My 20 fav low-cost employee perks
After talking about all the great perks businesses like Google and Virgin Atlantic offer employees, your average business owner might be feeling a little worried.
How could they ever compete with massages at will or practically free flights?
Here’s a little secret: You don’t have to.
Most employees are happy to have benefits like flexibility with office hours or even holding an in-office happy hour every Friday.
There are heaps of options that might appeal to your employees. Look over our list of suggestions below—I bet there are at least a few that could work for your business (or that you are doing but not communicating).
While you might not be able to compete on the same level as the large corporations, you have the ability to create loyalty by offering exactly what your specific employees need to excel and grow.
As we always point out, connection to particularly direct leadership, vision and values and interest in work will always be the main things to focus on first.
However, the below ‘perks’ can certainly assist.
20 Perks That You Too Can Afford
- Casual attire – As long as it’s not important that your staff be dressed up for clients, then why not enjoy a less formal dress code?
- Work from home options – Who doesn’t love the flexibility to be able to work from home off and on?
- Good Coffee, drinks and food in the kitchen – This speaks for itself. Free food!
- Lounge space – It doesn’t have to be a large space, but even a couch and an easy chair might make a great space for employees to hang out or have a quick meeting.Don’t underestimate the value of light in a room and a clean office—where possible try and ensure there are spots with great light and have regular cleaning days.
- Flexibility – Allow your employees to make appointments or attend a child’s school program without worry—specially sports days.
- Birthday bonus – Give employees the afternoon off on their birthdays or something specially tailored to them.
- Fitness opportunities – While you might not be able to offer the big on-site gyms, you can cover membership costs or set up or encourage other fitness-related perks such as steps, water or even sleep challenges.
- Games in the break room – What if there was a jigsaw puzzle set up in the break room? Everyone could spend a few minutes while grabbing a coffee putting in a piece. You can even get super creative with this and link it to values or brainstorming new opportunities.
- Happy hours – Whether it’s Beer Fridays where you bring in drinks for staff and end the week with cheers in the office or you actually set up drinks at a local pub, it should bring good cheer among your staff. Note: You can replace this with Juice Fridays for the more health conscious workplaces.
- Bring in experts – Whether it’s something like a financial planner or more like a nutritionist, you could have employees make appointments and seek advice during a day in the office.
- Summer hours – Close the office at 4 p.m. or even noon on Fridays during the summer. It may also be worthwhile to look at your weekly hours anyway, particularly when you receive the largest cancellations, such as Monday mornings, over Christmas or after public holidays. Replacing with earlier starts, late nights and/or even a weekend may also help you provide flexibility.
- Volunteer time – Let your employees give back to the community during work hours or actively get the team involved in charitable programs during the year. (Make sure you note down the hours that you may spend on this so you can measure and celebrate it!)
- Skill development – Calculate up the individual coaching hours you spend with employees working on developing their skills—seeing it as one number is more meaningful. Also, leverage your small business attitude and recognise that your staff might wear more than one hat, and it’s important to further their skills in any and all aspects of their jobs. Don’t forget to make sure that if you are in a business that offers a service that you also help your team with what you do first—if you are a financial planner, think about helping them with their own financial plan; or if you work in a home loan business, think about how you can assist your team with this.
- Growth potential – You’re a small business owner and use that to your advantage by letting employees know that promotions are available.
- Pet-friendly work environment – Obviously, everyone can’t bring all the animals, but even a day a week where animals can hang out at the office would be fun. Be mindful, however, that there might be some team members who do not like pets or are allergic.
- Staff and/or Partner Discounts – Where applicable, think about whether staff discounts on your products or services may be beneficial. There is also the opportunity to set up and offer other partner perks as well.
- New Business or Employee Referrals – This may have some boundaries around it like they must be with the business for 6 months first, but think of something you may be able to provide to encourage your team to be raving fans and constantly promote your business.
- Novated leases and other flexible financings – Allow options for staff to salary sacrifice car payments and other benefits.
- Car parking rosters – If there are only limited spots available, think about rostering out annual leave or travel times to other team members who do not have car parking.
- Small individual budgets to tailor to individual motivators – Things like cleaning someone’s car, organising a housekeeper, donating to one of their personal causes or getting tickets to their favourite concert, for example, goes a long way.
What does it boil down to?
But here’s what it comes down to: the employers of choice are looking at what is not only best for the organisation but what is best for the individual team members in order for them to be the best they can be.
Next: Are you ready to take the first step in becoming an employer of choice?
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