This article was contributed to VentureApp by Morgan Mosher, director of brand & culture at T3 Advisors, a corporate real estate firm offering services from strategic planning and consulting to site selection and deal negotiation.
It can be difficult to find great employees, so when your company finds that perfect person, with the ideal qualifications and a personality that makes her an excellent fit, you want to do everything you can to make her happy so she will stay with you. You’ve invested time and energy to find her, and you need her fully on board. After all, research shows that happy employees are 12% more productive.
Since you know that happy employees have higher retention rates, you have to ask yourself: what kinds of workplace perks make employees happy? Based on our experiences with high-growth businesses, here are some of our favorites:
I See What You Did There: Recognition and Rewards
Employees like to feel like their work is noteworthy. If they are working diligently on a project, they want to hear that their contribution is not only viewed, but valued. It takes very little time or money for a company to acknowledge the efforts of their employees and to reward them when they go above and beyond — and employees are more likely to do so when they know that they will be recognized.
Hit The Gym: Encouraging Healthy Living
Employees appreciate it when companies think about them as whole people and not just cogs in a machine. Companies that take the time to offer perks that help employees to be healthier are tapping into this, and employees love it. This can be done in multiple ways, but the most straightforward involves good old gym time — either offering free or discounted gym memberships, or having workout facilities on site. It can be as simple as fostering a company culture where taking time out of the day to workout is ok, even encouraged. You trust your staff to get their work done and sanctioning them to take a mental/physical break as needed implies that – Bagel Tuesdays thank you.
The Suggestions Box: Valuing Employee Input
This is cultural, and might not actually be a perk per say, but employees who feel like they are heard, and that they are helping to steer the ship are more invested in the workplace. Companies that have a culture that fosters input and feedback from employees are companies with empowered employees; empowered = happy.
Happy Holidays: Extra Time Off for Big Events
The holidays can be incredibly stressful, especially for people who don’t live near their families. If they are to travel, getting there — and back! — in time to get to back into the office can be nearly impossible. Companies that can give employees a little bit of extra time off around the holidays show that they understand that their workers have lives outside of the office, and that willingness to give them a few more hours to live those lives is HUGE to employees.
Let’s Take This Somewhere Else: Off Site Events
Sometimes it’s nice to get out of the office during the workday. Lots of companies will have off site events after hours, and while employees do appreciate that, family responsibilities (childcare, etc.) can make it difficult for them to attend. Organizing off site events that employees can attend without any additional headaches shows your workers that you want them to be able to attend without any extra headaches, and that you appreciate that they have lives outside of work.
Off site events also can allow for team building and interactions between individuals and/or departments that don’t frequently get the chance to see each other or work together, and can spark collaboration that is good for the company — they are a perk for everyone!
Feed Me, Seymour: Free Food
There’s no way to pretty it up: employees like free food. Whether it is the occasional lunch or an everyday spread, employees appreciate when food is provided for them. It gives them a chance to be social with co-workers, it saves them money, and it gives them energy for their work. Any time a company has the chance to feed employees, it is a good thing and it is appreciated.
And there you have it — a few of these perks will definitely help to retain your dream employee, and make your office more attractive when you have that next job opening.
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