Happy, healthy, less stressed employees are more productive and profitable. This is a fact all business owners know but many rely on the same, tired ways of motivating and sating their workforce.
Sometimes motivation requires a little creativity and recognition that salary isn’t always everything. We often find that companies who rely purely on attractive salaries but neglect the environment and perks on offer are “trapping” demotivated workers and that’s not good for anyone. This doesn’t advocate wage freezes or cutbacks but it is an encouragement for businesses to complement their employee’s wage packages with other incentives and perks – to inspire them to want to be more productive.
Here are some perks your business should consider implementing or advocating more:
Flexible working — we’re all different and we operate at our peak at different times. Some of us have trained ourselves to be at our best from 9-5 but for others it’s just not possible. Factor in work/life balance and childcare needs and the 9-5 can look pretty oppressive and that’s not good for productivity
The flexibility you offer will depend on your business needs but if you introduce some level of flexible working productivity will increase naturally as employees slip into a routine that elicits their very best selves.
Home/mobile working — working from home is about more than flexibility, it’s about trust. Businesses have been suspicious about home working for years believing it encouraged slacking. Trusting employees to work from home is often a great motivator as they are keen to prove that it will make them more productive. Perhaps this is because they are working to a more natural rhythm or perhaps because they’ve more energy for not commuting. Businesses who have introduced home/mobile working report that productivity has improved in most of their home workers.
Personal development — giving your employees the opportunity to grow their skillset is not just motivational it can also be beneficial to the company. Whether it is support for a new skill, getting a new qualification, taking a degree, learning a language or time off to pursue personal interests or volunteer for charitable organisations your employees will appreciate your dedication to their development. This creates more loyal, happier, more educated employees who will be keen to put their new skills, knowledge or experience into practice. The fact you are offering something will be far more important to most of your employees than what you can actually afford so something simple like a well-stocked office library full of course material and teach yourself books can go a long way.
Monday incentives — Monday sucks for most people and in many companies it is the least productive day of the week. Liven things up by offering treat/prizes to high achievers on Monday morning. This gets the adrenaline pumping and buoys the mood in the office as everyone tries to win. Over time Monday could become your most productive day as each Monday will see employees turn up determined to be that week’s winner.
Family travel for business — being away from the family on business can be tough, especially if you have young children. Consider subsidising trips of over 3 nights so families can travel together on business. Your employee will appreciate how highly you value family and will cherish the time they would have had to spend away from their loved ones. If planned correctly it might actually be a money saver as serviced apartments and shopping grants can work out cheaper than hotels and expensed meals.
Family care — not all companies can afford comprehensive child care programmes but this doesn’t mean you can’t offer related incentives. A gesture like extra paid personal days for those unavoidable days when childcare is an issue or there’s an emergency. As long as you are showing your employees you care about their family they will feel much more positively about your company.
Encourage breaks — businesses who have a culture that frowns on breaks is an unproductive company. Humans are not computers and need regular breaks to be at their best. Encourage employees to take a break of no less than 10 minutes every 90 minutes. Over the course of the day they will work at their optimum in 5 bursts of 90 minutes which is vastly more productive than working at 80% speed for 9 hours.
Other ideas worth exploring:
- Team events (dinner clubs, free lunches, nights out)
- Family days
- Up-to-date equipment and software
- Office games (table tennis, pool, video games)
- Day off on your birthday
- Monthly snack days (buy in loads of healthy and not-so-healthy snacks)
The key to unlocking your employees’ hidden productivity is employee satisfaction. Making changes that benefit and suit your workforce will go a long way to boosting productivity. These are just some ideas that increase motivation, loyalty, worth, happiness and fulfilment which are all proven to affect productivity.
By introducing perks to your business, you’ll create a business environment people want to be in and this will shine through in their output.