Creative perks and initiatives to support and reward your team

The events of the last year have seen many businesses change the way they reward their staff.

Many businesses have reviewed and adjusted their employee benefit schemes, utilised their benefits in entirely different ways to match changing needs, while many businesses have introduced brand-new perks to help combat the many challenges that have arisen for employees over the last year.

Employee benefits can certainly go a long way in helping employees combat these challenges, helping employees save money and improve their work-life balance for example. However, accompanying these with creative and innovative new perks is incredibly important.

Here’ we’ll look at some innovative ways companies have been rewarding their staff and improving their employee experience that your business could adopt too.

Early finish Fridays

Companies like Kellogg’s and Penguin allow staff to finish earlier on Fridays to help improve their work-life balance.

Research shows that employees who feel they have a good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t.

At caboodle, we offer this initiative to our team too. Employees exchange an extra half hour each day in the week for an earlier finish on Fridays, helping our team improve work-life balance giving employees a longer weekend.

Since remote working became a necessity for businesses since the start of the pandemic, many employees have found it difficult to switch off and many have worked more hours while working remotely than when in the workplace.

Any initiatives to help improve work-life balance, therefore, are likely to be received well by your team.

Early finish Friday’s might be easier to implement than you think too. With the discussions around the 4-day work week gaining more popularity and a greater focus on work-life balance, more and more companies are looking to initiatives like these, and it’s likely that they’ll only become more feasible as time goes on.

Wellbeing days

To encourage staff to put their wellbeing first, Channel 4 gave its employees a ‘wellbeing day’, where employees were encouraged to take a day away from their work to reset and take a much-needed break.

With research from Mind showing that 60% of adults have said their mental health has worsened because of lockdown measures, employee health and wellbeing has been high on the agenda for many HR teams.

Initiatives like these can help avoid employee burnout and improve employee mental wellbeing.

In Channel 4’s case, they did need some employees to work through the day to keep the channel running and for any business implementing a ‘wellbeing day,’ this will need to be considered.

However, initiatives like these alongside mental health training or employee benefits like the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for example can be incredibly powerful, particularly in times like these.

HR in particular knows the stresses of the last year and a ‘wellbeing day’ would likely be received well in any organisation to support employee wellbeing.

Remote working from remote places

Digital banking business Revolut are offering their staff up to 60 calendar days each year to work abroad.

Revolut already have a diverse international workforce and this perk was introduced to help employees spend longer periods of time with their families and to attract and retain their talented international team.

Travel restrictions are still preventing this, however once restrictions are lifted this looks set to be an incredibly popular perk with staff.

Remote working has become the norm for many businesses and with this infrastructure now in place, there are opportunities for organisations to increase flexibility further to help support employee wellbeing and improve recruitment and retention such as with perks like working abroad.

Just as Revolut did, start with your employees and their wants and needs. Revolut employees wanted more time to spend with their family internationally and so the business took the opportunity afforded by remote working to help make it happen.

Maybe your team wants more flexibility to start and end their usual working day earlier or later to accommodate for childcare needs? Maybe they’d like a longer lunch break and a later finish to incorporate exercise into their day?

You might be able to be even more flexible and agile in the way you work than you think now that remote working has become so widespread. Like with Revolut, this can be used to your advantage to improve employee wellbeing, employee retention, and employee recruitment making your organisation a more attractive place to work.

Calendar gifts

Sometimes it’s just the little things. For Easter, LADbible Group sent their remote employees Easter cookies to reward and say thank you.

The company did the same for Pancake Day too, taking the opportunity to reward their team in a timely and effective manner.

According to research by Deloitte, companies, where recognition occurs, have 14% better employee engagement, productivity, and customer service than those without.

Normally, calendar events like these might be celebrated in the workplace. However, they can still be celebrated remotely, and remote working gives organisations a chance to take advantage of a key aspect of recognition.

When we recognise, the effort we put in to recognise is often the aspect of that recognition that resonates the most with the recipient.

To still go through the effort or rewarding employees in the same way as they would in the workplace may be one of the key reasons why this reward resonated so well with LADbible Group staff and why so many took to social media to share it.

Working remotely doesn’t have to be a threat to your reward strategy, it can be an opportunity. Your organisation might have to go through a little extra effort to reward staff but doing so will make that reward resonate even further.

Thinking outside the box with perks and initiatives like these can help you tackle the key problems and priorities of your workforce more effectively.

It doesn’t have to cost the earth and may just take a bit of due diligence to plan, but the potential benefits of these initiatives and perks for these businesses are huge.

Combine your employee benefits with outside-the-box thinking when it comes to perks and you’ll create a workplace your employees love and future candidates are desperate to be a part of.

At caboodle, we provide everything you need and more to reward and engage your team. View our full range of employee benefit schemes here.