Service Day

6 Benefits that cost next to nothing.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The problem with “benefits” is that they have become so expensive and administratively burdensome that Employers shy away at the idea of adding more. But what if you could implement valuable resources for Employees, that take very little time to implement or administer, but also cost nothing?

Here are a few items to think about. Some may be a better fit than others, or also appeal to your population more than others.

Don’t make it a perk, make it a policy. This may sound a bit backwards, but sometimes an Employee-centric workplace policy can be the best perk of all.

  • How about “no standing meetings before 8AM, or after 4PM”? This is Boston Scientific’s rule, in an effort to support parents with morning routines, or end of day pick-up from school/daycare, or to attend after school activities.
  • What about a corporate day of service? Research suggests that today’s Millennial workforce (which will compose 75% of the workforce by 2025) seek out Employers with both purpose and mission.
  • How about “mandatory vacation”? It’s no joke – in fact it’s a rule at Motley Fool, dubbed “A Fool’s Errand,” including one person taking two weeks of mandatory vacation, with $1,000 in spending money. No matter what I tell you, you wont believe it, so check out this article in Huffpost. Motley Fool also has a short guide and tips at this link.

Coaching. Available in many shapes and sizes, simple coaching can help not only propel a new hire forward even faster, but also help you to retain them longer. Best of all, when done the right away, it becomes a perk/benefit in itself.

Training and development is near the top of the list for Millennial hires. Simply providing “a job” isn’t enough, as they are looking for careers.

Coaching also goes beyond this, and even into other areas of life. Are you providing financial coaching as well?

Think globally, shop locally.  Nearly every company today has a discount program as an Employee perk.  These programs work great for your National chain restaurants, gyms, and movie theaters, but seldom include your corner restaurants, local gyms, or other local entertainment.   

Employers should take a close look at local businesses that Employees frequent on a regular basis, and approach them to create their own unique discount program.  You’d be amazed at how often a local restaurant may give small gift certificates, or a local gym would be open to extending a discount to your Employees.   

Start by looking at businesses near work, and then survey Employees to see where they enjoy spending time.  You could even host a company event – whether a happy hour, luncheon, or boot camp – in order to introduce your team to their team. 

Bonus tip: With a local gym, see if they will send a personal trainer to your office once a quarter or annually to provide wellness advice, and a reminder about their services. 

Concierge _______ Service. There are many options for this, but let’s just talk about one: Dry Cleaning. How much time do your Employees spend each week to drive out of your way to go to the dry cleaners, stand in line for drop off, and then go back to pick-up? It’s a vicious (wash) cycle.

Fortunately, many entrepreneurial shops come to you, and your business. Setting up a Concierge style service for dry-cleaning is super easy. All you need to do is to find the right shop to partner with, and set-aside a small place (think: closet space) for folks to drop off their garments when needed. If you are concerned about security, you can then place an electronic lock set on the door, like this one for just $100.

Finally, you’ll just want to communicate the weekly schedule, and the sign-up service to your Employees. Your Employees can then rejoice about skipping the lines by dropping off and picking up on the schedule.

Use your imagination, and match a solution to your culture as the options are endless to bring a concierge-style experience to your Employees.

Credit Union Memberships/Education. Outside of collecting a voided check to set-up direct deposit, are you assisting Employees with their personal finances? Yes, this can be a touchy subject, and that’s why we recommend finding a local (trustworthy) Credit Union to help.

Credit Unions can do more than just handle the banking aspect, but can also assist with education and financial wellness. Here are a few tips on how:

  • Are your Employees curious about the home buying process? Why not set-up time for a Mortgage Officer to come and provide education through an informational session?
  • Do Employees get suckered into the dealer financing when they purchased a car? This is an easy trap to dig out of – it just requires some education on how to refinance their loan – something many simply don’t know is possible.
  • How are individuals doing when it comes to personal savings goals? This is another easy area of opportunity, which can be as simple as setting up an interest bearing checking account or higher interest savings account.

The beauty of this is that not only are you offering another benefit, but much of the education can be easy to outsourced, again gaining brownie points with Employees.

Repurposing a closet. Sounds silly right? Not really, as this is essentially what many Employers did when they created a lactation room, so how can you help to get more use out of this room, or other unused space?

How about making it a wellness room? Doing so is pretty easy. You could include a voice assistant (like Alexa) so that people can listen to meditation music, or even as a white noise machine.

What to have even more fun? Make it a telemedicine room. Doing so may just include ensuring that it is private, and also including items like a forehead thermometer (like this one) as well as some alcohol pads to clean it, and some hand sanitizer.

Offering new benefits can be a great idea, but leveraging resources to offer better benefits without eating up company revenue is a Distilled Concept. 

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