How To Set Up An Employee Discount Scheme?

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There are many advantages in offering an employee discount scheme. They show that as an employer you appreciate your staff, which in turn can make employees feel valued.

A workforce that feels valued, is one that is likely to show higher levels of engagement. And it is well known that an engaged workforce is a more productive workforce. Research has shown that highly engaged teams are 14% more productive.

So as an employer how can you set up an employee discount scheme for your staff?

What Are Employee Discount Schemes?

An employee discount scheme is a digital platform which offers savings for some of the UK’s biggest brands.

There are many discount platforms to choose from all with unique features. Yet the main concept of all them is to help improve employees financial wellbeing.

By giving your employees access to a scheme you can help them to save hundreds if not thousands of pounds a year.

Why Do Employee Discount Schemes Work?

Employee discount schemes are highly effective. They provide a number of advantages for both employees and employers.

Offering employee discounts as part of a benefits package can help employers to:

  • attract top talent
  • improve employee retention
  • increase levels of employee engagement
  • boost productivity.

For employees, staff discounts can help to stretch income further by giving access to big savings on everyday essentials.

This can help to improve their financial and mental wellbeing. Not only this they can also help to make them feel valued and appreciated by their employer.

What Does Your Company Need From An Employee Discounts Scheme?

There are many advantages to offering your employees a discount scheme. But to make it an effective benefit you need to think about what you want it to achieve – for the company and for your team.

The best place to start when looking for an employee discount scheme is to decide what you need as an employer.

With so many options available this will help you narrow down your search. You should start by asking yourself the following questions.

Why Do You Want To Offer An Employee Discount Scheme?

Knowing why you want to offer an employee discount scheme is an important factor. Do you want to increase staff engagement? Are you hoping it will attract top talent? Or would you like to help your staff improve their financial wellbeing?

All these things will affect the type of discount scheme you opt for. Different schemes will offer different features and discounts. Because of this, some will be better suited to you and your needs than others.

For example, if you want to improve engagement, there are schemes which have rewards and recognition features as well as discounts. Others however will just offer discounts.

martyn coates, employee benefits consultant at drewberry

Knowing what you want will help narrow down your search. Not only this it will also help when it comes to measuring the schemes success.

Martyn Coates
Senior Employee Benefits Consultant at Drewberry

What Do You Want Your Discount Platform To Do?

Some discount scheme providers offer more features than just discounts. For example some have:

  • HR functionality
  • Ability to add flexible benefits
  • Rewards and recognition components
  • Employee feedback capability

This is another factor to consider before choosing which provider to go with. You don’t want to end up paying for features you don’t use or put a platform in place that doesn’t do what you need it to.

How Will A Discounts Scheme Work Alongside Your Existing Benefits?

It’s good to think about how a discount scheme will work alongside any other benefits you offer.

  • Is there a discounts scheme that provides a portal which can showcase all your benefits?
  • Do you already have a benefit provider who also offers a discount scheme too?
  • Will there be any duplication? For example some companies offer employees discounts on gym memberships. This might not be required anymore if you find a discount scheme which includes this benefit already.
  • What’s your budget?

Employee discounts may be one of the best value employee perks, but they still come at a cost. You’ll need to factor the platform’s price into your decision making and ensure it fits within your budget.

Employee discount schemes tend to cost less than £10 per month per person. However, it can depend on the size of your business, the extra features you want access to and the platform itself.

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How To Set Up An Employee Discount Scheme

By asking yourself the above you should have a better idea of what you want and need. Now you can start to look at putting a scheme in place.

When setting up any employee benefit, it’s important to have a plan and follow a few key steps.

1. Do Your Research

As mentioned above, different discount schemes will offer different features. They will also vary in cost.

You will need to do your research and compare what different providers offer with what you need. Remember to think about:

  • Value for money – compare the prices and what you get for your money with how much you plan on spending and the features you need.
  • Features – Look at all the features included in the cost. Some can be extremely useful, and others might not be relevant to your business. It’s also good to understand if features can be added at a later date should you need to add them.
  • Discounts available – Each discount scheme will vary when it comes to the discounts it offers. Look for retailers that your team will actually use on a regular basis.
  • Ease of use – You need to make sure that the platform you choose is easy to set up and use. The better the user experience the more likely your staff are to use the discounts regularly.
  • Employees wants – Ask your employees what they want. This will ensure you provide a benefit they really value.

2. Enquire With Your Top Discount Platforms

After you’ve done your research its time to enquire with some providers. To do this you will need to provide some basic information such as the number of employees you have. This is so the chosen platform can tailor your quote.

When talking with a provider its good to understand the following:

  • Pricing – Some providers will offer tiered pricing. Each tier offering different levels of discounts and features. Some providers may offer discounts for companies with higher numbers of employees. It’s good to understand what your pricing options are and if there is any room for negotiation.
  • Discounts – get more details on the type of discounts the provider offers. Do they offer a broad range across different retailers? How much can your employees save on average using the discounts they offer? Do the offers regularly change?
  • Enrolling new staff – Find out how easy it is to enrol your workers onto the scheme initially. What do you need to provide? How quickly can it be done? You should also ask how easy it is to add or remove employees from the scheme once set up. You don’t want this to be a lengthy and complicated process.
  • Timescales – Find out how long it will take to get your discount scheme up and running. This will help you when it comes to putting a plan together for launching it to your staff.
  • Ongoing Support -You want to know that if something goes wrong you have access to ongoing support. Speak to your potential provider about the support they offer. Do you get a dedicated account manager? Is support provided over the phone, online or via both channels. Do you have to pay for different levels of support?
  • Scheme Flexibility – It’s important to understand how flexible a discount scheme is. As a company you might want to white label a platform to align with your brand. Or you might want to add additional features such as recognition and rewards at a later date. Is this possible?

3. Choose Your Platform And Enrol Employees

Once you chosen your preferred discount scheme you can start rolling it out to employees.

As mentioned most providers will do all the hard work for you when it comes to setting everything up. You should just need to send a list of the employees you want to have access.

Once your provider has set your employees up, your scheme will be ready to go.

4. Communicate With Employees

It’s key to communicate your new employee discount scheme with your employees. There’s not much point in offering a perk if your staff don’t know it’s available or how to use it.

Be sure to create a plan of how you will inform your employees about their new benefit. Communication should be clear and regular to make sure people understand what’s on offer.

  • Define your message – It’s important to define your messages before sending communications out to your staff. This will help make sure which ever channel is being used, the message is clear and consistent.
  • Use different channels – You need to send communications regularly and via different channels to make sure people pay attention. Different channels include email, staff meetings, 1-2-1’s, interviews and annual pay reviews.

5. Measure And Report Engagement

You don’t want to be paying for a benefit that your staff don’t value. This is why measuring the success of your employee discount scheme is key. If engagement is high great, but if it is low you will want to try and do something about it.

Knowing how your staff are using the scheme will help you to understand if you need to change anything. For example, if engagement is low you might need better communications. Or, you might want to get feedback from your staff about why they aren’t using it.

Whatever the results might show, you will be able to gauge whether the discount scheme is a valuable benefit or one you need to change.

Some discount platforms have reporting built-in. This can be helpful if you don’t have the resources to measure it in-house.

Best UK Employee Discount Scheme Providers

There are a number of different employee discount providers to choose from. We’ve highlighted some of our favourites below.

My Drewberry

Offers an all-in-one solution for employee benefits. Employees can access hundreds of discounts for leading retailers via the Drewberry portal.


Offers employees access to a range of discounts as well as benefits relating to wellbeing, recognition and engagement.

Reward Gateway

Reward Gateway offers a range of discounts for over 900 retailers. It is a flexible platform which allows employers to pick and choose which engagement tools are right for them.

Staff Treats

Is a simple platform offering a tiered pricing system starting from just £2.50 per employee, per month.

People Value

Provides some of the best discounts on an easy to use platform which can be personalised to your company.

Compare Employee Benefits Quotes And Get Expert Advice

There are several reasons that you might need help with your employee benefits. It can be time consuming so you might not have the resource to give to it, you may feel overwhelmed by all the options available, or you might just want expert advice to make sure you get the best solution for your team.

Whatever your reasons, Drewberry is here to help. We’re independent advisers with a specialist Employee Benefits team to help you assess all your options and bring the best employee benefits to your workforce.

If you’d like to speak to us about your employee benefits or our employee benefits platform, My Drewberry, you can call 02074425880 or email, and we’d be happy to help.

Why Speak to Us?

We started Drewberry™ because we were tired of being treated like a number.

We all deserve a first class service when it comes to things as important as protecting our health and our finances. Below are just a few reasons why it makes sense to talk to us.

martyn coates, employee benefits consultant at drewberry

It’s often worth paying that little bit extra to provide a benefit that employees really value, rather than go for the cheaper option and pay for a benefit that no one uses.

Martyn Coates
Senior Employee Benefits Consultant at Drewberry

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