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[Heart with multiple currencies]. Employees love getting exclusive discounts

4 min read

I’ve been putting in place benefits program for almost 20 years, doing so in a wide variety of countries and industries, and to achieve a multitude of business and HR objectives. It’s one of the favourite parts of my job, delivering what I call a Win/Win — a win to the business by delivering something which has an ROI (return on investment) and a win to the employees by delivering something they truly value and engage with.

So what’s my favourite benefits programme?  If I had to pick one, it’s likely to be the first benefits program I’ve put in place in my previous companies, which is discounts. And yes, this is before I even joined Reward Gateway.

We like to call our employee discounts program a company’s "secret sauce."  Why? Because it gets employees to come back to your benefits (and often your communications portal) time after time.

To access those discounts they'll log in on weekly or even daily basis, creating something which in communications is called "stickiness."

And while that stickiness is great, what I also like about employee discounts program is that they create some aura of mystery, similar to the secret sauces at McDonalds and KFC. So much so that these companies go to elaborate lengths to maintain secrecy on the ingredients. Now I’m not saying that we should hide the "ingredients" of our employee discounts program, but if done properly the benefit can give your company a competitive advantage by having a product that other companies aspire to have.  

Employee discounts are like a secret sauce

There are many other reasons that I’m a fan of employee discounts program. Here’s a few others that I’ve seen over the years when putting them in place:

Low cost

We’re all looking for benefits which, as the expression goes, “don’t break the bank.”  That’s exactly the category I’d put employee discounts programmes under, as the cost is significantly lower than many other benefits. If it’s still not in your budget, you can test the benefit out by getting discounts with local providers and offering them to your staff. I’ve done this before, and it’s a great lead up to an online discounts platform.

High employee engagement

It’s absolutely critical to get a return on your investment from your benefits program, even if they don’t cost a lot of money. An employee discounts program does this better than many others as it gives your employees something that each and every one of them want - a way to save money! It also shows that you care about them, putting in place a benefit that will support them and make their pay cheque go further. Finally, discounts program are typically used more often than many benefits due to the sheer fact that employees spend money on everyday items, so engagement happens more frequently.

Download our eBook for a step-by-step guide to launching an employee perks and  discounts program »

[3 ticks on a screen] Employee discounts is a simple benefit to implement

Simple implementation

One of the other key reasons I’ve put in place an employee discounts program is that it’s such an easy benefit to implement. An online discounts program can be set up, fully implemented and made available to every employee in as little as three days so your employees can start saving straight away. Very few employee benefit options can offer such positive impact in such a short amount of time. The beauty of an established discounts program is that the retailers are already on board (Reward Gateway has hundreds of top retailers on its platform) so all you have to do is give your employees access to the savings.

Easy to understand

Finally, if you want your employees to use your benefits, it only makes sense that you need them to be able to understand them.

Discounts program, if designed and communicated well, are often much easier to explain than other benefits, making them easier to access and ultimately engage with.

Think of it this way, if you had to explain to a friend a retirement programme and a discounts programme, which would be easier to explain and for them to understand . . . the answer is definitely a discounts programme. 

As you can see, there’s lots of reasons to put in place an employee discounts programme, adding a “secret sauce” to your “full plate” of benefits.

Debra Corey

Debra is the co-author of "Build It: The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement," which she wrote with Reward Gateway Founder, Glenn Elliott, along with "Bringing Your Values out to Play" and "Effective HR Communication." She's a Rewards guru, having over 20 years experience as a rewards leader, speaker, teacher and a frequent contributor to the Reward Gateway blog.

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