Engaging and retaining employees in an ever-changing workplace landscape has become a huge challenge for employers.
There have been massive shifts in the demographic and demands of workers, the emergence of an ‘always on’ culture and a new standard set by the world’s leading tech firms which aim to lure and retain the best talent with amazing perks.
So what is the best way to build a winning perks programme and create a workplace environment that champions health, wellbeing and employee engagement?
A millennial-shaped revolution
Millennials make up 35% of the global workforce but, in a study by Speakap, HR professionals said they were the hardest group to engage and a survey by Deloitte found they show less loyalty, with nearly half planning to leave a job within two years.
With millennials set to make up 75% of the workforce by 2030, HRs need to work harder to foster employee engagement, loyalty and build strong company cultures. With tech firms changing perks, culture and workspaces, businesses want to better understand and cater for the needs of their employees. So how do you improve your employee perks?
Define your company culture
Dedicating the time and resources to planning and defining your company culture is important for companies looking to streamline their perks offerings, hire the right people and retain their staff. Let’s look at the best way to define and implement your company culture.
1. Take a top-down and bottom-up approach
Listen to your employees and marry their thoughts, ideas and needs with those of the business and senior stakeholders.
2. Share your values
“Every employee commits to upholding our five core values from the moment they start. These values provide a sense of common direction for all our employees and inform our day-to-day behaviour.”
Andy North, Director of Public Relations at WP Engine.
3. Hire for culture add, not culture fit
Narrowing the field too much when hiring can create an environment of unconscious bias and homogeneity. So instead of hiring for cultural fit, focus on what a candidate can offer that will add to your culture.
4. Create a feedback loop
As a company evolves, so do employee needs, challenges and opportunities so create a feedback loop (with anonymous surveys and regular check-ins) that keep track of these shifts and realign accordingly.
5. Start a culture club
Whether it’s organising regular socials, reviewing survey feedback or getting the running club out on time, having a culture club will ensure company culture doesn’t become a second priority to growth.
Wellbeing in the workplace
With ‘burnout’ recognised as a chronic condition by the World Health Organisation, employee wellbeing is becoming more of a focus. Social working apps like Slack and the ability to access work emails on our phones means we’re living in an ‘always-on’ culture. No wonder 87% of Brits have reported struggling to switch off from work, with many feeling pressure to respond to work emails outside of working hours, exacerbating stress and burnout.
The impact of poor employee health
The Government’s Thrive at Work report highlights the cost that poor physical and mental employee health can have on businesses, in terms of productivity and absenteeism. Happy, healthy employees are less likely to take time off sick and are more engaged so it makes sense to encourage employee wellness inside and outside work.
Ideas for employee wellbeing focused perks
1. Digital quiet periods
Whether it’s email-free Fridays or a Slack ban on a Tuesday afternoon, digital quiet periods will give your team space to focus and help minimise feelings of overwhelm.
2. Flexible working hours
Evidence shows that flexible working benefits everyone so an ‘early in the office, early finish’ policy or the option to work from home during school holidays will improve the satisfaction, stress levels and wellbeing of your team and improve productivity.
3. Introduce workplace mindfulness
More businesses are building meditation into their workplace wellness packages. A study by the Wellness Institute found that “mindfulness-based techniques, including meditation, can lower stress levels in a demanding work environment and lead to happier, more engaged employees.”
4. Offer financial support
With over half of the UK’s millennial workforce worrying about money, money management apps can help employees to better manage their finances to relieve stress and anxiety.
5. Practice what you preach
Workaholism isn’t a badge of honour so ensure senior staff aren’t working too many hours.
6. Encourage rest to boost productivity
Give your employees time in their workday to exercise or go for a walk and learn to spot when they need a break.
7. Improve nutrition
With over half of us eating two meals a day at work, employers can play an important role in encouraging workers to eat well and in turn improve their physical and mental health.
Toolkit for defining a winning perks programme
1. Define your company culture
This will become the basis for a strong perks programme that will complement and reinforce your company’s values.
2. Set your goals and budget
To reduce employee absenteeism and improve employee satisfaction, define your goals, your budget and how you’re going to measure success.
3. Assemble a team of champions
Build a team of ambassadors from across the business to support the programme.
4. Speak to your employees
Find out what matters to them and create a programme that will engage your team and make a difference.
5. Brainstorm ideas
Based on your goals, budgets and the results from your employee feedback, define what it is you’d like to test.
6. PR your perks plan
Make a plan to promote your new perks programme to encourage maximum uptake and engagement.
Bring your team together with a delicious perk
Cloud Canteen is the easiest way to feed your team, whilst being a cost-effective and wide reaching perk. Because everyone likes to eat!