Below we highlight everything you need to consider to select the best perks management software for your company and employees.
There are countless employee perk management tools and software entering the market with all different approaches. This can make knowing the perfect vendor to select a more challenging process.
This post will guide you to make the right decision for your business and employee needs.
You might be wondering why people are ditching the traditional types of perks and moving to perk management software.
Every software is different, but below are eleven a few of the significant benefits you can expect from using a perk management software:
Employee perks can evolve to meet your team's needs, but only if they're personalized. Using a stipend management platform allows you to tailor your fringe benefits to meet current budgets as well as the wants and needs of the people in your organization.
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all perks like on-site gyms, catered meals, or hand-picked meditation apps. Today’s workforce is multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-location and so personalized perks are inclusive because they make it easy for your employees to get the lifestyle benefits they prefer.
Instead of an intranet page full of logos and potential vendors (which can be overwhelming), this simplifies the process and lets employees get what they truly need.
Many large companies have extensive benefit packages (again, with lots of logos to navigate), but this allows companies of any size to compete for the same talent successfully.
The ongoing administrative process of stipends is simpler and takes less time. HR can get behind software that reduces their administrative burden and makes them look great.
With these software options, you can either turn it into your entire perk offering or use it as a supplemental add-on to what you’re already doing to add personalization and inclusivity.
Perk stipend programs are easy to update for your entire company all at once. Much easier than removing a culture-related perk like 'Bagel Fridays' even if engagement is way down.
Regardless of whether you’re scaling up or down, perk software can help you do it with ease.
What does your company want to reinforce behavior around -- maybe it’s learning or health, whatever it might be, a perk software can help you create perk programs that align.
With stipends, you’ll decrease your budget waste on unused perks, time spent picking barely engaged perks, and the hassle of managing them all, too.
In alphabetical order, the following perk software you may want to look into are the following:
Keep in mind, this approach is different than the legacy approach of corporate discounts like you’ll see with Fond or Reward Gateway or social and recognition software like Rewardian or Achievers.
We put price first on the list because everyone has a budget, and making sure to stick within the confines of it is essential to getting stakeholder buy-in for a new tool.
Most HR tech benefit software can cost anywhere between $1 - $8 per employee and include an implementation fee -- perk management tools aren’t any different.
With these types of software, there’s an additional amount you pay, which is how much you’d like to allocate to each team member per period (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually).
For example, instead of bringing in catered lunches, you could give each employee $100/month to spend on their choice.
Questions to consider:
[We also talk at length about the budget side for software and your stipend in our post, how to set up your employee stipend].
A big reason to buy software is to automate and streamline the administrative processes that might be weighing down your team and its operational capacity.
As we've already noted, the more disparate perks you offer, the more significant the administrative burden. There's often a tipping point for organizations when it's too much work to manage everything and be forced to consolidate or remove underutilized perks.
The key is to pick software that can manage the personalization complexity without adding too much additional work for you.
Questions to consider:
3. Typical engagement rates
We know what you’re thinking, if you’re going to take the time to roll something out to your people, you want to make sure it’s something they’re going to absolutely love. And how love translates into a metric, in usage, or engagement rates.
A perk management approach generally sees higher usage rates. Unlike individual perk vendors like meditation apps, onsite/virtual yoga, and dry-cleaning, which only satisfy a small percentage of your people, they allow you to offer something for everyone.
When connecting with vendors, ask them what typical engagement rates are to get an idea of which ones people are engaging with.
Questions to consider:
While this should be a significant factor in every company’s decision, if you are larger than 50 employees or have a CFO, you will likely focus on it keenly.
Most of the perks you could offer your employees (from food to yoga to pet insurance) are taxable income for your employees. The IRS is pretty clear in its guidance as to which benefits are taxable and which aren’t. What this means for you is that as you consider increasing or changing your team’s perks, you also need to consider how you are going to track and manage those tax requirements.
Questions to consider:
Additional considerations when selecting a perk management vendor:
The value is most when every employee can use their perks equally, regardless of where they live. If your company is international, you’ll want to make sure you create a program that can support everyone.
If your company has employees worldwide, be sure to ask the vendors you’re considering how they support your international people.
Pre-funded models force you to pay for the entire amount allotted to your people upfront. If you have tremendous amounts of cash and this isn’t a big deal, this method might be okay. Something to dig into further is what happens to the money which isn’t used -- does it remain in employees’ accounts in perpetuity or get refunded back into the company’s hands.
Alternatively, there are pay-as-you-go models. These are where you only pay for what is spent by your employees which not only allows you to keep your cash on hand until the money is spent but any money that isn’t spent is kept in the company’s pocket.
When looking into a new perks management tool, consider if you’d like to go with a vendor-based or a vendorless approach.
Vendor-based approaches are like a marketplace, similar to when you cash in points from your credit cards. There are pre-selected vendors, first selected by the software tool you’ve chosen, and then chosen by you.
A vendorless approach is one where the options for perks and benefits selected are unlimited. HR can still pick individual spending categories like a health & wellness stipend or offer multiple categories -- health & wellness, food, equipment, and learning & development within one stipend.
The significant difference is that there are no vendors for people to choose from, which means they can buy whatever is best for them from their favorite meditation app to a healthy meal delivery kit or their local yoga studio.
At Compt, we’re vendorless, and our model uses perk receipt reimbursement so that HR professionals can track spending, ensure IRS compliance, and, most importantly -- offer true personalization.
Questions to consider:
4. Points vs. Dollar Compensation
Point systems have been around for a while and are what larger legacy companies like Achievers and Rewardian built their recognition software. And points can be fun, but they can also introduce unnecessary complexity.
The dollar compensation model is gaining traction as it’s the most straightforward and easily-understood model by your people. The money can be either dropped into an employee’s paycheck every month (which Laszlo Bock’s research at Google advises against) or can be given on a debit/gift card or through a reimbursement model. The latter approach still encourages employees to be proactive about what they want by purchasing it and then being reimbursed at a later date.
We wrote an in-depth and honest review of the two approaches here.
However, the debit card model has grown tremendously over the past few years with companies like Benepass, Hoppier, and Mistro jumping on the train. They’re great because they have a “cool factor” associated with them -- especially for younger team members who crave the status of a company card. The high-level options to consider are limited to perks due to needing to be used with preselected vendors only, what happens to the money that isn’t spent, and IRS tax compliance.
The perk reimbursement model is one we know well at Compt, as that is the approach we take. While we can’t speak for other companies that take this approach (we’re currently the only one on the market) -- this model allows you to have 100% personalization (literally every vendor is possible), pay only for what you use, and they’re fully IRS compliant.
The rewards and recognition software market is saturated with options to recognize your people, as well as them to recognize each other, whether it’s through high-fives, thanks notes, badge-giving, or gift cards.
If you don’t have a recognition platform in place yet, some of the vendors mentioned above also include bonus program functionality, which is a way to celebrate work anniversaries, implement sales spiffs, or celebrate a job well done.
Help your employees reach their full potential by offering the most inclusive and personalized employee perks and benefits.