By Dianne Crampton
Do you have those days where you can’t wait to jump out of bed and get to work to put in a full productive day? You say those days are few and far between, maybe even non-existent? Not surprising when a recent Gallup poll showed that less than 30% of the workforce actually enjoy their jobs and care enough to make valuable contributions to the organization.
Well, some forward thinking organizations have come up with some traditional and some innovative “outside the box” ways to ensure employees show up to work bright-eyed and bushy tailed ready to give 110%. In other words, these employers have figured out how to position themselves as the elite “preferred employers” that will ultimately attract the best of the best in talented staff and management personnel. These employers know that engaged employees reduce an organization’s turnover rate which leads to a reduction in the high cost of hiring and training new team members. Engaged employees are almost 3 times as productive as a disengaged employee. Now add that to an organization’s bottom line!
So what do these organizations do to keep their employees happy and successfully motivated? These employers have upped the ante beyond the “Employee of the Month” parking space. Simply stated…that have added perks to their company benefit programs. The best part is, you don’t have to be a major corporation to initiate employee perks. Many of these perks work quite nicely for smaller businesses that don’t have large purse strings.
Here is a list of perks other organizations have successfully integrated into their employee benefit programs to motivate and create “happy” employees.
- Co-worker recognition – These are not recognitions awarded by management, but by an employee’s own team members. These employees have gone out of their way to help other employees, make significant contributions to major projects, improve team cohesion, or find a solution to a cumbersome internal process. The recognition could be in the form of a quarterly bonus, extra stock options, movie tickets, a recognition award, or even a day off with pay.
- Offer flexible advancement –Not everyone is cut out for…or even wants… to move up the corporate ladder. According to a Time article, The Future of Work, more and more companies are searching for creative ways to save and add flexibility— by experimenting with reduced hours, unpaid furloughs, or letting employees move laterally. The up-or-out model, in which employees have to keep getting promoted quickly or get lost, may be growing outmoded.
- Work from home days – for those that have the discipline to buckle down and knock out a day’s work, this is a fantastic perk. Often with no long commutes into the office and no distractions from co-workers or ringing phones, you can accomplish in 4 or 5 hours what takes 8 hours at the office. And the rest of the day is yours!
- Ping pong anyone? Many companies have brought in ping pong or foosball tables to the break and lunch rooms to add some fun and distraction over lunch hours. Other companies have installed a simple basketball hoop outdoors to give employees the chance to exercise, blow off a little steam, and clear their minds during breaks.
- Monday morning breakfast or Pizza Friday – Rally the troops by providing a continental breakfast one morning a week or throwing a pizza party during the lunch hour on Friday. The cost is minimal compared to the rewards this act of organizational “good will” reaps.
- Family Days– This perk isn’t enjoyed only by employees with kids, but employees with spouses. If Junior has a tee-ball game, many organizations will give employees the time off without docking their vacation or sick time. For those single employees that want the same perk as employees with families, how about offering them a few Community Service Days during the year. This allows employees time to take part in community or charitable activities that they’re passionate about but otherwise don’t have time for.
- Flexible hours and days. Shake it up a little for employees by providing options from the usual 8:00 – 5:00 routine with flex schedules or four 10’s to give employees a day off during the week to run errands and save the weekends for fun!
Offering perks such as flexible work options and recognition for employee contributions, creates a collaborative champion team with long-term, sustained success. These engaged employees are deeply committed to their employers, leading to key improvements in business outcomes, reductions in absenteeism, turnover, safety incidents and product defects. So roll out the perks!