How to Build an Employee Discount Program

You already know how important it is to have an employee discount program. However, just having a program is not enough. For your employee discount program to have the effect you want, you need to build the right program. By designing a program that fits your business and your workforce, you can better retain employees and recruit new hires. A discount program also improves employee morale which increases work productivity. Ultimately, happy employees work harder.

Employee Discount Programs Increase Employee Loyalty and Reduce Turnover

With the average worker staying at a job for fewer than five years, employers lose profit when they lose trained workers. Younger workers are often looking for more than just a paycheck. They want to feel appreciated.

A flexible employee discount program can go a long way in keeping employees enthusiastic about their work and loyal to the company. In fact, according to one survey by MetLife, seventy-two percent of employees agree that having some choice when it comes to benefits makes them more loyal to the company. An employee discount program meets this need because employees can take advantage of the discounts that they're interested in the most.

Where to Start

Once you've decided to implement an employee discount program, you need a good starting point. Think about your employees. They probably cover a wide variety of life stages. Some are just out of school and looking for low-budget entertainment and socializing opportunities. On the other hand, families with young children want to spent time together. They might be most interested in things like discounted Disneyland tickets and other options for affordable fun for the whole family. Older employees might want travel opportunities, sporting event tickets and concert tickets. There's no one-size-fits-all plan for all of your employees.

Think About Your Goals

Give some thought to the purpose of your discount program and what you want it to accomplish in the long run. If you want employees to have an opportunity for rest and relaxation, discounted tickets and travel are a main focus. Discounted local gym memberships might be another key feature. Once you've identified your major goals, you can start to reach out to organizations to partner with for your program.

Make Your Program Meaningful

Putting together the right employee discount program takes time. You have to reach an agreement with each business or work with an employee discount program manager that does the legwork for you. Employees like local businesses. If they can get a discount on the businesses they already patronize, they're more likely to see the discount program as a great deal.

On the other hand, if the discounts are non-exclusive and can be found by anyone just by doing a quick internet search, your employees will be more likely to see the discount program as a way for companies to advertise to them. While the companies you partner with need to see some benefit too, make sure that your program is truly a discount program and not just an advertisement to your employees. Your employees will thank you.

Make the Program Transparent for Employees

Make sure you have clear information for your employees about the program. Make sure that employees know that offers can change at any time. Get clear information beforehand from your third-party providers, laying out exactly how employees can take advantage of the offers. That way, there are no hurt feelings—or worse, legal problems—over misunderstandings.

You may want to check federal, state and local laws for any regulations regarding discount programs that you need to follow. In most cases, employee discount programs aren't taxable, but the IRS may have regulations on certain employee discounts. If you're a large company, it helps to work with your legal department.

Discount Programs Work for Everyone

A discount program can be a great way to improve employee morale. The right program takes some thought and some leg work. Consider your goals and take the time to reach out to businesses in order to make your employee discount meaningful. Ultimately, your employees can be happier and healthier as a result.


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