Historically, websites, job postings, and online platforms advertise the perks of working for a company. However, many listed perks have been discontinued, halted, or revised due to 2020 physical distancing concerns. A 2015 USA Today article reported company perks were key in deciding whether to accept a new job (or not). In 2017, Harvard Business Review’s research shows how different ‘perks’ affect offer acceptance (especially if salary differs).
So, if a perk directly contributed to an offer acceptance, how are companies going to retain their employees? In this article, I am going to address the perks impacted by physical distancing like gym memberships, day-care, fitness classes, free snacks, free coffee, etc.
No Surprise – Communicate!
The psychology for employee retention remains the same regardless of the work location. Withdrawing perks without notification can cause team disengagement (see New Perk Examples below). Thus, communication is key to ensure there is an understanding of the change and buy-in that is necessary. But, if perks are important to employees, how can you continue to make them feel special and appreciated when things are changing?
Make It Personal
Mental health is so important and, in many ways, more important than a perk! Regardless of the size of your organization, keep the personal lines of communication going through phone, video, and text. Loyalty starts with good and healthy relationships between employees at all levels.
With the rise in remote/home offices, make sure that someone checks in daily. Sharing a ‘joke of the day’ or a positive news story can help offset the influx of the negative that can cause anxiety and depression. Create joy!
Relationships are supported by healthy communication, but even healthy communication cannot replace the lost perks. Fortunately, there are quite a few online alternatives that can be substituted.
New Perk Examples:
- Plan a ‘pizza day’ (or another food item) and deliver food to all staff to share lunch virtually – further build the team by keeping work-related discussions to a minimum.
- Gift cards – find a small business local to each staff and provide them with a gift (or e-gift) card to that store
- Was free coffee a perk? Register staff for a coffee subscription program for home delivery
- If staff have not taken time off to be sick – reward them with time off in lieu
- Join an employee recognition and incentives platform for Anniversary Awards, Employee Referral Incentives, Sales Incentives and Spiffs, Spot Recognition, Wellbeing Incentives. (e.g. https://www.capterra.com/employee-recognition-software/)
Change can be good when it improves and supports good and healthy relationships. These alternative perks can help existing (and new) staff to feel special and appreciated. Make sure to update your website, job postings, and online platforms if any perks introduced will help attract staff.
If you have utilized the Prevue Assessment, review an employee’s Approach to Work report. Consider their “Focus on Work”, “Compensation Preference”, “Preference for Change”, among others to potentially create a ‘perk’ that truly fits their personality. Missing Prevue results for your staff? Contact us today to understand your employees better!