Employees most value vouchers for household necessities as reward from employers, new survey finds

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The Voucher Shop, a specialist provider of employee benefits, staff rewards and customer promotions, has conducted a survey amongst 1,648 UK employees which reveals that staff want more versatile reward schemes – with greater relevance to their household expenditure.

When respondents to the survey were asked, “If your employer was able to provide vouchers for good performance, what type of voucher would be most beneficial to you or your household?” the feedback revealed a distinct preference toward vouchers for use in retailers offering household necessities over more leisure focused options.  This included:

  1. Food and grocery shopping vouchers (47.8%)
  2. Department store vouchers (14.9%)
  3. Holiday vouchers (12.4%)
  4. Leisure or family day out vouchers (9.2%)
  5. Eating out (8.7%)
  6. Clothing vouchers (5.8%)
  7. Do-it-yourself or home improvement voucher (0.8)

The audit suggests that employees are prepared to utilize their performance rewards to supplement their household income. It also indicates continued financial pressure points in household expenditures. When asked where the most pressure lies in their household expenditure, employees responded: Food and Grocery (30%), Holidays (19%), Eating out (14.5%) and utility bills (13%).

Memorable rewards?

The results highlight that employees will welcome help in reducing the costs of household expenses, but it also prompts the question of whether employers should seek greater separation between their performance-based rewards and money saving benefits schemes.

Kuljit Kaur, head of business development at The Voucher Shop, said: “The motivational impact of non-cash rewards over higher salaries is well documented. In order to drive performance and improve employee engagement employers need to offer rewards that appeal to the individual. While discounted vouchers or gift cards as part of a flexible employee benefits scheme are a very effective way to ease the pressure on household budgets, performance rewards can also be used to pay for the weekly food shop.”

Implementing the right benefits and rewards schemes can go a long way in improving staff engagement and ensuring that organisations retain skilled staff. With as many as 37 percent of workers planning to leave their current jobs in 2015 – a dramatic increase from 2014 (19 percent) and 2013 (13 percent)1, employers need to take note, review their current offering and take measures to improve the way in which they communicate the true value of their total compensation package.

Kaur said: “Discounted vouchers or gift cards as part of a flexible employee benefits scheme can ease the pressure of households. The key here is to offer employees the choice to do what they like with their reward, but ensure that all the options are effectively communicated. Employees need to be fully aware that they could redeem their reward against a desirable luxury treat, but equally if times are tough their reward could be used to help with the rising cost of living. Either way, if conveyed appropriately employees should put in the discretionary effort needed to reach their individual staff.”