Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Low-Cost Ways to Show Employees They're Appreciated

The biggest concern among employers is retention, but how can you and your company make that happen? FastCompany.com offers 20 affordable ways to show employees that they are valued, assuring a high retention rate.

1. Flex time. Allow your employees a way to accommodate for personal matters, like doctor’s appointments.
2. Innovation days. Get your employees thinking creatively by setting aside a few days a year to address projects related to their workspace and the way they work
.
3. Monthly commuter benefits
. In cities where mass transit is used, offer tax-free transit programs, like
TransitChek or Commuter Check, which also saves your company money in payroll taxes.
4. Fully stocked kitchen. Keep your employees hydrated and satisfied with free coffee, soda, and even snacks during work hours.
5. Wellness benefits. Employees can receive reimbursement for items related to fitness and well-being, including gym memberships, athletic equipment, etc.
6. Free lunch. Occasionally order in for your employees to encourage community and give them a break from packed lunches.
7. Canine colleagues. Invite some (house-trained) canine visitors to boost morale for the dog-lovers in your office.
8. Parental leave. The U.S. has one of the weakest paid family-leave benefits of any country. Set your company apart by making sure all employees are eligible for paid time off after a life event, such as the birth of a child.
9. No dress code. Create a relaxed work environment and leave the ties and business suits at home.
10. Summer hours. Allow employees to leave early on Fridays, giving them a head start on their weekend as well as the traffic.
11. Optional telecommuting. In our ever-expanding mobile and digitally connected world, it is becoming increasingly easier for employees to work from home successfully. Allow for employees to work either full or part-time from home.
12. Flexibility in paid time off. Allow employees to choose when to use their paid time off (vacation, sick or personal time) to meet the needs of their individual situations.
13. A culture of work/life balance. Create an environment where your employees know it really is okay to leave the office before 8:00 p.m.
14. Perks for part-time employees. Many companies forget about their part-time employees – provide them with perks and rewards and you will get full-time productivity.
15. Cultural extras. Reward your employees with gifts like concert or movie tickets, passes to sporting events, or even gift cards to restaurants to keep the workplace exciting.
16. Sabbaticals. Don’t forget those long-term employees – offer month-long sabbaticals after five or ten years of service.
17. Employee referral programs. Your best employees are usually hired through referrals. Offer a cash bonus to those who refer a potential employee who is hired.
18. Green initiatives. Offer preferred parking or subsidies for those employees who purchase and drive a hybrid vehicle.
19. Tuition forgiveness. For those hard-to-fill positions, offer to pay a percentage of tuition owed, per year of employment.
20. Paid time off to volunteer. Help your employees give back to the community easier by offering a specific amount of time to volunteer.
Incorporating these benefits will help your company attract top talent, decrease expensive voluntary turnover, and ensure that your employees will retain their positions happily. Has your company enacted any of the above perks? What other ways can your company show employees they are appreciated?
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