Like it or not, your employees have options. They may have been initially drawn to your company by a competitive salary and the opportunity for career growth, but what will keep them there? Enter, the wide world of benefits. Beyond standard offerings such as health insurance and a retirement plan, there are countless ways to set your business apart. Benefits that enhance your company culture. Benefits your employees brag about to their friends. Best of all, many of these perks are more affordable than you may think.
1. Boost work-life balance
Whether responding to an email in bed or jumping on a conference call from the T-ball bleachers, your employees are plugged in 24/7. To avoid this always-on mentality, which can quickly lead to burnout, allow your staff to choose its schedule outside of certain core work hours. This practice has proven extremely successful: 90 percent of HR professionals who implemented a flextime arrangement said it was a positive change.1 Allowing staff to occasionally work from home is another way to strike a good balance. To really help your employees recharge, offer a sabbatical—for example, some companies offer a month or two off after five years. They’ll come back refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to work.
2. Work in wellness
You already offer health insurance, but you could be doing more. Consider subsidizing gym memberships, starting a company sports league or even holding aerobics or yoga classes in the office over the lunch hour. Tackle employee stress by bringing in a massage therapist once a month—or after a particularly punishing deadline—to offer free chair massages. In the fall, think about offering in-office flu shots. An ounce of prevention now will pay off with a healthier, happier staff later.
3. Cultivate your company culture
“Culture” is a big buzzword these days, but it’s hard to quantify. There are tangible steps your company can take to make it a more engaging, fun place to work. Institute a bring-your-pet-to-work day, treating everyone to the stress- reducing power of animal interaction. Offer paid volunteer time, which 88 percent of HR pros have found successful.1 You can also keep it simple and bring in a free lunch periodically so employees have the chance to bond with coworkers from different departments. Side benefit: They might just solve that vexing client problem over pizza.
4. Appreciate all that they do
It’s easy to forget in the day-to-day grind, but your company would be nothing without its employees. Keep that top-of- mind by building in perks to say “thank you.” If a current employee refers an outstanding new hire, reward him or her with a cash bonus. Close the office early on Friday afternoons in the summer, or award the staff with a half-day off as a reward for knocking a project out of the park. Or create an employee recognition program, in which staffers can nominate colleagues for an award (and cash prize!) for going above and beyond.