Business

Beat the back-to-work blues with Perkbox

By Kitty Knowles 5 January 2017
Summary

Will you be getting your boss in on the act?

Even if you love your job, we’re willing to guess it was a struggle back to work this week. But there is something your boss could be doing to make life a little easier.

Perkbox was founded by Saurav Chopra and Chieu Cao (old friends and ex-Yahoo! colleagues) in January 2015. Since then team has quintupled its headcount, growing from 20 to 102 in just 18 months, while revenues have grown by 12 times in two years from £1.2M in 2014 to over £14M in 2016.

It’s now the UK’s largest cloud-based platform to help small businesses attract, retain and motivate staff.

“It’s the definitive one-stop destination for employee well-being, engagement, reward and recognition and an indispensable tool for HR directors,” Chopra told The Memo.

The big difference

There’s a negative perception that perks can be used to control employees, or are given in place of better salaries. And in your regular desk-jockey job (with its ‘discounted’ canteen keeping you caged in the office) you might be right.

But the point of Perkbox is to democratise perks beyond big business so that everyone can be happier and healthier. Because its online service is flexible, both small and even micro businesses, can give away benefits without hurting the bottom line.

“Before us, companies had to sign up to costly, inflexible long-term contracts,” says Chopra.

“While we do have some big global businesses using our products, our sweet spot is within sectors hampered by low-wages and where staff retention is a big problem – such as in the hospitality and care industry.”

Yes, the platform tracks your email data (opens and clicks), browsing, and transactional behaviour (with a view to help your boss improve productivity) but when the trade-off is the perfect perk, perhaps that’s worth it?

What could you get?

At its simplest level, the Perkbox mobile platform include a clichéd gamified badge-system (to honour you as the “Sales Superstar” or “Office DJ” you are). But it also tailors gift ideas to things you might actually want.

This could be a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, or a mini-break for two abroad, but if you’re offered nothing that appeals, you can also suggest new prizes through a ‘Recommend A Reward’ feature.

“Quite simply, there is something for everyone,” says Chopra. “There are 20 categories spanning travel, entertainment, family, food & drink, computers & phones to choose from.”

“Two-for-one meals with Tastecard is particularly popular for frequent social diners; savings on trips to theme parks like Legoland and Alton Towers, and special rates on hotels including The Dorchester, The Berkeley and The Savoy.”

Who’s already benefitting?

One money-tight area Perkbox is already making a difference is the care industry, where high labour turnover is hugely disruptive to sick, elderly and vulnerable people.

“Until recently, there haven’t been any viable options compatible with their restricted budgets, but Perkbox has provided them with the means to reward their valuable carers with over a 200 fun, recreational, practical and experience-led perks – from spa days and cheap cinema tickets to discounted grocery shopping and savings on travel.”

Designed to be accessible by staff who might work on their feet, the Perkbox app even delivers exclusive online content – like specialist exercise or meditation videos for work or home, and unlimited 24/7 counselling support for both personal and work-related stress.

It’s about addressing the whole person, says Chopra, which means including integrated tools to improve personal financial literacy and self-development services such as employee training and mentorship.

One care business to use Perkbox is called Next Stage. In the past year just 14% of Next Stage’s new starters have left (down from 58% the previous year), while employee referrals rose from 5% to 44%.

Clearly, happy staff stay.

Is Perkbox for you, or your company?

As we start 2017, now could be the perfect time to bring Perkbox to your office.

“For businesses, January presents an opportunity for them to re-evaluate the way in which they operate, manage and inspire their teams,” says Chopra.

“Investment in employee health, well-being and engagement via perks and benefits is often seen as a costly, non-critical ‘nice-to-have’ rather than an intrinsic tool for incentivising, retaining and recruiting talent.”

Instead Chopra not only wants to delight employees, but “to convert the unconverted” and show businesses that employee happiness sits at the heart of business success.

If you’re not feeling so perky this morning, perhaps you should email this to your boss to browse…

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