Posts

9 corporate perks top talent can’t ignore

Corporate perks are one of the big ways companies are fighting the war for talent. A war that, according to the ONS, is intensifying.

It’s ever-more important for your business to find creative ways to attract and keep quality staff.

But corporate perks aren’t just about blinding staff with cheap, glitzy gifts. Quality employees are more clever than that.

These perks need to be an extension of how you see employees, and the kind of workplace culture you want to enjoy.

Don’t just think about what’s going to make you look funky and different when job-seekers are scrolling through CV warehouses’ open roles.

Think about how your perks reflect your attitude towards staff and your business.

1. Travel

travel is a very popular corporate perkTravelling is enriching, energising and broadens the mind. It’s also one of the most common ambitions your employees are likely to have.

Offering time and resources to see the world will enrich the minds of your staff. And your employees will see that you value them not just as professionals, but individuals.

2. Employee rewards

Make sure staff efforts don’t go without reward and recognition. Rewards become long-lasting trophies and positive memories for staff.

Jump over here if you want the full run-down on everything need to know before offering employee rewards.

3. Flexible hours

Modern life has a funny way of refusing to fit comfortably in the time outside 9am and 5pm.

Showing a bit of trust and letting staff be flexible with hours makes it much more comfortable to balance work and life. Remote working access would also be a huge game-changer for a lot of staff.

4. Time to volunteer

If you care about something, and it’s part of your company’s values, give your staff a stake in it.

Let them put some time aside every year to volunteer for a good cause that reflects what your company’s about.

As a corporate perk, it’s more than a feel-good exercise. Your staff get invested in the same things your company cares about, improving employee engagement. And boosting internal sentiment about your company.

5. Holiday trading

If you’re not already familiar, holiday trading is a form of salary sacrifice. Employees give up a slice of their annual pay for an equivalent number of days off. Or selling their extra holiday back.

As we pointed out in the flexible working section, everyone’s life is a bit different. And what’s important to everyone is different.

Some employees would relish the chance for an extra week with their family. Other work-obsessives might bristle when asked to take their days out of the office.

The most important thing is that the choice is there.

6. Training and development

The ugly stereotype that millennial staff are fickle job-hoppers does start with a sliver of the truth. Millennial staff are keen to learn, and they’re keen to take opportunities to grow.

Offering opportunities for staff to grow has two major effects. Talented people will seize the opportunity to develop their skills, and they’ll be inclined to stay with the companies that invest in them.

7. Staff discounts

Make the everyday a little bit easier, every day. Offer your employees a way to ease the daily burden of the things they can’t avoid making part of their routine spending.

Even discounts that seem small add up quickly when you use them over the course of a year.

Alternatively, you could arrange discounts on services like laundry, gym membership or cafes by dealing in bulk with local suppliers.

Staff will appreciate a corporate perk that does something positive for them every day.

9. Profit-sharing

Sometimes an employee can feel a bit divorced from the impact of their work. The difference between the company having a good year and a brilliant year might not get them fired up.

If it’s right for your company culture, profit-sharing would build more investment between employees and the success of the company.

They’d have more emotional connection to the effects of their work, and a sense of connection with the business.

Empathy first

The common thread through these corporate perks is having a bit of empathy. Acknowledging staff are human beings, not just cogs in a machine. People with needs, ideas, and wants.

That’s the foundation of any attempt to deploy some difference-making perks to attract and keep top staff. Get the emotional core right before fretting about which perk is right for your business.

a simple employee engagement definition

A useful employee engagement definition in plain English

An employee engagement definition can get complicated. As complicated as someone wants it to be, really.

It’s the kind of concept that becomes nebulous and hard to pin down once someone dresses it up too much. Or tries to twist it to fit their own agenda.

We’ve got a simple, workable employee engagement definition. And a bit of detail on why a simple definition matters.

A simple employee engagement definition:

“Emotional and professional commitment from an employee to their employer’s goals.”

What’s in a name?

It’s easy to see how that definition could start to be slathered around so thin it loses meaning. It’s more than morale, but it’s connected to morale.

It’s more than motivation, or loyalty, but connected to both. It’s more than rewards and recognition, but they’re both part of it.

That confusion makes employee engagement an easy concept to run away with.

Just like the word “engagement” itself. A word so overused that it’s close to losing all real meaning.

You can rightfully call everything from a website click to a purchase engagement.

That’s why it matters that you get a clear definition sorted out. The importance of employee engagement is spreading through the wider HR consciousness.

If you want to take it seriously, you need a clear idea of what engagement actually means to your company.

Why we talk about employee engagement

We reflect our clear definition of engagement in our work. What we do helps businesses generate that sense of emotional investment.

We do that with recognition, rewards, benefits and incentives.

How those tools affect employee engagement:

  • RecognitionRecognition improves the relationships between staff, managers, and work. When employee hear their worth in the workplace, they believe it. And people invest themselves in places they feel they’re appreciated.
  • RewardsRewards amplify the feeling of satisfaction employees get from their achievements. Non-cash rewards become trophies that inspire and motivate employees in the future.
  • Benefits – Making your workplace an asset to your employees. That includes mental health outcomes like financial support, helplines and childcare vouchers. And it includes physical health benefits like cycle to work schemes and cash off medical care.
  • Incentives – Incentives drive employees to invest in their work. And big-ticket incentive rewards like group travel and VIP experiences create life-long memories for your biggest achievers.

Combined, you can see how these ideas hark back to the definition of employee engagement.

Be similarly strict about engagement when you’re discussion in your workplace. It’s a simple benchmark to measure your success against after your first few employee engagement surveys.

How to write a simple employee recognition letter to thank and congratulate your employees

An employee recognition letter is a powerful tool for expressing your gratitude for staff. Taking the time and effort to put one together goes a lot further than just a hasty “thank you”.

That’s not to say you should be gripped with performance anxiety. You’re not presenting an episode of This Is Your Life, you’re just telling an employee what they mean to you.

Follow our simple guide, and you’ll knock it out of the park.

Write your simple employee recognition letter:

Be personal and earnest

The most important element of an employee recognition letter is that you put the effort and time into expressing yourself.

Be honest about what impressed you so much about someone’s efforts and achievements. Share your honest feelings. It’s the only way to have a genuine emotional impact.

Get to the point

Excessively flowery language is less effective than simple, honest statements. Say what you mean, say it simply, and rely on your honesty and confidence to make the impact.

Cite specific examples of achievement

Be sure to mention exactly which projects, jobs, or achievements you’re so impressed with. Don’t be vague, or washy, about why you’re recognising someone.

It diminishes the impact of celebrating them, and feels disingenuous.

Explain why those examples mattered to the company

Talk about how your employee’s achievements or behaviour affects the company overall.

Knowing that their work has a benefit to the business as a whole gives employees greater satisfaction and pride in their work.

Focus on tangible downstream impacts

Don’t just harp on about numbers. Only a few sales people can really get fired up about making graphs bigger. If you’re going to mention the outcome of work, relate to something more human and evocative than just numbers.

Mention your values and purpose

Relate positive behaviour back to what your company stands for, and why you come in every day.

Generating lasting employee engagement means letting employee see how their achievements at work relate back to your company’s ethical core and brand purpose.

Explain why they matter to their peers

Approval and acceptance from peers is a powerful motivator. It’s a part of being human no one can escape.

Even if you don’t have an actual peer-to-peer recognition program, your employee recognition letter should mention how vital your employee’s contribution to other people was.

The most important thing is sticking to point one; be honest and personal. A thoughtful, earnest employee recognition letter becomes a trophy.

Something your employees can treasure and reflect on. Something that increases their self-worth, improves their sense of belonging in the office, and helps them engage with your brand.

Rewarding an employee: 6 times you should step in and break out the rewards

You have to capitalise on the moment to make rewarding employees count. The best time to be there with a reward is when the dopamine rush of achievement is still whizzing through your employee’s brains.

Here are six occasions you need to be recognising and rewarding employees. There’s more to this than just hitting a sales target.

6 situations where you should have a reward in your hand for employees:

Self-improvement

Education and skill-building are vital. Investing in staff builds employee value to your business, and your company’s value to them in turn. Celebrating employees for building their professional skills shows how much your company values self-improvement.

Reward employees for completing courses, passing tests, high achievement on their professional development work, or even for the first project they complete with a recently-learned skill set.

Volunteering for your causes

Social causes bring employees closer to your business, closer to other employees, and closer to your values. Make sure you’re rewarding staff when they use their time outside of work to support charities and causes you hold close.

That might be organising a charity sports event, sorting out charity collections in your offices, or just giving up a bit of time on the weekends.

Helping other employees

A collaborative, constructive environment is a productive environment. Make sure employees are rewarded when they build connections between teams.

That includes staff who train their colleagues, go out of their way to help other employees finish work, help new employees settle in to their role, or deliver valuable leads to their peers.

Moving and improving

The workplace can be improved without overt focus on core job roles. Staff might take responsibility for site safety, lead a health initiative, organise group exercise, provide healthy snacks for the office, or manage a tobacco reduction scheme for their department.

Be sure to reward behaviour that makes for a happier, healthier place for all of your staff to work.

Crushing targets

KPIs, sales targets, and hard numbers are the old reliable for rewards. On one hand, it’s the least imaginative reason to reward your staff, and it really only reinforces and promotes behaviour that produces the cold numbers. On the other hand, every department has to hit their numbers.

It’s still worth rewarding staff for smashing their targets, as long as you don’t fall down the rabbit hole of chasing nothing but the numbers.

Bringing values to life

Living your values in their work. Not always tied directly to a KPI-related outcome, but worth rewarding when they’re making your business closer to its best version of itself.

Your values, and bringing them to life, is a vital component of employee engagement. When staff excel by adhering to your values, be sure to reward them. It shows not just that you value achievement, but that part of achievement is bringing the company’s values to life.

Longevity and milestones

Staff often expect to see some recognition for their long service after just a year with a company. Rewarding staff for their longevity helps create a more intense and lasting connection with your business, increasing the chance they’ll stick to your business.

Make sure to be timely with when rewarding employees to maximise their benefit to your business. Anticipate when staff are going to be full of beans from a recent achievements and swoop in with a reward.

overcoming_hurdles_employee_engagement

Overcoming the hurdles of employee engagement