6 Free Employee Benefits that Won’t Cost Your Company Anything
Employee benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans cost the company money but are attractive to potential employees. A small business on a budget can offer benefits to employees that will increase their work-life balance, making them feel loved and nurtured without realizing that it didn’t cost you anything. Below are 6 ways you can pamper your employees without breaking the bank.
4-day work week
Restructuring your employee schedules to operate on four ten-hour workdays give the employees the benefit of working full time while enjoying a three day weekend. Not all businesses can accommodate ten-hour workdays, however; if you have never thought about it, you might be surprised at how easy it can be and the rewards that can come from thinking outside the box. Make sure to check with the federal and state labor laws on the amount of meal and rest breaks required during a 10-hour shift so you will be complaints with EEO laws.
Not all employees have lives that fit the standard 9-to-5, Monday through Friday shifts, and many would appreciate the flexibility to balance work with the responsibilities they have in their personal life. Flextime allows employees to customize their schedules within a certain range of hours and days, and according to Gallup, the trend is growing in popularity every year. With today’s useful project management apps and easy access to video conferencing, teams can stay cohesive even if they don’t work side by side, creating a flexible environment that benefits both the employees and the employers.
Dogs at work
Service dogs and emotional support animals are growing in numbers as people find ways to navigate life with mental and physical health concerns. Statistics show that animals in the workplace can help to create an atmosphere of work/life friendliness and become an attraction to the customers and top talent.
If it’s the right environment, this non-financial perk could make some employees happier than a if they received a bonus. Of course, allowing every employee to bring a dog to work could become overwhelming, so to resolve the concern, work out a rotating schedule where each day a different person brings their fur-baby as the designated “office dog.” Allowing employees to bring their dog to work will make their tails wag, and their pup will love the undivided attention.
Nap time – rest breaks
Ten-minute rest breaks are almost annoying because it’s not enough time to get anything done, yet they are required by law. Now, a ten-minute catnap or ten minutes of stretching sounds like the perfect amount of time to truly rest and renew. Designing a room where employees can comfortably snooze or roll out a yoga mat is a benefit you can offer employees that will optimize the value of a ten-minute rest break. Bean bag chairs, easy to fold up cots or thick sleeping pads are comfy options for napping employees. Add some pillows, fluffy throw blankets, and yoga mats, and your employees will feel nurtured and rejuvenated.
Discounts are a way to bring in business, and if you’re supporting your local community, then your local community will support you. Finding local professionals such as massage therapists, hairdressers or karate instructors and asking them to offer a 20% discount to all of your employees will give their business a boost and your employees a free benefit. Tuck a coupon for the discount into their paychecks and they will feel like they are receiving a bonus. Listen for ideas as your employees interact with each other – if there is a local coffee shop or specific restaurant they all like, talk to the owner and see if they are willing to offer a discount to your employees.
Training and Development
No one likes making mistakes or being bad at their job, and that’s why employees view training and development as an attractive company benefit. Having an employee development plan often leads to fewer grievances and performance management issues because your employees will have the right skills to do a good job, giving them confidence and inspiration to keep learning. Knowing they are working with trained and qualified co-workers excites a team to push toward optimal performance creating a win-win for both the employee and the business.
In conclusion; employees who feel valued will enjoy going to work every day, they will take pride in their performance and be inspired to become better at their job. Investing in your employees doesn’t have to cost money, but it does take time and thought. Often the best gifts are the ones that come from the heart, not the pocketbook, and when your employees feel cared for, it will increase their commitment and loyalty to your business.