New John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016 'Buster the Boxer' highlights best practice for employee benefits

New John Lewis Christmas Advert 2016 'Buster the Boxer' highlights best practice for employee benefits

Finally, Christmas is here as John Lewis have released their new Christmas advert 'Buster the Boxer'.

And it is a tradition at HR Grapevine to get in to the spirit of things by identifying some key HR lessons from the eagerly anticipated commercial.

Last year's 'Man on the Moon' addressed remote working, the year before's 'Monty the Penguin' showed a need for managers to be aware of staff wellbeing and 2013's 'The Bear and The Hare' highlighted the importance of team inclusion. But 2016 is all about employee benefits.

The story is that of a child who likes to jump. The little girl is always jumping on her bed, and so this prompts her parents to buy her a trampoline for the garden. Her dad sets it up on Christmas Eve ready for the big day, but then, unbeknownst to them, that night it is enjoyed by all the local woodland animals - foxes, badgers, hedgehogs and squirrels. Meanwhile Buster the Boxer watches, awaiting his chance to experience the fun.

There are two key lessons HR professionals can take from this. The first is the importance of identifying an employee's needs and wants - particularly within the five-generation workforce (more on this can be found in HR Grapevine's latest issue here).

The little girl's parents saw she had a desire to jump, and provided her with the right tools to do so. Equally, if an employee wants to work flexibly for example, then don't fight it, facilitate it. The result will be greater productivity (jumping on a trampoline is better than using a mattress) and a more engaged employee.

Kevin Fairbairn, Head of HR at Diageo, says to HR Grapevine: “Flexible working should sit at the heart of any successful organisation. The evidence shows that the best businesses are the ones who seek to accommodate employees who need flexibility at some point in their life, whether because of their children, travel arrangements or health reasons."

The second lesson comes from the advert's closing statement: gifts that everyone will love. While there has been an emphasis on tailored benefits and not gifting employees with a one-size-fits-all package, some perks are desired by all.

Therefore, it is HR's job to not only provide these benefits but also to make them available to everyone - you don't want an employee to feel like Buster, seeing others enjoying something great that he can't utilise himself. Furthermore, you might introduce a perk with one group of employees in mind and come to realise that another demographic has a greater uptake.

Paul Avis, Marketing Director at Canada Life Group Insurance, gives an example of the benefits that are applicable to everyone: “As we move into an era where everyone wants more immediate benefits, the immediacy of benefit payments from Group Life, Group Critical Illness, and Group Income Protection means that these are key differentiators in the war for talent.

“If someone dies, is long-term sick, or someone has a serious condition then there is no better feeling than having something in place to help them through that process. It’s more than a financial benefit, it’s about the moment when a significant change in circumstances occurs and, as a business, you can see how to help an employee beyond the financial.” 

What else can HR learn from Buster's story? How does this advert rank to previous years? Comment below...

Comments (2)

  • Sarah
    Fri, 11 Nov 2016 9:45am GMT
    Great advert made me laugh, who doesn't like a good bounce! Not sure I would look at it too deeply though
  • David
    Thu, 10 Nov 2016 1:07pm GMT
    It's just a Christmas advert!!!!

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HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd
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HR Grapevine | Executive Grapevine International Ltd

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