4 employee benefits your team will thank you for
If you are reading this article, you are probably wondering if you need to offer employee benefits. The answer is a big yes!
Are we facing a paradigm shift? It's not just companies that choose who to recruit. Power is now also in the hands of the candidates.
In this race for the best employees, companies that look exclusively to monetary benefits are left out, and salaries are more of a threshold than a scorecard. Keep in mind that the key to your team's engagement is always balancing monetary conditions and emotions.
In this article, we present the best four perks employees value when choosing or changing a job.
1. Recognition as an employee benefit
Let's start with the simplest but not always put into practice: recognition and moments of gratitude. No one likes to be seen as just a number, not even in the most prominent companies.
Research has shown that effective recognition happens in companies that have a strong supportive culture, understand the psychology of praising employees for their good work, and apply the principles of employee recognition. Does your company meet these requirements?
The same study distinguishes three types of recognition:
- Formal recognition is part of the process of the organization. It consists of structured recognition programs with clearly defined objectives and criteria for achieving specific business targets and goals. For instance, performance bonuses help motivate employees in their work.
- Informal recognition programs are more spontaneous, natural, and unstructured. They aim to reward - in a non-monetary way - an employee (or a team) for achieving a certain goal, at a certain moment.
- Day-to-day recognition is a type of recognition practice that are frequent, low or no cost, and often intangible. A simple “thank you” can be part of this kind of recognition.
To make a meaningful impact, companies can also value soft skills (e.g. creativity or teamwork), which can say a lot about your company's values.
2. Flexibility is key
Flexibility has been increasingly valued, and the global pandemic emphasized its importance. Several companies had to adjust to flexible hours or remote working, and they realized that this made employees more satisfied and, in many cases, increased productivity. But there are other ways to follow in the footsteps of progressive companies, which make flexibility their banner.
Have you heard of Flexible Time Off?
Flexible time off is a policy that is seen in organizations that do not follow standard workday hours.
This perk gives employees an unlimited amount of paid time off. Thus, your team will be able to use its flexible time off - instead of working hours - in particular situations, such as in case of sick leave or vacations.
According to Indeed, these are the most important benefits of Flexible Time Off:
- Greater respect for diversity
- Increased employee commitment
- Ability to adapt to changing employee values
- Increased employee wellness
- Improved employee productivity
Technological advances have supported the end of rigid policies and the rise of “work anytime, anywhere, and everywhere”.
Remote work: a new opportunity?
The real proof was taken during Covid-19! According to a study led by FlexJobs, more than 2,100 people who worked remotely during the pandemic found that 51% report being more productive working from home and 95% say productivity has been higher or the same while working remotely.
Impressive numbers call into question the belief that employees will be lazier if they work from home.
An Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) estimated that office environment distractions caused the loss of 581 hours per person annually, the equivalent of 28% of total working hours.
Moreover, remote work may be an opportunity to lower overhead costs (rent, electricity, heating, security, and others).
However, each case is different, and not all companies have the possibility to replace in-office work with remote work, considering their business. If yours is not part, it may be an excellent option.
3. Training and development
Training and development have clear benefits for both the company and the employees. On the one hand, companies benefit from having employees with the right skills.
On the other hand, employees feel happier when they receive training for new responsibilities, learn about business or technology updates on how to adapt to remote work, or even develop soft skills.
Training and development lead to good employee retention, which indirectly builds the company's image, according to a KIIT University study.
According to its author, there are more effective ways to do it. Here are some suggestions that you can apply to your training plan from now on:
- Turn knowledge into Action
- Training managers should take an interest in the recruits
- Employees should start taking the training programs seriously
- Training programs should be chosen carefully
- Training should help in pursuing long-term assignments
- Attach rewards and incentives to training programs
- Solve the root cause of performance problem
- Training should reflect upon the learning
- Training should focus on results
- Learning through training should be an ongoing process
- Create a positive sense of Internal Competition and social identity
To evaluate the effectiveness of your employee development and training programs, your organization can perform these measures: pre and post-training assessments, polls, and tests, or ask employees to share what they expect from the training.
4. Well-being programs: much more than a trend
An employee well-being program is a holistic approach that places physical and mental well-being at the core of a company's strategy.
The line between personal life and work is increasingly blurred. Companies are getting this and adopting wellness programs.
Of course, designing a wellness program is not easy. To simplify, here are some ideas you can implement among your team.
Make health a priority
There are already some companies that offer health insurance to their employees. And that should be appreciated and celebrated!
But, supporting employee well-being doesn’t just include financial well-being either. Nutrition and promoting policies and activities that improve mental well-being must be part of companies' programs.
We cannot talk about productivity without first talking about health. In turn, we cannot talk about health without mentioning the fundamental role of nutrition.
We all experience stress, fatigue, anxiety, muscle tension, and sleepless nights for different reasons. A health program, particularly nutritional monitoring in companies, may well be the ideal answer to building a happier and healthier work environment.
A recent study shows that workplace meal programs can prevent micronutrient deficiencies and chronic diseases. Healthy eating is one of the recipes to mitigate cardiovascular or gastric problems, improve sleep quality and bring us the energy, confidence, and self-esteem we need to be more productive at work.
Again, personalized nutritional monitoring must be a policy that companies will have to assume. Investments in nutrition are repaid by reducing sick days and accidents and increasing productivity and morale.
If you don't know how to do it, why not adopt a corporate nutrition program like Nutrium Care? Through this program, any company can offer its employees follow-up with excellent nutritionists, a 100% personalized food plan, workshops, webinars, themed days, and exclusive content in the area of health and nutrition. Access to a free mobile app is included, putting the nutritionist just a click away anytime and anywhere.
Nutrium Care has already reached large companies - such as Vodafone, AGEAS, and Randstad - and the feedback has been very positive. Nine out of 10 employees recommend the program, 97% are extremely satisfied with their nutritionist, and hundreds of users rate the mobile app 4.7/5.
A nutritional well-being program can - and should - be accompanied by incentives for physical exercise. The challenge is to remember that not everyone enjoys the same physical activities. This program must be able to please employees who do not miss the gym and those who, for example, are outdoor activities fans.
Mental health: where it all begins and ends
“Burnout,” “stress,” and “anxiety” mark the last decades, and that has been a great challenge for the productivity of companies. The World Health Organization classifies burnout as a work-related health problem.
In fact, employers that offer mental health as an employee benefit are at a significant advantage over those that do not supply such employee benefits in that they are likely to have lower incidents of job burnout, onsite violence, and workplace injury.
How do we promote mental well-being? Well, all the points made in this article are part of the answer. Even so, companies can also invest in partnerships with psychologists, active meditation sessions, and even workshops on balance at work.
Whatever employee benefit you choose to offer, what really matters is that you adapt it to your employees’ needs. Different people have different motivations, and you must gain in-depth knowledge about the people you are trying to keep happy. And, in the end, that’s what counts: to drive people to be their best selves in the office and in their personal lives.