Of course you know that it’s important to have happy and hard-working employees — but the key to getting them is what’s tricky. While salary and the nature of the job matter a lot, it also comes down to what benefits you offer. Benefits can sway a potential new hire, keep the office content, and reward high-performing employees. From flex time to vacations to company rewards and recognition programs, a few new benefits might help your employees work even harder.
The Benefits of Motivation
Consider this: employed adults spend almost half of the time they’re awake at work. The workplace and nature of that work has a huge impact on their quality of life. When an employee feels motivated and pleased to do the work they’re doing, they’re probably getting more done and producing a better result.
Motivation comes from many places, including workplace communication, salary, and kudos from fellow employees and employers. Since the sense of satisfaction an employee gets from the actual work they’re doing is important, you can’t motivate an employee who isn’t happy with their job fully. But you can support employees and boost their performance and gratification with their work by showing gratitude, no matter what job a person is doing.
That’s really what things like paid time off, bonuses, and company rewards and recognition programs are: gratitude. You’re helping your employee live a full and happy life in return for the time and effort they spend helping your business grow.
Keep these tips in mind as you consider what benefits might work for your employees.
• Set goals that the employee can achieve. It’s motivating to feel like you can reach something you’re striving for; the opposite is also true and employees might lack motivation if they feel something is out of their reach.
• Rewarding successes works better than punishing failures, if your goal is happy and successful employees.
• Some rewards might offer benefits to your business as well. For example, offering flexible work hours might cut down on the commuting time or allow you to use a smaller office space since you won’t have to accommodate everyone at once.
• Options like company rewards and recognition programs can function without a lot of up-front cost and provide employees with an in-office rewards system that improves motivation.
Some benefits that motivate employees are well-known: vacation time, bonuses, and free food. Some of these are linked to performance and others aren’t. Everyone gets vacation, but sometimes a high-performing employee can get extra vacation for going above and beyond. Monetary bonuses can be company-wide or linked to performance. Some companies hold weekly meetings that are catered or have events at restaurants to promote engagement and motivation. Even common benefits like health insurance are motivating because they create safety nets for the people working for you.
There are also some benefits that are gaining traction but are less used. One is a flexible work schedule. Another is laundry services or other quality-of-life type services — these help people focus more on work because they don’t have to focus on what needs to be done at home. Some companies also offer things like gym memberships, game rooms in the workplace, or holiday parties.
Another less-known benefit you should offer to motivate your employees is an employee reward program. A lot of cutting-edge tech companies use programs such as these to motivate employees and recognize their accomplishments. Since the programs are managed via the computer, it’s a simple way to manage employee rewards easily through automation.
One example of this type of innovative program is Online Rewards, a company that develops online tools to reward and motivate employees in different ways — each program is built specifically for your company, which makes it unique to you. Options they offer include things like gamification, performance incentives, and manager spot awards; it’s all about what the company feels will work best.
Companies That Offer Benefits Outside the Box
Some very recognizable companies offer benefits you wouldn’t expect, because they aren’t used in a lot of workplaces. For example:
• Netflix lets people set their own hours — and there’s no minimum or maximum. The only metric is job performance. If you get your work done, you don’t have to be in the office anymore.
• Google keeps medical doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists and chiropractors on-site for employees to use as needed. They also have fitness centers at the workplace, match charitable donations, and let dogs come to the office at times.
• Employees at Patagonia can go surfing during the workday, if they choose. They also have outdoor field trips and group bike rides.
• Airbnb offers an annual travel credit, a healthy food and snacks program, and supports paid volunteer time.
These companies don’t lose profits because they choose to motivate their employees with a variety of incentives. Instead, the companies are thriving and one reason for that is that their workers are dedicated and motivated. Whether you’re offering an hour in the ocean or employee rewards programs that help keep workers satisfied, you’re creating an office culture that supports and recognizes success.