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5 Perks Every Entrepreneur Should Offer To Their Employees

5 Perks Every Entrepreneur Should Offer To Their Employees

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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