A study by Glassdoor revealed that only one in five employees considered perks such as a free lunch or casual dress as the most important benefit at work. Not surprisingly, 76 percent considered medical benefits or vacation
and sick time more significant. However, employee perks can lift spirits and renew a sense of commitment. Some perks have additional benefits such as improving communication and teamwork.
Summer can be a time to allow some flexibility and to try alternative ways to improve camaraderie. Use the less busy season to experiment and to pilot new ideas. Allow staff time to take classes or to undertake training. Plan a weekly meeting to solicit staff feedback and to inquire what they would like to see instituted. According to Rich Mintzer of Entrepreneur, some of the most appreciated perks can be low cost.
- Consider flexible working schedules or work from home days. While this may not work year round, the summer is a time when employees will greatly appreciate some control and the ability to manage summer schedules. Some firms find that empowering employees and allowing them to manage their own time improves productivity.
- Host a yoga class once or twice a week. Yoga is for everyone, and even if everybody does not take advantage, they will appreciate the gesture. Yoga can reduce stress and add an element of fun to the work environment. Alternatively, provide health club membership or a free day pass to a health club.
- Provide community service days. These activities provide variety for staff and the opportunity to volunteer that they would not have time for otherwise. Additionally, such a program improves the company’s reputation and visibility. Relationship building with the local community is an investment for a firm, not a cost at all. Let staff choose what activity they would like to be involved in and support their endeavors.
David Krevitt of Huffington Post suggests that perks that encourage staff to collaborate and get together can have the greatest effect on interpersonal relationships. Group outings or lunches are effective.
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