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Employee Discount Program: Design Ideas And Best Practices

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Employee discount programs offer special pricing and discounts on products, brands, and services. Companies partner with vendors to provide deals that save employees money, boosting satisfaction and helping retention. Popular offerings include discounts on retail, restaurants, travel, mental health support, learning and development opportunities, etc.

This article provides insights into creating a practical and effective employee discount program.

Key Takeaways

  1. What Is An Employee Discount Program?
  2. Why Are Employee Discount Programs Important?
  3. How To Design An Employee Discount Program?
  4. 10 Leading Companies That Provide The Best Employee Discount Programs
  5. Some Employee Discount Program Ideas

Everyone loves a good discount, and employees are no exception. Have you ever wondered how to create a practical and effective employee discount program?

If so, this article is for you. An employee discount program can greatly focus on employee engagement and loyalty.

According to a Glassdoor survey, 60% of respondents say that benefits and perks are key in deciding whether to accept a job offer.

The most popular benefit companies offer an employee discount program. It usually means employees enjoy special savings on items or services they use regularly.

So let's get started with what an employee discount program means!

What Is An Employee Discount Program?

An employee discount program is a great, low-cost way to reward employees. The discounts are typically high savings on products and services available only to the company's employees.

Some firms choose to discount a specific percentage of the price. Others offer their employees a set discount on each purchase through gift cards.

An employee discount program allows employees to get an exclusive discount while shopping for products or services. The products may range from grocery items to movie tickets. Since these are exclusive discounts, the best part is that only the employees are eligible for these discounts.

The employee discount program is a part of the total rewards strategy that has been proven to work for many companies for several reasons.

Read along to see why and how these corporate programs will benefit you!

Why Are Employee Discount Programs Important?

Even if you've got a comprehensive employee benefits program covering many basics, it's hard to keep workers satisfied without offering additional perks.

Let's find out the key areas where employee discount programs are useful.

1. Your Employees are Interested in it

Unlike other benefits, like life insurance, medical insurance, etc., your employees are interested in your employee discount program.

Your employees want discounts to shop, dine and travel. Employee discount programs let you reward your hard-working employees with savings on products, services, and activities they already use every day.

By taking advantage of employee discount programs, you can show your team how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication.

2. Hiring Dynamic Talent Becomes Easier

You will provide a unique selling point when one of the perks of joining your firm is access to an exclusive portal that offers special discounts. An entire platform that is not available to the open market.

You'll realize the impact you can make while hiring a dynamic talent if you think about it. You can make your talent acquisition more efficient with the almost exact amount of compensation previously offered to your prospect.

Recommended Read: Why Employee Perks Can Help Your Company Win?

3. It Helps to Keep your Competitors at Bay

Losing a vital talent in the hands of a fierce competitor is the last thing you want. The wound runs deeper if your competitor lures your employee with exquisite benefits.

You can keep your competitors at bay by implementing a robust employee discount program.

The discounts available here at Vantage perks are applicable on various products ranging from automobiles to grocery items. A platform with benefits on various products and services gives your employee ample freedom while going for a product and keeps them satisfied.

4. It is the Most Cost-Effective of All Benefits

A lot of businesses don't have a steep budget for employee perks. Nevertheless, bonuses do play a key role in employee retention and satisfaction.

Employee discounts are a good way to offer benefits without incurring extra costs. By partnering with local businesses, startups can provide employees with deep discounts on products and services without paying out of pocket.

5. Employee Morale Elevation

Offers such as perks and discounts help you state that you care for your employees and appreciate their efforts. These perks and discounts help in the making of a great working atmosphere.

Another approach may be to reward outstanding performance with added benefits and perks.

Vantage Rewards provides exclusive corporate deals, discounts, and cashback on a global catalog of top online and offline brands. It is the perfect example of a platform where you can show your appreciation for your top performers by allocating them rewards points.


Many companies have started to adopt the point-based system of rewarding employees. The higher the points they earn, the more rewards they get from a company.

But Why A Point-Based Rewarding System?

In a point-based rewarding system, each employee is part of an employee rewards system where the employer can allot points instead of money to their employees as gifts or rewards.

The employees can redeem these points and use them to buy goods/services of brands from different categories ‚Äď like merchandise, travel, lifestyle, etc.

This form of reward policy in your workplace motivates your employee to be more productive, and you will be able to identify an increase in your results.

Now that we've made the case for discount programs, so now let's get into actionable steps for designing one at your company.

How To Design An Employee Discount Program?

Employee discount programs provide discounts and create a mutually beneficial relationship between employees and employers. But it can also be tricky to get right.

Here are some tips to consider while designing an employee discount program to achieve a sustainable and mutually beneficial engagement.

1. The Associated Products And Services

Products and services are the first steps taken by most employers. What products, services, or brands are associated with the discount network program, and will their employees recognize the brand?

It would help if you always looked for brands with a solid national presence like Samsung, LG, and Toyota.

Well-recognized brands display credibility, even if your employee doesn't use them too often.

2. Local and Indigenous Connection

Employee purchase programs that feature local businesses are more likely to encourage employee spending. By including them, you ensure more sales for these local shops and boost the effectiveness of your discount program.

If you aren't sure which businesses to include, consider where employees go in their free time, like bars, restaurants, clothing stores, and movie theaters. It will help those discounts to mean something to your employees and keep them coming back to you for more.

3. Exclusive Discounts Means More Money Saved

The worst thing you can do is masquerade public offers as exclusive offers and call them benefits.

Most employee discounts supposedly give "free employee discount programs." They fill their platform with publicly available coupons and deals that we can find online, which backfires on your plan.

The result is mistrust, low employee management, and distorted company views.

It would help ensure the employee discount programs you are considering are entirely exclusive to your employees and publicly available. Making such discounts exclusive creates a sense of pride in your employees regarding the work.

Recommended Read: Importance Of Employer Employee Relationship In Companies

4. Relevancy of Your Discounts

Whether your discounts are exclusive or public, the relevancy of your discounts will largely depend on how deep your values are.

You should be clear on specific points like the average discount offered on the product publicly and exclusively.

Another critical aspect you should look out for is what "sector" your client provides a discount. We understand the value of discount medical surgeries, theft protection, and other crucial domains. But the underlying fact is that people generally spend much less money in these domains.

According to the Economic Times, a typical working family in India spends about 3% on life insurance and 4% on health care. A large chunk of the upper-middle-class budget is allocated to luxury products and services.

It is very clear from the data above that your discount programs must include luxury or recreational products. This relevancy in the products, like mobile coupons, vacation discounts, etc., promotes a positive environment in your workplace.

5. How Long is The Contract?

Everything, good or bad, will eventually come to an end.

Your contract with the firm providing the discount program does not serve as an exception.

It would help if you found out how long the contract will run. If you decide not to continue with the services, the notice period will be? Upon completion of the period of the agreement, will it renew itself? These are a few questions you must be wary of while considering.

Now that we've provided a blueprint for structuring an impactful employee discount program, let's shift our focus to profiling industry leaders recognized for their excellent offerings.

10 Leading Companies That Provide The Best Employee Discount Programs

1. Vantage Perks

Vantage Perks is the one-stop employee benefits and discount platform to supplement an organization’s perks and benefits programs at no cost to the organization or its employees. It has a global catalog of popular online merchants and in-store retailers, enabling employees to select benefits that align with their interests. Vantage Perks integrates seamlessly with the HRMS with a simple and easy-to-use interface.

2. Corporate Offers

Corporate Offers is a New York City startup providing a free employee discount program with exclusive entertainment offers like Broadway tickets and Disney parks access. Remote access is limited, but participation is high. Corporate Offers differentiate with strong local deals, added rewards programs, minimal emails, and strong security like two-factor authentication.

3. Perkspot

PerkSpot empowers employees and association members with an all-in-one platform to access voluntary benefits, personal insurance, and consumer product and service discounts. Their proprietary technology enables a seamless one-stop shop for work and life perks.

4. Abenity

Abenity's Employee Discount Program works in 10,000+ cities to help companies engage talent by saving employees $4,500+ yearly.

5. Lifecare

With over 250 employees, Lifecare differentiation comes from targeting work/life balance rather than only discounts. Their offerings, like Lifemart, Mothers at Work, concierge services, and homework helpers, aim to improve employee well-being.

6. Perkbox

With a mission to keep employees everywhere happy, healthy, and motivated, Perkbox partners with over 4,000 companies globally to deliver meaningful rewards and benefits tailored to each worker. Their expansive yet personalized approach to employee perks engages staff across all locations.

7. Access Development

As a discount pioneer since the 1980s, Access Development offers the largest U.S. private network with 300,000+ local and national deals. The Access Perks program customizes its branded discounts for employers of all sizes.

8. Entertainment Benefits Group (EBG)

EBG's employee perks division includes the brands Tickets At Work, Plum Benefits, and Working Advantage. With its vast size and scale, EBG has become the Ford of the employee perks industry - not necessarily the most exciting offerings, but the dominant leader based on sheer breadth. EBG provides various verticals and options spanning categories like tickets, travel, electronics, recreation, etc.

9. Rewards Getaway

Operating in 23 countries, Reward Gateway partners with over 1,800 leading companies globally to deliver employee discounts and savings. Their solutions empower employees to save on essentials and special purchases like holiday gifts.

10. Empuls by Xoxoday

Empuls partners to provide exclusive discounts empowering financial well-being. Deals save on planned and unplanned monthly and yearly expenses - from groceries to car repairs. This allows companies to augment benefits and talent strategy by enabling savings across life's costs.

Some Employee Discount Program Ideas

Businesses may implement several innovative ideas for employee discount programs to increase employee engagement, loyalty, and retention. The idea you want to implement will depend on your organization's culture, finances, goals, and values. Consider the following suggestions for employee discount programs:

Retail Discounts

Partner with nearby retailers or online merchants to provide employees exclusive discounts on various goods and services, such as clothing, electronics, home goods, etc.

Wellness Services

Offer discounts on fitness center memberships, yoga courses, meditation apps, exercise equipment, and wellness retreats to encourage employee health and well-being.

Travel Deals

Affordable getaways and weekend escapes are a highly desired benefit that allows staff to relax, spend time with loved ones, and return to work refreshed.

Food & Dining

Set up deals with neighborhood cafés, restaurants, and food delivery services to offer staff subscription services or subsidized meals.

Entertainment deals

Free movie tickets, theme park passes, concert tickets, and other forms of entertainment are always loved by employees.

Technology Deals

Provide discounts on electronics, software, and tech gadgets to help employees stay up-to-date with the latest technology.

Education Opportunities

Offer employees discounts on classes, workshops, or degree programs by collaborating with local or online learning platforms.

Financial Services

Similarly, discounts on financial planning services, loan rates, or banking products are of much value to employees.

Automotive Discounts

Help employees save on transportation expenses by securing corporate discounts on vehicle purchases, maintenance services, or car rentals. Partnering with automotive companies and repair shops can ease the financial burden of vehicle ownership for your employees.

Home Services

Home services may include discounts on cleaning services or interior decorators, personal care, housekeeping, dog grooming, etc.

Healthcare Savings

Employee discounts on health insurance premiums, dental care, vision exams, and other medical costs are some of the most desired and impactful perks companies can offer. Given the continually rising healthcare expenses, savings in this category provide substantial financial relief and peace of mind.

Subscription Services

Offer reduced rates on subscription services such as streaming platforms, magazines, or book clubs.

Parenting and Childcare

Partner with childcare centers, after-school programs, or parenting resources to offer childcare services and family-related product discounts.

Exclusive Company Products

Give employees discounts on company-branded merchandise, products, or services.

Seasonal Specials

Introduce special discounts during holidays, employee appreciation weeks, or other significant company events.

Flexible Benefits

Employees can choose their personalized mix of discounts based on their interests and needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Employee Discount Programs

1. How do employee discount programs work?

Answer: Generally, this is how the programs work:

  • Companies collaborate with vendors and service providers to secure exclusive deals and lower employee prices.
  • HR departments promote the discount program internally and manage employee membership.
  • Employees register to get the savings through an online portal or mobile app offered by the discount program provider.
  • The platform displays discounts from hundreds of national and local firms in categories such as dining, retail, travel, etc.
  • Employees visit the portal to print coupons or use their work ID or confirmation to redeem in-person or online offers.
  • The responsibility for determining eligibility, overseeing the collaboration, and continuously updating offers is on the providers.
  • Employers use analytics to monitor program usage to gauge engagement and return on investment.

2. What are the benefits of an employee discount program?

Answer: The best benefits of an employee discount program are:

  • A significant discount program can boost morale as employees feel valued and supported financially. It differentiates you as an attractive employer compared to companies without discounts.
  • It serves as a budget-friendly enhancement to your existing benefits package.
  • Discounts also strengthen the employer-employee relationship by showing you care about staff's well-being and expenses outside work.

Overall, a thoughtful discount program makes employees feel appreciated, provides financial assistance, enhances your brand, delivers ROI, and fosters trust.

This article is written by Susmita Sarma, a digital marketer at Vantage Circle. She was involved with media relations before shifting her interest to research and creative writing. Apart from being a classical music buff, she keeps a keen interest in anchoring and cooking. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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