Organizations like Facebook, DreamWorks Animation and Google are notorious for providing lavish and unique employee benefits. Such a unique value proposition for employees nowadays seems like a paradox. In reality, many employees face the exact opposite, with reduced benefits stemming from organizations’ need to trimm spending.
Inversely, many companies are investing on employee benefits and satisfaction since there’s a fear that many will be looking for greener pastures once the economy turns around. According to a report released by Glassdoor based on 375,000 employee interviews, there are quite a few employers out there investing in employee benefits. Once of them is the game developing company, Zynga which states on its website: “Zynga workers are a well-fed bunch. Our great culinary staff provides meals for our entire workforce five days a week.”
This kind of information may lead small and medium size organizations to wonder what is within their reach when it comes to employee benefits. Here are a couple of creative ideas that go beyond the traditional employee benefits package and that can keep your employees happy:
A Family that Eats Together, Stays Together
While some organizations like Intercon Solutions can provide free catered lunches for all of their 50 employees, 5 days a week, most small and medium size business cannot afford such luxury. A feasible alternative would be to offer monthly lunches or even free snacks to your employees.
Another idea is to promote a “Potluck!” Regina Anderson, for RIC Director was the precursor of Coro Potlucks in the office. Once a month, the staff was invited to bring homemade and/or store-bought dishes to be shared with the staff. It was a great opportunity for the staff to get together, chat, and strengthen our team.
For some employees, a flexible schedule can be considered an amazing benefit and it has virtually no cost to the employer. Offering employees a flexible schedule can be quite simple:
1. Allowing employees to start an hour early and be allowed to leave an hour early – this can be a particularly attractive benefit to employees with young families and it is unlikely to affect regular business functions.
2. Allowing employees to work from home one afternoon a week – this employee benefit can only make people happier and feeling good about their jobs, which in return tends to increase productivity.
Low Cost Employee Perks
If your organization sees positive results when introducing these employee benefits and are willing to invest some more on employee benefits and satisfaction, there are some low cost options like contributing to health club memberships or day care, creating a tuition reimbursement program, and even gifting employees with dry cleaning coupons on a regular basis. Just cut a deal with the providers and show them that this sort of arrangement can be a win/win situation!
And How About Interns? Should They get Employee Benefits?
It may not be cost effective to invest on employee benefits specifically for interns but if you already have a benefits & perks program in place it may be a good idea to include your interns on the package. Why? Because interns will potentially see you as a more attractive potential employer!
If you and your organization are using internship programs as a recruitment tool (and you should be), giving employee benefits and perks to interns can be a a great way to ensure that the best talent of the upcoming workforce sees you as a valuable employer.