Thinking Outside of the Box to Reward Your Employees

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“Thinking Outside of the Box to Reward Your Employees”

By: Megan Kirsch

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 5-10 hours a week they may also spend commuting. This doesn’t leave much time for other necessities like eating, going grocery shopping, home maintenance, family time, sleeping, fitness, health care, hygiene, etc. For even the most organized of people, these activities can take a toll on their energy and their focus. What is your company doing not only to make sure employees feel valued for the time and work they put in but also to relieve some of the external stressors that life outside work can bring?

For example, Netflix has implemented several impressive perks for employees. They currently provide one full year of unlimited, paid paternity leave to all employees, in addition to helping employees financially with adoption and surrogacy. Some 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.

It’s no surprise that traditional perks such as 401Ks and PTO are no longer the new bright, shiny object when it comes to employee benefits.

Now, you may be wondering – what if our company doesn’t have the funds or budget to support such lofty perks for employees? 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 or at a reduced cost to your employees as a built-in benefit.

More time off. For many employees, time is often as important to them as money. Many companies are beginning to allow their employees unlimited time, or “untracked” paid time off, trusting that it won’t be abused. If this is a benefit your company can’t allow, consider being more lenient on PTO.  If people want to take a personal day for a doctor’s appointment, an event at their child’s school or simply a “mental health day”, give it to them! Some organizations close down completely for a week during the summer and or winter for an employee break, while others offer Fridays off once a month.

Find 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 and 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? Add those ideas to this list in the comments section below!


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