2024 will bring uncertainty – investing in loyalty will be key to growth

We are heading into the Year of Loyalty, where businesses that invest in their employees and customers will give themselves a platform for success.

Predicting what 2024 will bring is challenging – with the prospect of a General Election and the constantly shifting sands of economic policy have created a much more uncertain future.

Last year, we knew everyone was in for a rough ride and so it proved, with businesses and employees wrestling with rising costs and interest rates. But while 2024 may not be as clearly-defined, what is certain is that loyalty will be the most influential driver.

The experience of the last 12 months – and in some ways the last three years – has created in consumers and workers a greater sense of their own value – to themselves, the places they work and the businesses and services they use.

The businesses that succeed in 2024 will be the ones that recognise how to build and maintain loyalty in a more meaningful way.

Out with the old – sales and loyalty are changing

From a consumer standpoint, traditional loyalty programmes no longer have the influence they once did. Already we have seen the biggest supermarkets adjust their loyalty programmes so that rather than focusing on accumulating points, members get instant discounts at the checkout instead.

Price remains a strong influence, but that is falling. According to data from customer experience managers Qualtrics, 61% of consumers base their loyalty to a brand on the quality of the service or product and 47% on the customer service support. Only 43% base it on low prices. So the impact of sales – with the possible exception of Black Friday – is diminishing in customers’ eyes.

These significant shifts in consumer behaviour will filter through to all businesses in 2024. Consumers post-Covid have an increasing need to feel looked out for and protected from the unexpected.

Businesses that can offer wraparound care with tangible benefits – service packages for major expenses for example – will see real growth in 2024. But those packages need to offer real value at the right price. Never have consumers been more aware of what they are actually getting when they sign up for value-added services.

Make it too complex, too expensive or pay lip-service to the problem you’re claiming to protect them against and it could be very damaging to your business.

Retention is still king for employers

We’ve seen a lot of recent articles preaching retention for 2024 and we agree, retention is vital. We actually had this as a key point for 2023 and the message has not changed.

Recruitment remains challenging for business, with significant numbers of unfilled vacancies across the economy.

Latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show almost a million unfilled vacancies in the UK right now. So it’s obvious that retaining employees is vital to growth.

Love2shop’s own Employee Value Report, published in September, told us that despite this need to retain staff, 4.4 million UK workers are considering leaving their job as they feel undervalued, with 1.5 million ready to leave without a new role to go to.

When asked why, 41% said they felt their contribution to the business was not acknowledged, 32% cited poor pay and benefits and 29% believed that loyalty is a one-way street and they did not matter to their employer.

That indicates serious disillusionment with employers – and that could become a crisis in 2024.

What’s frustrating is that the UK workforce is not asking employers for a lot. We also found that 90% would feel more valued by receiving a spontaneous gift card at work but 47% said their employer never gifts them anything.

Small regular shows of appreciation beyond the pay packet in 2024 are the key to employee retention. Employee discount schemes can be one solution, but many are complex and not valued by employees.

Consider offering employees discounts they can apply instantly. Everyday Benefits from Love2shop for example is a card employees pre-load funds onto at a 7.5% discount. So for example, if they load £100 on, they only pay £92.50. They then have £100 on the card to spend at more than 140 partner retailers.

Businesses that get it right will be in a strong position when the economy begins to truly grow again.

AI will find its place

This year AI has been the buzzword in business and that is unlikely to stop. However, we believe it will settle down and find its place in the ecosystem in 2024.

The rapid explosion of artificial intelligence in 2023 made it seem a bit like the Wild West, with even Google struggling to keep up!

But 2024 will see more businesses employ AI strategically. Used as a support tool to improve customer experience alongside human interaction it can help businesses manage more enquiries and ease some of the teething troubles growing businesses sometimes have with fulfilment.

According to global research firm Forrester, AI will be used more surgically, particularly by digital businesses, to support customer service delivery, however it also predicts that 40% of buyers aged 25-44 will rate person-to-person interactions as their most meaningful – so if customer loyalty is your goal, invest in people.

Spreading API-ness

APIs are nothing new, but we will see them deployed more by businesses to enhance their user experience.

Businesses working with partners to deliver key employee benefits or customer rewards will move away from engineering their own in-house solutions and instead will expect suppliers to provide seamless APIs that help them to deliver global-quality brand engagement and user experience within their budget.

Critically, the most important investments businesses will make in 2024 will be around experience – the workplace experience, the customer experience, the online experience.

Integrating Love2shop into your reward and recognition systems is a great way to enhance those experiences – opening up a mammoth catalogue of brands for recipients to spend with.

You can find details of how our API integration offers safe, secure real-time integration here: https://business.love2shop.co.uk/api-for-gift-cards.

Whatever happens 2024 will be a year of significant change for business. Attitudes and behaviours may be shifting but by using new insights to focus on what’s really important businesses will thrive.

The primary focus, as ever is on quality of products and services. But invest in your workforce and your customers. Create an eco-system around your brand that people want to engage with and be a part of.

That will make your business resilient, agile and ensure you’re ready to grow whatever surprises 2024 has in store.

How a ‘trivial’ gift can be a big deal for your employees

Christmas is approaching fast and many business owners are weighing up how to show their employees appreciation during the festive season.

Traditionally, companies have offered a Christmas bonus or gift. While always welcome, cash gifts made through payroll are subject to tax and National Insurance. This can make them a costly headache for either the employer or the employee.

For an employee, if tax and NI are not factored in the tax man takes their cut and the gift becomes a lot smaller.

On the other hand, if an employer wants workers to receive a specific amount, they will have to cover the tax and NI on top. This could almost double the cost.

A better way

There is a third way to gift employees however – which is both straightforward and cost-effective.

Corporate gifting experts Love2shop have been helping employers of all types and sizes to offer rewards for their staff for decades. Now they have launched a handy tool that helps employers see the savings on offer by switching to gift cards.

The Tax-Free Gift Calculator allows employers or HR teams to input the amount they want each employee to receive as a gift after tax.

It will calculate how much they will pay in real terms – including tax and National Insurance – for both basic rate taxpayers and higher-rate taxpayers. Alongside this it will show how much the same gift would cost if given in Love2shop gift cards.

The tool is free and you can try it here.

According to the second annual Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023, 90% of UK employees said a surprise gift of a multi-retailer gift card would make them feel more valued.

And 57% of people said days off, multi-retailer gift cards or flexible working are the best workplace rewards.

Now, HMRC may have a reputation of being a little Scrooge-like, but they have a key allowance that can help employers give generously to their employees – the Trivial Benefits Provision.

This allows employers to offer staff non-cash gifts up to the value of £50 per employee, free from tax or National Insurance.

That means if an employer wants to gift up to £50, they can do so using Love2shop Gift Cards, Contactless Gift Cards, E-Gift Cards or vouchers. No tax, no National Insurance and no paperwork.

A time for giving

In other words, giving each employee £50 with Love2shop will cost the business just £50 per person – and the recipient will get the full amount.

Love2shop is one of the best known gifting brands in the UK. Available as a gift card, e-gift card, contactless gift card or voucher, its products are accepted by around 150 retailers.

These include well-known brands such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester,Tui, Jet2Holidays and many more.

That flexibility means that employers can be certain their gift is what everyone wants, as it really is the gift of choice. It may be called ‘trivial’ but it’s a benefit that will prove anything but for both employers and employees.

Contact our team today to discuss how Love2shop can help you get gifting right this Christmas, with physical gift cards and digital codes still available for pre-Christmas delivery.

employee benefits packages

What are Employee Benefits Packages?

They are a set of offerings (comprehensive or otherwise) provided to employees as well as their regular wages. These packages include incentives aimed at improving the wellbeing and satisfaction of employees.

Employee benefits packages play a vital role in attracting and retaining valuable employees. A well-designed benefits package can show an employer’s commitment to the wellbeing of their workforce. This contributes to improving loyalty and engagement among employees.

This blog post explores the exciting world of employee benefits packages. We’ll touch on their components and significance and examine what’s included in a standard benefits package for employees.

We will also discuss the best employee benefits packages in different industries, focusing on employee benefits packages in the UK. Finally, we’ll examine the key considerations when designing and evaluating benefits packages.

Components of Employee Benefits Packages

Monetary Benefits

Monetary benefits are an important component of employee benefits packages. This includes bonuses, profit-sharing, and commission structures. These financial rewards recognise employees’ contributions. They also incentivise high performance, and provide tangible compensation for their efforts.

Health and Insurance Benefits

These benefits are crucial for employees’ wellbeing and security. They often include plans that cover medical, dental, and vision expenses. Additionally, employers may offer disability, life insurance, and other coverage options to provide employees with financial protection in case of emergencies.

Retirement and Pension Benefits

This benefit is vital for employees’ long-term financial security. They include employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as pension schemes in the UK. Employers may offer matching contributions or other forms of assistance to help employees save for their future and contribute to a comfortable retirement.

Time Off and Leave Benefits

These are essential for promoting work-life balance and wellbeing. It can be anything from paid vacation days to holidays, sick leave, and enhanced parental leave. They provide employees with the necessary time to recharge and attend to personal and family obligations. This ultimately creates a healthier and more productive workforce.

Additional Perks and Non-Monetary Benefits

These range from flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options or flexible hours, to professional development opportunities, employee assistance programs, wellness initiatives, and employee discounts. These perks contribute to a positive work environment and enhance the overall employee experience.

Putting it into practice, a company might offer an employee benefits package that includes a defined contribution pension scheme with employer-matching contributions. They may also provide private health insurance coverage for employees and their families, allowing access to a network of private healthcare providers. The package could include 25 days of annual leave, plus public holidays, to ensure employees have sufficient time off. The company may also offer a sickness absence policy that provides enhanced sick pay above the statutory minimum, ensuring employees feel supported during illness or injury.

By offering a comprehensive combination of monetary and non-monetary benefits, employers aim to provide their staff with a well-rounded package that supports their financial, physical, and emotional wellbeing. These components all contribute to attracting top talent, improving employee satisfaction, and fostering a positive and productive work culture.

Why should businesses invest in Employee Benefit Packages?

Attracting and Retaining Talent

Employee benefits play a crucial role in attracting and retaining talent. By offering a  comprehensive benefits package, employers are more competitive. It demonstrates their commitment to the wellbeing and satisfaction of their workforce. Potential employees consider the value of the benefits package when weighing up job opportunities. A strong package can be the deciding factor when making their decision to join a company. And, employees who feel valued and supported are more likely to stay with the organisation leading to reduced turnover and recruitment costs.

Employee Satisfaction and Wellbeing

Employee benefits packages directly contribute to satisfaction and wellbeing. Providing benefits that focus on employees’ physical and mental health needs, such as comprehensive health insurance and wellness programs, promotes a healthier workforce and reduces stress levels. Benefits like flexible working and professional development opportunities can enhance job satisfaction and personal growth. These all lead to increased employee engagement and productivity.

Promoting Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is increasingly recognised as a crucial aspect of employee wellbeing and job satisfaction. Employee benefits packages that include generous holiday time off, parental leave, and flexible work arrangements allow employees to maintain a healthy balance between their personal and professional lives. These benefits help employees manage their responsibilities outside of work, resulting in improved morale, reduced burnout, and increased loyalty to the company.

Supporting Financial Security and Retirement Planning

Employee benefits packages provide a foundation for employees’ financial security and retirement planning. By offering generous pension schemes, employers support employees in building a nest egg for their future. Matching contributions or employer-provided retirement benefits further enhance employees’ financial wellbeing. Additionally, benefits like life insurance, disability coverage, and financial planning resources provide employees with a safety net and peace of mind, promoting financial stability throughout their careers.

By investing in comprehensive benefits, employers demonstrate their commitment to the overall welfare of their workforce and create a positive and supportive work environment.

Best Employee Benefits Packages in Various Industries

Healthcare and Medical Industries

In the healthcare and medical industries, employee benefits packages often prioritise comprehensive health insurance coverage for employees and their families. Additional benefits may include flexible scheduling options, continuing education and professional development opportunities, tuition reimbursement programs, and access to cutting-edge medical technologies and facilities. Some employers in this industry may also offer specialised wellness programs, such as onsite fitness centres or wellness coaching.

Tech and Start-up Companies

Tech and start-up companies are known for offering innovative and competitive employee benefits packages to attract top talent. These packages often include perks like flexible work hours, remote work options, stock options or equity plans, generous parental leave policies, and opportunities for professional growth and development. Additional benefits may include unlimited paid time off, unique office spaces, wellness programs, and employee social events.

Financial Services and Banking Sector

The financial services and banking sector typically offers attractive employee benefits packages to attract and retain skilled professionals. These packages often include competitive salaries, performance-based bonuses, and comprehensive health insurance coverage. Retirement and pension benefits may include generous employer contributions to retirement savings plans or pension schemes. Other common benefits in this industry include professional development programs, tuition reimbursement, financial planning resources, and access to exclusive financial services or products.

In each of these industries, employers strive to provide benefits that align with their employees’ needs and aspirations, creating a supportive and rewarding work environment. It is important to note that specific benefits and packages may vary between organisations within each industry, reflecting the unique priorities and cultures of different companies.

Employee Benefits Packages in the UK

The UK employment landscape is governed by a set of regulations and laws that shape the structure and requirements of employee benefits packages. The government sets minimum standards through legislation such as the Employment Rights Act, the Equality Act, and the Pensions Act. These laws ensure that employees are protected and have access to certain benefits and rights in the workplace. Additionally, industry-specific regulations may apply, further affecting the design and implementation of employee benefits packages.

Common Elements of Employee Benefits Packages in the UK

Employee benefits packages in the UK typically include a range of benefits aimed at supporting employees’ financial wellbeing, health, and work-life balance. Common elements may include:

    • Pension schemes: Employers often provide pension schemes, such as defined contributions or defined benefit plans, to help employees save for retirement. Auto-enrolment requirements ensure that eligible employees are automatically enrolled in workplace pension schemes.
    • Health insurance: Employers may offer private health insurance schemes that provide access to medical treatments and services beyond what is available through the National Health Service (NHS). This can include coverage for specialists, faster treatment options, and additional wellness benefits.
    • Annual leave and public holidays: UK employers are legally required to provide a minimum amount of annual leave and observe public holidays. The statutory entitlement to paid leave is typically 28 days, including bank holidays, for full-time employees.
    • Sick pay: Employers must provide Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to eligible employees who are unable to work due to illness. SSP provides financial support for a limited period to help employees during their absence from work.

Key Considerations for UK Employers and Employees

Both employers and employees in the UK should consider various factors when it comes to employee benefits packages. Employers need to ensure compliance with legal requirements, understand industry norms, and consider the specific preferences and needs of their workforce. They must also weigh the costs and potential impact on recruitment and retention. Employees, on the other hand, should familiarise themselves with their entitlements, understand the benefits on offer, and consider how the package aligns with their personal goals and priorities.

By understanding the common elements of employee benefits packages in the UK, examining specific examples, and considering the key considerations for both employers and employees, stakeholders can navigate the complexities of the UK employment landscape and make informed decisions relating to employee benefits.

How to Create an Effective Employee Benefits Package

Creating an effective employee benefits package requires careful consideration of employee needs, cost considerations, customisation, and ongoing evaluation. By following these steps, employers can develop a package that meets the diverse needs of their workforce.

Assessing Employee Needs and Preferences

To create a successful benefits package, it is essential to assess the needs and preferences of employees. You can do this through surveys, focus groups, or one-on-one conversations. Understanding what matters most to employees in terms of financial security, health and wellness, work-life balance, and career development will help employers design a package that resonates with their workforce.

Balancing Costs and Benefits

Balancing costs and benefits is a crucial aspect of creating an effective package. Employers need to consider their budgetary constraints while ensuring that the package provides meaningful value to employees. It is important to strike a balance between offering competitive benefits that attract and retain top talent and managing costs to ensure the financial sustainability of the organisation.

Customising the Package to Meet Diverse Employee Needs

Recognising that employees have diverse needs is key to creating a successful benefits package. Employers should aim to provide a range of options that cater to different life stages, family situations, and personal preferences. This could involve offering a selection of healthcare plans, flexible work arrangements, or voluntary benefits that employees can choose based on their individual circumstances.

Evaluating and Adjusting the Package Over Time

Creating an effective employee benefits package is an ongoing process. Employers should regularly evaluate the package’s effectiveness by seeking feedback from employees, monitoring utilisation rates, and staying informed about industry trends and best practices. By regularly reviewing employee needs and market dynamics, employers can make informed adjustments and enhancements to the benefits package over time, ensuring its continued relevance and value.

By following these steps, employers can create an effective employee benefits package that aligns with the needs and expectations of their workforce. This will not only help to attract and retain top talent but also contribute to a positive work environment and the overall success of the organisation.

To sum up…

Employee benefits packages are an integral part of the employment landscape. They provide valuable offerings to employees beyond their regular compensation. These packages include a wide range of benefits aimed at supporting employees. They provide financial security, health and wellness, work-life balance, and overall wellbeing.

Investing in a comprehensive employee benefits package is crucial for employers. A well-designed benefits package shows your commitment to the wellbeing of your workforce.

By assessing employee needs and preferences, employers can align their offerings with what matters most to their workforce. Balancing costs and benefits ensures the package provides meaningful value. It also ensures the package remains financially sustainable. Customising the package to meet diverse employee needs recognises the individuality of the workforce. Finally, regularly evaluating and adjusting the package over time ensures its continued relevance and effectiveness.

Ready to create a competitive and impactful employee benefits package? Explore the possibilities and invest in an employee recognition platform that helps your staff feel valued and appreciated. Take the next step towards success – create an employee benefits package that sets your organisation apart.


What are employee benefits

Employee Benefits – What You Need to Know

An effective employee benefits strategy can make a significantly positive impact on your business performance. This can range from company car allowances to healthcare schemes, enhanced annual leave entitlement to reward bonuses.

It’s easy to write benefits off as a cost – but get them right and you can improve employee retention and talent recruitment, enhance your customer experience and increase your revenues. What is important is ensuring you have a strategy in place and you offer benefits for employees that are meaningful to your workforce.

Love2shop are experts in employee benefits and engagement, so we’ve created a quick guide covering everything you need to know:

What are employee benefits?

If you’re new to this, basically employee benefits are anything outside of an employee’s salary and work-related equipment that they receive from the business.

According to our UK-wide Employee Value Survey, 56% of potential recruits scope-out your reward, recognition and benefits offer before applying for a job. In other words, if your benefits offer is wrong, you could be missing out on the best talent without even knowing it.

What matters is not how expensive or cool your benefits are, but whether they are attractive to the talent you want to hire and retain and how effectively they strengthen your relationship with your employees

Why should my business offer employee benefits?

It’s a good question. While salary is still important, employees want to know that their efforts are valued and that their employer is as supportive and flexible as they can be. First and foremost, employees are people, and as people are motivated by a feeling of value, self-worth and recognition for their contribution to your business or team.

Getting your employee benefits offer right really matters. Our Employee Value Survey found that 52% of employees believe their output increases when they feel valued by their employer – and a staggering 74% stated they would look for a new job elsewhere if they felt undervalued.

What employee benefits should I offer?

Ultimately that should be determined in consultation with your employees, but there are a number of common benefits you can consider introducing:

Additional leave

In the UK most full-time employees are entitled to a minimum of 28 days of annual leave, with some exceptions. These 28 days can and often do include bank holidays. But as a benefit you can offer employees more than the statutory, either as one-off rewards, recognition of long service or simply as part of their contract. Annual leave or Paid Time Off (PTO) is a powerful incentive for talent looking for a greater work-life balance.

Spontaneous gifting

According to our Employee Value Survey 76% of employees feel valued, or that their work is recognised, when they receive a spontaneous gift from their employer. One of the best ways to do this is using multi-retailer gift products like Love2shop Gift Cards or Love2shop Contactless – which allow employees to spend in store or online with more than 120 retailers. HMRC will allow your business to give non-cash gifts tax-free – including gift cards and e-Codes – up to a value of £50 per employee. You can purchase Love2shop gift cards here.

Healthcare schemes

These are popular with corporate businesses in the UK. They make access to private healthcare more affordable and can also help with dental costs and other healthcare costs not typically covered by the NHS.

Such programmes can also include qualifying family members, making it a wider benefit for your employees as their spouse or child may also be covered. Investing in staff health is a very clear way to show your business values them as people, not just employees.

There are a number of reputable providers for businesses of varying sizes, including Westfield, Vitality and Bupa.

Retail discount programmes

This is a cost-effective way to offer employees a year-round benefit that gives them real savings on their regular high street spending. Love2shop offers just such a scheme, the Everyday Benefits Card. Employees can pre-load this card with funds at a discounted rate (7.5%) – before using those funds to make purchases with major high street brands. So if they load £100 onto their card, they only pay £92.50, offering the chance to make real savings on everyday essentials. Employers can purchase these cards to give to staff and can choose whether to load funds on themselves as an added bonus.

Hybrid remote working

While remote and flexible working seemed like the norm post-pandemic, a number of businesses have begun to recall people to the office making this a benefit many are seeking in recruitment ads once more.

Hybrid remote working when implemented well allows junior team members to learn from the more experienced colleagues while allowing teams and individuals the flexibility to work from home regularly, saving money and avoiding the commute. Employees value this benefit as it helps show that you understand they have a life outside work and working from home can make that easier.

Hybrid working does not work for every role however. Where it is impractical you can consider flexible working, with core hours and flexible start/finish times.

Personal development/training

Training and development not only improves the skillset of your employees – it shows them you want to help them improve and are invested in their future.

Government research has classed learning as one of the five key ways to improve your wellbeing and upskilling through training is seen as a belief and investment in the individual – something that can have a powerful effect on both employee confidence and loyalty.

The benefits you offer should make a difference to your employees and be used to bring them practical benefits. For some workplaces, lunchtime yoga and dog-friendly offices are exactly the right benefits. For others, greater work/life balance or financial rewards are more suitable. The important thing is understanding what makes your employees feel valued and motivated.

How do I manage my employee benefits?

Some benefits are spontaneous, offered to mark major events or as a thank you. But it is possible to make your employee benefits more data-driven.

You could, for example, use a modular engagement platform. Love2shops own engagement platform allows you to manage benefits that are earned for performance, reward training module completion and create an employee feedback environment where people can thank colleagues openly for outstanding work.

You can also use an engagement platform to assess the popularity and effectiveness of existing benefits and consult on changes, to replace ineffective benefits with ones that your workforce really wants.

Benefits can also be baked into your employment contracts, but this can make them harder to amend if they become ineffective.

Some larger businesses have a dedicated benefits expert, however typically HR teams take responsibility for employee benefits schemes. Finding the right software solution for your business is key however, as it will streamline the process for them and help you build an employee benefits strategy that works.

Contact Love2shop today for your own employee benefits scheme

Love2shop offers a wide range of vouchers and gift cards from popular high street retailers, restaurants, and leisure attractions. This gives your employees the flexibility to choose what they want, and when they want it.

Setting up an employee benefits scheme with Love2shop is quick and easy. Our team of experts will work with you to create a scheme that is tailored to the needs of your business and your employees. Get in touch with us to see how we can help.

5 things we learned from Employee Benefits Live 2023

The Love2shop team met with some incredible business leaders and HR professionals at Employee Benefits Live 2023.

Our team descended on London’s ExCeL to not only showcase what makes us one of the UK’s leading employee reward, recognition and engagement providers, but also to hear directly from customers and potential partners about what they want and need for their employee value strategy.

Here are our five biggest takeaways from the event:

1: Retail discount schemes are very popular

Many of the HR professionals we spoke to had either already introduced an employee discount programme or were actively looking to do so. With the rising cost of living, businesses offering employees savings on their everyday spending all year round are gaining the edge over their rivals.

Love2shop’s Everyday Benefits Card is one of the simplest, most cost-effective ways to offer high street and online discounts to staff. It’s a reloadable card offering a 7.5% discount on card loads which can be used for purchases and opening up access to a discount portal to save money on gift cards for major supermarkets and other essential brand.

2: Giving or reducing the cost of holidays and experiences is valued

Employee benefits are increasingly being used to offset essentials where people can, but people still want to enjoy themselves. With many cutting back on holidays, breaks and bucket-list experiences, an employee reward strategy that offers these has a significant impact on how employees feel. Implemented well, giving holiday or experience vouchers to ease the cost or even giving a bigger annual prize of a holiday helps create a more positive culture and drives motivation.

3: Meaningful gifts win every time

Rewards are not just any old thing you can give someone to say well done – they work best when they are meaningful. We spoke to people who have in the past given family breaks to holiday camps, signed football shirts and curated hampers to recognise colleagues.

But as businesses grow, it’s not always possible to tailor rewards so specifically. That’s why many HR professionals we spoke to want to give rewards that offer choice, so that the recipient can decide themselves what means most to them.

4: HR professionals consider gift cards an effective employee reward

Just to be clear from the outset – we understand gift cards are part of our business. We also know that most of the people attending Employee Benefits Live already appreciate the value of reward and recognition.

But we struggled to find anyone who didn’t feel gift cards were an effective employee reward. Among the reasons were the choice of brands they offer, the simplicity of managing them and feedback from employees who found myriad ways of maximising their value – from helping them get big-ticket items they had been saving for to reducing the cost of their holidays, even using them to pay for the weekly shop or food for a party.

5: Flexibility is key

We all work with people who are diverse, inspiring and unique – and employee rewards need to reflect that. The leaders we spoke to at Employee Benefits Live told us that employing people with a diverse range of interests and motivations strengthens their business, but it can pose challenges when offering consistent, fair rewards to teams or individuals.

What we learned is that, from an employee engagement perspective, employers want to offer rewards that motivate performance and support a positive workplace culture. In many cases that includes something that supports employees who are managing the challenges of an inflating economy. Giving the gift of choice allows the recipient to decide how their reward can best benefit them.

And we were thrilled to find that so many visitors to the show were already using Love2shop in some form within their business – whether through employee discounts, by utilising our engagement platform or simply offering Love2shop Gift Cards, e-Gift Cards and vouchers as spontaneous rewards.

The stories we heard at Employee Benefits Live fit well with some of our findings in the Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023.

Available to download here, it explores why 5.5 million UK workers still feel undervalued and offers insights into what workers across the UK think about rewards and recognition and their impact on productivity.

Contact our expert team here to see how we can support your employee reward and recognition strategy through Love2shop.

Five unhappy workers at a Christmas Party

Is a bonus better than a Christmas party?

Christmas is the time of year when everyone looks to let their hair down – and everyone loves a works Christmas party… right?

Well, to a point. While many people in work get excited about the works Christmas ‘do’, others contemplate it with a quiet dread. There are even some who simply aren’t bothered.

And research supports that. A 2022 study by global workforce consultancy Resource Solutions found that in the UK only 37% of workers expect a Christmas party from their employer and of those who don’t, 42% would prefer a gift or bonus.

Reasons for not wanting a Christmas party included: not celebrating Christmas (11%), not wanting to socialise with colleagues (34%), or preferring to arrange something with close colleagues (30%).

Do people really not like Christmas parties?

Until the pandemic there had been an acceptance that extroverts ran the workplace – the go-getters, the self-starters, the risk-takers and the networkers.

While those attributes are still admired, remote working allowed individuals who are motivated differently to shine, highlighting the valuable contribution quieter workers can make.

As writer Jade McAndrew-Barlow put it: “Now, the calm consideration of introverts is having a moment. They are finally valued for all the wonderful things they contribute to the workplace.

“In all the rush and tumble, introverts take time to deliberate, assess and consider the little details and how they will inform the bigger picture. They bring a calming and reassuring presence.”

It’s estimated that between 25% and 40% of people are, to some degree, introverts. In other words, people who prefer a quieter life, both at work and in their spare time. For them, Christmas parties may be something to be endured rather than enjoyed.

In addition to that, the rich diversity of the UK workforce means that for a significant number of people, Christmas is simply not a relevant holiday. Different faiths have different key gifting and feasting moments to celebrate friendship and togetherness that mean more than Christmas.

Festive stress

The work Christmas party is an event that can cause even the more extroverted among us to take a deep breath.

With its excess of food and drink, sometimes loud, lewd and inappropriate behaviour that keep HR teams busy through January, the festive do is an obstacle course where the prize is often a sore head and some stories that will be heavily edited and recounted for 12 months until everyone is fed up hearing them.

Add to that the expense of buying a new outfit, hairdo, paying for taxis (and maybe even hotels) and suddenly, even if the employer is footing the bill for the party, the event can end up hitting workers in the pocket.

With the cost of living stubbornly rising, is it time to rethink the Christmas Party?

Say thanks – and mean it

So if we ditch the Christmas party how to we reward employees for their hard work this past year?

The challenges posed by the rising cost of living – high food and fuel prices and rising mortgage and energy costs – are getting worse. What your staff may really appreciate this time of year is a little bit of help with the cost of Christmas.

Love2shop’s Employee Value Report 2023 may hold the answer. The report surveys workers across the UK to find out how they feel about their employer and the impact of reward and recognition strategies.

One key finding in this year’s report was that 6-in-10 workers said receiving spontaneous gifts at key times of year, such as Christmas, from their employer made them feel valued.

In addition, 57% felt that days off, multi-retailer gift cards or flexible working were the best ways to reward staff.

And a huge 90% of workers said they felt more valued by their employer after receiving a multi-retailer gift card – such as Love2shop.

What’s interesting about that is, when asked what they would spend such a gift card on, 34% said it would help towards their weekly shop.

The increased cost of living effectively means that giving a gift card can help your employees with their day-to-day shopping – possibly freeing up additional money for them to spend on their families at Christmas.

What’s more, 57% of respondents also reported that their productivity increases when they feel valued.

So with people facing a challenging Christmas this year, instead of giving them an extra cost to worry about, why not make things a little easier for them with a Christmas gift?

Don’t be a Grinch

Rethinking the Christmas party isn’t an excuse to simply do away with any sort of festive cheer.

An astonishing 32.5% of UK employers were offered neither a bonus nor a party in 2022, according to research published by Employee Benefits Magazine.

And the Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023 found that 39% of people felt their employer was not generous at all. Indeed, when asked how does your employee show their generosity, as well as spontaneous gifting and organised team events there were also examples like: ‘providing biscuits’ and ‘giving shout-outs on conference calls’.

Employees who feel recognised and valued are happier, more productive and less likely to leave your business.

And gifting is easy thanks to HMRC’s Trivial Benefits provisions. This allows gift cards or e-codes up to the value of £50 to be given as gifts tax-free, with no national insurance contribution or paperwork – so there’s no excuse.

Let us help make Christmas special

Love2shop is one of the best known gifting brands in the UK. Available as a gift card, e-gift card or voucher, Love2shop is accepted by around 150 retailers.

These include well-known brands such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester and many more. Staff can even use Love2shop holidays to put vouchers towards a getaway with more than 150 leading tour operators.

The Love2shop Business team is here to help you get your Christmas gifting right. Love2shop offers a selection of fun festive card designs to choose from. You can even order personalised cards with your business branding on them, although you need to be quick as the deadline to order those is October 20.

Christmas parties can be a great part of the festive mix but if you really want your teams to feel valued and rewarded in an inclusive way this year, it’s worth considering a new approach.

Get in touch with our team today or visit business.love2shop.co.uk to find out how we can help.

Avoid the Christmas rush and plan your rewards now

Although it’s still August and the barbecue may be sizzling in the garden, Christmas is not that far away.

Now is exactly the right time to start planning how you want to recognise the hard work and achievements of your employees at the end of the year.

2023 has been another challenging year for both individuals and businesses across the UK. Although they’ve eased a little, energy prices remain high, helping fuel inflation, making goods and services across the board more expensive.

But thanks in large part to the hard work and imagination of their staff, companies and organisations are weathering the storm. UK employers are showing remarkable resilience through one of the toughest economic periods in decades.

Christmas is a great time to show employees that you appreciate their contribution – this year maybe more than ever. Many businesses typically wait until October, November or even later to start planning Christmas bonuses, gifts or parties for staff. But that old adage ‘it’s the thought that counts’ still holds true. It’s better to plan early and do it properly.

Don’t just give, make staff feel valued

Every savvy husband or wife knows a well-planned gift or surprise is worth a lot more than a bunch of flowers and a card from a petrol station grabbed at the last minute.

The same goes for gifting and rewarding employees. There are different ways employers can think about rewarding their teams this Christmas and, surprisingly, HMRC offers some help in this area.

The Trivial Benefits exemption allows you to give employees tax-free, non-cash gifts of up to £50 per person. So what kind of gifts are we talking about?

The best, most flexible way to give using this provision is gift cards or e-codes. The team at Love2shop Business are the experts in this area. For decades they have been working closely with more than 150,000 employers across multiple sectors, delivering gift card and contactless e-gift card products that allow you to give the gift of choice to your team.

Avoid the Christmas party pressure?

The traditional Christmas party is a festive staple but with the increased cost of living crisis still affecting everyone, would your employees thank you for giving it a miss?

While research from events experts Togather reveals that the average cost-per-head to a business for a works Christmas party is £70, there are deeper costs for your employees to consider.

Even if as an employer you plan to cover the entire cost of a meal, venue hire and drinks, your team will still face the cost of taxis or accommodation, outfits, and other additional expenditure they probably haven’t planned for. The rising cost of living means many find it harder to afford a big night out, so perhaps this year it’s worth looking at a different approach.

Small gifts, big rewards

In 2022, Love2shop published its first Employee Value Report following a UK-wide survey of workers. This found that almost 10m UK workers – around a third of the total workforce – felt undervalued at work.

This coincided with the rise of the phenomenon known as the Great Resignation’. This saw an increasing number of people willing to leave jobs where they didn’t feel appreciated or sufficiently well rewarded.

Consequently, a hefty 74% of dissatisfied employees, according to the study, were ready to up sticks and look for another job.

The good news, however, was that for those employers willing to give a little, the benefits were huge. The report found 76% of employees felt valued or recognised when their employer spontaneously gave them a gift, with 52% adding that the feeling of value it gave them made them more productive.

It also discovered that 60% of employees ranked days off, flexible working and multi-retailer gift cards as the best forms of workplace gifting. They are proven to be a powerful addition to any staff retention strategy.

Love2shop is one of the UK’s leading gifting brands. Offering, gift cards, contactless digital e-gift cards and physical vouchers, Love2shop products are accepted by around 150 retailers nationwide.

These include well-known brands such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester, Tui, Jet2Holidays and many, many more.

Bring some festive cheer

One of the more interesting aspects of the Employee Value Report was an insight into how people used their gift cards – with many putting them towards groceries.

Of course, most will still use them to purchase a treat for themselves or their loved one but it was a sign of the economic climate we are in that using gift cards to help offset the weekly food shop – or even their Christmas dinner!

So planning ahead to ensure your employee Christmas gifts are sorted soon means you can present them earlier. This will help your team plan to reduce the cost of Christmas and bring a whole new dimension to the ‘season of goodwill’. A gift card today is much more than just a token of appreciation. It can provide a lifeline at Christmas, a time of the year when many people find their finances squeezed.

Beat the rush

As we stated earlier, proper planning is essential when it comes to getting rewards right. The closer we get to Christmas, the more lead times and postal pressures can have an impact. There is also a level of expectation from employees today around workplace gifting and appreciation. According to Love2shop retailer Marks & Spencer: “As well as elevated business demands, employee expectations have increased, too.

“Staff are no longer content with a bottle of wine or box of chocolates from their employer at Christmas. They expect to be treated to thoughtful gifts regularly throughout the year – to reward performance, celebrate special occasions and ‘just because’.”

The Love2shop Business team are here to help. Start thinking about your Christmas rewards programme today, even if you are sat on the beach, and get in touch with our team to discuss our range of products and services.

The clock is ticking – the deadline to order Christmas gift cards featuring your own business branding or any personalised features is October 20.

Employers and managers are busy with what is happening today, of course. But that is all the more reason to plan our Christmas rewards in advance and ensure we don’t put ourselves under more pressure as the festive season approaches.

Rewards are a powerful motivator when it comes to productivity and staff retention. Give well thought-out rewards to your team and they are more likely to reward you with a motivated and driven workplace.

For more information or to contact the team visit business.love2shop.co.uk.

3 ways to maintain productivity if budgets get cut in 2023

With many HR professionals fearing budget cuts in 2023, how to keep stressed and struggling staff motivated so that your business comes through the recession strong is a real concern.

Across the UK economy, we are seeing workers take action because they are unhappy with their proposed pay awards – and a recent study shows that more discontent could be coming.

Budget cuts

According to a study by HR software company Personio, 55% of HR managers are expecting budget cuts in the coming months and 50% say their senior leadership team doesn’t prioritise employees.

These are worrying stats, as restricted budgets mean low or no pay rises or rewards – which has a direct impact on productivity.

Love2shop’ own research this year revealed that 52% of employees feel their output increases when they feel valued by their employer – so how can you maintain or increase productivity when faced with lower budgets?

Here are three tips to help maintain productivity during times of change and uncertainty.

Stockpile rewards

Rewards don’t have to be expensive to have a big impact – and some can be secured now to carry a company through until the next budget review.

Gift cards like Love2shop can be given as tax-free rewards up to the value of £50 per employee, and are a great way to show appreciation on an ad-hoc basis.

As the end of the financial year approaches, you can buy in gift cards in bulk now  so  if your business tightens the purse strings after April, you have enough  rewards to keep employees feeling motivated and valued well into 2023.

Don’t sacrifice the ‘Great Place to Work’ mentality

Everyone knows how the world of work changed through the pandemic, and hybrid models of working are more popular than ever. Keeping employees motivated and happy is not all about money, but ensuring they are happy.

When it comes to work culture, shifting again – either to a full work from home model to save office costs or a full office-based model to utilise your commercial space – is likely to have a negative impact on output.

In research conducted by employee review site Glassdoor, 58% of hybrid workers said their productivity was increased as a result of the working arrangements, while the same proportion said it had also helped them manage the cost of living crisis.

Give benefits that make a difference

From ‘office dog days’ to dress-down Fridays – some rewards and benefits just don’t cut it, especially in this current climate. Instead, look at other ways you can meaningfully benefit your workforce. For example, fresh fruit deliveries or ‘pizza Fridays’ have a real benefit by helping people save on food spend. Take that one step further and offer them an Everyday Benefits Card – a pre-payment card which offers a 7.5% discount on card loads and can be spent wherever Love2shop gift cards are accepted.

What’s more, employees can keep loading them up – always with the discount – to enjoy savings on everyday essentials all year round.

Want to make sure your business offers cost effective, meaningful employee benefits into 2023? Visit www.highstreetvouchers.com to find out more.

 Everyday Benefits Cards and Love2shop are flexecash products. Flexecash is the prepaid card platform that issues flexecash Love2shop Cards. This facility is provided by Park Card Services who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to issue electronic money. FRN: 900016.

Love2shop Cards are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and as such we may need to complete an electronic identity check.

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Employee rewards don’t have to be taxing

Rewards aren’t just for Christmas – with the cost of living likely to remain at historically high levels in 2023 employers can offer a helping hand to their staff all year round.

However, business owners and managers may be concerned about both the cost and the possible tax implications of employee rewards schemes. It’s an understandable fear but one that is easily allayed.

We are now in an ultra-competitive recruitment and retention market. The smartest employers recognise there is more to keeping people happy and productive than just the headline salary.

Hiring and keeping the best people is critical to both business continuity and bottom-line profitability.

Creating a positive working environment where people feel safe and engaged to learn and grow is a big part of it. And offering real and tangible rewards is also a fantastic way to help people feel valued. Not convinced? There’s plenty of up-to-date research to back this up.

This year, corporate rewards and employee recognition specialist Love2shop published its Employee Value Report 2022. It found 33% of all UK employees feel undervalued at work. It added that 74% of people said they would look for a new job if they felt undervalued.

So, rewarding your teams leads to higher productivity, better staff retention and increased profits. What’s not to like? You may be worried about the cost of giving, but consider the cost of not giving.

Love2shop are the experts in this field. They have an impressive track record stretching back 20 years – partnering with more than 150,000 businesses to provide rewards and recognition for both staff and customers.

Via the Love2shop physical and digital gift platform and the Everyday Benefits Card, Love2shop offers a suite of options and tailor-made reward programmes.

But what are the tax implications for you and your employees, including those claiming in- work benefits? Rewards can have implications for tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) but there are exemptions.

Here are the facts from the experts at Love2shop…

 Remember the basics

  • Under HMRC’s ‘Trivial Benefits’ scheme a non-cash voucher (one that can only be exchanged for goods and services) up to the value of £50 is tax-free.
  • Non-cash vouchers are not considered as earnings when it comes to calculating Universal Credit

This last point is particularly important for firms that want to reward ‘gig economy’ workers that may operate on a freelance or casual basis. For example, a private hire taxi firm whose drivers are self-employed but who also claim Universal Credit.

HMRC’s Trivial Benefits rules are easy to understand and well worth knowing. As above, a non-cash voucher up to the value of £50 is tax-free.

However, to qualify for the exemption it cannot be a reward for service or recognition of employment. It cannot be included as a contractual obligation and there can be no expectation from an employee it will be offered.

Typical examples could be a voucher to recognise a cultural or religious festival such as Christmas, Diwali or Eid. It could be a voucher given to an employee for a celebration such as a birthday, wedding or new baby. Or perhaps for someone who is unwell.

Most importantly in this tough economic environment, the tax-free exemption applies when an employer wants to support their teams amid the cost of living crisis. This allows the opportunity to provide a lifeline in terms of vouchers for essentials such as food.

And it is vital employers are aware the exemption is not available for rewards that incentivise work performance such as meeting sales targets or to an ‘employee of the month’.

Long service rewards

Many employers like to offer rewards for long-serving team members and HMRC offers an exemption for precisely that scenario. It is useful to know that such a reward could be worth up to £1,000.

To meet the criteria, it must be in recognition of at least 20 years’ service and the employee must not have received a long service award in the previous 10 years. The value of the voucher can be no more than £50 for each year. Which means a 20-year service award could be worth up to £1,000.

Annual events

There are also HMRC exemptions covering annual events – this may typically cover a Christmas party or a summer barbeque. To qualify for the exemption, the event must be annual and has to be open to all employees.

The total cost per head can be no more than £150 (VAT inclusive) and, is it vital to note, this figure is the figure per year not per event. So if you held both a Christmas party and summer barbeque the combined aggregate value must be no more than £150 per head.

PAYE Settlement Agreements

So, we have learned about the £50 voucher limit and the other exemptions. But it is important to bear in mind that rewards or vouchers outside of those exemptions are considered taxable earnings by HMRC.

Employers would ordinarily report the face value of the voucher on the employees Form P11D so it can be recovered by HMRC by adjusting the tax code or via a self-assessment tax return. NICs are also payable on the vouchers during the pay period they are issued.

However, the good news from Love2shop is that there is another way in which employers can minimise the tax liability of their employees and avoid reducing the value of the rewards.

Employers can choose to enter into what is called a PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) with HMRC to settle the tax and NIC on behalf of their employees.

This is a binding agreement with HMRC whereby an employer agrees to settle the tax and NICs of its employee. It covers benefits that are considered “minor or irregular” or where it is considered impractical to operate PAYE.

HMRC generally considers non-cash vouchers to be irregular and allows them to be included on a PSA.

An Employer can apply to HMRC for a PSA by setting out in writing the benefits which they want to include and also the tax year in which they wish the PSA to start. The address is:

PAYE Settlement Agreements HM Revenue and Customs BX9 2AN

PSAs are what is known as “enduring agreements”. This means they will remain in place indefinitely until an employer formally cancels the arrangement. If you have a PSA agreement already in place that doesn’t include non-cash vouchers you will need to contact HMRC to amend the agreement.

You will need to undertake calculations to work out the tax and NIC due under the PSA. This is calculated on a grossed up basis which can be a complex calculation. Before making any agreement you must contact HMRC or your own tax advisor to discuss how this will affect your business specifically.

Rewards for non-employees

Giving vouchers to non-employees, as per the example above – a taxi firm with self- employed drivers – will also see them liable to tax and NIC payments – although if they are claiming Universal Credit, they will not affect how that is calculated.

Similar to the PSA, an employer can enter into what is known as a Taxed Award Scheme (TAS) with HMRC.

Under the TAS you can select to pay tax on behalf of the individuals at either basic rate (20%) or higher rate (40%) tax. The tax will be due on the grossed-up value of the vouchers provided. To set up a TAS contact:

HMRC Incentive Award Unit

National Insurance Contributions & Employer Office Revenue & Customs


Telephone number – 0300 200 3200

Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Love2shop, explained that he and his team has the necessary know-how to quickly and simply set up an employee rewards scheme.

“The benefits of rewarding employees are clear in terms of increased productivity and retention. But this impact is enhanced by exceptions that enable rewards to be provided to employees with no tax and National Insurance burden for the recipient,” he said.

“Furthermore, Love2shop rewards and the Everyday Benefits Card offer a straightforward route in helping you to help your employees cope with a cost of living crisis that isn’t going away any time soon.

“We have all the expertise to help you set up a reward programme which can integrate seamlessly into your business processes and be delivered for a relatively low cost.

“Our Everyday Benefits Card offers a 7.5% discount to employees on their day to day spending. It can also help with larger one-off purchases. We have calculated the average family can save more than £1,300 a year via the card.

“We can deliver it swiftly to your employees at their workplace or even their home. There has never been a better time to start rewarding those people who are vital to the wellbeing of your business.”


This article is published solely for informational purposes. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed as, financial advice. It has no regard to the specific financial situation or needs of any person or business. Before taking any decisions related to business investment or tax, you should seek independent financial advice.

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Experts explain clear benefits of employee and customer rewards

 Families across the UK could save a whopping £1,300 a year on their everyday spending if employers rolled out reward schemes to their staff.

 That was one of the revelations that came out of a webinar organised by leading corporate rewards and vouchers business Love2shop. An audience of businesspeople heard how rewarding their staff would lead to a happier, more productive workforce and a thriving business. 

 The Success Through Adversity webinar featured a number of expert speakers outlining how employers could help people within their organisations weather the worst cost of living crisis in a generation. 

 Increasing positive engagement through rewards 

 Love2shop offers several options for employers looking to reward and incentivise both staff and customers. For a relatively low cost and simple set-up, products such as the Everyday Benefits Card and the Love2shop Engagement Platform can help transform a business. This is in addition to the range of Love2shop gift cards, e-gift cards and vouchers that have been used by businesses for staff and employee rewards for many years. 

 Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at Love2shop, explained how Love2shop has been used by millions of people for 30 years and can be a key tool for businesses looking for efficient ways to offer rewards. 

 “Vouchers, gift cards and e-gift cards help businesses of all sizes across multiple sectors attract and retain both employees and customers,” said Frank. “Love2shop has supported organisations from the NHS to care homes, professional services, manufacturers, financial services and every size of business from small to FTSE-100s.
 They all have the same need: to reward, engage and incentivise people. Research has shown that if employees are rewarded, they are more likely to be engaged and productive and that is a win-win.” 

 Supporting employees through economic challenges
 Addressing the cost of living crisis, Frank explained that it was more important than ever to support their staff through what is a very worrying period. 

 “From speaking to businesses we know they are keen to support their people. Fortunately, we do have the products and services to help employers support their staff at this time,” he added. 

 Frank outlined how the Everyday Benefits Card could make a real tangible difference to people’s lives. It covers many leading high street and online brands included in the Love2shop platform. 

 He said: “It is a real solution for employers who want to support their staff during the cost of living crisis. The way it works is very straightforward. 

 “It’s a prepaid card that allows employees to load funds at a 7.5% discount. It can then be spent in 90+ high-street stores that are part of Love2shop. It also opens up access to discounts on selected supermarket gift card loads, which employees pay directly from their debit card and which can reduce the cost of their essential spending.  

 “With Christmas coming it can also help with one-off purchases. We have calculated the average family can save more than £1,300 a year via the Everyday Benefits Card. 

 “It can be used for everyday essentials, meals, days out or bigger purchases such as holidays and we can offer employers a free trial card if they get in touch.” 

 Keeping hold of talented employees 

 Love2shop recently published its Employee Value Report, a revealing snapshot of the level of worker happiness across the economy. It made for stark reading for employers. It calculated that across the UK 10m employees felt undervalued by their employers with eight out of 10 seeking a new job elsewhere. 

 “It is well worth a read,” added Frank. “It shows how rewards and recognition are now more crucial than ever. An engaged employee is more productive and will generate more profit.” 

Love2shop Engagement Platform is an online tool which offers a relatively low-cost way of implementing and managing an employee and customer rewards and incentive schemes. It’s flexible, so businesses can choose either an off-the-shelf platform or have one tailored to the specific needs of their business. 

 Many employers are concerned about both the costs and logistics of setting up a rewards programme as they believe it may be too time-consuming and expensive. 

 “They have to be able to show a return on investment,” said Jamie Clarke, head of the Love2shop Engagement Platform. “Our platform manages most of the administration and monitoring of a reward scheme for the client.  

“We offer a modular approach with a platform offering all the functionality required to get any incentive, loyalty or employee recognition scheme up and running super-fast with lower costs. It is simple to use and we can work with employers to tailor the platform should they need to.” 

 As well as employee engagement, Jamie talked about how Love2shop can also help with customer retention. He referred to Love2shop’s relationship with Brakes, which is one of the UK’s biggest wholesalers to the hospitality industry. 

Using the Love2shop Engagement Platform, Brakes customers were offered a blend of discounts, cashback, charitable opportunities and Love2shop rewards as part of the ‘Help for Hospitality’ campaign in 2021. 

 It was such a success it was awarded Best Channel Partner Programme at the 2021 Incentive Awards. 12 months later, Love2shop has just retained that award for their work with another client – Buildbase.  

 “Implementing a programme does not have to be complex,” added Jamie. “Once we understand your needs we can project-manage everything. We deploy modules to help you set goals and targets and generate automatic communications. 

“We also have mechanisms for data exchange. It means you can input raw data into the platform and it will crunch the numbers. It can take anything between four to 12 weeks to implement and ultimately these schemes pay for themselves – they deliver results and a strong return on investment.” 

 Those attending the webinar also heard from former England football international Jill Scott MBE. The ‘Lioness’ told the audience how critical reward and motivation was in sport. 

 Also speaking was Rebecca Stevens, a business psychologist and founder of Work Brighter. She has worked with hundreds of businesses and leaders across multiple sectors. 

 She told the webinar that creating motivation and engagement was a common topic when she spoke to business leaders  

 “People have intrinsic motivations, such as satisfaction and pride about a job well done and extrinsic motivations, such as a promotion or a pay rise. Extrinsic things can help reinforce behaviour and we need to move towards a positive reinforcement of the behaviours we want to see in a very personalised way.”

Referring to the Love2shop Employee Value Report, Rebecca said the finding that 75% of people believing that companies that offer rewards were more likely to attract a better calibre of employee did not surprise her, adding: “The reward strategy has to have an individualised aspect to really work.” 

 Concluding the webinar, Julian Coghlan, Love2shop’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, said: “Not only is reward and recognition a key element of any successful business model, it is also crucial to the morale and loyalty of individuals. We are here to help… we can offer a real benefit to your business in the current economic climate.” 

 Everyday Benefits cards and Love2shop Cards are flexecash products. flexecash is the prepaid card platform that issues flexecash Love2shop Cards. This facility is provided by Park Card Services who are Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to issue electronic money. FRN: 900016.  

Love2shop Cards are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and as such we may need to complete an electronic identity check. 

Physical Love2shop vouchers, Love2shop e-gift cards and reward codes and Love2shop Holidays gift cards are not regulated by the FCA. 

Read our previous blogs…

What is customer acquisition
50 Employee Perks
What is customer acquisition