Kellogg's, which employs nearly 2,000 staff across the UK, is using Tony to communicate what are known in HR as total reward statements (TRS). These personalised documents, either paper or online, explain the total sum of an employee's remuneration package at a glance.
The move is a conscious decision to sell Kellogg's reward offering more actively than in the past, when it relied on standard (read boring and indecipherable) letters regarding pensions, health insurance, childcare vouchers and the like, according to the company's compensation and benefits business partner Dave Lowe.
"The statements do more than communicate the facts and figures relating to an employee's pay and benefits; they embed our company culture, inspire employees and demonstrate that we value them enough to put serious consideration into communicating their reward," he says.
Kellogg's, working with employee communication consultancy Caburn Hope, joins a plethora of big names, including BSkyB and Ladbrokes, in adopting the practice. The thinking goes that if you explain what benefits really equate to financially in a clear and jargon-free way, you will increase uptake, engage your employees, attract talent and help retain staff.
Where Kellogg's wins over many approaches I have seen, however, is in tying the communication into its brand guidelines so well.
So why is this important? Well, research conducted by HR magazine with 175 HR and reward directors shows only 12% strongly agree there is a 'clear and consistent' brand for all their reward/benefits communications, and even fewer (7%) agree that employees actually know how and where to access information about their benefits.
This is not surprising given just 22% of respondents offer staff a total rewards statement. You may have the most competitive package in the market, but if you ain't communicating it well, it ain't working.
Staff would rather have cash than benefits - yet there is little scope today for pay discussions. Companies are missing a trick here. As Richard Morgan, director of consulting services at research sponsor Vebnet, says: "We're seeing short-term demand for money but benefits choices can leave people feeling like their money can go further, and this needs communicating."
So, well done Kellogg's. When it comes to the cereal giant's benefits communication, there's only one thing I can say. It's Grrreat.n