Employee Benefits That Benefit Your Business
In last Thursday’s post, I built a pretty good case for making your employees happy. There is plenty of evidence from surveys and other research that suggests the happier employees make your company more successful. And contrary to what the Scrooges and “Horrible Bosses” of the world may think, their happiness isn’t driven by less work and more pay. It’s actually the product of smart thinking and a contemporary approach to employee benefits.
How do you improve employee job satisfaction? Often, by offering flexibility and accommodations (often small and simple ones) that improve employees’ work/life balance. That eases pressure on them in both at work and at home. It makes them feel that the company cares about them as people and improves their workplace attitude. That leads, quite simply, to better, more engaged job performance. Here are a few examples from articles I’ve found on the subject, with a few of my own suggestions.
Offer Mental Health Days
Many employees joke about taking a “mental health day” when they feel a break is called for. But the need, and the need to address it, is real. As we gain more understanding as a society of the effects of stress, anxiety and depression, smart employers take them seriously.
- In the UK, one-third of the sick notes handed out by general practitioners are for mental health problems.
- Globally, 84% of adults agree that companies should offer mental health days as part of their benefit plan
Offer On-site Daycare
Daycare is both expensive and inconvenient. It can keep qualified workers (moms and dads) out of the workforce. And it can distract employees and disrupt work schedules. Many companies (like Patagonia) have moved to minimize those problems by establishing daycare facilities on the company campus.
Software provider payscale.com describes the benefits of onsite daycare this way: “Allowing employees to move seamlessly between the various facets of their life means less wasted time, less absenteeism at home and at work, and more time plugging in when and where it makes sense.”
Final note: the Ford Trend Report surveys show that 77% of workers around the world believe companies don’t do enough to accommodate the needs of working parents.
Accommodate Pet Parents
More than two-thirds of U.S. households – 85 million – have at least one pet. And that percentage is steadily increasing. Many of your employees are among them. And since they view those pets as members of their families, it would be wise for you to connect with them on that issue.
Make it easy to take time from work to deal with sick or injured pets, or to take them to regular veterinary appointments. Host a “bring your pet to work” day. These may seem like small things, but they most certainly are not to people who love their pets.
Help Employees Dealing with Aging Parents
Another contemporary issue involves employees whose elderly parents need increasing amounts of care. This could require personal caregiving, constant meetings with caregivers or extensive time spent searching for appropriate residential facilities or living options.
If your company is understanding about these needs, you will earn loyalty and enjoy a more settled, productive employee. Allow extended time off for dealing with the related issues, or make third-party resources available at no or reduced cost to those employees needing them.
Offer a Reward for Using All Vacation Time
In 2016, American workers left more than 662 million vacation days unused. There are many reasons for this, but the consensus is that the stress of being away from the office creates worry about job security. Subtle “vacation shaming” creates the perception that employees are being disloyal or selfish simply by taking the vacation time they have earned.
If you think this is a good thing, you think wrong. Workers who do not take earned vacations show lower productivity and increased stress levels. (See point #1 above.) Managers need to not only “talk” a good game, encouraging workers to take their vacations. They need to model the behavior they want to see by taking their own vacations in full. To make the point even more strongly, consider rewarding employees who do use their vacation time. The Ford Trend survey states that globally, more than 60% of workers in all age groups believe companies should do exactly that.
Support Employees’ Causes
Many of today’s employees, especially those “millennials” and “Gen Z” workers, identify strongly with charitable and other causes. They believe strongly in environmental responsibility, social justice and other causes, and wish to play a serious role in helping them.
There are several ways to show your support for these employees by supporting the causes about which they are most passionate. You can do this by matching your corporate philanthropic practices to those of your employees, by supporting the most popular ones, or incrementally supporting all of them. In addition, consider a policy of giving employees one or more paid days off each year so they can go work for their charity of choice.
Get Beyond the Job Title
More than ever, today’s employees (think millennials and more) see themselves as more than what they do “for a living.” That means that if you only consider what role they play in your company, you won’t connect with them. They will see you as unconcerned with who they really are and the things they care about. So (and this may sound a little “touchy-feely”) you need to make a sincere attempt to talk to them on something other than a “work-related” level.
Create opportunities to engage employees on a deeper level. Find out what challenges they are facing, what exciting things are going on in their lives outside the office. And once you’ve chatted, make notes, so you will remember. Oh, and there’s a side benefit to this exercise. You just might find some common ground, something important to both of you – and make a friend.
How Superior Can Help
The most obvious way, of course, is with our printing services. When your company works with Superior, it takes away stress for your employees. They lose the printing responsibilities (with which they are likely less than comfortable). And it allows them to return to their comfort zone, using the skills you hired them for.
But Superior also eases the stress on you. By helping you establish a print and promotional products program, we make everything more predictable and far more effective. Our ISO 9001:2015 certification assures you get the benefit of our proven, customer-focused practices. Our two consecutive Best of Print and Digital awards (stay tuned for a 3-peat announcement soon!) show that our customers realize success from our efforts. Call Superior today. Help your business and your employees enjoy a happier new year.