Helping Employees Fight Inflation: The Ultimate Guide to Employee Discount Programs

Posted by Gary Toyn on Feb. 1, 2022

Employee discount programs are helping employers mitigate the effects of inflation on their employees. A new ebook can help employers make informed decisions about whether or not such a program can make a difference, and how to vet and identify a discount program best suited for your organization.

About a 4 minute read

Inflation's Back - And Your Employees Are Feeling It!

It's not just your employees...we’re all feeling inflation’s pinch.

We're all shelling out more money for everything from fast food and groceries, to gasoline and oil changes, just to name a few.

For HR professionals, inflation makes it even harder to do things like recruit and hire. And on top of recruiting, you also have to deal with all the demands of managing compliance and regulatory issues, sifting through all issues related to your work from home strategy, and dealing with the ongoing demands of trying to engage your employees amid the labor shortage. 

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And we won't even talk about the demands of dealing with COVID.

With all this craziness, it's no big surprise that an increasing number of employers are looking for creative and cost-effective strategies to help their workforce counterbalance the impact of inflation.

We've written previously about the effects of this historic increase in the annual inflation rate, and offered some ideas for how to compensate employees without coughing up a hefty cost-of-living increase. Among the most popular ideas is implementing an employee discount program. Such a program can help your team stretch their paychecks by giving them access to exclusive, private discounts on things like food, gas, groceries, cell phone plans, oil changes, etc. It can also be a tool that can help differentiate your company from competitors, especially when candidates are measuring every single benefit from one potential employer to the other.  

While a discount program won't solve all your retention and recruiting problems, a good one can add some pizzazz to your suite of benefits, and help you in your efforts to attract good candidates.

Among the best employee discount programs are those that can not only deliver a meaningful and engaging benefit for your employees, but is also easy to implement and won’t require a lot of maintenance for you and/or your HR team.

Not All Discount Programs are Alike.

Some discount programs are limited in how many types of discounts they offer.

For example, some focus mainly on offering tickets to sporting, theater, or other special events. Other programs focus on what’s called online “affiliate” offers. These are online discounts that are also available to the general public. While these online deals have their place, if the program offers nothing but online deals, the program will lack relevance, and employees will soon disengage and ignore your discount program. It’s not really an employee “benefit,” if everyone and their dog has access to it, right?

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If you want to find a program that’s both relevant AND has the staying power to keep the interest of your employees, look for one that has a large, nationwide footprint, but also focuses on private, local, in-store discounts at places where your employees eat, shop, play or travel.

Why does that matter?

A network with privately negotiated discounts is unique because it offers far more significant value that the general public will never see. These types of discounts can really catch the attention of your employees.

In addition to having private discounts, it’s also critical to offer local, in-store offers at popular restaurants and retailers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Retail Report, 87 percent of all disposable income is spent at local brick and mortar stores, while just 13 percent is spent online. If your discount program has only online merchants, then it will only be relevant for only 13 percent of your employees' overall purchases.

So when you’re comparing one program to the next, look for the number of physical locations within proximity of your employees. It can make all the difference when it comes to engaging your employees and saving them the most money. This is just one of the many criteria you should consider when selecting the employee discount program that’s best for your company.

Free Ebook Reveals the Secrets of Employee Discount Programs

At Access, we’ve been in the business long enough to know which types of programs have real staying power, and which ones tend to be smoke and mirrors.

We’ve witnessed many programs come on the scene with a big splash, make grandiose promises, then quietly fade away. After nearly forty years, we know what it takes to build a truly effective discount program, and we can show you how to recognize a good program from a lame one. We can also show you some of the tricks some programs use to trick you. That way you can avoid many of the most common mistakes.

You can start by downloading this free ebook: The Ultimate Guide to Employee Discount Programs.

You’ll learn all you need to know to find the best employee discount program for your company. It’s the quintessential go-to resource for anyone seeking a quick, yet thorough education on all things related to employee discount programs.

You’ll learn things like:

  • Why are employee discount programs popular?
  • What are the differences in employee discount programs?
  • Why do some programs charge a fee and others give away their discounts for free?
  • How do you evaluate which program will work best for your company?
  • What should you expect from such a program?
  • What are some of the most common issues, drawbacks, and concerns?
  • How can you avoid boring discounts that your employees will find ignorable?
  • How can you build your own discount program?
  • Once you launch a discount program, how do you measure its success?

For many companies, adding an employee discount program could prove to be one of the most fun and talked about employee perks. But before you make the leap, take a few minutes to learn the “ins and outs” of employee discount programs.

After you’ve learned many of the secrets of employee discounts, you can begin your investigation with your eyes wide open. As you proceed with your due diligence, make sure you include Access Perks in your research. As America’s largest employee discount network, we’re confident you’ll find plenty to like about us.

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Topics: HR, discount networks, employee retention, Employee Engagement + Loyalty, Benefits Trends, Human Resources, Employee Benefits, best employee discount programs, work from home

Gary Toyn

Written by Gary Toyn

For 25+ years Gary Toyn has helped organizations large and small improve their constituent/member acquisition, retention and engagement. He's a multi-published author, writer, and researcher.