There is a close relationship between employee retention and benefits. According to SHRM’s survey on job satisfaction and engagement, 92% of employees indicated that benefits are important to their overall job satisfaction. Making a small investment in benefits for your employees can have a positive impact in the long run, and likely outweigh the costs and difficulty that come with employee turnover. Since benefits have proven to be such an important part of an employee’s decision to stay at a company or look elsewhere, we've gathered a variety of easy-to-integrate and affordable benefits that employees are destined to love! Here they are:
Wellness Activities and Programs
Wellness activities and programs can be one of the most valuable benefits to offer due to the lasting impact they have. The advantages of these types of programs include a decrease in employee absenteeism, improved productivity, and improved employee health behavior. Since individuals have been working from home for about a year, their physical health has become more important than ever. Wellness program activities might include a group that takes walks during lunchtime, and with the ongoing pandemic, the group could connect on an app like MapmyWalk that tracks walking and has a social feature to link up with colleagues. In addition to a walking group, your company could organize a fitness challenge that has incentives for the winners. Finally, a stress reduction or nutrition education program could be exactly what an employee needs to live a happier and healthier life, and by offering this type of benefit, employees will be equipped with the proper resources to point them in that direction. There are many options for a corporate wellness program and they can be a great way to help employees achieve a healthier lifestyle.
In general, free food is always a great way to pique interest. In particular, when it comes to offering free food as an employee benefit, the results can be more beneficial than you might think. A recent study conducted by Peapod surveyed 1,000 full-time workers regarding job satisfaction and resulted in 56% of those surveyed being “extremely” or “very happy” with their current jobs. However, the number of those satisfied with their current jobs increased to 67% for employees who received free food at work.
DoorDash, the online food ordering and delivery platform, has partnered with organizations to bring their employees the benefit of free food, and at a competitive price. The DoorDash subscription comes with various ways to give employees the benefit of food, $0 in delivery fees, as well as discounted service fees on all orders. This can be a rewarding way to stay connected and can present team engagement opportunities like a scheduled virtual luncheon. Setting aside a small budget for this benefit will be sure to keep employees both happy and motivated while also having a lasting positive impression of your company.
Special Interest Clubs
Special interest clubs can give employees the opportunity to bring their passion to work while bringing together employees with similar interests. These groups can range from a cooking club to a book club to a Netflix Party club, and so on, and can be remote-team friendly. In order to gain insight as to where a common interest might exist between employees, you can conduct a survey with various options and a spot for open ended suggestions. Results from a study conducted to examine the effect of leisure and daily health and well-being showed that the men and women from the community sample who had participated in leisure during an interval of six times a day for three consecutive days were less stressed, had more interest in what they were doing and also had a more positive mood after completing. Special interest clubs can serve many purposes to unite employees, while also boosting morale. Employee engagement has proven to be a challenge since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, so incorporating these types of clubs can bring together teams in new and exciting ways. Setting aside time for a weekly zoom where these clubs can meet not only keeps employees happy during their time spent working from home, but it also will allow them to take a break from work and increase their focus after the meeting.
When the weather begins to warm up, employees may understandably want to spend less time behind the screen. Summer hours are a simple, yet effective way to reward employees for their hard work during the summer months. Whether it’s a half day on Fridays, or adjusting hours throughout the week, the purpose of summer hours is to reduce the amount of time spent in the office in the summer. This initiative provides a number of advantages for employees. Primarily, it gives them flexibility during a time where many take vacations or plan visits with family or friends. Productivity can also be increased from this incentive- in fact, according to a study on happiness and productivity by the Social Market Foundation, productivity can rise as much as 12% when employees report that they are happy. By providing summer hours, employers can take some of the pressure off and show they care about the well-being of their employees.
Games are a creative way to bring together work and leisure - or in other words, incorporating that aspect of fun that is most associated with life outside of work. Stress can be released through office games, and at the same time, an environment of trust is created among colleagues. Some examples of virtual games:
- Remote Work Bingo
- DIY Pantry Challenges
- Pop Culture Trivia
- Scavenger Hunt
- Virtual Dance Party
According to Hubspot, there is a productivity hack that can include games called Pomodoro-style productivity, which incorporates 25 minute intervals of work with short breaks in between. The quality and quantity of work is greater when using the Pomodoro Technique, and what better way to use that break time than to play a quick round of cornhole while bonding with your coworkers, or in the pandemic era, perhaps an online round of tic-tac-toe!
Even more ideas:
- Offer a day off for their birthday
- Pay for them to take a fun class of their choice
- Pay for their child's camp or classes
- Provide a subscription to their favorite magazine
- Pick up the tab for their family photo
- Give time off for volunteering
- Contribute to upgrading their home office
- Pay for their home Wifi
- Contribute to a charity of their choice
Does your organization provide benefits that employees love? Keep in mind these easy and affordable options when you gather your plans for benefits!