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The New Employee Perk…

February 10, 2011

The best part of being an employer is being able to do nice things for your employees. Okay..no it is not the best, I guess the best is not having anyone tell you what to do (there, I set the record straight). But I do enjoy doing fun things for the employees (aside from raises and bonuses), especially after a grueling tax season. During off-season I like to do movie-afternoons, mani-pedi mornings and of course the famous scavenger hunt to find where our next continuing ed class is being held (seriously, that is a fun one as the classes are always out of town, so we get to travel!). I just read an article that says the new perk is a trip to the virtual mall. Employers, now,  hand out discounts on movies, computers and clothes.

Employee discounts as a corporate perk have been around for some time. But now, companies of all sizes are setting up virtual discounts malls through aggregators, which negotiate deals with local and national vendors, tailoring a shopping site to each company’s tastes. For companies, it is a way to increase employees’ disposable income without handing out raises. It can soften the blow if other benefits are cut. Person X helped set up a virtual mall at Chick-fil-A in Atlanta, GA., where she works in human resources. She saves big on movie tickets, paying $7 for passes that might cost $11 at the box office. “My purchase have been mostly tickets for movies and concerts,” Person X says, “but I enjoy browsing for Disney vacations or clothing at Ann Taylor.”  Motivano, the employee-benefits-technology company that administers Chick-fil-A’s program, claims more than 1,000 vendors on its platform. Recent deals include 25% off an Avis rental car and 15% off a pair of Calvin Klein jeans. Another aggregator, PerkSpot, says its employee members save $315 a year, on average, with active users pocketing more than $1,000 on computers and other electronics, merchandise at target, and gym memberships, among other deals. 

The majority of my employees over the past 25 years would never have gone for discount tickets instead of a raise. One employee felt that a raise shows commitment on the employers part for the long haul, where a discount card is immediate gratification…and not all employees, he felt, have a 12-year-old mentality. As you conduct your business GAI wants to be your resource for all things financial, including giving you fun tips on making  your employees happy. Today, my employees are happy, but that can change like the wind. LOL. Give Gunwel Tax & Bookkeeping Service a call at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. See you soon! 

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