...that won't break the bank
Employee incentives never go out of style. During good times, you can use them to celebrate your business's success, and to keep your momentum rolling. During tougher times, they can boost staff morale and help you keep the key team members motivated.
Common benefits include healthcare insurance, company cars and childcare vouchers. But implementing effective incentives need not be unduly expensive. Here are some low-cost ideas for motivating your staff.
Flexitime is one of the most popular employee perks, as it can allow staff greater freedom in their work-life balance. Some will enjoy the convenience with school hours, other just naturally prefer working earlier or later. Generally, employers require staff to be at work during certain core hours, with flexibility built in around these times.
However, it is important to take care before implementing a flexitime system. It can be complicated scheduling hours so that all posts are sufficiently covered and phones are manned - and if flexitime is available to some staff and not others, there might be a de-motivating effect on those denied it.
2. Transport loans
Commuting is often one of the biggest headaches for employees, particularly if they work in traffic-heavy areas. You could consider offering a season ticket loan. This can be cost-effective and easy to implement: your company pays up front for travel costs and then recoups the money through monthly payroll deductions.
3. Financial advice
Every member of staff, whatever their age or circumstances, will have issues with money. Why not hire an independent financial advisor to visit the office for the day? Assign them a temporary workstation where individual employees can go to discuss their financial planning needs.
This will certainly impress your staff, although you must be prepared to pay for the IFA's time, and be sure to cover yourself legally so that staff are clear that you are not liable for any action taken as a result of consultation with the advisor.
4. Gym membership
Gym memberships are now very popular, and if you have a health club near your office, this is a relatively easy perk to implement. Negotiate a staff discount and then pass the savings on to staff.
5. Extra holiday
Providing extra days of annual leave is an effective way of rewarding long service or loyalty, and is especially appreciated by staff with young children. It doesn't cost anything, so long as you don't need to employ in a temp to cover any shortfall in work.
6. Performance awards
Handing out quarterly or annual performance awards in a relaxed, social setting is a fun, low-cost way to recognise hard workers and give employees something to strive for. An engraved plaque and a £50 voucher for a local restaurant won't break the bank and will be greatly appreciated by the recipient. Just be careful to avoid any appearance of favouritism, and don't let your staff's competitive instincts damage teamwork!