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Flexible Benefits – What to Know

Woman enjoying her Flexible Benefits on phone by Bruce Mars

Watch out, traditional options plans, because flexible benefits are making big strides. While traditional benefit models provide specific, flat advantage is extended to the employee by their organization, ‘flexible’ or ‘personalized’ benefits challenge this entire hierarchical structure. These flexible benefits employees with stipends, allowing them to actively pick and choose the benefits they want to engage with. 

Building Custom Benefits for Your Workplace

But before we get to asking if flexible benefits might be right for your workplace, we should first figure out just what exactly these ‘personalized’ benefits look like. The most common type of flexible benefit is a benefits spending account. Instead of a direct benefit, employees receive specific stipends in their spending accounts that can be spent across a range of lifestyle benefits. A great example of this is a Lifestyle Spending Account. As opposed to hosting regular mandatory training sessions, employees with an LSA might receive a stipend to attend trainings and seminars that they find interesting or useful from a broader list. Employees might even receive stipends to build their own home office, fitness supplies, or maybe even just groceries! 

What makes flexible benefits so special – and so often highly well-received by employees – is right in the name; the tremendous level of flexibility they offer. Increasingly diverse workforces have similarly diverse needs, so a ‘flat’ benefit that might be a great boon for one employee – for instance, paternity leave for a new parent – isn’t going to help an employee with no plans of having a kid. By offering flexibility and personalization in benefits through stipends, your new parent might be able to spend his benefits on childcare supplies, while the child-free employee instead books a vacation!

Flexibility and Discount Programs

Although stipends are the most common, discount programs also fall into the category of highly customizable flexible benefits. Much like how a lifestyle stipend gives employees complete flexibility to purchase new gym equipment, bird-watching binoculars, or anything in between, having access to thousands of discounts means that employees have the freedom to pick out just the savings that matter to them – no matter their hobbies, situation, or identity.

Diversity and flexibility go hand in hand; diverse workplace situations require flexible mindsets, whether it’s in accounting for the needs of both in-person and remote employees or offering benefits attractive to individuals at entirely different life stages. By their very nature, no matter how unique your industry or employees, flexible benefits can fit right in.

That’s why you might want to consider PerkSpot for your company’s benefits suite. Not only does PerkSpot offer the adaptability of flexible benefits so that every employee can find something they’ll love – it’s also a no-cost solution, being completely free to add to your organization. Whether you’re looking for a cost-effective way to beef up your benefits or just a perk that everyone can enjoy, let’s talk about how PerkSpot’s discount program could be just the thing you need.

The Importance of Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is finally here, and we’re excited to share some advice on making the day special for your employees!

Make no mistake – Employee morale is crucial to the success of your business, regardless of industry. That’s why Employee Appreciation Day is so important, serving as a yearly reminder to treat employees with respect for their hard work and build up the people that make your business special. But if you missed it this year, don’t fret! Employee appreciation is a year-long commitment, not a single-day celebration; it’s never too late to show your employees how much they matter to you. But how important is showing appreciation to employees, when you get right down to the numbers?

Incredibly. Employees who feel appreciated within their organization consistently work harder and more efficiently, both reporting and recording higher returns that scale proportionally to their sense of value in the office. According to the American Psychological Association, feelings of value directly translate into higher productivity, regardless of associated industry. A sense of being valued within the business also has a positive impact on employee wellbeing more broadly, with those who feel valued reporting higher levels of work-life balance and employment satisfaction, even with all other relevant factors kept static. 

How does Employee Appreciation affect turnover?

There’s good evidence that employee appreciation is the most important, or at least one of the most important factors in employee retention. A study from the Harvard School of Business found equity, recognition of achievement, and a sense of camaraderie as the three key elements of ensuring high employee motivation, all of which are strongly tied to a sense of employees feeling valued and appreciated. These factors directly correlate to rate of retention. 

Considering positive workplace culture increases both productivity and employee retention, it’s easy to see how cultivating a feeling of appreciation amongst employees can lead to direct, significant benefits for your business. Most importantly of all, however, is that employee appreciation cultivates a generally positive work environment, which, in turn, creates a positive feedback loop that encourages good work culture. When employees feel comfortable and safe with their co-workers and managers, every measurable aspect of their work (and indeed often their lives outside of work) significantly improves. While an honest and positive environment also serves as a safeguard against negativity and factionalization that can turn workspaces hostile and severely impact employee morale, job satisfaction, productivity, and retention. 

Using Employee Appreciation Day to build a Healthy Work Culture

With all this in mind, making employee appreciation day a part of your workplace schedule can be a great way to show your employees that you care. But ultimately, it’s the little things adding up that build a conducive and healthy atmosphere – even down to simple little matters like remembering to say thanks after an employee turns in something they’ve worked hard on. Small trinkets and signs of appreciation can go an incredibly long way. It’s rarely the dollar value that matters, but instead the fact that you’re putting in thought to show you care.

PerkSpot can help make recognizing your employees easy, giving you a wide selection of customized gifts to make your employee’s days a little brighter – but from gift-giving to a simple heartfelt thank-you, there’s any number of ways to show you care about your employees. How you choose to foster a positive work environment is up to you, but both your employees and your bottom line will thank you for doing so!

The ABCs of Why Perks Matter

Back in 2016, Glassdoor predicted that employee perks would be a huge job trend for the year. Well, they weren’t wrong. Three years later, perks are still one of the leading trends throughout the country in workplaces that are looking to offer their employees more than just run-of-the-mill benefits. We know that perks work. (In fact, we like to think of ourselves as perk experts.) But why do they matter?

Here are the ABCs of why perks matter:

  • Show your Appreciation.
  • Foster a sense of Belonging.
  • Create an atmosphere of Consideration.

A is for Appreciation

First, it’s no secret that employees appreciate being recognized for their work. But, for an employer, it can feel difficult to recognize each employee for their contribution in a way that feels meaningful and impactful. That’s where perks come in. Implementing perks as an added bonus for employees sends a message to each one that says, “I see you and I appreciate you.”. Just like you enjoy small acts of kindness from a friend or family member, it feels the same to experience small gestures from your workplace that show you are being thought of and cared for. If you want to go one step further, consider a rewards & recognition platform for your workplace!

B is for Belonging

Twenty years ago, most workplaces looked the same. Fast forward to 2019 and it’s all about making your company stand out for job-seekers and creating a strong sense of identity for your employees. Perks are a great way to make your culture meaningful. Perhaps it’s having a pet-friendly office space that makes every day “Bring Your (Fluffy) Friend To Work” Day. Maybe it’s offering a paid sabbatical for your employees to develop their professional skills. (Cough, cough, we’ve got both!). Whatever it is, perks like these help illustrate the values and culture of a workplace and create a sense of belonging for your employees.

C is for Consideration

One of the great things about perks is that one size does not fit all, and it doesn’t have to! Offering an option like an employee discount program (we can help you out here!) allows an employer to provide perks to each employee that they can then customize for their own personal preferences. A wide variety of perks, all under one umbrella, means your employees get to choose how and when they want to enjoy their them. Through meaningful discounts, you’re not just checking a box, but providing perks that matter to them.

These days, it’s not just about offering your employees perks that you think might momentarily spark their interest. Instead, we’re focusing on finding perks that actually mean something to them. In doing so, you’re demonstrating your gratitude to each employee, plus setting yourself apart from the rest!

What perks do you offer your employees to illustrate culture and show your appreciation?

What Culture Is (and Isn’t)

We throw the word around a lot but many of us don’t really spend time thinking about what company culture really means. You may think of unlimited vacation days, ping pong tables, outings with coworkers, or fun office events. These things may be a part of your culture, but is that all there is to it? What makes a company culture good or bad? How do we define what culture is (and isn’t)?

Culture Is… the Feeling Before Work in the Morning

We all get the Sunday Scaries so we’re not talking about a total escape from the actual work aspect of your job. But, the way you feel before work in the morning does speak a lot to your company culture. Do you dread seeing people when you get to the office? Are you overwhelmed with pressure from your boss? A great company culture knows how to motivate you to be your best and gives you work that challenges you in the right ways. It means waking up in the morning with an excitement for what lies ahead and anticipation for your future at the company.

Culture Isn’t… All Play and No Work

Sure, ping pong tables and beer on tap are great and can be a piece of your culture, but they aren’t the true meat behind what makes a company a great place to work. Perhaps you notice that more people seem to be extending their lunches but the number of new projects is slowly dwindling. If that’s the case, you might be in danger of having a sinking culture. What started off as an opportunity to motivate employees has become a distraction and there may be something deeper going on beyond the surface. Maybe these perks are nothing more than workplace traps.

Culture Is… Freedom to Express Ideas and Concerns

True company culture values transparency and honesty in the workplace. You should have open forums to discuss ideas and opportunities to ensure employees are heard. Great company cultures don’t pretend like everything is going well when it isn’t. Great cultures embrace the challenges and find ways to create solutions. They know how to include employees in solving problems and moving the business forward.

Culture Isn’t… Meaningless Perks

There are some crazy perks out there. From breast milk shipping to helicopter rides, not all perks are created equal. That’s why it’s important to provide benefits and perks that will apply to every employee. Culture doesn’t mean adding to your long list of (unused and unwanted) company perks. Provide perks that matter to everyone. Because 48% of employees are worried about their current financial state, providing an employee discount program that puts cash back in your employees’ pockets is a great way to add perks that make an impact for any employee.

Culture Is… Saying Thank You

One of the best ways to create a great company culture is by saying two little words: thank you. In fact, 80% of employees said they are more motivated to stay at a job longer and work harder when they receive appreciation for their work. Cultures with built-in recognition programs know how to reward employees the right way.

How would you define culture and what makes your company culture great?

Why Employee Discount Programs Work (From Employees Themselves)

Thinking about offering an employee discount program but not sure if it’s worth it? In the world of endless perks, it’s overwhelming trying to pick and choose which offerings to make available to your employees.

From perks for pets to sabbaticals to remote work, it can be hard to keep up! Plus, what are the real benefits to offering all these perks anyway? Some of them leave people out, while others are costly and difficult to maintain for human resources.

That’s why we wanted to take some time to focus on why employee discount programs work! But we know we might be a little biased, which is why we’re focusing on feedback from employees themselves who use PerkSpot and vouch for the benefits of discount programs.

We work with over 600+ employers all over the nation (Walgreens, Southwest, United and Chipotle to name a few) and are constantly hearing about how employees are using PerkSpot to improve their lives. It’s such good news we didn’t want to keep it to ourselves!

Here are a few of our favorite quotes and what they mean for the workplace:

It’s Money in Their Pockets

“Date nights are forever changed and day-cations are much more common now! The savings and discounts make everything so much more affordable, the idea of going out doesn’t seem so bad on the wallet. Love the perks so much!” – DSW Employee

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 78% of U.S. employees live paycheck-to-paycheck, even those making $100,000 or more. There is only so much you can provide in terms of compensation for your employees. While you may not be able to give everyone a raise, you can help their money go a little farther. The most compelling reason employee discount programs work is because they help employees stretch their paycheck. No matter how great your office is, it is hard for employees to stay positive when they struggle to make ends meet. Provide ways for employees to save on the big things (like cars and insurance) and the small things (flowers for mom)! These savings will help their money go just a little bit further every month. Plus, they’ll have a new affection for their employer.  Put money in their pocket and smiles on their faces!

It’s Meaningful

“I had no idea that I can save money on family vacations because money is tight. Also, there are so many other categories like health, electronics, and household goods I can save on. Who doesn’t want to save money?” – Walgreens Employee

Pet perks aren’t meaningful if you don’t own a pet. Snacks in the breakroom aren’t useful if you are on a restrictive diet or have an allergy. One thing that’s great about an employee discount program is that it’s great for everyone! From discounts on electronics to travel to apparel, every employee can take advantage of this perk! When it comes to providing meaningful and personal perks, this is a great place to start!

“It has made every family memory possible. I really value family time and great rates make it possible for our family of four to stay close.” – Chipotle Employee

It’s Motivating

“It’s helped me work harder, knowing I work for a company that appreciates their employees enough to have a discount program. Kind of awesome!!” – Columbia Bank Employee

When it comes to wellness, we are quick to think about diet and exercise but spend little time focusing on finances. A 2017 PWC survey on Employee Financial Wellness shed some light on the current state of employee financial health. The survey stated one in three employees say issues with personal finances have been a distraction at work. Another 46% say they spend three hours or more each week thinking about these issues. Imagine the amount of time and energy employees are spending worrying about everyday expenses. While there are many ways to motivate employees, a discount program is one of the best! Employees who are stressed about paying their bills can hardly focus on the job at hand. Employers who alleviate this stress can help motivate their employees and improve their view of their workplace.

From stretching their paycheck, providing meaningful perks, and alleviating financial stress for employees, discount programs just work! If you haven’t thought about providing a simple, easy program like PerkSpot, we hope these points will push you to take the leap. Contact us to get started!

Why You Should Factor in Discounts

Coupons, deals, discounts! These three words might not be ones you normally think of when it comes to employee happiness… but science says, you might want to look closer.
discount science Discount science is an understudied topic, but we think it’s an important one! From keeping employees’ happy to saving them valuable time and money, the evidence is clear.

The History of Coupons

But let’s start from the beginning. Have you ever wondered where coupons started? According to TIME, Coca-cola introduced the first coupon in 1887 with a hand-written ticket offering customers a free taste of their new drink. The success of this campaign is evident in how vast Coca-cola’s reach has been over the last century. Fast-forward to today and more than 700 corporations offer discounts on some type of product or service. It’s no secret that coupons work. But what makes them so successful? And why is it relevant? Only discount science can say!

Discount Science

The Happiness Factor

According to a study in 2012 by Coupons.com, coupon recipients were 11% happier than those who did not receive a coupon. Scientists measured oxytocin levels in participants, the same hormone we experience when we kiss or hug someone. They found that consumers who received a coupon had higher levels by 38%. Scientifically, you could say they were in love with the savings!

The Time Factor

Unfortunately, according to media company Valassis, time is (literally) money for many of today’s employees. In their recent survey, 53 percent of respondents said they spend over two hours a week searching for deals and savings, while 25% of millennials and moms invest over four hours into their search.

The Employer Factor

We believe this is where, as an employer, we can make lives a lot easier for our employees. Employee engagement has gone from a hot topic to a make or break for attracting and retaining top talent. In fact, 4 out of 5 employees would rather receive benefits or perks over a pay raise. By providing discounts, you’re not only putting money back in your employees pockets, but you’re saving them valuable time and energy as well.

It’s easy to offer perks, but are you offering the right ones? Providing discounts can improve happiness among your employees while saving them valuable time and money. The best part is that our discounts are easy to access and easy to use! We’ll save your employees hours each week and put smiles back on their faces.

Contact our team to learn more!

Are Perks and Benefits the Same Thing?

perks and benefits perkspot culture

We love perks so much we named our company after them.

But what are perks and how are they different than benefits when it comes to the workplace?

Benefits

Benefits are supplemental to salary and cover basic needs like health insurance, 401K plans, etc. While benefits are absolutely essential for companies, they also come at a price. Most benefits offered to employees cost the company something, unlike our favorite counterpart, the perk, which costs little to nothing for employers to implement.

Perks

Perks encompass everything from bike racks and lounge areas in the office to catered lunches and oh yeah, exclusive discounts on your favorite brands. While benefits are often costly, perks can be offered at a relatively low cost to employers but offer extreme value to employees. Offering perks alongside necessary benefits and compensation packages creates a powerful force when it comes to ensuring employees stay engaged and motivated in their offices. However, like all things, just making these perks available in and of itself is not enough to sustain and retain employees. As more and more businesses begin offering these incentive programs, competition increases when it comes to recruitment and retention. While nearly unheard of 20 years ago, workplace perks are more and more becoming the norm. Companies like Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, and other PerkSpot clients realize this, and that’s why offering perks are non-negotiable.

All Perks are Not Created Equal

So now the question is no longer, will we offer a perks program, but which program will we choose? Overwhelmingly, employees today request perks that improve their everyday lives, such as free gym memberships or discounts on everyday expenses such as groceries and cell phone plans. These programs are more likely to resonate with employees because they show that the employer is listening. It reaches the heart of what all employees truly desire: to be heard and understood. PerkSpot’s mission is to make that a little easier for employers. We negotiate the discounts so you don’t have to. We provide the tools to communicate with employees on how to use the platform, where to find the discounts, and even deliver the latest and greatest perks right to their inbox.

Want to learn more? Reach out to us at sales@perkspot.com

Don’t just offer perks. Offer the right ones.

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