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3 Reasons Company Culture Is So Important Amidst COVID-19

Company culture has transformed from a popular HR buzzword to an important element that companies give serious consideration to. As COVID-19 continues to impact how companies manage their employees and their business, culture is more important than ever. Check out a few reasons why keeping up with your company culture is so important right now!

1. Recruitment, Hiring, and Onboarding

During the early stages of the coronavirus, things like recruitment and hiring came to a halt for many companies as they worked to navigate the rough waters of the pandemic. However, it’s become increasingly apparent that we can no longer put important processes like hiring on hold. Instead, we must focus on transforming them, just as many companies have done with other facets of their work.

Company culture has always been an important part of recruitment and hiring. It’s a wonderful way for candidates to better understand the inner workings of the company they’re applying and interviewing at. This is why it should be at the forefront of all HR professionals’ minds while determining a new hiring process.

For example, how do you utilize social media to convey company culture? This is especially important given candidates often can’t meet with you or experience your workplace in person. Consider the interview process, especially for the companies and employees deemed essential. How do you show candidates what steps you’re taking to ensure employee health and safety? Upon hiring, do you have a carefully thought-out and prepared plan to onboard an employee who may have to work remotely for the foreseeable future? All of these are questions that will reflect your company culture. Therefore, you should be considering each one as you develop a new hiring plan amidst the coronavirus.

2. Communication

For many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, communication has become vital. As a company with essential employees, communicating new health guidelines or changes in hours should be done in a timely manner. As a company whose employees have remained remote, online communication has become one of the only ways to transmit important messages and information.

No matter what your business is, you likely know the importance of communication. But what many don’t realize is how communication and company culture are connected. Remember, company culture isn’t just about weekly happy hours or interesting amenities at your workplace. It’s also about how you value your employees’ health and wellbeing, and how you transparently demonstrate that to them. To keep your company culture strong during the pandemic, reinforce your support of employees by keeping communication constant and educational, and offering a space for them to respond if needed. Work to quickly develop new guidelines based on the information you’re receiving. Then, communicate them to your employees in a way that is digestible and concise. Use different communication channels to send out messages with varying degrees of importance. This way, employees can quickly understand the gravity of a given situation.

For example, PerkSpot leverages a few different communication channels. We rely on Slack to communicate more casual notices, like a fun company-wide initiative or virtual event. We depend on email to send out important messages, like new in-office guidelines or rules for quarantining. Plus, we hold a regular cadence of company-wide meetings, creating a forum in which employees can get updates on other departments and ask questions about future plans or team developments. This effective and transparent system of communicating helps employees better fulfill their roles and responsibilities, thus creating a culture of connected and engaged employees!

3. Productivity and Engagement

Speaking of engagement, there’s no doubt of the connection between company culture and a productive and engaged workforce. A study by Queens School of Business and the Gallup Organization found disengaged workers showed 37% more absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors. Plus, that disengagement translated to 18% lower productivity!

A positive company culture, on the other hand, typically produces more engaged employees. This is because it promotes general employee wellness, support, and respect. If leaders or management put too much of an emphasis on working long hours or being overly productive, without mentioning the value of daily breaks or acknowledging employees’ hard work, a stressful and negative culture can quickly emerge. So, how can you promote a culture of employee wellness and support? Encourage employees to take breaks away from their work, especially if they’re remote. Offer resources that foster both physical and mental wellbeing and motivate leaders in your company to set an example by doing so as well. Recognize your employees going above and beyond to produce great results, which promotes a more engaged workforce and a culture of workplace appreciation.

For example, as an employee discount provider, PerkSpot employees receive all of the benefits that we offer our clients! That means PerkSpotters have access to discounted mental health apps, home workout products, and more. Plus, we add and highlight new discounts that are relevant to the wellbeing of employees regularly so employees are aware of them. These perks are a great way for leadership to demonstrate how they prioritize the health of their employees which, in turn, leads to a more productive and engaged workforce!

For many years, company culture has been a way for companies to highlight their values to current and potential employees. But amidst an unprecedented pandemic, company culture also offers the opportunity to help promote stronger engagement and more informative communication. Plus, it’s the perfect way to attract potential employees when so many other resources aren’t available. As we all work to navigate COVID-19 and its impacts, be sure you continue to prioritize and adapt your company culture!

The Key To Recruiting Top Candidates

We all know how important recruitment is for a company. The core of any company is its employees, so a good recruitment process is key to a successful company. But finding the right candidates isn’t as easy as it sounds. In fact, HR Dive reported a talent shortage was one of the top concerns of organizations going into 2019, and by the looks of it, that concern has remained strong as the year enters its half-way point.

So how can recruiters be successful as they seek out talented candidates for their open roles? We think we know one solution – and it’s easier than you think! A perks and discount program is one tool you can leverage during your recruitment to acquire the best talent possible. Check out why!

1. Demonstrates an Investment in Employee Financial Wellness

Did you know 85 percent of employees admitted to feeling anxious about their personal finances, which often interferes with their work? On top of that, 33 percent of respondents said they worry about their finances more than once a week! For almost any employee – and candidate – finances can be a stressful subject. But not all companies can invest in their employees’ financial wellness through monetary benefits, like a bonus or raise in salary. An easier and less expensive solution is a free perks and discounts program that finds other ways for employees to save, namely in the important purchases they’re making on things like cars, vacations, and everyday items. Showing your candidates an investment in their financial wellness will help increase their attraction to your organization!

2. Encourages Employee Work/Life Balance

Almost half of HR leaders say between 20-50 percent of their employee turnover is due to workplace burnout. And when job seekers begin looking for a new job, what is one of the top qualities they look for? A recent Glassdoor study found that 47 percent of respondents said a work-life balance is a top-selling point for organizations they’re considering. But that balance is a difficult thing to strike for employers. Believe it or not, a perks and discounts program can help with this. When employers encourage employees to use a program that offers discounts in categories like travel, health and wellness, and personal hobbies, they’re thus encouraging their employees to pursue their interests outside of work that will keep them healthy and offer a source of relief from the stress that can come from the workplace.

3. Keeps Company Competitive in Recruitment Efforts

With such a strong talent shortage taking place in the recruitment field, finding a way to remain competitive in the hunt for talented candidates feels like a never-ending battle. Companies can easily tout a great work culture or a development program. In fact, we firmly believe all companies should do so! But how can you separate your organization from the crowd? Offer a competitive voluntary benefits suite, perks and discounts program included, that helps round out an already enticing offer for your top candidates. Over half of respondents to a Glassdoor survey said they strongly consider the perks and benefits included in a job offer before accepting. Guarantee a positive response to your next offer letter by including a benefit like perks and discounts in the voluntary benefits you provide!

Every organization knows the importance of recruitment, both to their culture and their bottom line. If you’re looking to improve your employee recruitment, especially during a time when it’s becoming increasingly difficult to secure the best candidates, start leveraging your perks and discounts program as a recruitment tool! And if you don’t offer a perks and discounts program, now is the time to start. Click here to learn more about PerkSpot’s perks and discounts program.

The Recruitment Resolution Every HR Professional Should Make This Year

According to an article by Entrepreneur, January marks the beginning of a highly active hiring season. Job seekers are putting the finishing touches on their resumes and signing up for every career fair and job alert under the sun to find their perfect position. But what are you doing to find the perfect candidate?


If you’re an HR professional, you probably know it’s shaping up to be a tough season for those filling job openings. If you want yours to be a success, here’s the resolution you should be making this new year:

This year, HR professionals should be thinking like marketers. How can you do this? Here are a few ideas for finding the marketer within:

1. Use Social Media

We all know that social media can be a great tool for communicating with clients and customers, but it’s beginning to make its way onto the recruitment scene as well. Almost 60% of employees said they found their current position with their company through social media. And why not? It’s a cost-free and effective method of finding candidates for a position that you might have never encountered otherwise. If you aren’t using social media platforms to seek out new hires, make 2019 the year when you start!

2. Find Employee Advocates

A great recruitment strategy should let your company culture shine from the inside out. Your company most likely already markets the products or services they offer. This year, up your game by having employees act as brand ambassadors, speaking on reasons why they love working at your company. Create a strong network of individuals who will both fit into your company’s culture, as well as add to it. Place a strong emphasis on your values and mission statement in the job description.

3. Reach out

You can’t expect job applicants to do all the work. In 2019, we aren’t posting a job opening and waiting for applications to pour in. Instead, we’re putting in the work to find the candidate that is just right. Just like marketers use their content to engage potential leads, you can do the same for potential job candidates. Do your research and understand exactly what individual candidates are looking for in their future role, and then show them why you can offer those things.

In 2019, put your efforts towards attracting the top talent. Get in touch with your inner marketer, and it’ll be a breeze!

Onboarding 101

It is hiring season here at PerkSpot! We are super excited to bring on some new talent, but with that, comes the challenge of onboarding new employees well and integrating them into our culture.

As you look to attract, recruit and onboard new talent, here are few tips that we’ve learned along the way.

Before They Start

In order to make the first day/week run as smoothly as possible, it’s important to start this process before day one. Make sure you have sent out all the necessary paperwork for them to complete, think through all the tools they might need (both tech and otherwise), and maybe even implement a little fun. You could have their favorite breakfast waiting for them when they arrive or maybe their favorite snacks to munch on throughout the day. These small gestures go a long way in making your new employee feel welcome.

Day One

All your ducks in a row and now you’re anxious and waiting for your new hire to start! There should always be some flexibility built into your onboarding plan, but it’s important to start with a clear agenda and expectations for your new hire. Their manager should outline a plan for their first 90 days and sit down to walk them through the role and how to be successful. And don’t forget about the big picture! Sometimes we can dive right into the nitty gritty without discussing how their role plays into the overall mission of the business. Discuss how they’ll play a part in making your company successful so they’ll feel empowered to make a difference.

Week One

The first week is a great time to start with a team meeting and key introductions for people they’ll be working with the most. For many of our new hires, we start their first day with a team meeting to discuss what we’re working on currently, schedule job shadowing sessions throughout the week so they can get a feel for each department, and arrange one-on-one time with the key contacts they’ll be working alongside. While knowledge is important, getting to know the people on their team and in the company will ensure that they feel comfortable reaching out when they need help.

Month One

Onboarding doesn’t just begin and end in their first week. Depending on the role, it could take months to truly feel up to speed and comfortable. Make sure you plan a check-in at least after the first 30 days (we rely on weekly check-ins at PerkSpot) to stay in the know on where they’re struggling or excelling. You should have established some expectations on the first day for where they should be at this point, so revisit that plan and make adjustments as needed. You may discover the need for additional training or resources or find that they are able to tackle projects more quickly than anticipated. Either way, this is a great time to course correct and plan for the following months.

What are some tips you’ve found helpful for onboarding? We’d love to hear from you!

Recruiting for Remote Workers: What to Look For

As today’s world becomes more and more interconnected, working from home and hiring remote workers has become part of almost every office life. As you seek to find workers who can provide value, even from a distance, our recruitment strategies also need to evolve with the ever-changing workforce. When recruiting for remote workers, here’s what to look for:

Where are they?

EVERYWHERE. The tricky thing about remote workers is that they aren’t limited to the local area so it can often be harder to mine through candidates. Start with your website and blog. These will be people who are already obsessed with your company and would be happy to apply or recommend someone that would be a great fit. You can also try sites like FlexJobs or WeWorkRemotely.com that provide listings just for remote opportunities.

Who are they?

There is a big difference between someone who likes the idea of working in their pajamas, than a worker to thrives in a quiet, private environment. Look for workers who prove they have what it takes to handle the unique challenges they’ll face from working remotely. Ask them about past experiences where they have been productive working alone or collaborating across offices. Forbes says you should ask these candidates two questions:

  • Tell me about a time you’ve made an important decision without the help of a supervisor or boss?
  • Could you tell me about a time you got tough feedback from a boss?

These questions provide great insight into how they problem solve and can handle feedback when they don’t have the luxury of meeting face to face.

What do they want?

It’s obviously important to know what you’re looking for, but it’s also super important to keep in mind what these employees want. Fast Company has a great article that explains what most remote workers need from their bosses. Think: advanced technology, open door policies, and of course, great communication skills. When you’re recruiting or interviewing remote candidates, be sure to talk about your communication structure and process. Highlight expectations and focus on how they’ll be supported to meet these goals.

How do we get them?

You’ve found your perfect remote employee, but now it’s time to let them know why they should choose your company. While they won’t be in office to access the free snacks or comfy lounge chairs, there are awesome perks you can provide to workers near and far. Did someone say Employee Discount Programs? Obviously, we’re a little bias, but PerkSpot is a great recruitment and retention tool for employees scattered all over the U.S.. We even offer a plethora of local discounts so they can find deals right in their own neighborhood! Other ideas for perks could be ample time-off, sabbaticals, or an annual stipend for continuing education.

Finding great remote workers can be difficult, but with these tips, you’ll be staffing up in no time!

It’s Time for HR and Recruitment to Take a Break

Over the years, Human Resources has taken on a completely different face. HR no longer means just payroll and workplace conduct. Gone are the days of cheesy corporate videos warning employees informing them of workplace policies. From training and development, HR analytics, strategic planning, and talent acquisition, the roles HR plays are varied.

Which begs the question, where do we draw the line? Should HR really be involved in recruitment and interviewing? Is this their responsibility, and if not, whose is it?

We think it might be time for HR and recruitment to take a break. Here’s why.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

HR may not be to blame for drifting apart. Just as human resources has evolved, so has the talent acquisition field. You won’t find any help wanted ads in the paper. Technology has completely transformed the role of recruitment today. What once functioned under hiring managers and senior leaders, taking orders on which candidate to hire and reaching out to close the deal, now has morphed into a role all on its own. With data and analytics to drive the recruitment process, this has opened the door to a new way of recruiting and created an entity all its own. In other words, it’s not HR’s fault, Talent Acquisition has needs to be fulfilled.

We Should See Other People

Because recruitment isn’t the same as it used to be, it might be time for this department to spread its wings. From building the employer brand to improving the candidate experience, recruitment no longer requires a simple one and done interview process. Which leads us to question where this role should fall within an organization. Should marketing be responsible in order to control the employer brand? Historically, recruitment has fallen under HR simply due to compliance issues, and in light of the #MeToo movement, this may not be changing tomorrow. On the other hand, acquiring talent is a special skill and many argue should not fall under the branch of Human Resources as there is simply too much involved. Perhaps the next stage in the recruitment evolution is moving out from under HR.

I Need to Be Alone for a While

For this reason, many organizations are beginning to create a talent acquisition department that stands on its own. Perhaps the best solution, as the department can collaborate with others but still function as its own entity. Talent acquisition today no longer depends on the human resource department or hiring manager to provide insights into their needs, although still valuable. Instead, these recruiters or TA specialists are experts on the job market and industry trends. As Recruiting Intelligence blog, ERE, states “Although there is merit in partnering with HR and marketing among other key stakeholders, as talent acquisition professionals we provide a unique and invaluable service to our hiring managers, senior leaders, and CEOs…. The emergence of “big data” and metrics helps to identify critical talent, enables us to source more strategically, and provide intelligence on how the competition is performing in efforts to hire talent. “

Do you think Recruiting should break up with HR or are they meant to be together forever? Leave us a comment!

Bring Some Madness Into Your Office

The frenzy of March Madness is alive and well in our office and it’s got us thinking about the dynamics that make these teams thrive. From recruiting top talent to honing players’ skills, there are a lot of factors that go into building a championship team.

In the spirit of the season, here are our favorite ways for developing great teams from March Madness.

Selecting Your Players Well

You know what they say – “You’re only as strong as your weakest link”. Selecting and recruiting the right candidates is essential to building a strong team. While it may take more work up-front, all the research and time invested will pay off as you build a solid foundation to support what lies ahead. Start off by investing in recruitment and make sure you’re adding people who will complement your culture, not just blend in. Determine your weaknesses and find players who will fill in the gaps.

Play to Their Strengths

According to Gallup, employees who use their strengths are SIX TIMES more engaged than those who don’t. Once you’ve attracted the star talent, now you have to keep them! Start by defining your employees’ strengths. A strength should be defined as “consistent near perfect performance in an activity.” Strengths should be invigorating, not draining and produce clear, effective results. You may find that one employee produces several great results but are on the edge of burnouts while another employee is bored. Developing your employees helps them stay passionate and forward-thinking, while creating a balance on your team.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

It’s a lot easier for basketball teams to stay focused on the goals ahead of them – win the game, win the championship, don’t get injured! In the office, however, it’s not so cut and dry. As a leader, it’s important to help lead your team to success by keeping them focused on your goal. Whether it’s a short term goal to accomplish for the week or a long-term goal for the year, find ways to track and measure progress towards your goals to keep employees motivated and united.

Spend Time Together Off the Court

David DeBusschere, named one of the greatest players in NBA history, once said “The best teams have chemistry. They communicate with each other and they sacrifice personal glory for the common goal.” The same is true in our workplaces. The best teams are the ones who spend time getting to know each other. Spending time outside the office can create a stronger, loyal, and happier team. When they have each others’ backs, they become unstoppable.

Celebrate Your Wins

No team leaves a championship game with a quick high five. They celebrate with loud cheers and celebrations. The same should be true of our wins in the workplace. When your team accomplishes a milestone, remember to take time to celebrate and acknowledge their achievements. After all, this is what all the work is for!

What are some ways you’re building strong team cultures in your workplace this year?

Pet Perks: Bring Your Pup to Work

There’s a reason why instagram handles like @animalsdoingthings and @dogsofinstagram have 1.4 million and 4.1 million followers, respectively. People love their pets. And specifically, millennials love their pets.

Over the years we’ve seen that millennials are delaying parenthood in order to maintain independence and focus on their careers. But, with a delay in parenthood comes an increase in pet ownership. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA), 44% of Americans own a dog, while 35% have a cat.

If you think pet ownership isn’t affecting the workplace, think again. Here are few reasons to consider offering benefits for pets in the workplace and where to start:

Pets are Part of the Family

According to a survey by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, 89% of pet parents exercise with their pet regularly, 70% sleep with their pet and 14% manage a Facebook or Instagram account for their pets. As pet owners intertwine their lives more and more with their pets, it should come as no surprise that providing space for pets in the workplace is of high value to these employees.

Pets are Expensive

While pets are a much more affordable alternative to children for many, they still come with a price. Fifty-five percent of pet parents told Healthy Paws they spend over $75 each month on their pets. Employers who choose to help with the burden of these expenses will definitely stand out among job seekers.

Implementing Policies for Pets

PerkSpot client, Banfield Pet Hospital, reported that 7 out of 10 employees and Human Resources decision makers said that allowing pets in the workplace made a positive impact on workplace morale and office dynamics. And while 56% of HR decision makers who don’t currently offer these perks forsee a difficult implementation, only 25% of those who offer pet-friendly policies reported difficulty with implementation. It seems the idea of implementation is scarier than the reality.

While it seems most people love pets, there are always exceptions to this rule. What can be a great perk for some employees might be another’s worst nightmare due to allergies or trauma. Start by hosting a “Bring Your Pet to Work Day” and gauge results using employee surveys and feedback. It’s important to be considerate to those who aren’t pet lovers while still offering benefits and perks for pet parents. One easy way to provide benefits to pet parents, without affecting the non-pet lovers of the world, is by providing pet insurance. This is still a highly coveted perk, requested by 23% of employees in Banfield’s survey. Affecting only those who opt-in to this perk, it’s a great way to determine interest and set your company apart with pet-friendly policies.

Does your company currently offer benefits for pets? Perhaps this is the next move for 2018.

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!

The Returnship

Have you seen the movie, “The Intern”? You know the one. Robert DeNiro comes out of retirement to work for a thriving start-up in the fashion industry run by Anne Hathaway. Funny, heart-warming, and inspiring, it’s a film that not only highlights the new “Lean In” culture with corporate feminism at its core, but also focuses on the generational gap that exists between DeNiro and his fellow co-workers. Returning to the workforce after a tech boom caused DeNiro’s character to face many new obstacles he might not have anticipated.

returnship

Don’t worry. We’re not writing a film review here. But “The Intern” got us thinking about this relatively new trend called the “Returnship”.

“Returnship” was a phrase coined by Goldman Sachs in 2008 when they developed an onboarding program specifically designed for people who had taken a break from the workforce, either to raise kids, serve in the military, or just simply, to take a break and reevaluate. Similar to an internship, their purpose in this program was to sharpen skills that they may not realize they need after taking an extended time off and to help these employees land a job, either at their firm or elsewhere.

But Goldman Sachs isn’t the only firm providing this service. In fact, you can find returnships from many other companies such as Deloitte, PwC, Ford, Johnson&Johnson and more!

If you’re thinking about a Returnship or offering the program to your employees, here are a couple of the benefits you can find:

Returnships Provide Tech Training

Technology is constantly changing. Whether you’ve taken 2 years off or 10 years off, chances are you have a few things to catch up on. By participating in a Returnship program, you have an opportunity to sharpen your skills, without neglecting your job responsibilities. Returnships can provide the support and training needed to do the job successfully: a win-win for both employees and employers.

Returnships Provide Equal Opportunity

43% of women take time off to raise families. This fact alone has made it difficult in the past for women to have equal opportunity in the workforce. Returnships are changing that. No matter the reason for taking a break, Returnships provide equal opportunities for men and women to step back into the workforce when they are ready while gaining the necessary skills and growing their network.

Returnships Provide Launching Pads

Many people returning to work may not be 100% sure what type of job they’re looking to fill. For some their previous job may not exist, while others might be considering a career switch. Returnships can be a great launching pad for experimenting with various types of roles and understanding the various nuances and changes of each. After completing a returnship, employees will be better informed and prepared for the role they’re stepping into.

The internet is full of mixed reviews when it comes to returnships. Are you thinking about implementing this program at your company? What are the obstacles you think you’ll face?