6 practical ways to help your employees save money
According to a 2014 survey by Barclays, 1 in 10 employees are struggling with money and 46% worry about their finances (see: Financial Well-being: The last taboo of the workplace). Employers can therefore make a notable difference to their employees’ lives by helping them save money, whether via discounts, salary sacrifice schemes and financial education.
Here are six practical ways to help your employees to save money:
1) Offer discounts on the products and services that matter most
Whether it’s help with the weekly shop, vouchers for lifestyle-related goods and services or discounted tickets to the latest music events, discount schemes (or ‘voluntary benefits’ as they are often called) are a great place to start.
They’re simple to implement and can easily be tailored or packaged in a bespoke way to encourage engagement and offer a range of money saving opportunities.
The trick is to understand what your employees want and offer something in line with their shopping needs. The challenge is that today’s workforce is more varied than ever. Millennials are digital natives that have grown up with different priorities and views about what they want from work and, indeed, life. Older generations, on the other hand, are working longer than ever (recent reports suggest that the number of women working into their 70s has doubled in the UK).
Luckily, the best providers will offer access to thousands of discounts at national and local retailers, so there’s something for everyone.
2) Make discounts quick and easy for employees to use
Programmes should cater to different shopping behaviours by virtue of what they offer and, though there are pros and cons to each, the best options allow for discounts to be delivered quickly and easily to your employees, encouraging greater engagement.
Retail vouchers, for example, can save employees money on their weekly shop and, though they require pre-paying, a salary deduction arrangement can allow employees to automatically agree an amount to load from their salary directly on to their choice of retail cards ready to spend in-store.
Cashback tends to be applicable to online stores only and promotional codes fall somewhere between these two, offering discounts at the point of purchase with no pre-pay required.
3) Offer a telephone concierge service
Many assume that concierge services are the preserve of high-flying City executives who require a dedicated concierge team to assist them with everything from bespoke holiday planning to organising a cleaner.
In fact, concierge services are for everyone, acting as a practical way to help your employees navigate the discounts available to them.
Travel, flight and ticketing discounts can be time-sensitive and complicated to redeem. By offering a telephone concierge service you can take the hassle out of this process and encourage your team to engage with all of the discounts at their disposal.
4) Package related discounts
More and more employers are packaging their voluntary benefit programmes strategically, making it easier to cross sell a range of related discount options.
For example, employers could create a health and wellbeing portal, offering discounts with national and local gyms alongside cashback options at a major sportswear retailer and discounts on a range of health checks and assessments.
The same can be done with other areas including family (which could include vouchers for family days out alongside childcare vouchers and discounts at major toy retailers), travel and sports.
5) Offer salary sacrifice schemes
From 5th April many salary sacrifice schemes no longer offer the income tax perks that some have come to expect, such as company cars (unless they're ultra-low emission vehicles), work-related training, car parking near the workplace, health-screening checks, mobile phones, computers and other tech, accommodation, gym membership and school fees.
However, a number of schemes remain exempt. These include pension contributions, childcare and cycle-to-work schemes. Moreover, schemes that lose their income tax advantages will keep their employee NI credits, so employees can still save by paying through salary sacrifice.
6) Educate staff on financial wellbeing
Knowledge is a powerful tool in anyone’s money saving endeavours and more and more employers are focusing on education as a way to assist their employees.
This includes helping people at all levels better understand budgeting, childcare, debt, travel money and wedding planning and can be integrated with other money saving benefits as part of a broader package.
This article was supplied by Xexec.
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