Redefining an employee rewards program

Industry: Transportation and Logistics
Employees: 1,000+

Our transportation and logistics client was not finding its existing employee rewards program to be very “rewarding”. They tasked our team to craft a unique solution to their daunting problem while keeping their employees’ needs in mind.

Management performed a detailed assessment of the existing program and came to determine that of all the rewards options available to employees, most of the rewards money was being used for everyday items and specifically gift cards. The conclusion? Rather than give employees "things" as their rewards, it decided to give them "cash" - money they could use to determine which things make the most sense to them. Armed with that concept, this employer turned to us to talk about the "how".

As the company's existing Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) administrator, we had already been delivering a well received card-based solution to employees. We proposed leveraging that same system to introduce a rewards card that would be issued to employees and loaded with funds based on data provided by the employer. The funds vary by person and based on the actions they have taken to earn more money. While in many cases various types of spending accounts can be stacked onto the same card, the nature of this spending warranted introducing and releasing a specially branded "Cash" card to all eligible employees. This population was much larger than the enrolled HSA and FSA populations. Different than a prepaid health benefits card, this "cash" (VISA) card would allow for widespread purchasing power. A decision was made at the client level to restrict purchases of gasoline due to overspending concerns tied to merchant-level POS limitations.

The setup of the arrangement would allow us and the client to fully understand how monies were moving into and out of these accounts. Just as with the FSA and HSA programs, cardholders could use our convenient portal or the myFlexDollars mobile app to monitor their funds.

With the program now conceptualized and configured, our attention then turned to rollout and employee communication. A comprehensive, multi-channel communications strategy was developed and executed to ensure employees fully understood when, why and how the rewards program was going to change. The launch was orchestrated to fall just in advance of the Christmas holiday (December 1) so as to ensure employees had program funds availability in time for the holidays. Our Contact Center staff was trained on the new program and positioned in advance to assist employees with the change.

A total of $93,000 cash rewards (VISA) cards have been released within the program's first six months. To date, employees have used the program to make $49,000 in purchases derived from the rewards money the earned.

Management is extremely satisfied with the new program and its ability to align with the organization's philosophy while allowing for full control over how monies make their way into and out of the program and removing administrative burden from the HR/Benefits staff. HR/Benefits management is equally satisfied for these reasons and because the solution did not require it to have to bring a new and unproven service provider into the mix. Tying it all together is the custom developed, ongoing reporting package that management uses to ensure proper tax handling and to monitor both the program spend and forfeiture rate to ensure the program is running in a fiscally sound manner.