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Show Your Employees You Care with These 4 Simple Employee Benefits/Initiatives

“Take care of your employees. And they’ll take care of your business.

It’s as simple as that. Healthy, engaged employees are your top competitive advantage.”

- Richard Branson

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

If you‘ve landed here looking for ways to attract and retain the best employees, then showing them that you care about them as people, and not just as workers is a great place to start.  

Let’s take a look at four simple yet effective benefits and ways to show your staff that you care.

1)    Celebrate Birthdays and Workplace Milestones

Celebrating birthdays and workplace milestones is a great way to boost employee wellbeing, which in turn will lead to higher motivation.

Let’s just say that it’s Adam from Accounts birthday tomorrow.  Unfortunately for Adam, he doesn’t work for one of those exceptional companies that happen to give all employees their birthdays as a day off. 😆

So, Adam will go to work, go about his normal tasks and head home with not so much as even a Happy Birthday mention from his team. Bearing in mind he’ll spend most of his birthday in the office, this is actually quite a sad scenario.

birthday at work

On the other hand, Adam’s boss could get everyone to sign a card, and make sure it’s on his desk in the morning as a thoughtful gesture. Maybe he/she could offer to get Adam a coffee when he gets in and ask him what he has planned for his birthday. In this scenario, Adam will feel valued and significant. Being at work on his birthday won’t actually be so bad after all.

It might seem like a small thing—but a little gesture like that can mean so much to employees. It shows them that they’re valued members of the team and that they’re appreciated. This can help foster feelings of loyalty, commitment and engagement at work—all of which are crucial elements of employee wellbeing.

Similarly, if someone has a special workplace milestone (10-year work anniversary, hitting a big work target) it can be really valuable to mark these moments with a celebration and an environment of appreciation. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day office life of deadlines, zoom calls, emails and sales trackers.

Taking time for milestones is important for company morale and in turn for keeping employees engaged and happy.

It's not just about the individual either. Celebrating as a company when collective teamwork pays off is a fantastic way to boost pride, collaboration and team cohesion.

2) Free Fruit and Healthy Snacks at Work

Admittedly there’s more to workplace wellbeing than a few token fruit bowls dotted around the office. But it can be a great place to get maximum impact with minimal effort.

Firstly, you can get all the wide range of health benefits that fruit provides - vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, strengthens the immune system and is a natural way to boost concentration and productivity.

On a deeper level, having a healthy fruit bowl on hand is a great way to show your employees that you care about their overall health and wellbeing, and a helpful way to promote positive company culture of healthy snacking and encouraging healthier lifestyle habits.

This in turn will lead to keeping employees healthier and needing less time off with sickness.

This is a relatively low-cost perk that a company could shoulder the cost of, whilst providing real value to the employees (especially given the rising cost of living.)

By ordering a weekly fruit box, or even nipping to the nearest shop once every few weeks to stock up on apples, bananas, oranges and some healthy snacks (dried fruit, nuts, crudites and houmous for example) - you can keep employees motivated to make healthier choices individually and above all, to feel cared for at work.

This doesn’t only have to apply to office workers either.

For those working remotely/ on the move, you could give them a reasonable allowance for fruit or healthy snacks that you could then reimburse.

🍏 Spread the fruit love to everyone!

3) Offer Flexible Working

Providing flexible working hours and/or location for your employees is a great way to show that you care, both about their personal life and about their commitment to their job.

When parents can focus on getting their work done without worrying about how to pick up their little ones from school or find care for them when they’re off school sick, they’ll be more engaged at work, not to mention less stressed.

Likewise, with no commute, employees who may be working from home will save time and have more energy when they get started at work each morning.

Flexible working can support mental health and stress management, as well as reducing burnout and promoting a healthy work-life balance (if the employee works hard to keep boundaries in place.)

Flexible working can also make employees feel more appreciated by giving them a greater sense of autonomy and productivity at work, leading to improved loyalty and retention.

The proof is in the pudding - recent research from HR platform Remote rated flexible working as the most desirable office benefit, with more than three-quarters of full-time employees valuing it above other popular perks such as a 4-day week, and private health insurance.

4) Encourage Lunchtime Movement

Encouraging daily exercise for your employees can help keep them healthy, happy and motivated. An active workplace can also have an impact on overall productivity and lowers sickness-related leave and associated healthcare costs. After all, by sitting down all day, sedentary lifestyles are putting employees’ health and wellbeing at risk.

We know that promoting exercise and a healthy lifestyle is a win-win for everyone involved.

Employees can enjoy better overall health, and employers (and the economy) can enjoy less costs sickness-related absences and presenteeism are costing the UK economy £77.5 billion a year.

In recent times, lunchtime for many has meant a quick sandwich at the desk before cracking on with the next round of emails.

tuna sandwich at work

This hustle culture is slowly becoming less acceptable - nowadays employees and employers alike are becoming more switched on to the importance of taking regular breaks and the positive impact this has on energy levels, reducing stress, improving mood, concentration, and brain power.

Encouraging employees to get out for a lunchtime walk, even if only for 15 minutes is a positive step companies can take, regardless of if your employees are at work or at home.

If you’re in a big open-plan office, encourage your staff to walk across the office to colleagues, instead of sending emails.

Encourage teams to take walking meetings, dialing in if they’re working remotely.

Encourage staff to move collaboratively with a team challenge, or a fitness class.

Set the tone by ensuring leaders and management are walking the walk.

Factoring in time to allow people to move will be beneficial for all involved.

These are four small ways that you can show employees you care, with a focus on their overall long-term health and wellbeing.

Not only will having such thoughtful benefits be useful for attracting and retaining employees, but if you take an active interest in your employee's health and wellbeing, they’re more likely to return that favour by working hard and caring about your company as much as you do.