5 no-cost or low-cost employee perks for 2016

On the Job

5 no-cost or low-cost employee perks for 2016

One of the predictions in the labor market for 2016 is that competition for hiring will be tougher, so organizations will be looking for new ways to attract and retain employees. That’s good news for job seekers.

A common way to encourage employee retention is by having a competitive perk and benefit package. We all like perks, right?!

Perks and benefits are two different things:

    • Benefits are non-wage compensation that supplements salary. Health insurance and 401(k) plans are a couple of the most common benefits.
    • Perks are things that can help employees do their jobs better or just make it more enjoyable. Perks can contribute to employee well-being and engagement.

Whether your new in a job, or have been with your company for awhile, you can propose adding perks to improve your workplace. You don’t have to rely upon human resources to make all the decisions!

When suggesting a new perk, it will need to have a return-on-investment, so cost is a factor. Here are five low or no-cost perks that could have a positive impact on the workplace.

  1. Lunch and learn sessions. B.B. King once said, “The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.” Your workplace is likely full of subject matter experts (SMEs) who could share their expertise with others. You can suggest business topics, or topics like social media tools that may have business and personal use. Employees can just bring their lunch or maybe the company could even bring in food. It provides professional development. It builds teams. And it gives SMEs some experience presenting in front of a group.
  2. Volunteer time. Allow employees some working time to help a non-profit in the community. The type of assistance provided can align with the business; for example, a hardware store helping Habitat for Humanity. Or employees could collect items for a toy drive or a Dress for Success program. It’s a win for the non-profit, the company and for employees.
  3.  Casual dress. Some businesses already have a relaxed dress code. For those that don’t, why not give employees the opportunity to dress casual for a cause. It might be best to start with an established program such as Go Red for Women, Lee National Denim Day or No-Shave November. It’s possible that your customers might want to join in on the fun. Oh, and casual attire usually means less dry cleaning, which can be a nice savings!
  4. Let business services come to you. Many service providers that will come to your workplace for things like spa services (massages or manicures), or dry cleaner pick up/drop off. These services can save workers time and make them feel better. The one thing to keep in mind is that the service provider might be looking for some guarantees that employees are going to participate.
  5. Flexible work schedules. Obviously, this is driven by the operation, but when times are slow, an occasional work-from-home day can be nice. Or a come-in-late / leave-work-early day. Provided it doesn’t have a negative impact on the work, offering some scheduling flexibility can be a HUGE bonus for employees and it shouldn’t cost a dime.

There are many perks that you can suggest to make work life easier and little more fun. Just speak up and let your company know that the perk would be nice. If there’s homework to be done, offer to assist. That can help the company make the decision.

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