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Supporting retention, recognition and communication

Hapi drives exceptional employee engagement in the care sector

HICA is a not-for-profit care provider. They employ 1750 people across northern England, providing care and support solutions via domiciliary services, residential care homes, and housing schemes. 

The company launched Hapi in May 2019 with the aim of centralising their employee benefits offer on one platform and making it simple for staff to access. Hapi also provided a much-needed route to communicating with frontline staff working in care homes, in the community, and on the road. 

A league of their own 

Two years on and HICA are a fantastic example of how Hapi can drive exceptional employee engagement. They now have a 93% activation rate which is unheard of in the care sector.  

Natalie Dangerfield, Senior HR Manager at HICA commented: 

“Care is a competitive recruitment market so it’s really important that our staff feel appreciated. Turnover has moved in a positive direction over the last few years and Hapi has been instrumental in helping us recognise, engage and reward our staff. We use it for all benefits and communications – the app makes it so easy for staff to make the most of their reward package.” 

Hapi delivers benefits that employees actually want and use. Employee discounts are popular, with staff appreciating how quick and simple it is to download an e-voucher whilst out shopping. They can also save money with cycle to work and technology benefit schemes, as well as Personal Group’s low-cost health insurance products. More recently, HICA have expanded their wellbeing offering by giving staff access to health cash plans and instructor-led fitness classes. All these tokens of appreciation make the difference in keeping staff on board and engaged. 

Appreciating HICA heroes 

HICA have done great work in embedding a reward and recognition culture. With just a few taps on the Hapi app, managers can thank staff with cash awards or use the ‘Wall of Fame’ to publicly recognise colleagues who’ve gone the extra mile. This has been especially useful to recognise the commitment and strength staff showed through the COVID-19 crisis. 

Hapi’s communications were also vital during this period. Natalie commented: 

“We used push notifications practically every other day. We were able to reassure staff on steps we were taking to safeguard teams, keep them up to date as government guidance changed, and put out operational comms like new incentives for overtime. It was so helpful that HR could reach everyone at the touch of a button and staff were grateful to be in the know.”  

Find out more about employee reward and recognition.

Supporting HR teams 

HICA use the MI insight in the Hapi Hub daily to plan where to focus their attention. The HR team use backend data to track reward usage, spend on the discounts portal, survey responses and more.  

Personal Group carried out face-to-face visits to support Hapi’s launch in 2019, sitting down with employees 1:1 to drive maximum employee engagement with the new platform. When COVID-19 hit, we switched to virtual visits via video call to ensure that employees could still see the value of the benefits on offer, and how to make the most of them. Natalie commented:  

“Personal Group are always supportive and flexible to our needs – for instance, our services provided great feedback about the virtual visits and how they helped people get signed up and familiar with navigating the app even though COVID-19 prevented us doing this in the normal way. Personal Group have also helped us create bespoke solutions such as when we wanted to host a lottery giveaway on Hapi they worked with us to develop a brand-new function.” 


Hapi will continue to support HICA as they invest in their people, helping them deliver expert care. Their 93% engagement rate goes to show how successful it’s been in underpinning HR strategy. A final word from Natalie: 

“Hapi has become embedded into our processes at every stage of the employee journey. It’s essential for keeping our people connected and engaged. Hapi is part of our long-term plans; we’ve just extended our contract by two years so that we can focus on how we adapt and expand the product.” 


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