How a SaaS company acted fast to improve financial wellbeing in a cost of living crisis

Headquartered in Orkney, Scotland and with staff across the UK and overseas, Kyloe Partners is a B2B technology company that supports clients globally to unlock the potential of their recruitment tech stack.

For Kyloe, the people behind the business – or “Kyloevians” – are their most important investment. But as a small company, reward budgets aren’t infinite, which means the leadership team invests time in creating the best overall package to retain and attract great talent. One of Kyloe’s co-founders and CFO, Simone Pennie, says “we’re looking for the right benefits for the culture we want to maintain…it’s important that they are meaningful not just shiny or new.” Simone has taken the time to introduce something extra to employees when possible.

As Simone began considering how to enhance the mental wellbeing of Kyloe’s employees, the cost of living crisis was just picking up, affecting everyone. The Board wanted to act swiftly. They split a cost of living increase review into two stages enabling a benefit six months earlier than normal. Three months later introduced a monthly, non-pensionable cost of living allowance to maximise employees’ take-home pay. This allowance ran for 18 months alongside pay adjustments for continuing development.

But Simone also knew that salary alone wouldn’t be enough. She considered shopping discount and voucher platforms – especially in the run up to Christmas. But ultimately, Kyloe wanted a solution that would address the root causes of money worries across the business.

“When I saw Octopus Money I was intrigued…it felt like the impact of 1-on-1 coaching would be greater than other benefits I saw,” Simone says. But there was uncertainty internally about whether there was a need to go beyond payments and whether Kyloevians would engage. “Talking openly about money, especially at work, is a topic that continues to face resistance,” Simone says. But when an employee wellbeing survey confirmed that financial wellbeing was top of mind for many employees, they knew it was worth supporting.

Simone decided that the company would cover the full cost for employees to work with their own coach. “When you consider the positive impact and the personalised nature of the service, it felt affordable.” It also ticked the box of investing in meaningful benefits that are big on impact. In Kyloe Partners’ experience, these are investments that are always worth making.

What else convinced Simone it was worth doing? “I liked the idea that it was a coaching service – not just an education platform or a lecture.” The money coaches at Octopus don’t just cover the numbers – they help employees think about life goals as well as the emotions and psychology around money too. “It gives everyone the opportunity to experience coaching and that’s a huge benefit in itself.” Coaches help employees make sense of their existing benefits package, including their pension and how to make the most of their contributions. “That was important to me because we invest in creating a great package but it’s hard to help people really understand and appreciate what it means at different stages of life.”

Since launching the feedback from the team has been really positive, with an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars. Simone remembers the first time someone mentioned their coaching sessions on Teams – a huge step in bringing money conversations out into the open. 45% of Kyloevians met with their money coach within 2 months and created a personalised financial plan to help them make the most of their salary and benefits for the next 12 months

In uncertain economic times, fair pay is a critical consideration for every business – but it’s often not enough to build sustainable and long-lasting financial health. With Octopus Money, Kyloe found a benefit partner that could address one of the biggest stresses facing their workforce, while making the most of their other benefits investments.

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