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Why join My Staff Shop?

There’s a lot of buzz around employee benefits platforms, but if you cut through the noise, what are the actual perks on offer? 2023 data from The Business Blocks has shown that more than half of employees surveyed would leave their jobs to pursue jobs with better benefits.

While it would be ideal to give everyone a significant pay rise and offer copious paid holiday days, realistically most businesses do not run this way. Benefits seem like the route to take then, right? But what will you get back from using My Staff Shop in your workplace? Let’s break down some of the perks…

Helping employees save

With the cost of living crisis and inflation causing financial strain for most people, offering perks that can ease money worries is a game changer. A key benefit that your people will have access to through My Staff Shop is exclusive discounts and savings for a multitude of high street shops and the top UK supermarkets. By saving money here and there, your employees can also choose to use our digital currency of Reward Beans to save for a holiday or even contribute to an ISA.

There are also the more fun financial perks, such as our exciting monthly lottery that helps save a bit of pocket change on that weekly lottery ticket, and the Dutch Auction-style Price Drop could get you an amazing saving on something you were already considering purchasing.

Prioritising health and wellbeing

We are big on both physical and mental health, so providing staff with wellbeing support, physical health digital platforms and discounts, and Reward Beans when using nutritional support are just a few of the health benefits we give.

You can also choose to add-on My Health Xtras to your benefits package for insurance, private health services, treatments not available on the NHS, and financial assistance in the event of a hospital stay.

Having an EAP there for support

Employee Assistance Programmes can offer a safety net and that extra level of help beyond what may be accessible in the workplace. From counselling to financial advice and legal resources, there are services in place for when there are obstacles that employees need help overcoming.

Around 88% of UK employers use an EAP, and although not every single employee may use it, having it there for when times are difficult can be a huge weight off the shoulders.

Opportunities for growth and learning

Feeling like there is no progression or development can be a killer when it comes to passion and enjoyment, both generally and professionally. Learning and Development within the workplace should be taken seriously, as there are so many skills that are transferable.

Whether it’s a digital skill or management mentorship, there are heavily discounted courses through My Staff Shop. Even for skills such as cooking or learning a new language, by enabling employees to gain new confidence, they will have positive associations between their latest skill and the company that facilitated for them to do so.

The importance of Employee Value Proposition

As a company, one of the most important aspects of the business is your brand. And this goes for not just public facing branding as a business, but also the reputation as an employer. With such keen interest in ethical and compassionate employers in recent years, taking control of the narrative and showing current and potential employees that you care can do wonders for staff retention

Sound good? Why not try a demo and see just how extensive and valuable our benefits are.

 
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Recipe ideas and healthy eating with Spectrum.Life

It might be Healthy Eating Week but with poor diet being the biggest factor for preventable ill health in England, understanding our body and what it needs has never been more important.
So how can we encourage employees to take up healthy habits, and create a working environment that can thrive with new eating attitudes? Enter: Spectrum.Life.

Wellness at your fingertips

Having access to tools that can help employees keep on top of any new healthy eating behaviours is critical. Our partner; digital workplace wellbeing platform Spectrum.Life provides a base for all types of nutrition and self-care. Whether you are interested in recipes and exercise classes or meditation and mindfulness, the platform offers videos and helpful advice on everything from women’s health to how to correctly fuel your body for activity.

Write that down!

It’s not always easy to keep track of what you eat when you’re hard at work but a food diary is a great way to monitor what we’re munching, as well as identifying the good foods we are missing from our diets and what we are perhaps eating too much of. Spectrum.Life has a handy food tracking and diary option so Members can quickly access the recipes they have bookmarked and have optics on all their nutritional goals.

Give your day a boost

Eating right is key to staying engaged and alert throughout the day. There is nothing worse than getting past lunch and having energy levels plummet; it’s not just bad for an employee’s health, but for the whole workplace.

Performance in an organisation can increase when people are fuelled by foods that assist in our productivity, and new research even suggests foods with probiotics like yoghurts and kimchi can help release happy chemicals, reducing feelings of depression and anxiety! The recipe search on Spectrum.Life is your employees very own online nutritionist. It provides easy-to-follow steps to help them create delicious meals and prevent food boredom (and snacking) from setting in.

Going veggie

Veganism is on a meteoric rise. The number of vegans in the UK have quadrupled between 2006 and 2018, according to research by The Vegan Society. A plant based diet has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, as well as a diet which is usually lower in cholesterol than their meat eating counterparts.

For some people, going veggie can seem a bit daunting. If completely cutting out meat isn’t for you, trying a flexitarian diet might be the way forward. Encouraging employees to take part in Meatless Mondays or to give a Veganuary style challenge a go could introduce eating habits they turn into a way of life.

Spicing up office lunch times

Sharing recipes with colleagues is a great way to inspire others to get involved with trying healthier alternatives, and get your employees talking about what has worked for them. Here are a few quick and easy recipes you can suggest to get the ball rolling:

If it’s that all important protein your employees are wanting to increase in their diets, this simple but nourishing Chicken satay salad will do the trick. Packed with plenty of protein per serving, these are perfect for those in your organisation interested in using good food to increase their fitness goals.

What about for something that looks like a treat, but is beneficial to your health? These Sloppy Joe stuffed peppers are a real naughty-but-nice meal that are loaded with healthy ingredients. Veggies need not miss out – just swap the meat and cheese to vegan alternatives!

For the vegans and vegetarians in your company, A flavourful Tofu stir-fry with chinese spices will give them a delicious boost, whilst providing the nutrition they require while maintaining a plant based diet.
Point your employees to the host of videos and tips on Spectrum.Life to explore – while HR can examine the metrics to show who is engaging (and could be potential ambassadors for making those positive healthy choices), and who might need more guidance and support.

Think about your approach

Do be mindful that food and nutrition can be a sensitive topic for a lot of people. It’s estimated that 1.25 million people are living with an eating disorder. If you feel a colleague needs more support, you can point them towards your company’s Employee Assistance Programme where they can access professional advice.
We may not be aware of those with a difficult relationship with food when discussing nutrition so be sensitive, and rather than focusing on fad diets and unhealthy habits, explore the benefits of a balanced diet and a positive attitude towards food and how we view it in our daily lives

Explore the Spectrum.Life platform by requesting a demo today.

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Team Green Britain Bike Week 2023

It’s Team Green Britain Bike Week! What does that mean? Essentially it is just an annual reminder of the many benefits of cycling, and why getting on your bike to get you where you want to go can be the best mode of transport. So why not try to encourage more cycling to work in your workplace?

Reap the health benefits

There are many elements of regular cycling that can have a positive impact on physical health. From reducing the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke, to acting as a low-impact form of exercise, so most people should find it a feasible form of workout. It doesn’t have to be the Tour de France, just getting out on the bike for half an hour a day can help you get your activity levels up!

See the mental health benefits

While the physical perks of regular cycling are undeniable, it can help you with your mental health too. As with general exercise, cycling can help to improve your mood and help to reduce the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression, with the added plus of being outdoors helping endorphins to flow! As exercise can also help to improve sleep and sleep quality, it’s a win-win by getting some biking into your daily routine.

Go greener

Many of us are always on the lookout for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and by travelling to work without using petrol, less harmful emissions are being released into the atmosphere. Reducing both air and noise pollution, the more people on bikes, the better!

While it may not be practical for everyone to get to work everyday by cycling, by just increasing the use of a bike where the car may be used instead can all help to reduce pollution.

Save money on petrol!

With inflation and the cost of living rising, most people have noticed the increase in the cost of petrol reaching eye-watering levels at certain points in the previous year or two. Once you have a bike however, you are your own petrol! While you may have to feed yourself a bigger breakfast, you can save money on filling your tank up by hopping on your bike instead.

Make the most of the Cycle to Work Scheme

By offering a Cycle to Work Scheme to employees, you are giving your people the option to invest in a bike that suits their needs, and therefore a mode of transport that can be used everyday. They can choose a quality bike that’s built to last, rather than choosing a cheaper one if not through the scheme.

And once you have your bike, you needn’t spend money on fancy equipment! Just a high-vis vest for the winter and a bike lock will have you off to a great start.

The Cycle to Work Scheme is just one of many benefits on offer at My Staff Shop, why not request a demo to see what else you can provide your employees?

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What benefits do people want?

Rising living costs, tax increases and even the effects of Brexit are all affecting people’s incomes, and that means at a time when everyone is tightening their belts, workers are looking to their employer to support them in whatever way they can.

Of course, a good employer will always have their people’s best interests at heart, but recruitment is a costly process and the risk of losing good people to competitors that are more aligned with the needs of their workers – particularly during the current talent shortage – is a headache that HR can do without. In other words, if there was ever a time to revaluate the perks and rewards that will benefit your workforce, it is now.

Tell me what you want, what you really, really want!

The people function in an organisation is meant to have its finger on the pulse of what its staff need – and want, and in most cases, most of the time, HR has got it right. However, when it comes to benefits and perks, do you really know what your employees desire in a benefits offering?

Passé benefits are not fit for purpose

Creating a benefits strategy that is relevant and actually provides your people with something they will use isn’t rocket science. A staff ping pong table and Doughnuts on Friday just won’t cut the mustard anymore. Looking at the trends is one way of garnering what the employee appetites for perks are. Here are some of the popular benefits that we know are likely to engage your current workers – and pique the interest of prospective new hires.

Mental health and wellbeing benefits

Health benefits continue to be a draw for many employees in fact research shows that women’s health support like menstrual, fertility and family-focused benefits are in demand. For example, a Women in the Workplace study by Biote showed that almost 20% of workers are managing menopause and 20% of those are thinking of leaving their job due to menopause symptoms. By putting women’s health benefits in place would have a huge impact on these employees.

Similarly, a growing awareness of mental health in the workplace is seeing a rise in Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) which are ideally placed perks to support mental health and wellbeing. And with people more likely to make use of this type of benefit, offering it shows employees that their employer is providing a psychologically safe environment for them.
The same goes for providing benefits like virtual gym membership. Not only does this provide the opportunity to strike the work/life balance that many employees crave, but staff can access their online digital wellbeing platform at their convenience, empowering them to take charge of their own health and better manager their time.

Lead with L&D

Professional development opportunities and continuous learning is another great benefit that is important to employees and can give your company a competitive advantage. Learning and development can improve retention and is now seen as a right and not a privilege – particularly with Generation Z. In fact, 87% of millennials would be swayed in their decision to take up a position with a company that offers L&D.
A further study from Genesis Analytics found that while money talks in benefits provision, it only offers short term satisfaction. Instead focusing on developing your people is going to have far-reaching benefits and provide motivation and engagement.

HR can provide opportunities for professional skills development and training, mentoring programmes and coaching opportunities. From soft skills training, digital learning, e-learning or even mental health first aider training, giving employees the opportunity to improve themselves is a great tool for engagement, and the organisation should benefit too with an enriched skills pool.

Employee discount schemes: Don’t discount the discount

Programmes which give money off on things like supermarket shopping, holidays and hotels, cinema tickets, eating out and car services, for example, are a way for employers to provide a perk alongside their more targeted benefits offering such as healthcare or an EAP. The provision of this kind of benefit can be a great morale booster and with the current cost-of-living crisis, anything that stretches a salary and offers value for money is welcome.

To get that engagement and to ensure that you maintain a competitive advantage it is certainly worth asking your people what they want. Pulse surveys and focus groups are a good way to test the water and see what might be popular. Tailoring your benefits offering to ensure you are providing the right rewards to your people will go a long way in helping create an optimum workplace culture.

 

 

The My Staff Shop Platform provides an one-stop shop to cater for the needs of your people – to find out more, fill in the contact form and one of our advisors will be in touch.

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Get lucky! Our free lottery is just the ticket to boost employee morale

Everyone loves a freebie. My Staff Shop Members are even luckier than most.

On top of all the great employee benefits and discounts that are already offered, we provide additional workplace perks such as the free lottery online that each Member has the opportunity to benefit from.

Every month – exclusively on our Platform – Members can be in with a chance of winning our top prize which can be anything from a digital gift card to a stylish kitchen remodel or even a brand new car. This offers an additional way to motivate employees to activate their accounts and start saving.

So how does it work? 

The lottery is quick and easy to enter. Members who have activated their account are eligible to play and the open date for each free lottery is the first of the month. There is a simple task to complete such as searching for a graphic of a lottery ball hidden somewhere on the Platform. When it is located, the employee can select six numbers between 1-59 and once entered they will be in with a chance of winning an exciting prize.

Much like the National Lottery, prizes are given for three balls (usually 50 Reward Beans), four balls typically wins a digital gift card, five balls scoops, for example, the latest garden furniture set, and for the grand prize, a big ticket item such as a pair of Vespa Elettrica scooters will be up for grabs.

This free lottery online is run monthly and is super easy to enter and is another way you can reward employees. It can replace the weekly scratchcard or lotto tickets – all without spending a penny. Click here for a full list of the T&Cs.

 

If you want to discover more about working with us and offering your people this fantastic, free additional workplace perk, then fill in a form and a customer advisor will be in touch.

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Tackling the cost of living crisis: Assisting employees

It’s no secret that the cost of living crisis is hitting everyone hard. With drastic UK inflation and soaring energy bills alongside stagnant wages, people are struggling to get by. No matter how much employees enjoy their job, money is on everyone’s mind. The supermarket shopping budget doesn’t stretch as far as it did a year ago, and with no definitive end in sight for this economic turmoil, people are weighing up their options. Should they leave their job to pursue a higher salary and better benefits elsewhere?

Here’s what you as a HR professional can do to ease your employees’ financial stress if salary increase and bonuses aren’t feasible.

How you can help your employees

We all want our employees to be happy and comfortable, but getting through the workday whilst panicking about energy bills and groceries isn’t easy. If you’re looking at your workplace and wondering how you can assist your employees and ease their worries while inflation stands at over 10% (as of January 2023), keep reading.


In all likelihood, handing out raises is not an option, so the next best thing that you can offer your staff is financial rewards. Making money go further is possible through the My Staff Shop platform, with extensive discounts and Reward Beans (our virtual savings currency) on offer for members.


By utilising our discounts, members can save up to 7% at supermarkets – which can add up quickly when doing that weekly shop. While the essentials such as supermarkets, car insurance, mobile contracts, kid’s clothing brands, and home goods are covered by both our shopping discounts and Reward Beans, there are plenty of other handy benefits too. Perk your employees up with gym discounts and holiday savings, with the most popular names in the business involved with our reward scheme. What’s more, there are loads of local deals on offer from specific stores in your area.


In terms of support, having an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) in place is a huge win for employers, and shows that you care about your team. With your staff knowing that you value them and are there to offer support, they’re more likely to be engaged with their work.


From wellbeing to financial advice, having a solid EAP at the ready provides a safety net for their needs both inside and outside the workplace. With My Staff Shop’s EAP, counselling, legal advice, and money management resources, there’s 24/7 access meaning that your employees don’t have to wait for working hours to discuss their concerns, no matter what personal problems they’re going through.

It’s an especially difficult time to feel like you’re doing all you can as a HR professional, but if staff retention and wellbeing is a high priority for you, consider offering up real-world benefits and an appropriate EAP through My Staff Shop.


My Staff Shop give all this and so much more. Read our White Paper to discover more or, if you prefer, request a demonstration for yourself now.

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