Explore employee discount programs and how they are an effective voluntary benefit that can help maximize savings for both employees and employers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Employee Discount Programs are a type of voluntary benefit that can lead to direct employee cost savings of over $5k per year.
  • 62% of companies offer discount programs.
  • 61% of employees agree that voluntary benefits provide a better value than buying similar services outside of their employer.
  • 82% of employers see direct cost savings from voluntary benefits. 

What are Employee Discount Programs

Employee discount programs are a collection of special offers or perks employers can provide to their employees, allowing them to purchase a variety of products and services at a discounted rate. These programs can be a strong component of a voluntary benefits offering that can greatly contribute to employee satisfaction and retention while helping employees save money in their day-to-day lives. 62% of companies currently offer discounts/discount marketplaces as a voluntary benefit - making it the 6th most common (1). 

Typical offerings in employee discount programs include retail coupons, travel discounts, special offers on auto and home insurance, and more. By providing these discounts, companies can help alleviate some of the financial burdens faced by their employees - showing a commitment to employee well-being and financial wellness. 

Learn about other types of Voluntary Benefits in "Key Voluntary Benefits to Improve Employee Retention."

Why Employee Discount Programs Matter

Financial health continues to be the most significant challenge to employee wellbeing. The Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey conducted by Buck found that 57% of employees do not consider themselves financially healthy (1). Further, according to Metlife, 45% of employees have reported financial concerns as the top cause of poor mental health, with the greatest concern among women and generation X (2). This is especially relevant to employers as 35% of employees state that they are less productive because of financial stress (2). 

While recruiters love to advertise free-snacks and cool office spaces, there is a reported disconnect between employers and employees. According to Buck's survey, the top two priorities of employees are "lower benefit costs/save money" (56%) and "improve employee financial wellbeing" (50%) while employers listed these priorities as 40% and 42%, respectively (1). This is especially pertinent as employee report perceived under-delivery by employers. "Less than a third of employees view existing employer resources as helpful in meeting their top priorities: saving money, financial wellbeing, and mental health (1)."  This is something for companies to consider when lining up discounts packages - which benefits will actually save your employees money, and thus more greatly contributing to overall wellbeing?

Types of Employee Discounts Available

Employee discount programs offer a wide range of discounts across various categories. Some common types of employee discounts include:

  • Auto and Home Insurance: Employees can receive exclusive discounts on their auto and home insurance policies, helping them save on insurance premiums. 21% of employees report a desire for added benefits around auto/home insurance, and would be willing to purchase these through their employer (1). 
  • Financial Wellness: Employee discount programs often include access to financial planning tools, resources, and services that can help employees manage their finances effectively.
  • Employee Health and Wellness: Discounts on gym memberships, wellness programs, and health-related products and services are often included.
  • Retail and Entertainment: Employees can enjoy discounts on various retail products, movie tickets, theme park tickets, and other entertainment options.
  • Travel and Accommodation: Discounts on flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacation packages are commonly offered. 17% of employees would like to see additional "travel/vacation discounts/support" - and the same percentage would purchase these voluntary benefits through their employer(1). 

The specific discounts offered may vary depending on the company and the employee discount program provider. Employers can customize their offerings for their employee needs - which is important as 78% of employees say benefits personalization is important (2). 

Benefits for Employees

With frequent usage of a platform like BenefitHub, employees can save over $5,000/year (learn more). This is spread across seasonal discounts, limited-time offerings, local business partnerships, and more. These offerings are exclusive to companies - meaning employees won't find a collection of deals like this anywhere else. 

When surveyed, 61% of employees agree or strongly agree that "voluntary benefits at work provide better value than buying myself" (1).

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Further, there is a positive relationship between the number of benefits offered and proportion of employees feeling holistically healthy (2). Especially given that financial wellness is the top leading indicator for overall wellbeing, professionals who benefit from day-to-day savings through employee discount programs may report greater employer satisfaction. 

Benefits for Employers

Voluntary benefits such as Employee Discount Programs also deliver on employer objectives. Strong alignment between wellness goals and benefits goals shows how the two work hand-in-hand to achieve overall employee wellbeing. Primarily, these goals aim to increase job satisfaction and employee engagement, at 75% and 63% respectively, followed closely by employee retention (1). 

Research from Metlife highlights that employers are also feeling financial pressures - "89% of employers say controlling the costs of core benefits (e.g., health insurance) and reducing HR administrative costs are important objectives" (2). With this, a lower over-head cost offering like employee discount programs can be a strong option for expanding benefit programs. 

Buck also found that 82% of employers see direct cost savings from voluntary benefits. "Increasingly, companies are using voluntary benefits to achieve savings on health and welfare consulting, administration, and communication expenses" (1). 

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Lastly, offering better benefits can directly impact companies through employee retention, as "employee satisfaction with benefits packages" and "employers being committed to wellbeing" are two of the top positive drivers leading to worker loyalty (1). 

How to Utilize a Free Tool like BenefitHub

BenefitHub is an HR tool that can be utilized to provide employees with access to a wide range of discounts and savings opportunities. Make the most of the tool with frequent communication and employee education about the various features and benefits of the platform. BenefitHub leverages technology with easy user-access, and frequently adds seasonal and limited-time offers. Offerings can be personalized for each company, meaning your diverse workforce gets discounts that are hand-selected.

By leveraging the power of BenefitHub's employee discount marketplace, HR professionals can provide their employees with a valuable tool for maximizing their savings and enhancing their overall employee experience. Learn More: explore work discounts from top brands


(1): Buck 2022 Wellbeing and Voluntary Benefits Survey Report

(2): Metlife's 22nd Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study 2024


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