Friday March 4 is Employee Appreciation Day.  There are lots of ways businesses can show their employees how much they appreciate them. Here are a few of our favorites:

BIG PERKS: Of course, we’ve all heard about the lavish perks that some companies give. One of the latest perks for very competitive, high-end companies is an annual stipend to paying off their employees’ student loan debt (up to $10,000 a year). Glassdoor has 20 employee benefits that are the stuff of dreams. For example:

  • Google provides the surviving spouse or partner of a deceased employee 50% of their salary for the next ten years.
  • Epic Systems Corporation offers employees a paid four-week sabbatical to pursue their creative talents after five years at the company.
  • Walt Disney Company wants its employees to enjoy the “Happiest Place on Earth” as much as their visitors by offering free admission to its parks for employees, plus their friends and family. This is on top of discounts offered on Disney hotels and merchandise.
  • Burton employees receive season ski passes and “snow days” to hit the slopes after a big snowfall.
  • Airbnb, the Best Place to Work in 2016, gives its employees an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world.

NO COST TO THE EMPLOYER: Many Payday HCM clients can avail themselves of no-cost perks that will make a big impact on their employee’s lives. For example, your organization can open up a voluntary benefits package. These types of benefits are employee paid therefore there is out of pocket expense to the employer.  Payday Professional insurance can assist an employer with looking into Voluntary options for their employees either on a group basis or individual basis.

LOW COST:

1. Flex Time. Flex time is by far the perk that creates the biggest return on employee happiness and company loyalty. It is easy to see why. According to the Families and Work Institute (Source: National Study of the Changing Workforce, 2008):

  • 59% of employees don’t feel they have enough time for themselves
  • 61% believe they don’t have enough time for their spouses/partners
  • 75% feel they don’t have enough time for their children

Here are some of the most popular examples of flex time:

  • Flex schedules: work hours that are outside the norms, such as 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. instead of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Condensed work weeks: for example, working four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days
  • Telecommuting: working from home or another remote location
  • Job-sharing: allowing two or more employees to “share” the same job, essentially doing the work of one full-time employee. For example, Jan works Monday through Wednesday noon, while Sam works Wednesday afternoon through Friday.

2. Family Days/Summer Hours. When the kids have a half day or a snow day at school, allow workers to stay home with the kids without dipping into vacation or sick days. Some companies allow their employees to leave early every Friday during the summer.

3. Food! Glorious Food! Nothing says you’re appreciated more than feeding your employees. Some companies have a fully stocked kitchen or snack pantry. Some companies like Twitter offer three meals a day. Others just make it a regular Friday event. If you don’t have the budget for that, try monthly.

4. Health club discounts. After all that free company food, some employees may need to hit the gym.

5. Class up the joint. Some companies will invite yoga instructors, chefs, art instructors, or even improv comedy teachers to enrich the lives of their employees. Other companies will give employees access to life coaches.

6. Last Train to Clarksville. Mass transit agencies will frequently give companies discounted or free monthly bus and rail passes that they can give to their employees.

7. Volunteer days. If you wish to contribute to the community, you can give your employees a community day where they can give back to a local worthy cause. If employees show a real commitment to a charity, some companies will donate to or match employee charitable contributions.

8. You oughta be in pictures!  Some companies will give away movie passes. Others go a step further. If there is a big movie opening, some companies have been known to buy tickets for a specific screening so that all of their employees can enjoy the film together. Sure beats sleeping in a tent on the sidewalk while waiting for the next Star Wars movie.  

9. Discounts at local and national businesses. Some companies can arrange employee discounts at major retailers, tech providers, local eateries or services like pick-up/drop-off laundry and car washes that can come right to your workplace.

10. This place is going to the dogs. Bring your dog to work day can be “ruff” on productivity, but it is doggone fun.  

That’s just the start of it. If you’re looking for even more ideas, here are the top 50 low-cost employee benefits.

Contact your Payday HCM professional to see how we can help create a perk or benefit package that will show your employees how much you value them on this Employee Appreciation Day.

Kristin Munson

Kristin Munson

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