Work is work, so anything added on top to make staff feel happier is a bonus which is often very well received. With the introduction of flexible working, many employees are finally able to stop juggling work with their personal life and create a more harmonious balance. However, flexible working is not often a benefit but a necessity, so what can you offer your employee that truly says ‘thanks, we value you’?
What Employees Want
The Guardian Jobs recently asked its readers and subscribers to get in touch with their opinions on what kind of benefits bosses should offer their staff in order to maintain a happy team. The most frequently suggested were financial leniencies such as petrol allowances or additions to salary for the performance of extra tasks. Others suggested an increase in holiday allowance to increase relaxation and give staff members a break from the office, whereas some confirmed that flexible working or working from home were ideal for many who consider the commute to and from work as a large contributor to their discomfort with the job.
What Employers Want to Give
It is all very well suggesting these changes to working life, however the ability for them to be implemented without causing any detriment to the company is questionable. Large companies are more able to give their employees benefits, particularly financial ones, as they have more money to theoretically burn. Companies like Google have made headlines all over the world for the exciting atmosphere in which their employees work; from personalised sleep pods which are available throughout the day for a power nap to games rooms complete with consoles and PCs and a cafeteria that boasts only the best in healthy brain food intended to maximise productivity through good nutrition, they have it covered.
What Can You Change?
If you are an employer who wants to give something back to your staff, you may be in a panic as you try and decide how you can keep a contented team and a profitable business. However, the benefits you give to your staff need not all be financial. What is more important is emotional value and ensuring your staff feel as though their lives outside work are equally important to their employer as their professional ones. Things such as offering staff a day off on their birthday can inspire good morale; or perhaps reassessing workspaces to maximise comfort and aesthetics can help staff feel more comfortable and therefore more able to perform their job properly.
You do not have to break the bank in order to make staff feel special, but ignoring their wants and needs can be perilous as they may look elsewhere to find a job that suits them more both professionally and personally.