Think Outside the Box to Reward Your Employees
By: Courtney Beam
Are your employees happy, engaged and stress-free at work? If they are, they are typically more productive at work and more loyal to the company. On average, full-time employees put in 40-60 hours working per week, not including the 5-15 hours a week they may also spend commuting to the office. This doesn’t leave much time for other necessities like eating, shopping for food and clothing, home maintenance, family time, sleeping, fitness, health care, hygiene, etc. For even the most organized of people, these things can all feel like they are taking a toll on their time and energy. What is your company doing to make sure that your employees not only feel valued for the time and work they put in, but relieve some of the stresses that life outside of work can bring?
With all the recent buzz about big companies providing impressive benefits and rewards, it’s easy to feel the need to “keep up” in order to keep your employees happy and engaged too.
Netflix recently came forward with several impressive perks that may leave smaller companies wondering how they can compare. They currently provide a year of unlimited, paid paternity leave to all employees, in addition to helping employees financially with adoption and surrogacy. Other big-name companies including Google, Microsoft and Facebook have also recently revised their parental leave programs. Other companies are also implementing mandatory time-off for employees who step-in to help during times of parental leave, long-term illness or extended time off.
With these, and other changes around benefit packages being offered by large companies, it’s no surprise that previous perks such as 401K’s and PTO are no longer the new bright, shiny object when it comes to employee perks.
Caruso Affiliated, a real estate company based out of California, chose to enhance their employee’s quality of life by paying for a concierge service. This takes the burden off of their employees having to spend time outside of work running errands, booking travel, purchasing tickets or making dinner reservations.
For smaller companies, perks like these just aren’t feasible. Yet, there are still many things that a company can do for their workforce to make them feel happy and appreciated.
Here are a few out-of-the-box ideas:
Offer your company’s services to employees at a free or reduced cost. The San Diego Zoo offers employees and their immediate family members free admission to the zoo. Maybe your company provides your clients a service such as financial planning or interior design? Consider offering these for free to your employees as a built-in benefit.
More time off. For many employees, one thing that is as important to them as money, is their time. Many companies are beginning to allow their employees unlimited time off, trusting that it won’t be abused. If this is something that your company can’t allow, consider being more lenient on PTO. If people want to take a personal day for whatever reason, give it to them! Some companies close down completely for a week during the summer and winter for an employee break, while others offer Friday’s off once a month.
Find them discounts. Consider offering a monthly stipend towards joining a fitness center to promote a healthy lifestyle. Seek out monthly group discounts for things such as dry-cleaning services, childcare or dog walking. Such discounts may be low-cost or even free to the company, but may provide a big financial relief for some of your hardest workers.
What creative perks does your company offer to your employees? What examples of unique benefits have you seen in other companies? We’d love to hear from you!