When it comes to employee benefits, small businesses have a tough time competing.
Big corporations have the luxury of dangling premium benefit packages to snag top talent, while smaller companies have to make do with low budget programs that don’t come with nearly as many perks.
This makes finding quality employees much harder.
The good news is, today’s employees aren’t necessarily looking for corporate level health and retirement packages. There are other ways to make your company a great place to work.
You don’t have to spend a fortune to provide these unique employee benefits that people love.
4 Fun and Free Employee Benefits
Flexible work schedules are the golden ticket of employee benefits. Allowing your employees to occasionally come in late, leave early or take a few hours in the middle of the day for things like doctor’s appointments, family issues and 9-to-5 errands makes their lives easier. It also strengthens their company loyalty.
You can also extend flexibility and a refreshing change of pace by offering work-from-home days.
However you decide to use it, flextime is free for you and a fantastic benefit for your most valuable employees, and helps give your small business a competitive edge.
Stress is an inevitable part of business life. If you can offer your employees opportunities to relax during the workday, you’ll earn their appreciation in a big way.
Here are a few ideas:
- Designate an empty office or unused room as a “Zen center.” Add a few comfortable chairs, a couch and/or meditation mats and let employees take short stress breaks. They can power nap, meditate or just sit in peace and quiet for a few minutes.
- Hire a masseuse to come in for the day and give out free massages.
- Offer free or discounted yoga classes. Local practitioners may extend discounted rates if the whole office signs up.
There’s nothing better than getting home from a long day at work and finally kicking off your shoes – unless you’ve spent the day in a shoeless office. Creating a shoe-free environment for your employees can encourage them to feel comfortable and at home all day. Unless you’re working with heavy machinery, of course.
Oh, and you should probably have employees slip back into their shoes when clients come in.
Stand Up and Cheer
Your employees enjoy recognition for a job well done, and the rewards don’t have to be monetary or even material. Getting the whole team in on the appreciation – by having a round of applause for employees with big accomplishments, perhaps – is a simple and fun way to recognize hard work.
Of course, the easiest and most underused way to show recognition and appreciation for your employees’ work is to simply say, “Thank you.” Make those two little words part of your daily vocabulary and you’ll notice a positive upswing in your work environment.
What unique employee benefits do you offer?
Cheering Star Photo via Shutterstock
While going sans shoes wouldn’t have made my list, I totally agree that schedule flexibility is a huge sell to a prospective employee today.
I agree too. I work on a flexible schedule, at home. Flexible schedule is a big bonus especially when you have a family that may need your presence within working days.
Couldn’t agree more, Chris! It’s all about finding that elusive balance. 🙂
Great advice. I find that most employers can be way to uptight, which makes for an ineffective team that’s always on edge. Leveling the playing field and loosening up can do wonders for your employees performance and it makes for better communication for the team overall.
Thanks, Ti! I completely agree.
I know I certainly would love for a masseuse to come into the office once in a while! These are some great tips for turning a stressful work environment into a stress-free zone. Not only can it help each employee personally, but these things can also help productivity.
Thanks, Brittany! Relaxed employees are happy employees… and I think it’s safe to say that happy people are generally more productive and energized. 🙂
Thanks for the great feedback, guys! I feel very strongly that a relaxed, positive atmosphere is key to boosting workplace productivity. Let’s hope more companies start implementing some of these ideas in 2013!