Any good business wants happy employees, and a solid benefits package is a big part of that equation. But offering a generous suite of benefits can be cost-prohibitive in this age of escalating health-care costs. What can businesses do to keep employees motivated without breaking the bank? Here are ten low- or no-cost ideas.
Recognition: A formal recognition program recognizes top performers and motivates others to do better. Whether it’s a plaque or just a preferred parking space, it costs very little to say, “Good job!”
Professional Development: High-performing employees will welcome the chance to sharpen their professional axes by attending seminars or lectures. It’s even better if they can choose which ones.
Flexible Work Arrangements: Nearly everyone struggles with work-life balance, especially if they’re raising a family and working full time. Opportunities to telecommute, have flexible work hours or even special “summer hours” when the kids are out of school will be greatly appreciated.
Wellness Programs: These can range from in-office exercise classes to discounted gym memberships to providing flu shots on site. Costs are often offset in long-term improvements in employee health, which translates to less missed time.
Paid Sick Leave: Required in some locations, paid sick time certainly has a direct cost associated with it. But there’s a hidden benefit as well: an employee who knows she’s being compensated is less likely to rush back to work … and infect the rest of the office.
Employee Assistance Programs: An EAP offers free and confidential assessments and/or counseling for any number of issues related to emotional and mental well-being, from substance abuse to psychological disorders. EAPs address mental health in much the same way that wellness programs address physical health.
Discount Programs: Helping your employees to make their own dollars go further is another great idea. If applicable, you can offer discounts on your own products or services. If not, talk to vendors or suppliers, or look into a group program to offer membership at a big-box discount store.
Paid Holidays/Personal Days: This is another benefit that may well pay for itself in increased productivity … and a great reward for that recognition program above.
Commuter Assistance: Look into programs that allow employees to use pre-tax dollars to subsidize their commute.
Retirement Savings Plans: Again, the key here is pre-tax dollars. The opportunity to have retirement savings automatically deducted from pay before taxes is a huge benefit.
Rules and requirements for any of these may vary depending on your location, so be sure to consult a benefits expert before implementing anything new.
Questions about benefits? Contact Consolidated Insurance.