InFocus: A Complete Compensation & Benefits Strategy

How to eliminate the hidden costs of employee perks

How to eliminate the hidden costs of employee perks

Whether it’s managing gym memberships or organizing company discounts, staying on top of ad hoc employee perks can not only be costly but it can be surprisingly time consuming too.

“I’ve had a fairly long career in HR and I remember the days pounding the pavements trying to get discounts for people,” recalls Nancy Inberg, director of compensation and benefits at Aon.

“Quite frankly, we were tired of the heavy lifting involved,” she continues. “There’s a lot of heavy lifting in a traditional discount program, a lot of administrative resources, a lot of time.”

Earlier this year, Inberg and total rewards specialist Jimmy Chen decided to move away from a traditional, internally-operated discounts program and implemented the Venngo WorkPerks program instead.

Both Chen and Inberg insist the fully-managed program has freed HR professionals up within their organization to manage more important things, saving Aon significant time and money.

“I know speaking from experience that one of the programs that was being handled internally was the administration of the GoodLife memberships,” Chen told HRM. “We had a person at Aon handling the administration, receiving the cheques by hand, enrolling our members one at a time.”

That administration has now been taken over entirely by Venngo and the WorkPerks platform.

“It lets colleagues sign up if they choose and it’s automatically completed on their end,” he explains. “So that in itself already freed up some resources in our company and that doesn’t even include the time it would have taken for us to find employee discount plans ourselves and to then add them onto our website.”
Venngo representative Joe Parent says the situation is surprisingly common across Canada.

“What we find with a lot of clients is that they’ll have a number of ad-hoc programs that have developed over the years where employees have asked for discount tickets to something or specific passes,” he said.

“In some cases, we’ve come across clients who have had multiple people dedicated to managing these things,” he added. “It’s a hidden cost that sneaks up on employers and the platform can take that away.”

One feature of the platform, known as ‘Suggest a Perk’, also removes any possibility that employers will have to spend time in future tracking down discounts that their employees have expressed an interest in.

“There have been many times when colleagues would ask us; ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an Apple discount, wouldn’t it be nice if we had this discount?’” reveals Chen. “But sometimes we just don’t have the resources to look into it.”

The unique ‘Suggest a Perk’ feature lets individual users request a specific discount that isn’t already among the 1,200 on offer.

“If they are out in the neighbourhood and they find a new retailer they’d like to try or have a favourite retailer they always return to, employees can send a request through the platform and we will go out, approach that retailer and invite them to join,” explains Parent.

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Working with Canada’s top employers since 2000, Venngo promotes financial, physical and mental well-being.  Over 300 health & wellness partnerships make it possible for individuals to more affordably pursue a healthy lifestyle and help employers reduce health care and benefits costs while creating a happy, healthy workplace. In total, Venngo’s more than 1,200 unique partnership relationships provide discounts that make it possible to save $1,000’s every year on a broad range of goods and services including everything from entertainment and travel to dining, clothing, electronics, home & auto insurance and more.  Find our more at