With a smaller number of staff, the contribution of every employee in an SME is critical.
According to a study, employees of small businesses are working an average of eight extra hours unpaid every week at work and home. The main reason for SME workers doing so many extra hours is to keep up with the volume of work, followed by pressure from their manager and more positively, wanting the business to do well. However, this is leading to nearly half of people feeling more stressed, and over a third feeling taken for granted by their employer. This could pose a great risk for small businesses as they could lose such skilled employees.
Card machine provider Paymentsense has identified the top perks that staff want in order to increase their motivation and engagement.
Employers must value the time, effort and mental clarity of each individual in order to see a positive impact on the bottom line and staff engagement rates. The best way to keep employees happy, productive and engaged is to create a strong company culture by embracing employee benefits.
Employee benefits (perks) are non-salary compensation that can vary from company to company. Benefits are indirect and non-cash payments within a compensation package. They are provided by companies in addition to salary to create a competitive package for current and potential employees.
Here are the most desired company benefits that could help increase productivity and keep your staff happy:
Early Finish Fridays
Work-life balance has become commonplace in recent years, but what about chopping two hours off your normal eight hour Friday? Some wonder if allowing employees to work shorter hours is a waste of money. Others argue it’s a sound investment that increases productivity.
Several of Sweden’s biggest employers have experimented with a six-hour working Friday, with the intention of boosting motivation and efficiency. The results have been promising: for example, Toyota introduced the policy in 2002 and reported that it led to a happier workforce and a decrease in staff turnover.
Flexible Hours & Remote Working
There is an element of admin work involved in running a flexible working scheme, but the relaxed attitude and easy booking system keep this perk relatively hassle free. Employees either make up their working hours on another day or work remotely. It’s a simple, low-cost perk that wins points from employees who enjoy the work-life balance it provides.
Extra Days Off
A free day off here and there—for birthdays, to move into a new house, to attend an important family event—are the among most sought-after benefits and it doesn’t cost a lot for companies.
While an unlimited vacation allowance might sound like a business nightmare, there are certain employees who would happily give up part of their salary if they could take off as much time as they wanted (provided it does not interfere with their business duties).
Providing your employees with gym memberships doesn’t have to be expensive, and of course companies do not have to cover the whole membership fees. If you set up a deal with a local gym and provide a discount for your employees, it’s still a win.
Free Fruit or Other Nutricious Snacks
They say health and happiness come hand in hand, and so encouraging your staff to get their vitamin fix is a better alternative to a vending machine packed with sugary snacks.
More than a third of employees admit perks and benefits are among their top considerations before accepting a new job, and creating a rewarding company culture doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank. Keeping employees happy should be a top priority for all businesses, given its impact on productivity levels.