How to sniff out a great employee discounts platform

How to sniff out a great employee discounts platform

by Debra Corey, Group Reward Director

You’ve probably thought a lot about what it takes to make your employees happy and engaged. Is it the pay? Opportunities to move up? Or maybe it’s simply the type of people they get to work with every day.

The answer to this mysterious question is it’s not just one thing. It’s everything.

Every aspect of your employee’s experience makes up what’s known as the Employee Value Proposition, or EVP. It’s all the things that make your company or organisation an attractive place to work, what makes it unique, and what makes you stand out from your competitors. Some parts of your EVP can be difficult to change, such as salaries, which typically have financial limitations, or the types of people you employ, which can take years to evolve.

But one thing I’ve found that can quickly and easily make an impact on your EVP is offering your employees a discounts programme like SmartSpending, which provides discounts on everything from fashion to dining to travel.

Discount programmes can boost your employees’ satisfaction by increasing their income with retail savings without the need for company-wide pay raises. And when it comes to new hires, such perks can be the deciding factor that candidates use to select a job with similar salary offers.

Discounts programmes are something that all employees appreciate as they can decide when and how to make the maximum savings to improve their financial wellbeing.

If you’re on the lookout for an employee discounts programme, there are many in the market with various features, retailers and business models. Not all of them are created equal. To help you select a provider that can deliver a programme to positively impact your EVP, here are four questions to consider.

Are there actual discounts?
It may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s essential to verify that the discounts offered are better than the deals available to the general public. Some discount sites may be passing off “up to 75 or 80% off” deals that are actually the same price you could find on your own. This won’t lead to the good will you’re hoping to generate with your employees, as they’ll come back and challenge the real benefits of your discount programme.

Does it offer quality retailers?
A discount programme with hundreds or thousands of retailers may seem like a great benefit for your employees. But have you taken a closer look at those retailers? Are they quality retailers and quality discounts that will provide substantial benefits for your workforce? A better programme is one that offers a targeted but strong list of in-demand retailers. That enables the provider of the programme to forge solid relationships with those retailers and negotiate better rates for your employees, and it also is less confusing for your employees.

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Are the discounts relevant to your people?
If you really want to make your employees happy, look for a variety of discounts at retailers where they shop. You could look at everyday savings, such as food items, department stores or bigger online retailers such as Amazon, for example. A big discount on a new computer or on a vacation is great, but what matters most is that the savings generated are ones that make a difference to your employees. So whether that’s everyday savings or big-ticket items, you want to make sure you find a discounts programme that includes what matters most.

Are there any dead offers?
Believe it or not, some programmes may be bulked out with expired or false offers. It may be that the provider of the discount programme is not vigilant about removing out-of-date deals, or, worse, they’re overselling the value of the programme. A good provider is honest and attentive. No one likes being duped, and your employees will blame you if they find false deals. You need to spend plenty of time during the evaluation period clicking on every link and verifying the quality of offers.