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Turning Your Objectives into Real Results

idea wall

Anyone who’s ever been part of a strategy meeting knows that coming up with objectives is always the easiest part. Managers and entrepreneurs especially can relate to that nagging feeling of “too many ideas, too little time’. Coming up with amazing ideas might not be easy, but turning a great concept into positive metrics is the real challenge.

In many ways, bridging the gap from idea to result is the core responsibility of any team leader, as nearly every team – no matter how talented and happy to be in the organization – depends on you to ‘steer the ship’ and productively direct their efforts.

That being said, you’ll have a much easier time acting on your ideas with a supportive, engaged, and satisfied team to carry out action plans. But even the best team needs direction and guidance to turn those concepts into something tangible. So, without further ado, here’s three concrete tips to keep in mind as you build your next big campaign!

Set Deadlines and Keep To Them

Remember when you’re setting up your deadlines that unexpected roadblocks can always cause delays. Building a reasonable deadline means accounting for the possibility of delays – so take the time to think about them beforehand! Keeping to your deadlines encourages employees to closely follow your campaign plans and fosters a culture of not only trust but also mutual accountability  – making it far easier to transform those objectives into tangible results!

Don’t Delay Moving on your Action Items

It’s rare that any project will have total smooth sailing without any unexpected hurdles along the way. The best way to prepare for delays is to get started on your project plan immediately! The power of getting started promptly is often underestimated, but hitting the ground running sets the tone and pace. If a lethargic start can lead to an underwhelming project, an enthusiastic one can set the stage for greatness. Demonstrate that you’re serious about turning your ideas into action by tackling execution enthusiastically right off the bat!

Lead by Example – Show, Don’t Tell

Most important of all is to be directly involved in the process. You can help through personal, visible contribution on key items, or by providing a clear and reasonable roadmap to the team that breaks down the wider objective into bite-size elements matching individual talents. Translating your ideas to results is often a matter of initiative. Big ideas are never easy! And sometimes, they can look harder when you get to documenting every step you’ll need. But by providing clear direction and quick, steady movement on each point, you can get the results of your dreams! For many top-level objectives in Human Resources, PerkSpot can be a part of the solution, providing actionable benefits that impact your organization’s turnover and retention rate. Reach out now, or learn more about how PerkSpot can help you reach your goals!

Why You Need Voluntary Benefits

girl at computer voluntary benefitsEmployee benefits are, by their very nature, a highly personal thing. Few things are more important than having reliable health and vision benefits, for instance, across a huge range of varied personal situations. That’s why it’s critical that any competitive benefits package allows for meaningful customization for the things that matter, so employees can opt-in towards retirement, time-off, or whatever else is important to them. In other words – you need a benefits structure that works around the unique needs of your unique employees!

Ideally, your voluntary benefits should be more than just “skin deep”.  The kind of benefits program that attracts top talent is the kind that offers meaningful solutions to major hurdles experienced by your employees – like, for instance, providing financial well-being tools such as financial education resources or 401k guidance as part of an employee benefits package. It makes a huge difference to the growing number of employees concerned about their financial health. But even something as simple as separate voluntary benefits for commuters and motorists getting to the office can make a big difference in the positive cultural impact of your program.

Productivity, Loyalty, and Voluntary Benefits

Studies show consistently that incentive programs have a strong positive impact on productivity and loyalty. For example, a recent Incentive Research Foundation study indicated that a well-run incentive program can improve loyalty by up to 44%, showing that employees want to be recognized as individuals for their work. Providing voluntary benefits functions just the same; when employees feel like their efforts are being recognized and rewarded on an individual basis, it acts as a strong productivity driver. That’s because personalizing your benefits demonstrates that you care about your employees – and there’s nothing that ensures employee loyalty more strongly than showing you’re loyal to them right back. 

From parking vouchers to cutting-edge telehealth benefits, giving employees a comprehensive and customizable benefits suite is among the top ways to stand out from competitors and attract fiercely competitive best-in-class talent. That’s how PerkSpot helps you build loyalty and reduce turnover; providing your employees with discounts tailored around their interests. Through the hundreds of national brands who work with us, PerkSpot is able to selectively highlight the programs and discounts most applicable to individual employees; whether it’s a frequent traveler in need of cheaper car rentals or an amateur gardener looking for new tools, we’ve got the deals to help your employees save on the things that matter to them. That’s why PerkSpot is such a powerful employee productivity driver.

The Value of Personalization

When you recognize your employees as individuals and format your programs around individual needs, it never goes unnoticed. In many cases, even if the monetary benefit is the same, giving employees the choice to opt-in to relevant programs instead of a “one-size-fits-all” approach improves productivity and loyalty metrics. As far as benefits go, it pays to realize that one size does not fit all; and the more you can provide employees with benefits that match their individual needs, the happier they’ll be. That’s what makes PerkSpot different; our wide range of discounts has something for everyone, no matter how unique. Catering to that uniqueness is our priority.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of a customized discount program? Request a demo for a free overview of how PerkSpot can help your organization!

Mayo Clinic Centralizes Their Discount Program

Mayo Clinic is home to 73,000 employees with major campuses located in Rochester, Phoenix, and Jacksonville, with smaller satellite locations across the country. As one of the top healthcare providers in the nation, patients from around the world travel to Mayo Clinic seeking top-notch care. With employees located in different regions, Mayo Clinic was in need of a discount provider that could bridge the gap in their discount offerings.

Prior To PerkSpot

Mayo Clinic previously had their own discount portal but it was a heavy lift to manage and had strict requirements. To be listed, vendors needed 3+ years as a business, 20% discounts or higher, and needed to commit to a year of service. This criteria made it difficult to secure offers and the management of the program was difficult. 

Conversely, PerkSpot manages the program for you with a team of client success managers ready to help. We devise engagement strategies, create marketing materials, and more. Additionally, Mayo Clinic’s previous discounts were based on their Rochester location making it difficult for employees elsewhere to benefit. 

“We wanted to not only have our employees at  Rochester have discounts, but everybody at Mayo Clinic to have discounts”, shared Betty Smith, Employee Purchase Program Coordinator. In 2015, Mayo Clinic made the decision to partner with PerkSpot. Since then, on average 11,500 employees have saved on a monthly basis. With a direct link from their employee intranet, the mobile app, and email communications, saving is easy. 

Decreased Turnover Rates

The healthcare industry has seen staggering turnover rates with 19.5% in 2021, a 1.7% increase from the previous year. HR Professionals are being challenged to improve employee morale and decrease employees leaving. In addition, rising inflation and wage pressures are only adding to the challenge. “By having PerkSpot, it gives us a competitive advantage over our competitors that don’t offer comparable discounts to their employees.” 

Supporting Local

One feature Mayo clinic has utilized is PerkSpot’s “Suggest a Business” tab to recommend local vendors. The suggest a business functionality is great for adding additional discount opportunities for our staff. The more the merrier.” One example Mayo Clinic suggested was a local nail salon in Rochester. Following the suggestion, our team secured an exclusive offer for employees to start utilizing in their discount portal. 

In addition to local discounts, employees are saving on hotels, groceries, events, and more. In 2022, Mayo Clinic’s most popular savings have included travel discounts along with savings on Apple products.

With the current environment and challenges over the past year, PerkSpot can be the solution you need to reduce turnover and set yourself apart. 

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?

Unconventional Office Perks

Is your office “perky”? In 2018, it can be hard to stay competitive when it comes to perks. Beer on tap, pet-friendly offices, and travel stipends are among some of the great perks companies are offering these days. Here’s a look at some of the most unconventional office perks we’re seeing in 2018:

Free Ice Cream!

Need we really say more? Ben & Jerry’s employees can take home up to 3 pints of ice cream PER DAY. This sugar rush might be the best way to beat the afternoon slump.

Egg Freezing

You read that correctly. Spotify gives its employees $10,000 worth of egg freezing. Considering the U.S. still doesn’t even have a mandate for providing paid maternity leave, this is pretty amazing.

Bereavement Benefits

Not a benefit we love to think about, but powerful nonetheless. Google gives the surviving spouse or partner of a deceased employee 50 percent of his or her salary for the following 10 years after his or her death.

Gender Reassignment Surgery

Perhaps the most shocking part of this perk is the company that provides it: Goldman Sachs. You may think that this financial mogul wouldn’t be this progressive, but they’re proving us wrong.

Co-Presidents

At the Nerdery, they take job equality very seriously. They award each employee with a secondary job title as “Co-President”. This perk is to show that every employee’s opinion matters; in a way, everyone is co-president.

What are some unusual perks you’ve seen or offer to your employees? Looking for a new addition to your perks program? Consider offering an employee discount program. We know a great place to start.

What You Need to Know About PTO in 2018

2018 is one of those unfortunate years where Independence Day falls on a Wednesday. Is there anything sadder? While most of us stayed local to enjoy the fireworks in our own neighborhood, here are some reasons why you might want to consider finally using your PTO in 2018.

Project Time Off has some shocking statistics on the State of American Vacation in 2018.

52% of Americans left vacation days unused in 2017, resulting in over $255 billion lost in total spending.

The good news? This number is up from 54% in 2016, which is estimated to produce 217,200 jobs and boost the American economy by $30.7 billion. It’s great to see this number going up and there are many ways we can still improve.

24% of Americans haven’t taken a vacation in over a year.

Many employees don’t take time off because they fear the impact this has on their appearance at work – 61% saying they would appear less dedicated or replaceable. Others feel their workload is too heavy (57%) or that no one else could do their job while they’re out (56%).

While 84% of employees believe it’s important to use vacation days to travel, only 47% actually do so.

While more employees are taking a vacation compared to 2016, this might not necessarily mean they’re taking time to truly disconnect and recharge. Employees who travel report a higher chance of receiving a raise, bonus or both compared to those who don’t (86% compared to 81%).

How can you encourage employees to take advantage of their PTO?

1. Set an example.
We have a very flexible PTO policy here at PerkSpot. There is no limit to the number of days as long as you get proper approvals. While many offices have reported the idea of “unlimited” vacation days unsuccessful, it works for us. Employees are often seen roaming the streets of Cancun or spending time away with family. The reason it works for us is that it starts from the top down. Our CEO recently went away to recharge in the mountains of North Carolina. By setting an example for all of us on the importance of getting time away, we all feel more comfortable and empowered when it comes to taking the time ourselves.

2. Create a backup plan.
We are a small team at PerkSpot. With less than 40 employees, it can be hard to get away and not feel like you’re leaving a hole in your team. Recently, however, we’ve been finding ways to cross-train within our departments so everyone can have the freedom to truly get away and unplug. This has huge benefits not only to using PTO but also protects our office in the case of emergency or when an employee might decide to move on.

3. Make it part of your culture.
PerkSpotters love to travel and are constantly sharing photos of their recent adventures. It’s a fun way to encourage employees to get out and see the world. By embracing this shared interest and pushing others to pursue these opportunities, we’ve fostered a culture that values time off and flexibility.

These are just a few ways you can encourage employees to take PTO. Whatever you do, make sure you’re empowering employees to take time to recharge. Your bottom line will thank you.

Summer Wellness Tips for Every Office

It’s finally summer here in Chicago and we are so excited to see employees biking into work, enjoying lunches on the roof, and signing up for 5ks together.

Summer can be a great time to revamp your Health and Wellness initiatives at your workplace and we’ve got a few ideas to get you started.

Promote Healthy Eating

One of the great things about this season is that you don’t mind getting outside the office to grab something fresh and healthy. A small, but effective and practical way to help your employees stay healthy is to provide a list of healthy meal options close to your office. You can even create your own map on google maps and share it with the office.

Provide Meaningful Discounts

Gym memberships and healthy food options are often expensive. Lighten the load for your employees by offering these great initiatives at a discount. Enter PerkSpot. We’ve already done the negotiating so all you have to do is contact us to get started!

Coordinate Running (or Walking) Clubs

We have several people in our office who love hitting the pavement, especially in the summer. While others may need some extra incentive, walking or running clubs can be a great way to get everyone moving. Pick a day after work and promote the club around your office. You can even finish your run with a fun get-together after.

Hold a Healthy Potluck

Potlucks are a fun way to get everyone to mingle around the office and show off those cooking skills! Hold a potluck where everyone makes their favorite healthy recipe and brings it in to share. Employees will break out of the routine and maybe learn some new recipes while they’re at it.

What are your tips for keeping your office healthy? Share them with us in the comments!

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!

What Gen Z Wants

Out with the old and in with the new! Generation Z is entering the workforce, and it is time for organizations to be prepared for their many needs compared to millennials. The next group of young adults is a tech-savvy and inquisitive group of talent, born in a time when political and socioeconomic polarities impacted society (think: economic crash, Sandy Hook, etc.).

If you’re looking to redefine your employee appreciation language for the next generation of workers, consider this.

Who Are Gen Z

Generation Z are born after 1995 and have major respect for personal engagement at work and technology to balance work productivity. These employees will travel the world in order to pursue the career of their dreams. Most are highly intelligent and curious, asking questions on the job to develop ideas for operational improvement initiatives. Unlike millennials, they have realistic expectations for their employers and are vocal in presenting their ideas, despite their lack of work experience.

What Gen Z Wants

As you review a student resume, it is important to search for the skills of your ideal employee that can add value to the team. Try searching for action words such as “invented”, “developed”, “organized”, and “achieved” when creating a shortlist of candidates. Generation Z’s experience will primarily be in committee work on campus, volunteering, internships, and classroom projects, which offer transferable skills that can be used in the workplace. Their lack of experience is an advantage because their perspective of the outside world and discussions with their parents can result in unconventional ideas that can potentially help a company grow.

Salary Expectations

Generation Z grew up when the economy started to recover in North America. If the economic downfall didn’t impact their parents, someone in their circle of friends has a story. This age group, unlike millennials, does not expect to be guaranteed a high salary after graduation. Most realize that the starting salary can start at less than $36,000. According to Fast Company, “Among young college graduates, average wages are $19.18 per hour—only 1.4% higher than in 2000.” Nonetheless, there is an expectation that with experience and time also comes an increase in income before retirement.

Open Discussions with Management

Technology is second nature to Generation Z, but a face-to-face connection with their manager is still vital for career development. It is important to foster open communication. When employee’s feel heard, this adds value to their work experience. These professionals aim to work at organizations that will guide their career with regular performance evaluations.

Workplace Cultures

Flexible workplaces are here to stay for Gen Z with an emphasis on an area for employees to relieve stress and focus on work-life balance. The CEO should project this type of culture down to management.  This helps the group flourish in a company that genuinely practices these initiatives.

Here is a list of flexible work options to consider:

  • A gym in the building
  • Room for employees to destress (i.e., game room, TV room, sleep room)
  • Options to work from home (i.e., once a month)

In addition, well-being programs and personalized healthcare benefits for employees are additional examples worth implementing at your company.

Acknowledged and Taken Seriously

There are many common misconceptions about Generation Z. They do not respect authority, are glued to their phones, lack social skills, and do not want to work hard.  The truth is, Gen Z has an entrepreneurial spirit. However, this also comes with its own advantages. Gen Z isn’t afraid to work longer hours and benefits from how their work positively impacts a company. This group values the opinions of their superiors and working alongside seasoned professionals in their department. They have the confidence to socialize with executives in meetings and share their ideas about customer experience improvements.

As you begin hiring Generation Z at your business, consider what these employees want, the strengths of this generation, and the desired benefits in your decision-making process.