Does HR Need A “Customer Reward/Perks” Card?


June 29, 2009

001I grabbed my car keys today and realized that I have four of those little plastic customer reward cards attached to the ring.  You know the cards, the ones you get from CVS, PetSmart, Hallmark, Borders, or other stores to incent you to come to their store.  Every time you check out, the cashier scans the card and you get points.  Once you reach a specified amount of points, you are eligible for rewards that can include cash or other discounts.

I’m not sure how popular the cards are yet with consumers, but I do notice that more and more stores are coming up with ways to “reward” you for your patronage.  I’m thinking that it would be interesting if HR practitioners operated like that.  What would the reward look like?  How would HR track the internal client patronage?  Is there software available to set up a system to recognize use of HR?  How could HR get the word out that there really is a reward in utilizing the company HR resources?

Any ideas?  Hit me with a comment and maybe we can come up with something.  Or, maybe we’ll hear that it isn’t possible or necessary.


  • Well, in principal, HR can do similar schemes like any other B2B service provider. Maybe instead of airline miles it can offer training minutes for free seminars or coaching. HOWEVER: 1st you need to make sure that whoever uses HR’s services actually pays for it, so HR needs to be a proper profit centre. Otherwise the scheme causes cost twice: the freebies plus service cost that are not really necessary.
    As with airline miles there is the question who owns the freebies: can the employee/manager who earns them spend them on that sailing course (much more effective to influence decisions, but may seem unfair and cause taxable benefits in kind) or does the department own it and demand the points being used for courses planned anyway (fairer, but not very effective from the promotion point of view, it’s just like any discount).

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A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.




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