As talent pools diminish and companies vie for the best minds on the market, the world of employee perks is getting more and more creative. Gone are the days when you had to be grateful for a bottle of cheap plonk and a box of Quality Street chocolates at Christmas time. Today, unlimited holidays and free accommodation are the benefits that are allowing some companies to stand head and shoulders above their competitors.
We’ve trawled the internet and found some of the most creative, inspiring and wonderful ways in which different companies are beginning to really understand what it means to look after their employees.
Looking after the legacy of long term employees
When you consider that an employee spends the vast proportion of their week working, this does have an impact on their family and loved ones. Naturally, the salary is the recompense that they receive – however, the more an entire family is drawn into the embrace of the benefits stream, the more a company will engender commitment and loyalty over many years.
EAPs (Employee Assistance Programmes) are standard for many companies now – as well as the usual shopping discount vouchers, they can also include access to medical support services. Many companies are now extending this out to legal services too. For example, if someone needs will writing at their Birmingham based office, then this service is included within the overall benefits package.
In the unfortunate event that an employee should pass away before their time, some companies are extending this embrace of their legacy through committing to honouring a percentage of that employee’s salary and paying it for a set number of years to their spouse. For example, Google will pay 50 per cent of a deceased employee’s salary to their partner for the following ten years after their death.
Creating dedication from the very beginning
Bringing in employees at a young age – whether from the minute they leave school at the age of 18, to university graduates in their early twenties – is a real opportunity for employers to look after their workforce as they start to navigate the world of work.
As so many cities are increasingly expensive for rental properties – often beyond the pockets of younger employees on starting salaries, some businesses have solved this problem by establishing subsidised accommodation for their graduate and apprentice new joiners.
For the more promising of new recruits, some companies are also offering an opportunity whereby they pay towards any student loan debts. In the UK, a graduate comes out with about £50,000 worth of student debt, which is a heavy burden to have before you even start your career. Knowing that your employee is committing to help you clear this debt is a major weight of someone’s shoulders.
Getting paid for NOT working
While many are moving on from real universities – the university of life is still a great teacher. A company that believes in its employees benefiting from external experience is a company who will always get the most in terms of commitment and productivity.
Giving your workforce the option to take some paid time out to volunteer in the community in some way is both good for an individual’s morale, and also is great local PR – particularly if that company is a large local employer. Whether it is working n a food bank, visiting the elderly, or volunteering at a homeless charity, every employee should be given the opportunity to give back to society without losing out on their salary.
Beyond this, many companies will also offer extended sabbaticals – both paid and unpaid. Holding open someone’s job for them for a stated length of time (anything from one month to one year) will greatly enhance someone’s long term mental wellbeing.