It’s that time of year again: awards season. With red-carpet events such as the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and the Oscars dominating the entertainment news, it’s obvious that film is just as popular as ever in the UK.

2018 was a particularly good year for cinema as audience numbers continued to climb. With plenty of hotly anticipated films scheduled over the next few months, this trend is very likely to continue into 2019. So, with cinema on the rise, it’s time for employers to consider using rewards strategies centred around film.

Seeing the popularity

The big screen is unique in its ability to engage with people, but the cost continues to rise. Over the last decade, the average price of a cinema ticket has actually gone up by £2.50. That may sound like a small amount, but with the price of a single ticket now at £7.50, it’s not a big surprise that nearly three quarters (72%) of 16-24 year olds said that cost was the main reason they wouldn’t visit the cinema. That’s exactly what makes cinema vouchers the perfect reward; they give employers the opportunity to treat their staff to a night out that might otherwise be too expensive.

Making a reward

The immediate benefits of cinema vouchers are clear: not only do employees get to do something they enjoy for free, but they also get more choice with their reward. Whether it’s choosing the film, the time or the venue, staff like incentives that they can be in control of.

And it doesn’t stop there. Encouraging staff to see the latest films also creates an atmosphere of inclusion, since they can bond over a shared interest or topic. Giving employees the chance to weigh in on what film will win the Oscars, who’s the best actor of 2019, or simply which Avengers will survive in Endgame will make everyone feel like part of a unified team.

Harnessing the power of the big screen

Putting cinema incentives in place to reward positive behaviours in the workplace is a great idea for lots of reasons. For a start, they offer a simple and cost-effective way for businesses to demonstrate their appreciation and reward employees for a job well done.

Plus, employers often have access to free or heavily discounted tickets if they source them from a specialist provider. Alternatively, they can choose to take part in schemes such as Meerkat Movies for business, where employees are gifted two-for-one cinema tickets. This way staff can share their reward with family and friends as well.

Employers also have the option to provide even more experiential rewards. Depending on the provider they use, they have the chance to offer tickets to something more special, like a luxurious cinema experience at an Everyman venue or at the Rooftop Film Club. Even better still, it’s possible to organise a trip for employees to go to premieres of the latest blockbusters, which is a really amazing way to say thank you to an outstanding employee.

A happy, engaged workforce is more productive, more enthusiastic and more motivated to go the extra mile every day. Cinema tickets are a powerful ‘thank you’, are great for staff morale, and appeal to everyone regardless of their age or interests.

The novelty rarely wears off either; with new films constantly being released, employees can enjoy free tickets time and time again. As we find ourselves in the thick of the awards season, the power of film to get everyone talking is clear. It’s time for businesses to use it to their full advantage.

Iain Thomson

Iain Thomson


Iain joined Sodexo Engage.