Corporate Health – Employee Perks That Won’t Break the Budget

(This is the seventh in a monthly series about Corporate Health, where we examine different methods and ideas for improving efficiency, your company culture, and employee morale.)

Employee perks. The words alone can strike a certain amount of dread into company owners and managers. After all, Fortune 500 companies have made the term synonymous with lavish business expenses, such as climbing walls, fitness rooms, daycare centers, full tuition reimbursement, and other costly effects.

While the employees who receive them appreciate these perks, they are certainly not an option for all companies to offer. The good news is, affordable perks are equally as appreciated by employees. Here are some things you can offer your staff at little or no cost to you:

  • Flexible schedules – this is a huge benefit for both you and the employee. Letting your staff establish a workday that fits their family needs or personal preferences makes them more productive and contributes to employee satisfaction. Make it better by offering added flexibility to allow for doctors’ appointments, school meetings, or other life events that don’t always fall outside of the standard workday. If you are able to accommodate it, give your employees the option to work four, ten-hour days to extend their weekends.
  • Telecommuting – technology has made it very easy to have staff work from home, and could even save you money on overhead costs. Even if you prefer your staff on-site, giving them a telecommuting option when family members are ill, weather is poor for traveling, or other extenuating circumstances arise is another excellent employee perk.
  • Casual environments – obviously not an option if you have clientele in the office all the time, but if you don’t, why make your staff dress up for the FedEx guy? Casual attire contributes to general employee comfort and can help increase productivity.
  • Corporate canines – dog-loving employees will be ecstatic over the opportunity to have their beloved companion join them in the office. Naturally, this one needs to be approached with care, to accommodate staff members who have allergies or a fear of dogs.
  • Personal services – if you have businesses in your city that offer deliverable services, such as dry cleaning or laundry, oil changes, glass repair, etc., arrange for their services to be available to your staff. This can also extend to health services, such as immunizations and general checkups.
  • Consumable motivation – offer free beverages, such as coffee, tea, bottled water, and soft drinks to your staff to keep them hydrated. Free snacks are a great offering too, and can help fend off afternoon energy slumps. Once a month, bring in breakfast or lunch for your employees, or host a cookout if you have the available space. A break from the workday encourages camaraderie among staff members.
  • Starter kits – new employees run the gamut of emotions on their first day, from excitement to trepidation. A gift basket on their desk with some company-branded swag, snacks and a card will go a long way towards making them feel welcome!
  • Celebrations – for many adults, birthdays come and go like any other day of the year. Offer a bonus PTO day for birthdays, or a birthday card with a small gift card inside.
  • The power of words – never underestimate how much weight your words hold. Verbal acknowledgment or public praise for a job well done are powerful motivators for employees!

These small tokens of appreciation may not seem like a big deal, but they show your employees that you are invested in them, which in turn, invests them in your company. When you implement your employee perks, don’t forget your part-time employees as well. They may put in less time, but not less effort! Your perks should be available in some form to everyone.