With thousands of employees across multiple locations and specialties, crafting a benefits and perks package that meets the needs of an entire organization is nearly impossible.
One need all employees share is a desire to extend their paychecks. While most companies are unable to offer endless raises, they’re discovering the enormous value in helping employees do more with their money once it’s in their bank accounts.
In an era of declining take home pay, companies that help employees manage financial fitness beyond their paychecks are experiencing increased engagement and reduced stress among their workers. Here’s one example of a company that enhanced its employees’ financial wellness by implementing a discount program focused on savings at local restaurants and retailers.
A healthcare organization in a populous east coast city employs over 3,000 health professionals at multiple hospitals and nearly 30 different healthcare facilities, including a women’s clinic, cancer center, and a free clinic for low income citizens in the community.
For its 2,500+ benefits-eligible employees, the company offers health insurance benefits, along with dental and vision coverage. The benefits package focuses on financial wellness, including tuition assistance and access to budgeting and money management courses.
For years that financial wellness focus included an employee discount program, but the company’s experience with the program’s vendor required too much hands-on maintenance.
Plus, the program experienced low usage among employees, largely due to a lack of local businesses within a short distance of the company's primary location.
Any replacement needed to prove capable of offering everyday savings, a plan to promote usage, and the ability to integrate a number of apartment and housing discounts the company previously arranged for new employees.
Access Perks proved to be the best fit for a new employee discount program. The Access Perks network features over 350,000 deals at restaurants and retailers across the country, including over 1,000 in and around the company's region.
“We were impressed with the amount of local deals Access Perks offered, as well as the ease of use and navigating the site,” says the company's Manager of Benefits & HRIS. She noted the program was well received during a limited trial among her HR peers.
Besides being a low maintenance solution, Access Perks offered to build a special section on their discount site to host the existing apartment and housing discounts.
To generate excitement and ongoing usage of the program, the company and Access Perks created a promotional plan that included marketing efforts from both teams. Along with weekly emails from Access Perks, the Benefits Manager and team also included the discount program in the corporate benefits guide, posted information about it on their employee website, promoted it at their employee wellness fair, and held regular “open houses” to educate new hires on how to use the program to save.
“We put the program everywhere because we want our Associates to use it and save a ton of money,” she says.
70% of the company's employees are active users of the program, saving over $150,000 in the first nine months. They’ve redeemed over 3,000 offers at more than 900 locations.
“This is a great way to reward our Associates,” the Benefits Manager says. “You can tell from the utilization that it’s been very well received.”
The most popular merchants are dining and shopping locations in a nearby mall, which is minutes away from the primary campus. The program has also helped employees unwind with entertainment deals at Redbox and Chuck E. Cheese’s, plus hundreds of redemptions at nearby amusement parks. Hotel deals have been popular, as employees utilize the discounts for both personal and professional travel.
The future of the benefit appears bright as usage continues to climb and employees are recommending a high volume of local merchants they’d like to be added to the network. “Our Associates love using the merchant referral feature,” the Benefits Manager notes.
Just as important in the quest to help employees save money is a shared, ongoing commitment to raising awareness among new and existing employees. For example, Access Perks and the company collaborated to develop a custom flyer detailing the benefits of the discount program that will be given to each new hire during orientation.
“We give it to all new hires, and they really appreciate having those discounts,” the Benefits Manager says.
“Everywhere we know our Associates are going to be looking, we put the information out there.”