Fifty-seven percent of people report that benefits and employee perks are their top considerations before accepting a job, according to a survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor. Glassdoor also compiled research on companies like Netflix, which announced unlimited maternity and paternity leave for the first year of a child’s birth or adoption, and Airbnb, which offers an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel anywhere in the world.
However, companies lacking the financial resources to afford employee perks can get innovative with their compensation plan. Not all benefits have an expensive price tag attached. Some employee perks are even free and can improve your bottom line.
Here’s a look at how to lower the costs of employee perks and still keep retention high:
Offer all-inclusive devices
Provide employees with a new smartphone that has all of the latest bells and whistles. Otherwise, your employees will end up wasting time switching back and forth between devices for personal and business use. Use an app like Intuit’s Time Catcher for Android to track when employees are actually working on their projects. You can also simplify your productivity measurements by simply focusing on projects completed instead of hours logged.
To combat security issues and do damage control, choose a smartphone that includes fingerprint sensors and is drop- and water-resistant. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S7 embodies these features and also offers Samsung Pay to cover business expenses while remote employees are in the field. A T-Mobile plan can also eliminate data overages and annual service contracts to further reduce overhead.
There are plenty of employee perks that don’t cost a dime and can actually improve your bottom line. Studies have shown that employees who are allowed to work from home are more productive, take fewer sick days and are easier to retain than their traditional workplace counterparts.
Allow employees to work from home, come into the office late and work a modified schedule or leave for appointments and necessary errands. Set boundaries by offering flexible schedules to employees who meet current goals and productivity standards to help raise the bar. You can also rely on apps like Slack to help stay connected with remote and telecommuting employees. Employees can drag and drop files, communicate in real-time messaging and manage projects in one place.
Having an employee volunteer program can potentially save companies $1,000 to $6,000 per employee, according to America’s Charities. Volunteering helps employees stay engaged at work, reduces turnover and keeps employees happier. Offer a paid day to volunteer, or support your employees’ favorite charities. You can also volunteer as an entire company and give back to the community using your existing skills and services.
If your company can’t accommodate flexible work schedules or paid time off to volunteer, there are other no-cost ways to offer employee perks. The Humane Society found that allowing dogs in the workplace makes people happier and more productive. One company surveyed said allowing dogs helped make a positive impact on morale, communication and cooperation.
Start slow by offering a sign-up sheet for when employees want to bring in their pets to avoid too much overlap with your new furry friends. You can also allow each employee a specific amount of days each month to bring in their pup. If all goes well, create an open-door policy for dogs and start taking walking meetings for everyone to get a little exercise.
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