The LinkUp Blog The Industry's Best-Kept Secret
Morale-boosting benefits that cost little to nothing
A two-for-one — Happy Fourth of July! Many employees are overjoyed that not only are they getting Independence Day off next week, but also the day before. Because the Fourth falls on a Tuesday, many companies with traditional office hours are opting to close Monday as well.
Of course, days off vary by industry, but standard 8-5 organizations are often flooded with PTO requests for days prior or days after a holiday. In this case, with the eve falling on the first day of the week, it’s easier for many companies to just stay closed. Business is likely to be slow and crews will be sparse, plus what a morale booster it is for employees to get a four-day weekend!
July 3 is the perfect slot for a company floating holiday, which got me thinking about other benefits that aren’t incredibly difficult or expensive for companies to implement, yet have a dramatic effect on employee satisfaction and retention. The types of things that really help out employees but aren’t so extravagant that SMBs can’t afford to implement them.
A nice perk here at LinkUp is summer hours. We get off at 3 p.m. on Fridays, and I can guarantee that no work is lost by closing a few hours early. Employees are trusted to get their job done and meet deadlines, which they work ahead to do because leaving a little early to enjoy a bit of extra sunshine is absolutely worth it. Morale soars, employees work hard and it costs the company nothing.
Plus, so many employees take off Fridays to enjoy long weekends. In reality, with summer Fridays, fewer people may take Friday PTO because they know that even though it’s just two hours, that’s enough time to help them get out of town a little early for long weekends at the lake (we are in Minnesota and there are nearly 12,000 to explore).
How much would it cost for your company to do summer hours? If it won’t have a dramatic effect on business, it’s an incentive worth considering.
Flexibility is another highly sought-after benefit by today’s professional that often costs little to employers. Allow employees to shift their hours within reason to meet their personal needs, or if possible, consider allowing telecommuting a few days a week. This is a huge help for employees who want to miss rush hour, explore hobbies and attend family events.
Fitness-related benefits are also easy to implement and typically cost-effective. Bring in a yoga teacher over the lunch hour and reach out to your health insurance provider to get info on health-club reimbursements. Start a walking club and reward employees who meet certain goals. Options are virtually endless and can fit any budget.
One final perk gaining momentum is company-sponsored PTO for volunteering. Obviously this costs the company a day’s salary for the person who is out, but the payback is worth it. Not only are you allowing employees to go out and make a difference in the community, you’re enhancing your brand by showing the organization cares. This feel-good benefit is a wonderful addition for current employees and a nice mention when recruiting. In fact, our company took a day off to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity just this week for the 15th consecutive year.
What other low-cost benefits at your company have positively impacted workers?