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Employee Perks Your Business Can Afford

Employee Perks Your Business Can Afford

Large firms with enormous cash reserves and high turnover can afford to throw money at their employee benefit package. But how can smaller businesses or those on a tight budget compete? We explore ten perks your business can afford.

1. Flexible Working

This is the most desired benefit among SME employees. Introduce this perk by allowing employees to choose when they come into the office. To ensure you have staff available at key times, establish core working hours, like 11 am to 3 pm. This will enable employees to start and finish late or start and finish early.

Not only will this support parents with schools drop-offs and pick-ups but those with caring responsibilities too. And anyone who wants to leave early on a Friday for a weekend away or go to the gym before work will also benefit. In essence, flexible working helps people balance work with life. The number one desire of a benefit package!

2. Training and Development

Learning and development is often one of the first budgets to be cut when times are tough. But people want their employers to invest in them. And research shows that those companies who spend above the national average of £300 per employee have higher employee satisfaction.

It’s clear that employees also want development as those who don’t receive it are more likely to vote with their feet and leave. Making this a perk you can’t afford to ignore.

3. Time to Volunteer

Corporate social responsibility isn’t just for big employers. SMEs often take time out to support local events or undertake work to aid local charities. To find opportunities take a look at local charities’ websites. Or poll your staff to find out which social enterprises they would like to support. It can also be good coverage for your business, allow your staff to each say which charity they would like to volunteer for and include it in their benefit package.

4. Relax Your Workwear Policy

If your people spend most of their time in each other’s company, you could make every day dress down Friday. Should smart attire be required for meetings make this clear in your communications. Or, if a more relaxed approach works for your sector, your customers could well be fine with the change.

5. Public Transport Loans

Public transport passes are expensive. But you can ease the financial burden for employees with an interest-free loan. Simply pay the money to those who apply then set up monthly deductions from their pay. If a staff member leaves, you can deduct any outstanding amount from their final compensation, making this a cost-effective benefit package with little financial risk.

6. Reduced Gym Memberships

Health and well-being is increasingly important for society and employers. Providing reduced gym memberships for your staff is a great way to encourage them to take care of their health. This is another cost-effective benefit that you could negotiate with a local gym. Or take a look at this handy buyers guide for done-for-you options.

7. Health Cash Plans

Employees often like the idea of private medical insurance, however this is a pricey benefit that can be difficult to remove if costs get out of hand. Instead, consider introducing a corporate cash plan for your employees.

They start from as little as £5 a month and provide cash back towards everyday health costs like dental, optical and physiotherapy. Some also include an employee assistance programme which can provide counselling and advice helping you to support employees’ mental health too.

8. Create Individual Perks

The most appreciated perks are not always the flashiest. Spend time thinking about your team, then each month choose something special to show one individual that you appreciate their efforts. This could be as simple as taking one of your team out to a new restaurant that they’ve mentioned. Or buying tickets to a game or concert they want to attend.

Spending money on something your people will genuinely enjoy is much smarter than providing blanket benefits that don’t really tick the box for anyone.

9. Duvet Days

Presenteeism is a big problem for businesses. It can happen when employees come in to work because they feel ill, but it also applies to those days when people just don’t want to go to work. If your staff turn up on these days, they’re unlikely to bring their most productive selves to work. Which is where duvet days come in.

They give employees the option to call in first thing and take the day off. Then they can sleep or do whatever else it is that helps them feel rejuvenated, before coming back in the next day feeling refreshed and ready to go.

10. Unlimited Holidays

Nobody ever goes on holiday leaving critical work undone. Well-managed professionals plan their workload, prioritise and deliver everything that needs to be done before they go away.

It’s this simple premise – that the work always gets done – that underpins unlimited holiday policies. By trusting your staff to complete their work to standard and to take as much time off as they need, you’re empowering your people to take control of their work life balance.

Yes, this relies on having individual goals and high quality performance management. But there are lots of companies who are making this work and reaping the rewards. And in cash terms, this costs absolutely nothing.

To shake up your employee benefit package offerings, decide which of these options will best suit your business. Then do your research and roll out the changes. Or, if that sounds like too much work, get in touch with Crosse HR to manage the introduction of new business benefits at your firm.


How to Create a Beautiful Workplace on a Budget

How to Create a Beautiful Workplace on a Budget

A good working environment can contribute massively to an employees’ mental and physical well-being. which has shot to the top of business’ agendas. With a high proportion of employees struggling to juggle life plus caring responsibilities for children and parents, there’s little time for self care. Which is leading to mounting stress levels. As a result, creating a beautiful working environment where employees can perform at their best provides respite and an opportunity to boost productivity. But when budget is a constraint, creating a beautifully beneficial workplace can be a challenge.

We’ve scoured the internet for a range of cost-effective options that will beautify your workplace and boost your bottom line.

What is a Beautiful Working Environment?

What’s right for your business will depend on your company culture. And the people in it.

Before asking your people for their views, set some office design parameters by referring to your business culture. Placing your company identity at the heart of your transformation will help you find ways to express your brand through physical space.

Whether that’s about enabling collaboration between specific teams or providing privacy for confidential conversations. By identifying your specific goals, you can more thoughtfully organise your office.

Once you have an overall direction of travel, canvas your employees for their ideas about what they’d like to update. Seek answers to specific elements like light, colours, materials, ventilation and sound. This will help you design changes that will work for your entire team.

Budget-Stretching Workplace Design

Modern offices that create a sense of well-being help employees feel more comfortable and relaxed which boosts creativity and a sense of well-being. Here are our tips to help you create a pleasant workplace.

Create Alternative Working Spaces

Consider creating break out areas for collaboration as well as areas where people can work quietly or privately. Concerned that a new meeting room might not be used regularly enough to make the investment worthwhile? Then use them to host yoga or meditation sessions at lunch time. This means you’ll get better use of the space as well as boosting employee well-being.

Can’t stretch to building individual work pods or offices? Then think about installing a white noise app for employees to tune in to or providing wireless noise cancelling headphones. This will give employees the option to tune out of office noise and focus.

Go Green

Exposing people to nature has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol. And it has resulted in some firms integrating living walls to their workplaces. The good news is, that although this looks great, it doesn’t need to be expensive.

You can buy ready-made sets. Or do it yourself for a few hundred pounds by installing a shelving unit with plenty of green leafy pot plants to divide your office space with a natural barrier.

Harvard University found that air quality impacts productivity and decision making. So improving your office air quality with plants could also boost performance.

Go Clean

It’s amazing just how dirty some working environment can be. Research revealed that the average desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet!

Insisting on something as simple as a clear desk policy will keep your workplace feeling less cluttered helping your people to focus. And investing in a cleaning company to ensure your workplace is spotless can reduce the risk of sickness too.

Lighting in the Working Environment

Employees’ performance, energy, focus and motivation is impacted by the amount of light they’re exposed to. Yet many offices have no natural light at all. If you can introduce more daylight to your workplace, then do so. Something as simply as removing items that are blocking windows will help.

If there’s no way to increase natural light, consider introducing blue-enriched light bulbs. They have been shown to boost energy and improve happiness and performance.

Think Beyond Appearance of the Working Environment

Although the physical working environment is important, it’s also critical that employees feel safe and comfortable. This goes well beyond four walls to workplace culture.

Some businesses might want to invest in pool tables, ping pong and slides. But if budget is tight, you could find it’s better to spend your money delivering one voice, one culture, one team, one dream.

Why not remove all the processes, behaviours and systems your people hate and replace them with things that will drive engagement? This could include enabling some of the most sought after working practices like flexible or home working.

Improving your workplace to meet everyone’s needs is a challenge. Particularly if you don’t have an enormous budget. But with this tactics to create a beautiful work-space, you’ll be well on your way to delivering design changes that are more than skin deep.

For more information please contact us, we can help with your employees, but probably not with your interior design.