record highs; North Korean missile testing put everyone on edge; WikiLeaks released a number of CIA surveillance documents; and we’re still trying to keep up with the Kardashian’s! Amidst all the ups and downs of 2017, Personal Group has had some real shining moments, that we believe helped make it a more positive year. Check out our month by month highlights below:


January marked the first birthday of Memusi B, the school we built and continue to fund in Shompole, Kenya. We sent out 2 groups of volunteers this year, made up of staff from all areas of the business. Some of our top achievements include providing vital medical treatment to over 300 members of the community and installing gravity lights in some of the houses. We are proud to say that there are now 120 children who have access to education thanks to the hard work of our volunteers. 


In February we shared the interviews with 10 CEO’s and senior leaders across the UK , talking about their thoughts on happiness and productivity in the workplace. Our interest in the subject of productivity led us to collaborate with Criticaleye and Debi O’Donovan (Founder of REBA). The purpose was to see if these leaders shared our view that productivity and employee engagement are linked. The videos of our interviews can be found here.


On March 21st Personal Group were named in Real Business’ Philanthropic 30, a list of the most caring companies in Britain. We were chosen due to the charitable efforts of our staff throughout the year, and our dedication to sending teams to Kenya, to help educate children in poverty, until at least 2022! We also released our Business of Engagement Report, alongside talks from David Smith, Economics Editor at the Sunday Times, talking about Britain’s productivity problem and Alex Edmans, Professor of Finance at London Business School, talking about the returns of employee engagement.


We inspired more than 400 random acts of kindness as part of the Herd about MK celebrations, for Milton Keynes 50th anniversary. We had the chance to sponsor and design a concrete cow, which was displayed around Milton Keynes throughout the year. The first stop took place in April in Middleton Hall. Our cow, ‘Hapi’, is a Superhero whose goal is to spread happiness throughout Milton Keynes. Local residents were invited to visit ‘Hapi’ and to fill in a postcard with details of what they have done to make MK a happier place. As a result, we collected over 600 Random Acts of Kindness!


In May, we appointed CEGA Special Investigations as the sole suppliers of claims validation services for Personal Group’s inpatient benefit claims. Serving our customers has always been our priority and the CEGA partnership allows us to deliver the best services possible! Personal Group were also named one of the most inspiring companies in Britain by London Stock Exchange. To be included in the list, companies needed to show consistent revenue growth over a minimum of three years, significantly outperforming their industry peers.


June marked the beginning of our partnerships with Neyber and SalaryFinance, giving us the ability to offer our customers access to financial wellbeing solutions, such as affordable borrowing with low APRs and manageable repayments that are taken directly from payroll. We also examined the impact financial wellbeing can have on mental and physical wellbeing, something we like to call the Triangle of Wellbeing.


This month one of our clients, Sunrise Senior Living won the Most Motivational Benefits Award at the Employee Benefits Awards. We developed their award winning platform ‘Your Choices’ to facilitate access to vast selection of employee rewards and recognition features.


On the 19th August 2017, we were proud sponsors of the Superhero Tri – a one of a kind inclusive sporting event where disabled athletes of all ages and abilities competed. As well as entering our own teams, we gave each of the competitors a pair of VR goggles, so they could experience a range of awesome Virtual Reality experiences and sporting activities anytime, anywere!



In September, our client Merseyrail was a finalist in the engage awards for the best use of technology in customer engagement! They launched our mobile app in 2016, allowing their staff to use the system on the go. As much of their staff are ‘hopping on and off trains’ all day, it was important for them to have a method of connecting all employees, as the benefits platform also functions as a method of internal communication. Andrew Parry, Head of Engagement and Reward, said that they had seen ‘the total number of employees registering on the benefits site double since the introduction of the mobile app’


During October, we released our research on EAP usage and the impact it has on employees. We compared the usage and impact of EAP services when offered as part of a wider benefits platform versus the benchmark data of all other calls received by Health Assured. Employees without access to the Personal Group employee benefits programme were found to be 71 per cent more likely to call their EAP helpline about work related issues! You can see details of the full research here.


Our Chief Commercial Officer was invited to speak at the REBA innovation day in November 2017. He discussed how employers can develop their digital strategy from the employee point of view. You can watch his presentation here.


The final month of the year marked the launch of our employee services ROI calculator, which calculates how much money a company can potentially save by implementing an employee benefits platform. We also published our research on how access to the same employee benefits platform can equate to the equivalent of a 13 per cent pay rise for the average UK employee. Check out our infographic that illustrates how the average UK employee can make the savings.

What Next?

All in all, 2017 was certainly an eventful year. We’ve inspired acts of kindness, helped get children into education and helped disabled athletes to compete in the Superhero Tri. Personal Group wishes you a happy new year; here’s to a happy and productive 2018!

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