Attracting top talent and retaining your best employees is key to success. Along with a competitive salary, a fulfilling role and a positive office environment, a comprehensive benefits package goes a long way to both enticing and keeping hold of skilled staff. And while that might sound like a costly expenditure to get right, it’s often not the case; sometimes the best benefits can be the ones that cost very little.
“Building an attractive benefits package doesn’t need a big budget,” says James Lloyd-Townshend, CEO of Mason Frank International. “There are options to suit any budget or company size, and some of the most successful perks you offer might actually be the ones that cost the least”.
From choosing your own office hours to cracking a beer at the end of the week, business experts reveal the best employee perks that are also easy on the wallet. In need of some ideas for your own workforce? This insightful article is sure to give you plenty of inspiration when it comes to offering them some low-cost employee perks
Perhaps the most desirable employee perk is the opportunity to carry out duties from the comfort and convenience of their own home. Reducing their commute considerably and allowing untold freedom to work in pyjamas, it’s something everyone could benefit from, even if it’s just a day or two every week.
Clear Review, a talent management consultancy, is one such company that allows employees to work from home. Founder and CEO, Stuart Hearn, says: “It’s our most successful employee perk. We believe that when employees determine their own working hours, they are more effective, happy and productive. They work with their productivity rhythms, not against them. They avoid the stress and frustrations associated with long commutes, and don’t have to worry about missing out on big moments at home. What’s more, I have found that when employees are given the freedom and autonomy to work from home, they are loyal and hardworking.”
From a business perspective, the perk of allowing employees to work from home has made a big difference financially for Clear Review. “In general,” Stuart says “there are fewer overheads when the bulk of your workforce operates from their own home or from a local café. On top of this, we believe our low rates of voluntary turnover are as low as they are because our remote workforce is so happy and committed to the success of the business.”
Getting your employees’ pulses racing through a variety of health and exercise classes is another low-cost perk that employees can benefit from. Even as something as simple as providing fresh fruit can go a long way to improving the employee experience.
Mason Frank International provides a number of health-boosting benefits its employees can take part in. James continues: “When it comes to safeguarding the health of our employees, we provide fresh fruit, free running clubs and boxing sessions, access to online health classes, and discounted gym memberships.”
The value of this is certainly two-fold, allowing employees to stay on top of their health, and giving them the added mental boost to be more pro-active and productive at work. “It’s these small changes that count because your employees know, without a doubt, that you care about their comfort and general wellbeing,” says James.
Keeping your team intellectually stimulated is a great idea too and helps them carve out a career niche that might otherwise be lacking at other companies.
“Don’t underestimate the value of education programmes either,” James says, “we’ve built a range of courses tailored to specific career paths across our business, and that provides our employees with the support they need on their journey towards success.”
Employees often leave when they feel things have grown stale in their roles. “By offering training opportunities, be they internal or external”, James says “you’re showing your workforce that you believe in their abilities and are invested in their professional development.”
Sometimes you just need to let your employees unwind while they’re still in the office, and enjoying a beer at the end of the week is certainly a nice treat after all the hard work they’ve put in.
Ryan Jones, Sales & Marketing Executive at ACI says his office put their feet up with Beer Fridays: “A very simple idea - a Friday afternoon where all our staff gather to have a beer and discuss anything, work or otherwise.” He says it’s a great way to relax at the end of the week, and demonstrates how even a little thing shows your staff how valued they are. And speaking of little things…
Valuable benefits don’t have to be a grand gesture or something big, just a few changes to things around the office can be greatly appreciated and have some really positive effects on your staff. This includes what they wear, as with James and the rest of the Mason Frank International office: “We offer a more relaxed dress code across all our offices, while Casual Fridays have also proved to be very popular, and cost the business absolutely nothing”.
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