Perks and Benefits
that won't break the bank
Gone are the days when employees were satisfied with a steady paycheck and a drunken Christmas party. In the current competitive job market, employers need to do more to attract and retain top talent so perks and benefits packages are becoming increasingly important.
Traditionally, packages have included high-ticket items like health and dental care, which isn’t feasible for smaller businesses with limited budgets and it has led to industries like Interior Design being a little lacklustre when it comes to offering incentives.
But it's still possible to make employees feel valued without adding huge costs to the business, you just need to think outside the box.
Here are our top, cost-effective suggestions that won’t break the bank:
1. Personal development
Investing in the personal development of your employees shows that you value their well-being and want to give them the best chance to succeed. For those starting out in their careers in Interior Design, connecting them with industry mentors who can offer sage advice and feedback is an invaluable benefit. This can either be done through a professional mentorship programme or more informally by assigning new hires a mentor within the company.
Weekly yoga or mindfulness classes in the office make relaxation time easily accessible for anyone and everyone. However, if space is an issue, mindfulness app Headspace has created Headspace for Work, specifically designed for companies “to address the mental well-being of their teams head-on” in order to reduce stress and burnout. Subscription to an app like this means employees can tap into mindfulness at any time during the day, whether that be first thing in the morning before their day starts, or even on the train on the way home as a way to unwind.
2. Pet-friendly office
Since the pandemic, there has been higher demand for allowing pets in the office and companies are starting to become privy to the upside. Furry friends have been proven to reduce stress levels, boost morale and create a more relaxed environment for workers, meaning it is not only the owner who is benefiting.
This perk costs nothing to implement but can have a hugely positive impact on the culture and environment of the office. What’s not to love?
3. Paid volunteering
Actively supporting and enabling volunteering not only helps others but it also creates a sense of purpose and community within the company. Studies have shown that employees, in particular millennials, value brands who encourage volunteer work by allowing it to take place within work hours and thereby removing barriers such as childcare or lack of time. Empowering employees to do good and give back will improve staff motivation and retention so paid volunteer hours are in fact not time lost for a company but rather loyalty gained.
4. Healthy vending machine
Saving money on food has long been a favoured perk, with behemoths like Google and Facebook having full blown canteens stocking every variety of snack, drink and meal you could wish for. While this is not a reality most companies can afford, there is a cheaper alternative which will still keep employees satisfied. Healthy vending machines stacked with delicious, nutritious goodies will help keep everyone’s stomachs happy during the day and allow them to work to their full potential without the dreaded afternoon slump.
Mother vending is a one-stop-shop service that supplies the machine, stock and maintenance so all you have to do is choose the menu!
5. Recognition programme
We all have a simple human need to feel appreciated and we long for a sense of achievement. It’s one thing to get compliments from friends and family, but being genuinely rewarded for hard work can act as a real boost for our overall happiness. Recognition of employees doesn’t need to come at a cost, and if integrated into the heart of workplace culture it can have significant returns in employee retention, engagement and productivity. Plus rewarded behaviour is likely to get repeated.
There are lots of creative ways to reward employees for hard graft but firm favourites always tend to be time related, since it’s something we cannot buy! So if you want to really show your gratitude here are some ideas: extra paid time off, summer fridays, duvet / mental health days. Bonus.ly is also a great tool for keeping the whole office engaged in the company’s rewards programme allowing everyone to recognise each other for big and small wins.
6. Side Hustles And Passion Projects
Companies that offer flexible scheduling to allow employees to dedicate time to side hustles or passion projects demonstrate that they value their employees interests and recognise that there is more to life than a day job.This kind of awareness gives a company a competitive edge as they not only foster innovation but also attract interesting candidates who have a lot to offer.
Ultimately, whatever form of perks and benefits you decide to offer, it's important to make them meaningful and tailored towards the needs of your employees. By offering benefits, from unlimited PTO and pet-friendly offices to wellness programs and healthy eating, employers show their commitment to their employees' well-being and success, which can lead to increased productivity, engagement and retention.