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Case Study: Dunkin' Brands

Taking Total Rewards Communications to the Next Level

Bringing Employee Benefits Up to Size

After a successful IPO in 2011, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc., global franchisor behind the ubiquitous Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins brands, began upgrading their employee rewards programs. Despite the company’s massive global presence, their benefits-eligible employee base is relatively small with about 1,200 people. Still, these improvements meant that these 1,200 employees needed to be brought into a new frame of mind when introduced to the new equity and wellness programs. 

Ted Manley, Dunkin’ Brands’ VP of Total Rewards & HR Operations, knew that aside from simply informing employees about their new benefits, his team would have to educate them on how they work and how to make the most of them. He also knew that when trying to connect with executives, it was important to simplify messages—to get information across quickly and efficiently while demonstrating the dollars-and-cents value provided by the programs.

Keeping Communications as Fresh as the Donuts and Coffee

To date, Dunkin’ Brands had been communicating employee benefits primarily through an employee portal and newsletter. Because their target audience was both geographically and generationally diverse, Manley and his HR team, working in partnership with their Corporate Communications department, needed to find a new, more up-to-date way to connect with them. They believed that using video and leveraging use of mobile devices would appeal to the company’s younger employees, for whom traditional communications worked less effectively, and Guidespark represented an opportunity to do just that.

Manley had to be sure every employee would receive benefits messages in a way that was convenient and could access on-demand, in the office or on the go. That required using multimedia content on top of GuideSpark’s platform, so all of Dunkin’ Brands’ benefits communications linked to customized videos from GuideSpark’s library of Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) and wellness titles. Employees learned about their new equity compensation program and wellness initiatives and were given clear, actionable information they could also share with their families. 

Enhancing the Company’s Image while Building Engagement

The post-IPO employee communications strategy helped Manley position Dunkin’ Brands’ next-generation benefits in a whole new light—a fun, fast and flexible format.  It’s no wonder participation in both the ESPP and wellness programs exceeded expectations, with 30% in the stock program and 49% in wellness. What’s more, Manley was confident that every employee received communications that were consistent, timely, and relevant. 

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