Recession Drives Interest In Employee Purchase Programs

As budgets get cut, raises get frozen and layoffs dot the landscape, employers hoping to boost morale and retention of key staff are looking to innovate ways of helping their employees, according to a recently released study.

The 2009 Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work, just published by the Families and Work Institute (FWI), reveals new trends that show employers are finding new ways of putting their employees first that are still compatible with austerity programs being imposed by budget cutters.

According to the study, some of the approaches being offered include programs on how to manage job stress and overwork, welcome a new baby, or cope when a spouse loses a job.

“What is key (and perhaps surprising) is that these strategies help these companies achieve business results and respond to fluctuations in the economy,” the study said. “They help companies create effective and flexible workplaces, where work ‘works’ for both the employer and employees.”

One key program that is experiencing an upward trend is the use of employee purchase programs.

“Employers that are strapped for cash can’t offer raises or bonuses, so their challenge is to find a way to increase their employees’ quality of life without decreasing their cash reserves,” said Charlie Kim, CEO of Next Jump, Inc., a leading provider of employee purchase programs, servicing more than 84% of Fortune 100, and nearly 60% of Fortune 500 companies, covering more than 25 million employees. “Employee purchase programs afford employers an inexpensive way of effectively putting money in their employees’ pockets by making huge discounts on consumer products and services available to them as a byproduct of their employment with the company. It’s tantamount to getting a raise every time they shop.”

Next Jump’s program ( is delivered as a massive online store that offers employee-only pricing at more than 28,000 different retailers and manufacturers.

“At the end of the day, employers are becoming more imaginative and innovative with their thinking,” Kim added. “They understand three key things that companies like ours recognize and respect: Their company’s power rests within its people, employees need to take home more than just a paycheck and retention resides within a company’s desire and ability to increase their employees’ quality of lives. Companies that let us help them do that will always experience higher retention rates and a generally more stable staff roster.”

(Tony Panaccio is a staff writer for News & Experts Syndicate.)

About Charlie Kim

Charlie Kim is the Founder & CEO of Next Jump, Inc. (NxJ), the premier provider of internet-based corporate employee purchasing programs and customer rewards and loyalty programs worldwide. Established in 1994 and privately held, Next Jump utilizes its proprietary technology platform and data advantage to provide dynamic and relevant merchant-funded rewards programs, bringing together thousands of merchants and millions of consumers. Next Jump is headquartered in New York City. Kim holds a dual degree in Computer Science and Quantitative Economics from Tufts University.