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How to Give Employee Perks Without Breaking the Bank

Office Tips from The Business Exchange

January 2019 – As a provider of flexible office space, The Business Exchange knows how much everyone loves benefits, especially your employees! Company benefits are a great way to attract a talented workforce and show your employees just how much you value and appreciate them.

Recently, two key findings released by the Aflac WorkForces Report (AWR), a national online survey undertaken across the U.S. since 2011, noted an increase in employee satisfaction since 2017.

Further studies indicated that employers were offering more useful company benefits to their staff, as they realised what a difference these benefits made to the well-being of their employees, the majority of who were struggling with health and financial issues.

As an employer, benefits are probably on your low list of priorities – especially when it comes to cutting costs. “Company Benefits” have unfortunately been hit and miss in many instances with some benefits being little more than tricks to get the employees motivated for a short period. However, the right benefits programme will probably save you money in the long-term, when you consider finding suitable ways in which to proactively influence your employees’ motivation, health and general well-being in the office space.

Today’s benefits-driven employees are quick to recognise tacky benefit package efforts, which is why we’ve put together some time-proven ideas which won’t break the bank.

Health and Wellbeing in Work Space
If your company is unable to afford a full medical aid scheme for your employees, there are other very basic and affordable options that more medical aid companies are starting to offer. From personal experience, I have seen the relief in our employee’s faces when they realise that they can now afford professional treatment for themselves and their family.

Company workouts are a new trend and encourage group workouts at the workspace, such as yoga or pilates, in the afternoon after work. This is an excellent way of getting your exercise in before you get home and avoiding rush hour!

Encourage Charitable Services
In a country where community needs are so high, companies can easily encourage their employees to volunteer their time at registered charities, by offering paid time off in lieu of a certain amount of hours volunteered at pre-approved charities. The science behind this thinking is that the company motivates the employee to volunteer and the employee becomes happier by practising generosity.

Encouraging Thankfulness in the Workplace
Thankfulness is an excellent way to remember all the little things that matter. A simple gratitude blog on your company intranet where employees can mention, (anonymously if they so wish), things for which they are grateful also contributes towards inner happiness and allows employees to get to know each other a little more.

Company Support or Interest Groups
Clubs or groups that appeal to a common interest can be held before or after work, or even during a lunch period. Guest speakers can be approached to talk about life skills, and hobbies or awareness groups can come together in support of each other or shared interests.

Flexitime at the Office
Many, but not all, employees enjoy the flexibility of being able to manage their own time with a flexible schedule, especially companies with employees who are young parents. Remote working is possible but requires trust between the manager and employee. Employers will most likely experience an increase in productivity when the employee respects this flexible type of work model.

Holiday Daycare at the Office
Parents of school-going children always battle to find daycare once the schools close for vacation. Depending on the availability of suitable space in your building and local regulations, it may be worth considering bringing in some qualified au-pairs to entertain the kids during the holidays, while the parents work. This will relieve a lot of stress, especially with employees who are single parents.

Let Music Feed Their Souls
Most companies have uncapped wifi, and this is a great way to offer another low-cost benefit to your employees by allowing them to stream music to their headsets while at their desks. This won’t cost you any more than you are already paying, reduces their stress and saves everyone from listening to the same station blaring out in the open workspace.

Pass on your Corporate Discounts
Larger companies may enjoy numerous discounts from their suppliers, so why not pass these onto your employees?

Spoil the Ladies (and Men)
Consider bringing a manicurist or nail technician into the offices and allocate them a separate room, where employees can avail themselves to a nail treatment once a month. The company provides the employee with an hour a month, and the employee covers the cost of the treatment.

A Branded Welcome
Provide a small, branded welcome pack to each new employee. This needn’t cost much. It can consist of a t-shirt, pen, notebook and a packet of mints. Something simple but thoughtful.

Birthdays are Special!
Some companies give their employees a day or half-day off work when it’s their birthday. This is another small, low-cost way of making an employee feel valued.

Personal Development Library
Encourage your employees’ personal development by allowing them to buy e-books on the company’s account so that they can learn new skills or purchase self-development and business type e-books which all employees can access.

There are so many creative ways to engage with your employees and to make them feel happier and more motivated without costing a fortune. If you run out of ideas, send out a survey and ask your employees for suggestions – you may be surprised at how little it takes to create a great corporate culture.

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