We’re in a positive climate of employee relations, with a shift from industrial relations to healthy, face to face employer-employee relationships taking a stronghold. 2018 was a landmark year for employee relations, with changes in law, the #MeToo movement and the massively increasing emphasis on employee wellbeing.
Why the shift? It’s simple. As Dr Ashley Whillan from Harvard Business School says, ‘Appreciation is a fundamental human need.’ ‘When employees and their work are valued, their satisfaction and productivity rises, and they are motivated to maintain or improve their good work’.
According to Deloitte, companies with employee recognition perform 14% better than those without, and Entrepreneur.com reckon it should be 4th in a CEO’s list of priorities. I mean, there’s now even a recognised Employee Appreciation Day! If that’s not a sign of changed times, I don’t know what is.
There’s a huge amount of ways to treat your employees. You could take a leaf out of Groupon’s book and treat your staff to a bright green Adidas jacket for every year of service, or copy HP and award your marketing team with a bag of pistachios for each deal closed.
Or, you could do something a little bit more normal… and probably more appreciated.
1. Monetary Rewards.
Many of the world’s leading companies choose to reward their employees with a range of different financial perks.
PWC offer employees a yearly contribution towards their student loan debt., whilst software company, Huddle, offers their employees a £5,000 joining bonus they call a ‘Huddle Cuddle’.
According to Glassdoor, the recruitment website, over a third of employees admit perks and benefits are a top consideration before accepting a new job, so a cash incentive seems like a sure-fire way to recruit a new happy employee!
2. Trips Away.
Air B&B offer over £1,000 a year for employees to use at Air B&Bs across the world, and TransferWise take every single staff member away on an annual, all-expenses paid holiday.
Perhaps it’s a little extreme unless you’re a company of that size, but the odd trip away from the office is bound to put a smile on your employees’ faces. We’re all heading to do a Tough Mudder race soon – that’s enjoyable... right?!
3. Getting Personal.
Law and consultancy firm, The HR, lays on a Christmas party for employees’ kids and Rackspace offers an extra day off for birthdays.
We also work with a few companies that choose to give a hamper from our dietary range when they know an employee has a dietary requirement. Showing them you care about them as a person rather than another employee, helps them feel individually appreciated.
Sending a hamper, wine or food to employees can help them feel appreciated for any occasion.
Whether it’s a congratulations gift for a marriage or new baby, a get well soon gift for an ill colleague, or a treat for loyalty and good work – a surprise gift shows that you’re thinking about them.
5. Unlimited Holiday Time
Visualsoft, amongst an increasing number of companies, offers employees unlimited holiday time and unmonitored flexitime. Sounds incredibly risky, but it’s thought that it increases employee happiness, without decreasing work productivity!
6. Discounts and Treats
ASOS staff benefit from a 40% discount online, whilst Jagex offer staff free bicycle repairs in the office to encourage them to cycle to work.
Autotrader UK on the other hand has a wine club, providing employees with discounted wine delivered to their door every month. I know which company I’d like to join!
As every company has its own budgets, demographics and ethos, there’s no clear winner for the method of rewarding.
What is clear however, is that with the increasing expectations of employees and the proven benefits of a happy workforce, there is a huge need for employee recognition to maintain a healthy and successful business, which needs to be tailored and innovative to keep the team happy.