More benefits for your staff at zero cost? Possible.

Everybody wants some more
Everybody wants some more
Everybody wants to open the next door
Everybody's getting meaner
Everybody else's grass is greener

I have a free gift for anyone who can name the title of this song, as well as it's singer. Anyone? If in case you got the correct answers ("Everybody Wants Some More" by John Miles; no cheating please), congratulations! You can choose any gift here.

This song was part of the Rebel album by British rocker Miles back in 1976. You may not have heard of it, but you have to admit he's right. Everybody does want more. Who doesn't? Bigger house, better car, better job, more savings, higher pay... the list goes on (with the exception of inches on our waist, problems, and taxes. We definitely don't want more of that).

In the midst of increasing competition in our businesses, we want to keep the best talent, and they too want more as well. How do you keep them satisfied without breaking the bank? A great number of factors come into play in retaining great staff (leadership connection, company direction, team dynamics, canteen food, etc.), but there are things that are easily attainable without costing much. Such as employee benefits. 

Yes, building up employee benefits can be done without costing much. How so? Check these out:

 Employment Hero is a leading HR software platform in Australia, which also has a robust employee benefits program.

Employment Hero is a leading HR software platform in Australia, which also has a robust employee benefits program.

  1. Office games. Perhaps you have an extra foosball or dartboard at home, something that's just collecting dust in your basement? A third copy of Monopoly or Bop It from last Christmas? You don't have to spend as much as Google does. Just a quick burst of inspiration and resourcefulness can do the trick. 
  2. Group benefits. Insurance policies, home loans and the like are best negotiated in bulk, rather than shopping for them yourself. Australian companies such as Employment Hero specialize in negotiating for the best deals for all of their clients, that have a total employee base of about 200,000. The result? Savings of thousands of dollars for employee home loans, and better than market rates for thousands of items (ie. discounted gym memberships) you can offer as employee benefits, 
  3. Relaxed dress code. Casual Fridays, or no dress code at all, may not sound much, but it does go along way for employees. It saves them time and money to invest in clothing combinations, as well as allow them to just relax a bit and give them additional relief from stress.
  4. Nap hours. Offering your people an allotment of 15-30 minutes a day to nap (better in a designated nap area) will do wonders to relieve stress and boost alertness and morale. You can imagine your staff telling their friends, "At work, I'm actually expected to take naps." 
  5. Free seminars. You can invite external resource persons who are willing to conduct workshops and seminars for free (sometimes in exchange for free mileage for their shop/business, or just to build up their portfolio). Arts & crafts, leadership, wellness, weight loss, business writing, team-building, personal finances, spiritual development etc., there is a wide range of topics that can be done. Look around your community and you'll be surprised at how many individuals, businesses, groups, or associations would be willing to conduct a free seminar for you.
  6. Flexible work hours. At little cost to you, sometimes keeping the leash longer means a lot for employees. By keeping work hours flexible, it gives the employees more leeway to manage their personal time, and allow you to ride the different ebbing and flowing of each employee's productivity moods.
  7. Work from home. One of the best things I ever heard from a boss was when mine said, "With today's technology, we can even work from home." I loved how he was open-minded about our work arrangements. You can imagine how much your employees would love this, plus the savings you'd get on your utilities.
  8. Bonus vacation time. Reward performance or met targets with additional days of vacation leave. Not only does it make your employee feel rewarded, you also avoid more expensive rewards such as raises or cash bonuses.

Creativity and a little hard work are sometimes all you need to get more for your employees, for less (or even nothing at all). And with that, you can continue with John Miles' song:

Don't let them slip away.
Don't let them slip away
.

 

About the author:

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Dondi Alentajan is the Principal Consultant for Alentajan Business Consulting and serves as a consultant for Optimum Direct, a web portal for the best HR tools and software for small business. He was recognised as a “Marketing Maverick” by Business World in 2012, and he headed the Marketing Team nominated “Best Marketing Company” by the PMA for two consecutive years (2010 & 2011). His primary work mission is to help companies and their customers be happier together.