Keeping employees happy does more than just make for a pleasant work environment: studies have shown that turnover has a negative impact on the bottom line, with the loss of even an eight dollar an hour employee costing between $3,500-$25,000. Providing a positive employee work experience and decreasing turnover isn’t just the nice thing to do, it could directly impact how well your business performs.
For readers who are concerned about decreasing employee turnover, there is good news: there are tons of perks that can help employees stick around. If you’re thinking about implementing a perks program, the size and scope of your work perks will depend on the size of your company and your budget.
A small start-up may only be able to offer accolades plus a casual Friday, while a bigger company can spend up to a thousand dollars a year on individual employees. Generosity should be your guiding principle: will employees say, “I feel appreciated because the business is willing to offer me this perk”?
We’ve written an eBook on the differences between benefits and perks. You can download it for free here.
Here’s a look at five small employee perks that help bolster morale.
Goodies might be the quickest way to a person’s heart. Managers often choose Friday as treat day, but you can spice up any day of the week with food. An Employee Appreciation Day with treats like a sundae bar or a gift card for the local coffee shop can help employees feel valued, especially if you aren’t skimping on quality or time. Honestly, you can add food-as-a-treat to just about any occasion; many companies provide up to $25 in free take-out every night when employees work late as a way to reward diligence and loyalty.
2. More Time Off During the Holidays
This perk goes a long way: employees have spent the entire year working and are likely exhausted. The employer that frees them from their desks to spend time with families and friends will reap rewards of loyalty and gratitude that will extend into the new year. Furthermore, according to Forbes, the end of the year is the best time to offer extended time off and chances are good that your business is slowing down due to the holidays as others go on break.
Learn which perks and benefits employees want the most.
3. Paid Volunteer Time
Salesforce encourages its employees to be a force for good. The company gives each of its employees six days off throughout the year to go and volunteer at their favorite charities. But the work benefits don’t just end at getting six days off for a worthy cause. If said employee(s) actually volunteer and use up the full six days, Salesforce donates $1,000 to the charity of the employee’s choice. This step alone could ensure that you decrease the turnover rate among your Millennial employees. In fact, three of four Millennial employees choose employers who make the world a better place, according to the Chicago Business website.
4. Spring for Tools that Can Make Their Jobs Easier
Too many companies focus on employee perks that are completely unrelated to work: ping-pong tables, vacation time, etc. Employees often spend over a third of their entire available time at work. Any tool that can decrease the tedium of their day-to-day work lives will be much appreciated. The HR department will also work more efficiently if you give them tools that help them outsource challenging HR functions. By making their jobs easier, you show that you value their time and are willing to help them out.
5. Subsidize Their Educations
Some employers give their employees tuition reimbursement. Others like PwC actually help their employees pay off their student loan debt to the tune of $1,200 a year. This perk can help you big time in the long run. Many modern employers worry that they won’t have enough employee talent to implement their company goals, according to the Harvard Business Review. Educated employees, especially in sectors like the tech industry, can make all the difference to a company’s bottom line. Rewarding them for getting an education helps you and helps you boost employee morale at the same time.
It costs a good deal of money to hire and train an employee and even more to lose that employee. The little perks that you offer your staff can go a long way to ensuring that your employee turnover rate remains low. Employee perks can be as big as tuition reimbursement, but as small as having a sundae bar once a month. Regardless of the size of the perks, the most important thing is that you show your employees that you appreciate them.
Carol Evenson is a professional business coach specializing in startup management and corporate innovation. She has worked with Fortune 1000 companies as well as budding enterprises in the US and Europe. In her free time, she loves being outdoors with her two children.