This special webinar session features guest expert Joel Tobias, HR and Loyalty rewards expert and Director of Alliances at Perkbox, where we’ll cover the latest industry insights on employee rewards, recognition, and loyalty programs.
Watch the show for:
- 2023 research overview and survey findings (01:28)
- Key insights on rewards employees actually want and how to keep them engaged (05:50)
- How to improve your HR & loyalty rewards program (11:56)
- Perkbox’s Case Study (20:13)
► Read the full transcript of this webinar below.
► Runa Network Changelog: Stay up-to-date on new gift card brands and payout types to the Runa Network.
Kristen Kenner 0:00
All right, folks, we have a full webinar today.
That's jam packed with goodies.
So we're gonna kick it off right now.
So, hi, everyone and welcome to our Runa session on the 2023 State of HR Rewards and Employee Recognition.
We're really, really excited to be bringing this webinar and content to you all today.
It's really full of great actionable insights and I think you'll all walk away having learned something new and informative to add into your HR programs.
So without further ado, I'm gonna present our presenters today.
First up, we have Brendan Miller who's the Chief Marketing Officer here at and then we're also joined with our special guest, Joel Tobias, who's an Employee Benefits and Rewards Industry Expert with a wealth of expertise and the Director of Alliances at PerkBox today. We're gonna learn a lot from both Joel and Brendan.
So without further ado Brendan, I'm gonna pass it on over to you to jump into our agenda and get us started.
Brendan Miller 0:53
Thanks Kristen and Joel, thanks for joining us and really excited to dive into some of these results with you that we have. So we have a quick agenda.
We're gonna try to keep this short and hit some of the highlights and the key points.
So of the research that we completed, we'll do a little bit of an overview of PerkBox as well towards the end and do some key takeaways and some Q and A as well, I believe.
So, looking forward to getting into this with you just a little bit about the research, the methodology. We call it the 2023 State Of Employee Rewards and Recognition was the name of the report.
2023 Research Overview and Survey Findings
We conducted the research in March of 2023.
We did it amongst Germany, UK and US. There was nearly 700 participants.
It was an online survey.
All of the participants were full-time or part-time employees and they were employed at the time we, we asked the survey.
So let's get into some of the results.
And so the first key finding was rewards are key to retention.
And that may seem like an obvious key finding if you're in this business, but if you're somebody that is looking at purchasing a rewards and recognition system, you've got to make the case to your superiors.
And we have some data, I think that can help support that.
First off, 62% of employees said rewards are important to stay in their decision to stay with an employer.
And it was, we tend to look at the, the extremely important because these are the most passionate users.
And in Germany, it was 13% said that they were extremely important. In the US much higher.
34% said extremely important, but overall 62%.
And as we went further into the data. We saw this data point that said employees have low complete satisfaction with their rewards that they're getting from their, their employers.
And we really focused in again on this, completely satisfied on this one as well because chances are, if you're somewhat satisfied or somewhat dissatisfied, you're pretty apathetic.
You're getting a free gift, a bonus, a reward and you're not gonna say chances are you're, you're completely dissatisfied with, with that reward you're getting because it was a bonus, it was free, right?
So, and we know that people that are completely satisfied are just gonna be more loyal anyway.
So overall 30% less than 20% in the UK.
In fact, the US is actually interesting here.
They kind of stick out.
46% of employees said they were, they were completely satisfied. So much higher in the US.
So Joel, I wanna go to you on this one and just say, you know, is there, is there a disconnect?
Do you, is there a disconnect between the employer who's giving the reward and the employee who's, who's receiving the reward on a lot of these cases.
Joel Tobias 3:55
Yeah, we, excuse me, we talked about this, a little bit, didn't we the other day?
And I think that my, my view on this stat is that there is perhaps a combination of, impersonal rewards being distributed.
So if you take an I, if you take impersonal rewards or rewards that people simply didn't want or need, combine that perhaps with how to navigate catalogs of rewards or how to navigate programs or even, seeing rewards that are perhaps unattainable and you, you combine those things, I think that they are probably the, the, the drivers of that disconnect.
Brendan Miller 4:38
And so what, what do employers have to do?
How can, is, is there a way that they can fill that gap?
Joel Tobias 4:47
Yeah, I think, I think it starts with freedom and choice of rewards.
I think that's where it starts.
I think, you know, assuming that somebody wants or likes or needs a particular reward and issuing them that reward on a, on a, on an assumption is it's not dangerous but it, but it doesn't set the scene correctly.
And I think if you start with freedom and choice of, of a selection of rewards, that's probably the best starting point and then listening to employees what they want, listen to what they want and make sure that you put it in place.
Brendan Miler 5:28
So knowing your knowing your audience right is always important.
I'm gonna talk more about that one and then, by choice giving, giving, employees, broad, a broad choice of rewards and making it easy to, to, to earn those rewards, through the process that they're not unattainable.
Joel Tobais 5:46
Brendan Miller 5:48
Well, the other key finding, that, that we highlight we saw is that digital gift cards are popular reward choices, at least in the countries that we surveyed here.
And we, we asked the gamut of types of rewards that, that employees could earn.
And we asked them about different categories of gift cards.
We asked about subscriptions, even shares of stock gaming points, crypto donations to organizations and even NFT s, right?
We went, we went to full gamma here to see what would trigger employee interest and, and what they were receiving as well.
And you can see here on the green, what was received, what was preferred and gift cards overall kind of bubbled to the top.
I think what was more interesting here was what that, that there were some localization differences.
And this, this slide here is a little bit of an eye chart, but I'll walk you through it.
There we did see some, some differences country to country.
And so in the UK, rewards received and preferred gift cards to specific retailers and stores, gift cards to restaurants came in second gift cards to experiences.
Entertainment came in third as far as received and preferred.
And then here in the center, Germany a little bit different.
Yes, gift cards to specific retailers and stores was the highest received and and preferred.
Then second place discounts bubbled here which was, I thought, interesting.
So special discounts on products or services was something Germans wanted and received more of.
And then moving over to the US rewards received gift cards from Visa Mastercard was, was the highest 16% that said that was their most preferred.
And if you look to the next one, gift cards for specific retailers to source those closed loop cards versus open loop here begins to appear but it's interesting if, if you're employer sending Visa MasterCards great option, but you may you may be paying extra to do that and a close the card may, may do the trick actually for most of your employees.
So something to keep in mind.
But I guess just overall Joel, what, what, what was your take on this gift cards?
Still still a popular choice overall?
Joel Tobias 8:10
Yeah, I kind of went into the markets that you, that you picked here and I I figured that with these three particular markets knowing how well served they are with digital gift cards.
I think that just kind of tips a a nod to, to, to the why perhaps if you think about the breadth of gift cards available, particularly in the US through programs, through reward programs.
You're almost sure that it's gonna cover almost all needs from grocery to, apparel to, you know, technology and everything in between.
And so if you think about that it, is it unsurprising?
Brendan Miller 8:56
So maybe if we were to look at some other markets, where gift cards were not more part of the economy, You might see something a little bit different there, you know, as, as I, as we put this survey together, we had, we're, we're looking at some data that said consumers who are participating in crypto or N F T programs would like to see rewards and incentives as part of their loyalty and employee programs.
And we, we've seen that data out there.
It didn't necessarily come out in this, this data here that we saw, I think I think that, that, that these are, these have potential and I think when you're looking at your audience and you know your demographics and that for instance, if you have high net worth audience that you're trying to target maybe fractional shares or crypto who they want to store that, that value.
And so they're not, they don't necessarily need to spend it.
So I guess as you and, and then the other piece here that the obvious piece is that there needs to be some localization customization as well to your audience.
And, and so I guess as, as you guys at PerkBox, think about this.
I, how do you, how do you think about those demographic and, and, and geographic desires of and how do you get that intel?
And how do you guys go about doing that?
Joel Tobias 10:21
It's a very interesting question when we've talked a lot about and one that continues to be a a conversation over here.
And I think, I don't think there's a perfect answer to this question.
Actually, I think it's a mixture of listening to customers, listening to prospect customers as well.
What's their feedback?
What do they want to see?
What are their local employees actually care about?
What do they want to see?
How do you source it and how do you put it in place?
That's a separate question, a separate conversation altogether, but start with the knowledge, partner with people that have local knowledge is always a good starting point as well
to feed in because I think being, being in a business that's scaled the global rewards platform in practically every country in the world.
You know, we're still listening to feedback from customers in certain markets telling us, hey, you don't have this.
We'd love to see that actually be great if we could have this and that is constant, that's never gonna stop.
Brendan Miller 11:35
And, and just to plug for now, we, we can we have that data a lot of times across our platform and and we can we can see what the consumers are using and and different geographies as well on our platform and can help provide some of that.
So yeah, yeah.
So another key finding was employee digital rewards and recognition systems are in my book, were still not ubiquitous.
So when I looked at this data, I thought, oh great opportunity for companies like PerkBox and companies like Runa to support that.
And nearly half of the employee rewards they're receiving are still physically delivered rather than digitally.
And they, and we asked about how employee programs are administered.
And it was kind of pretty even across the entire all the different geographies.
And so a lot of employees said that they were physically handed gift card or some type of reward by their HR manager or by, by their manager.
Another 50% or so said that it was via some type of automated system which, which is good, but there's still a gap there.
Like there's a lot of opportunity.
And we also asked about sort of on demand systems like, can you, can you, I bonus employees or your colleagues or on demand?
Is there a system to do that integrated into kind of the overall system that's still kind of low?
So the first thing I saw here is that there's a gap, there's opportunity.
You and I were talking about this the other day and I thought you made a really interesting point was that–there is a room, there is a space for physical rewards.
There is some occasions where employees may want to receive a physical gift and that it's not always in a digital world.
So I don't know, maybe talk a little bit more about that.
That was really interesting.
Joel Tobias 13:28
Yeah, I was thinking about it earlier as well.
Those those use cases for actually this, this statistic around people being handed literally with a handshake, a reward.
You know, under what circumstances are these things happening?
Is it in reviews, one on one reviews, is it happening in town halls or, you know, all hands type scenarios award ceremonies that those types of events really lend themselves very well to the handing of a physical reward.
And then I got thinking about what, what about remote first companies?
What about companies with globally dispersed teams?
How does that play out?
And so I think it comes full circle to, to, to digital.
Brendan Miller 14:14
Yeah, I think so.
Joel Tobias 14:15
I think, I think it has to.
Brendan Miller 14:16
Yeah, the, the shipping on a Weber grill is not cheap but when it goes across the border.
Joel Tobias 14:23
Brendan Miller 14:25
Joel Tobias 14:26
Also very hard to give somebody a web of grill in the office.
Brendan Miller 14:32
I, I question on just overall.
and maybe you can talk a little bit about PerkBox or just your industry background here about how, how did these, especially if somebody's looking at investing in a system, a a program for their, for the company, how does this integrate overall with their other H C M platforms, hr management systems that, that they may be running?
Joel Tobias 15:01
So we, we've seen integrations with HR A S providers being very well received because what it does is it reduces the administrative burden for the hr the central hr function, the administer the administrator of say PerkBox or PerkBox like solution and their hr system having them separate is just doubling up on effort.
So if you can integrate the two, which we do and many others do, you're gonna save that person a lot of time.
and headaches allowing employees to then seamlessly move between systems is a whole different, that's a whole different ball game that single sign on and ends with full integration.
Brendan Miller 15:56
And are, are most of the HCM platforms that are out there now?
The, the APA ones are, are, are they are they did, did they have I'm assuming they have API S that, that can connect and, and, and make that, that transition and the user experience more simple.
Joel Tobias 16:15
When I think of integrations, I think about reducing the, the headache and the pain for the, for the hr that, that's where I primarily start when I think about integrations.
because I, you know, administering a reward and recognition program or a benefits program and taking care of your core software for your organization.
If, if you don't have to think twice, that's gonna save you many hours.
Brendan Miller 16:45
So what just one last data point here from highlights of the research and this was establishing a rewarding a reward cadence and trying to optimize your program for consistency of rewards.
And that employees saw benefit of this and we saw that over 20% of employees state that the rewards were not given regularly, that some were given quarterly, some were given annually.
21% said, said not, not regularly.
And, and I, I gotta think that if it's, there's more consistency in the program that there's gonna be higher satisfaction and higher loyalty with the and usage, I, I guess are there ways that whether it's PerkBox or generally in the industry that you see systems supporting a, a regular cadence or they can, they can help trigger more consistency, I guess across giving rewards.
Joel Tobias 17:50
I was, I was thinking about this earlier and I, I kind of came back to this concept of, of, of rewarding and recognizing employees not being a box tick exercise and actually building a culture of appreciation.
I think that's where it starts because if you, if you only recognize slash reward individuals on a annual basis, like that's, that's sort of saying, oh, we have to do this.
We gotta, you know, here we go.
Let's who, who are we gonna reward this time around, right?
But if you have a, a complete culture of appreciation where culturally you are embedding recognition into your kind of mantra of DNA, it becomes the norm and it doesn't become for show.
And I think that's where you move from, doing grand gestures annually to little and often and meaningful, frequently.
Brendan Miller 18:54
Yeah, there's a, there's a term in the loyalty industry, surprise or retail industry, surprise and delight.
And I think that rule applies here as well is that, to, to generate that consistency, if you can use those, use the system and use those opportunities to surprise and delight people that you'll, you'll drive that traction with them.
Joel Tobias 19:15
And I think, I think if a, if an organization has gone to the, to the length of putting in, say, a recognition system within its organization, what it, what it will enable that business to do is, is to highlight and identify unsung heroes, people's soft skills stuff that perhaps you wouldn't necessarily observe day to day.
Then the question becomes a, OK.
Now we know all of this about these people and we know that they're actually adding huge value outside of their day job.
What do we, how do we tie that to a reward system?
And you, you can't do that half baked.
I think you've got to really want to invest in, culturally, invest in that.
Brendan Miller 20:04
Well, I have some more questions for you.
We're gonna save, I'm gonna save one of those through the, through the Q and A.
But, I wanted to talk, I wanted to give you the opportunity for, I think we, you're, you're one of our star customers.
And you, you guys have done tremendous things in growing cross border and growing globally.
And I think, I think it's now 80 countries that you guys can service and, and so I wanted to give you the opportunity to talk a little bit about that, but also kind of your broader offering and some of the things that, that you guys do.
Joel Tobias 20:40
Sure, thank you.
So, yeah, we, we've been on a journey at PerkBox.
We've you know, been on a journey from being a domestic perks and benefits platform through to being a global and borderless rewards recognition platform.
We have users in over 80 countries, but we actually can serve companies anywhere in the world.
And that's not been easy, but what's been really interesting is the role that gift cards, digital gift cards have played throughout the, well, certainly the, the amount of time I've been with the business gift cards have been very prevalent throughout the platform.
Whether it's through the perks product and still very much a big part of that today.
And leveraging all of that content to pivot into global rewards was truly very exciting because the sheer volume as we've seen of, of content available to us and therefore our customers and their employees is is very relevant.
Brendan Miller 21:49
Well, just to highlight this, this was some highlights on our, on this research.
You can find the full report on our website runa.io.
You can learn about how supports companies like PerkBox.
If you go to the resource center, you'll find the state of employee rewards and recognition.
If loyalty is more your jam, we have a full full study on the state of loyalty rewards as well so that you'll find that both of those reports under our resource center on our website.
So, Kristen, before we head to the Q and A I think you have a couple updates for us.
And so I'm gonna turn it back over to you.
Kristen Kenner 22:36
Thank you Brendan and thank you Joel.
This was a really, really great presentation.
And to wrap us up, we do have a couple of ways for you guys to always get in touch with us and stay up to date with what we're working on.
So we do have our network and change logs, page that are completely live and updated very regularly that you guys can see all the new brands and payout types that have been added to our platform as well as you know, you can always connect with your account manager to discuss any options for your hr program or any other questions that may come up as well.
Our AM team is really, really responsive and kind of you guys is back and call just hoping to make your all happy with all that we have to offer.
And from here, I think we're just gonna slide into questions with our remaining five minutes.
I do have a couple of questions that have been pinged to me in the chat.
But Brendan, if there are any that are top of mind for you or same for you Joel that you guys want to cover, we can do that as well.
Brendan Miller 23:26
Yeah, the, the we, we'll jump into those, I guess to, to kick things off the one question or first question I had for, for Joel was what are some of the key features and functionalities that distinguish so sort of a, a robust rewards and recognition system from, from others?
Who when you look at best in class what are the top three or four things that you would look for versus something that it's not best in class?
I start with having a consumer grade experience not just for the employee but for the employer and managers using the system.
Because if you think about it, nobody's gonna want to adopt and really use a clunky hard to navigate painful system.
So consumer grade experience is where I think you need to start.
Obviously, content is key because if you don't have the correct content like we've talked about, you can look great but doesn't do.
There's no engine in the Ferrari.
You're not going anywhere.
And I think if you bring those two together, you're gonna stand out, aren't you?
Versus, versus anybody else?
And good technology obviously not.
Brendan Miller 24:57
Kristen, what do you got for us?
Kristen Kenner 25:01
We do have another question that just popped up.
This is to you Joel from Lorenzo. Joel.
The question is, what's your take on earned wage access?
Have you ever thought of implementing this specific type of employee benefit on your platform?
Joel Tobias 25:14
I don't, I don't know if that was a trick question, but we, we just enhanced a partnership with, with a provider of earned wages, a provider of earned wage access.
So we're, we're actually very excited by the concept of earned wage access as an employee benefit.
It's not a vertical that we've ever got involved in particularly, but we know that many, many of our customers really love and appreciate having and wage access as a benefit.
So, we have a partner in that space now and I'm looking forward to see it's very new.
So not coming with any data here, but we're looking forward to, to seeing how it plays out.
Brendan Miller 26:02
Yeah, I, I, I agree.
I think this is an area as it was.
I think about closed loop, opportunities that, not, not necessarily, set, doesn't necessarily have to be, a, a payroll to their bank account for earned wage access.
And I think there is opportunity that's not exploited yet in the industry to put potentially closed loop incentives or, or rewards or gift cards into people's account as a earned wage access, early access to, to, to their pay and to, to a consumer who wants, who needs that ahead of time, to get a gift card to wherever they shop most frequently or where they buy gas more frequently.
It could be just as valuable as getting money or even more valuable potentially and then getting money into a bank account.
Joel Tobias 26:56
Yeah, on, on the top, on the topic of, of this, I think knowing what I, I'm not an expert in this vertical but knowing what I know, it's extremely prevalent in certain industries.
So for instance, hospitality retail, frontline work very, very meaningful.
I'd be, I'm very interested generally to see how earn wage access expands into other sectors and industries that perhaps it hasn't yet reached almost in a way disrupting the norm of when we get paid.
Brendan Miller 27:36
And how we get paid, it doesn't have to be, doesn't have to be a deposit in my bank account.
Joel Tobias 27:42
And it doesn't have to be at the end of every month.
Who said that?
Kristen Kenner 27:49
I think we might have time for one more.
Super quick question.
This one came from an anonymous attendee, but it says how important is offering discounts slash offers alongside the gift cards as an ongoing benefit?
Joel Tobias 28:03
Can you say the question again?
How important is it to offer discounts and offers alongside gift cards as an ongoing benefit?
Joel Tobias 28:13
I'm gonna give you a very biased answer because we at PerkBox, we, we do and it's a very big part of our benefits platform.
Excuse me, part of our benefits offering and perks offering where we, we allow, we allow end users employees of, of companies with PerkBox to purchase digital gift cards in real time with a discount attached.
And it's, you know, very big revenue line that we drive to our merchant partners annually.
So very biased answer.
I think it's critically important.
Kristen Kenner 28:51
Thank you Joel and Brandon again.
Any other questions guys, as always, feel free to reach out to your account managers and we'll make sure that we get Brendan and Joel's expertise and respond to you.
But thank you again for attending this special room session.
As always, we will hold these every month.
So please be on the lookout for our June session.
An invite will be forthcoming and you'll also be able to find that in our customer newsletter.
So thank you all again, we really appreciate your time.
Enjoy the rest of your days.