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Employee benefits are perks offered to employees in addition to the salaries. The idea is to offer something extra to make staff feel valued. This improves employee retention and can encourage people to work more efficiently. You can offer everything from healthcare to extra days off, to show your staff that they matter.
- Eyecare. In most companies, people spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen. All that screen time can lead to eye strain and other problems, so offer something to take care of your employee’s eyes so they know you care about their welfare. Offer vouchers for free or reduced eye tests, and offer the glasses too. You can look at some web choice options for glasses that can be offered as an employee benefit.
- Development fund. Employees appreciate the feeling that their company is investing in them and their development. Make a pot of money available for staff to use for training courses, studying for professional qualifications, books for further learning, or conference fees. You benefit from having more informed, qualified staff, and they can keep growing while staying at your business.
- Flexible working. Allowing people to work flexibility shows that you trust them. Sometimes life happens, and people may need to move their hours around in order to fit in a dentist appointment, collect the kids from school, or just to get a few hours extra sleep after a night of insomnia. Be willing to let people choose their own hours, or work from home if and when they need to, to show trust and allow people to have a better work-life balance.
- Discounts. Partner up with other local or large businesses to offer discounts to your team. You could arrange this with places near the office, like the gym that shares your building, the restaurant on the corner, or the deli along the street, to encourage your team to spend money with your neighbors, while also helping them to save money. You could also join a scheme that offers discounts at national chains.
- Vacation Days. Offer people the chance to earn extra vacation days. These can be used to reward people at the end of tough projects or to acknowledge someone who goes above and beyond in the office. An extra day off will always be gratefully received. An extra day to add to a trip, or a duvet day with no questions asked is a great bonus.
- Social activities. You can offer some options for socializing with your office-mates to encourage team-building and to help people get to know each other. You could let everyone down tools an hour early on a Friday, and buy in some beers for people to enjoy. Arrange regular team lunches. Book away days for different teams to get a chance to work together. Make sure that the activities you choose offer something for everyone. Many business fall into the trap of making all activities either about alcohol, or very active, which can be quite exclusionary for those who don’t drink, or aren’t able-bodied. Offer a range, and never force anyone to talk part, or the benefit becomes a chore or a punishment.
- Chore help. If you know your team often has to work long hours, offer some benefits that will help them stay on top of their home life. This could be vouchers for childcare, a subsidized laundry or maid service, or discounted subscriptions to meal services. If people can’t always get home on time, at least they’ll know the children are being looked after, the house is clean, and dinner will be easy to prepare. Don’t use these offers as an excuse to expect people to always work more than the contracted hours though. This should be a help, not an enabler.
- Commute help. If you have staff who travel to work by public transport, you’ll know that bus and train fares can soon add up throughout the year. The cheapest way to commute on public transport is to buy a yearly pass. This are more expensive than people can buy in one go, but save in the long run. Offer to buy these for your employees, and ask them to pay you back a little a month from their salary. You could also set up similar benefits for other commutes too. Allow employees to buy a bike, and pay you back month by month. Make sure there is somewhere safe for people to store bikes, and consider putting in lockers and showers, so people can freshen up and store their cycling gear.