Posted: Wed 17th May 2023
One of the most valuable assets any company has is its people. They keep the business working while their varied skills and abilities allow business leaders to focus on driving further success.
The best way to compensate staff for a job well done is to pay them a competitive salary. But sometimes it can be better to provide alternative benefits. For example, 77% of people surveyed by a Remote study consider flexible work hours important, with 65% hoping for an early finish on Fridays and 64% considering a four-day working week essential.
As retaining staff is an essential component of business growth – not to mention helping you avoid the expense of recruiting and training new staff if turnover is high – we must do what we can to make people feel valued, appreciated and welcome.
Here are some shining examples of creative employee benefits you can put in place to help increase staff retention in your business.
This has become a key benefit that most people want from their existing workplace or when applying for new roles.
Since 2020, companies that neglect to offer remote working have shown to be putting themselves at a disadvantage – assuming it's a viable option for them (an office-based workplace, for example).
Not only can it be difficult to attract new starters – as many people have become used to working remotely – but it can cause existing staff to seek new pastures so they can also experience the joys of flexible working.
Staff flexibility benefits can include working from home for part or all of the week or the ability to change hours to fit in things like doctors' appointments or the school run while sticking to a set of core hours. For example, you could ask that everyone works from, say, 10am to 3pm, but has flexibility of choosing to start and finish early or late.
Your employees act as brand ambassadors, so a welcome pack loaded with branded swag when they join your company is a great way to provide them with a perk but also raise awareness for your business.
Staff will feel more welcomed and part of the team if they're met with branded goods such as coffee cups, pens, notepads or even umbrellas on their first day.
However, you need to integrate this with great care to avoid alienating your existing workforce. Be sure to offer the same branded goods to people who already work for your company, so as not to alienate anyone.
With waiting times for the NHS reaching astronomical levels, the thought of becoming ill is stressful for your staff. Not only do they face the prospect of living with an undiagnosed illness or condition for longer than necessary, but there's an added level of stress when worrying about loss of earnings if they need time off to recover.
One way to alleviate some of those fears is to provide health coverage for your staff or offer each employee a significant contribution that makes it easier for them to be swiftly seen and treated by the appropriate medical professionals.
There's also a growing demand for mental health support, with companies able to create safe spaces for people to talk about their feelings, regardless of whether they're related to their jobs.
We can help support mental health in the workplace by:
encouraging regular breaks
creating a culture of check-ins
striving to be more inclusive
investing in the appropriate training
In a society where we're more aware than ever of the need for physical wellness and its relationship with mental health, it's important as a company to make this more accessible for staff.
You can do this by supplementing memberships to health clubs and gyms or providing vouchers for spa days or personal training sessions. Through physical activity, we can elevate our mood, reduce stress and boost our self-esteem. These are important components for a healthy, happy and productive workforce.
Days off for birthdays
There's nothing wrong with wanting to feel like a king or queen on your birthday. What better way to reward your staff than with a day off for their special day?
One of the best benefits an employer can give to their staff is some of their time back, and a day off on their birthday is a great way to achieve this. It also helps to boost employees' loyalty and affinity towards their company.
For many people, a job is more than somewhere to turn up for eight hours, do their work and go home. Lots of us want to feel like we're part of a team, and one of the best ways to build up a sense of comradery is for employers to provide regular socials.
There are many great ways we can engage our staff through social events and it's a valuable exercise to pass this responsibility to members of your team.
Not only will they take greater ownership of creating social events for the entire team, but they'll be able to canvass opinions across departments to find the activities your employees most want to do.
This could be some cooking, pottery or wine-tasting classes or activities with a great focus on team building such as escape rooms, scavenger hunts or a field trip.
Allowing your staff to be selfless with their time is rewarding not just for them but the causes they believe in. Offering an allocation of volunteer days is a great way for employees to make valuable contributions to their communities, from engaging in charity events to park or beach clean-ups.
Bring your dog to work
Dogs bring an infectious level of joy almost everywhere they go. It can provide a boost to everyone in the office if you allow staff to bring their four-legged friend into work.
Offices that welcome dogs enjoy lower levels of stress, improved productivity and a lighter mood. Staff who are allowed to bring their dogs into the office can also worry less about having someone look after their dog, while stroking their fur can have a calming or soothing effect.
Why you should reward your staff
Staff turnover is a major concern for many businesses, but by applying some of these benefits you can greatly improve loyalty, engagement and job satisfaction among your workforce.
Furthermore, by shouting about these benefits from the rooftops when recruiting, you'll be more attractive to candidates and able to hire a higher quality of personnel, increasing your growth potential in turn.