As a business owner, there’s a really good chance you’re making employees’ lives harder than they have to be. (Hear me out before you get defensive.) You’re naturally focused on running your business – meeting deadlines, expanding your clientele, making your processes more efficient. These things are crucial to a successful business, making it easy to focus on your needs and forget the employee perks that would help your team. Thus, your needs often clash with your employees’. Here’s how it works:
- You ask them to work overtime to get a project done; this causes them to miss their kids’ sporting events or pay extra money for daycare.
- You set an 8-to-5 schedule to create a stable work environment; they have to take time off work to go to the doctor or family gatherings.
- You offer standard health insurance; they gain weight, back problems, and a whole host of other health issues from sitting at a desk all day.
- You offer a generous one-hour lunch break; they spend extra time preparing food at home or extra money eating at restaurants.
As you can see, your actions may very well be for the good of your company – and may even adhere to industry standards – but that doesn’t mean they work so well for your employees. [pullquote]Traditional work environments put pressure on laborers to give their all to the job, without getting many employee perks in return.[/pullquote]
That creates more problems for you – like combating employee burnout, losing workers to other companies, or missing out on an ideal candidate who got a better offer. Those things all happen because workers want employee perks that will positively impact their lives.
Many small business owners think offering employee perks is too expensive. But they’re wrong. You can create a great incentives program if you just learn which benefits your team wants, then scale those perks to an affordable size.
Not sure where to start? Company Folders has a great countdown of the top ten most wanted employee perks – and why they’re important. Here’s a sneak peek at four of them:
- Free food saves your team time and money – and keeps them from getting hungry on the job.
- Flexible schedules are one of the most desirable employee perks, because employees can work when they’re most productive and still pursue their own interests.
- Health programs like gym memberships or team exercises will save you money on healthcare coverage because your employees stay fit and are less likely to get sick.
- Entertainment like music or game rooms offers a variety of employee perks by reducing stress, boosting morale, and creating a fun workplace that attracts talented people.
Just like any other part of running a business, selecting the best employee perks for your team will take a little trial and error. Be patient, and remember to ask for your team’s input. Nobody can tell you which employee perks will be most effective except your employees themselves.
Does your company offer cool employee perks? Feel free to describe them in the comments below!