As an entrepreneur running a start-up business, attracting and retaining top talent is essential. While new businesses are often short on cash, one way to achieve this is to offer market-leading perks that employees would not be able to do without.
In this post, we’ll look at five great perks for employees that every forward-thinking entrepreneur should offer to their team to ensure they attract and retain the best team members.
1. A Gym Membership
Reducing sickness in the office is something that businesses have been struggling with for years. But the simple fact is that fit and healthy employees tend to be happier and less likely to take time off than their less energetic counterparts.
Many roles at start-ups are sedentary, meaning employees usually spend the vast majority of their time sitting at their desks, making it difficult to stay naturally active. That issue can be compounded when employees commute by car, and they may end up getting very little exercise at all.
Offering a gym membership to your employees can be a great way to empower your team to get fit and healthy. Cost can be a barrier to getting in the gym, so with this removed, it’s much easier to give it a go.
Some employers take it even further by organizing team sports after work, such as a company softball team, yoga, or spin sessions. These are great ways of getting your team into a healthy habit as well as an excellent team building opportunity.
2. A Personalized Workspace
For most start-ups, there’s lots to do, so roles are very demanding, with team members likely to spend upwards of 50 or 60 hours in the office to meet deadlines! As a result it’s important to ensure your office is a genuinely nice place to be.
That doesn’t just mean having a nice looking office, it means allowing your team to add a personal touch to their workspace so it feels like their own. In fact, in a recent survey, 63% of employees agreed this was important to them.
That could mean letting your employees choose their office chair, set up their own notice board, add some photos and other personal items, or even spec out their workstation so they have gear that they enjoy working on.
3. A Chance To Socialize
Being able to get to know the team is another important factor when it comes to running a successful business. Team social events really helps to build a sense of camaraderie among your employees, which improves job satisfaction. It also means team members who get along with one another are more likely to want to stay in the business – as leaving a great team would be another one of the things they’d miss out on if they left.
This could involve team trips to the bar at the end of each month, or parties to celebrate the launch of a new campaign, project, or feature. Part of your marketing and PR strategy may involve entering industry awards, so why not bring the whole team to the awards ceremony to give them a chance to reap the rewards and feel instrumental in the company’s success?
You could also offer other social events such as barbecues for employees and their families, meals out after work, or tickets to the latest cinema releases for groups of employees who’ve worked particularly hard to get a project completed.
4. Flexible Hours
For many office based roles, it’s no longer necessary to have to work in the office for set hours, particularly if your team is not customer-facing and does not need to be reachable during standard business hours.
The fact is that business hours aren’t always the most productive, as some employees are morning people, some are night people. On top of that, commutes can be so much quicker by avoiding the times of day that the majority of people travel. Offering flexible hours can help employees get the most from their day as a result.
On top of that, it offers better job satisfaction by letting employees schedule their work around their lives, not the other way around. That could mean taking the kids to school or working from home to make a dentist appointment at midday.
Ultimately, your employees are trusted to make important decisions about your business, so isn’t it time to let them start taking control of their own schedule?
5. No Arbitrary Vacation Allowances
As Richard Branson argued back in 2014, flexible working has revolutionized how and where we do our jobs, so why do we still stick to strict annual leave policies? Inspired by Netflix, Virgin went ahead and scrapped arbitrary vacation allowances. Instead, the focus is put on what work employees get done, not hours worked over the entire year.
Naturally for small companies, there are some limits – the business must be able to support employees taking time off. As a result, unlimited holidays may be offered provided the business can handle a particular employee taking time off. That might mean a developer taking a day off as a hard earned break after completing a lengthy project, or allowing employees to schedule holiday time, provided there is someone with their skill set available to cover for them.
But taking time off is not just a benefit for the employee, it’s a benefit for the employer too. Vacations offer a chance for employees to gain some down time, de-stress and clear their heads. This often results in the employee returning refreshed and re-energized with new ideas, as well as avoiding burnout, which can lead to long term sickness.
As a result, many forward thinking companies encourage employees to take the time off that they’re entitled to, to help foster a happy and productive team.
Featured photo credit: Kevin Curtis via unsplash.com