10 awesome employee benefits that cost next to nothing

Randstad’s Employer Brand Research shows time and again that employees value more than just the size of their paycheque. Do job seekers want to be paid their worth? Of course they do. But above and beyond their salary, employees look for countless other perks, benefits and advantages when considering job offers. In fact, they can be the ultimate deciding factor when two companies come close in monetary compensation. So what kind of non-monetary perks can you offer?

employee benefits that aren't money

flexible work environments

For instance the ability to work from home once a week, flexible lunch hours, or allowing staff to set their own hours, rather than sticking with a standard 9 to 5. Flexible work is a huge selling point for many employees. Flexibility is a universally appreciated perk. Whether it’s a parent who has to consider daycare arrangements or a young professional who wants to catch an early yoga class after work, flexibility makes it possible for everyone to achieve better work-life balance.

training and development plans

Ambitious employees are always thinking one step ahead in their careers. Offering a development program shows that your organization cares about employee’s careers and nurturing their talent. The level of intensity is up to you. You can go with a more casual monthly lunch and learn sessions to encourage employees to pick up new skills from coworkers or build a more intensive training program to prepare select employees for leadership roles. If you don’t want to offer onsite training, you can even offer subsidies for paid off-site educational institutions.

acknowledge achievements

It’s one thing for your manager to pull you aside and tell you that you do a great job. It’s another to be recognized by your organization as a high achiever. Make sure that star performers feel special and that their big achievements are celebrated. It doesn’t have to be time consuming or elaborate. Have company leaders send out a handwritten note upon reaching a major milestone, or take a moment to highlight individual and team successes during quarterly meetings.

additional vacation

We’ve discussed how taking a vacation is good for everyone. Employees get to take a break, and employers reap the benefit of highly productive employees who return to work with their batteries fully charged up! So go ahead and offer additional vacation days on top the government-mandated 2 weeks. If adding additional official paid vacation isn’t realistic, consider making it possible for employees to leave early on Fridays, or take off half days here or there as needed.

schedule time for social events

Building a work culture and driving employee engagement is as simple as hosting events that bring the team together. For most of the workdays, employees are focused on their ‘to do’ list and what needs to get done. Socializing is rarely a priority. Add some events to the employee calendar – during work hours! – where socialization is the point. For instance, have a monthly potluck, catered lunch, or theme day where everyone can take a moment away from work to have some fun and bond with the rest of the team.

personalize rewards

Nothing says ‘we care’ quite like personalized rewards that speak to the individual employee that you’re celebrating. When someone does something extraordinary, recognize their accomplishment with a personalized reward. A pair of movie passes is the perfect reward for the office movie buff. Tickets to a basketball game might be just the thing for the office sports fanatic. Maybe the office’s tech-obsessed geek will appreciate a new gadget to play with. It’s the thought that counts.

get out of the office

Plan time into the work schedule to get out of the office (or wherever your workplace is) and do something outside of normal work commitments. This can mean setting aside time for out-of-office team lunches or hosting a company-wide team building event. Just make sure that employees are on board with whatever you have planned. Consult with employees about what kind of events they would enjoy. An employer that forces everyone to attend a ‘mandatory’ team building event they’re dreading can easily transform this perk into a drag.

hand out awards

It’s easy and costs virtually nothing to create monthly or quarterly employee rewards to highlight top performers at your organization. You can make the awards feel even more tangible by handing out a small trophy or personalized certificate. Who doesn’t feel accomplished when they’re able to decorate their desk and show off their award? If you want to make the awards even more inclusive, make them peer-nominated so that everyone can have a hand in recognizing the contributions of leaders and employees who help out their fellow colleagues or do something extraordinary.

offer volunteer opportunities

Provide opportunities and time off for staff to volunteer. This can be a nice change of pace for employees who are usually parked behind a desk all day. Of course, there’s also the added benefit of giving back to the community! Who wouldn’t feel good about that? You can even brand volunteer opportunities as part of your corporate social responsibility policy.

allow employees a change of pace

If your business is large enough, consider offering employees a chance to switch roles or shadow an employee in another area of the office, or even another branch. It’s a benefit for you, too, as employees will gain a deeper understanding of other roles at the organization and reinforce co-operation and communication between departments.

 

Rewards are meant to show your appreciation to staff. Tailor the benefits you offer to the needs and wants of your employees. While money can be a strong motivator, people want a lot of other things from their work lives, too! Intangible and non-monetary rewards can be just as meaningful and boost employee morale. Regardless of the benefits you choose to offer, ensure that your workplace recognizes hard work and keeps lines of communication open with employees! The best way to know what perks employees would enjoy most is to ask them!

about the author

Kristen Smalley - Content Manager

As someone who firmly believes that variety is the spice of life, content marketing has been a natural career path for me. Every day brings a chance to think creatively and learn about exciting new topics. Whether it's tackling content on employment trends, how to handle tough interview questions, or keeping safe in the workplace, there are always interesting topics waiting to be explored in the world of work!

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