If you want to send a message to your staff that shows you care, start with a robust benefits package. Getting creative with benefits attracts talent to your business, makes you stand out among competitors, and improves your bottom line. These examples (presented below by Norma Walton) can help you start thinking about innovative ways to create or improve your benefits package.
Traditional Benefits Improvements
Employees expect paid vacation days and health insurance, but you can make it more exciting. Consider offering paid personal days or extra paid vacation time. Surveys show that daycare cost is astronomical almost everywhere. ZenBusiness suggests offering supplemental daycare assistance or even building a workplace daycare.
Offering dental and vision insurance in the healthcare package is a strong improvement, but you can also actively promote healthy living. Provide nutrition education or fitness coaching programs. Move brainstorming meetings from the conference room to walking trails outside to get everyone moving. Some companies occasionally extend the lunch hour to incorporate intramurals. It promotes exercise and is great for team-building. Emphasize mental health with counseling sessions or paid days off to regroup after a long week.
Many companies have started offering experiences for employees after-hours. You can turn some benefits into fun surprises. One company allowed employees to participate in a luggage party, holding a drawing during the workday and sending the winner on a free weekend trip. Offer a vacation bonus that employees can spend on any trip they choose. Provide sabbaticals outside of the standard annual vacation days. For example, you can include a three-week, paid sabbatical under time-off benefits, and implement it after 10 years of employment and every five years following. If you want to offer a fun short break in the year, appeal to nostalgia and bring back spring break.
Find a way to contribute to everyday life after the workday. Chore help, such as weekly laundry services or cleaning crews, frees up time for your employees after work hours. If you have employees with a long commute, offer a subscription to Audible. Pay your employees to use their free time volunteering. Many companies are offering 40 hours of paid volunteer work annually. Employees can distribute it throughout the year as they please.
Your employees spend a substantial amount of time at the workplace. You can use the benefits package to change up the workday. Some companies implement a break in the day for relaxing activities, such as yoga classes. Allow for flexibility in the form of work from anywhere, not just from home. Schedule social activities, such as Wednesday morning coffee or Thursday off-site lunch together. An increasingly popular move is to reduce hours. In the tech industry, some companies are eliminating the five-day workweek and giving employees Friday off.
You can also help employees develop personally. Provide tuition assistance or funding for classes and conferences. Helping employees further their education benefits the business as well. Create a workplace library for a quiet break. Put in a bookshelf and some informational reading and encourage employees to share their favorite books.
Employee appreciation comes in a variety of forms, and it doesn’t have to stop when the workday ends. Your employees will recognize when you are invested in their productivity and well-being. In return, they will become more productive and beneficial to your company.