Posted on September 8, 2018
Nowadays, glitzy tech companies and startups offer perks in the form of everything from beer-cart Fridays to meditation rooms. Sure, these attract millennials and give companies an edge they wouldn’t otherwise have, but do these perks actually increase job satisfaction and productivity?
If you’re a business owner or head of HR, or you just received your employee net promoter score back and there’s room for improvement, consider offering these four perks to your team. Not only will they enhance job satisfaction, but also overall quality of life for your employees.
1. Make Your Employees Feel Utilized & Valued
This perk may seem like a given, but you’d be surprised. Oftentimes management gets a big head when numbers are going up and expands for the sake of expanding, which ultimately leaves many early team members feeling useless.
Make employee utilization one of your top priorities and make it known to your team. When employees feel utilized in all their skills and you let them take on as much responsibility as they want and can handle, they feel valued. Nothing’s worse than showing up for a job you feel wouldn’t notice if you did nothing for the day because that’s how obsolete your position’s become.
Only hire additional people when your current team can’t handle the workload. This is a fine line to toe, but it’s better to hire once you truly need someone than hire “just incase” and risk underutilizing employees and plummeting office morale when you have to let go of unneeded workers.
2. Fitness & Health
Investing in your employee’s health and well-being conveys that you don’t just care about them being the best employees, but the best version of themselves overall.
Offer fitness classes, healthy snacks, meals, paid-for gym memberships and even personal trainers if budget allows. Though all employees won’t take part, it’s important the opportunity is there. The employees that do partake will have more energy, better attitudes, and in the case of group fitness classes, stronger relationships with coworkers. Health and wellness initiatives are a recipe for a thriving community.
3. Work-Life Balance
Life happens, people are human. Sometimes you need to unexpectedly pick the kids up from school, run to the doctor or simply take a mental-health day.
It’s important your team understands that they work in a culture where life outside of work is celebrated and acknowledged, not an inconvenience. Whether flexibility like working from home, flex hours or taking a day off on short notice are perks you offer to everyone or are earned, when employees know their job works with their life, not against it, they’ll be that much more loyal and satisfied.
4. Required Vacation
Vacation is really important for overall well-being and productivity.
At the end of 2017, 52% of American workers had unused vacation time. According to PsychologyToday, vacation is relaxing, boosts creativity and increases productivity—meaning all those workers missed out on serious benefits. A true vacation is when you completely disconnect from work and spend time doing things like playing sports, traveling and connecting with loved ones. Watching television and surfing the web does not count as vacation or offer the same benefits, it actually decreases life satisfaction.
Oftentimes employees feel guilty using their vacation time, but requiring employees to take a certain amount of vacation sends a message that it’s important and should not be a source of guilt.
One company forced their employees to take time off and wouldn’t pay them if they tried to check in or work during time off, effectively making a statement of how important disconnecting from work is. It resulted in a 33% increase in creativity, a 25% increase in happiness and a 13% increase in productivity. While SimpliFlying’s experiment was on a small scale, it’s clear that vacation time isn't a luxury, it's a necessity.