The old adage goes, ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’—but does it buy your employee’s happiness? Traditionally employers use an annual rise to keep their workers happy. However, as we move into the post-crisis economy, many companies are moving away from this trend and seeking new—and cheaper—ways to make their staff feel appreciated. So what are these alternatives?
1. Encourage remote and/or flexible hours.
No longer are most jobs requiring you to work 9-5 Monday to Friday. Some people are more productive after noon and can work through the night. Whereas, some people would rather get an early start and leave before rush hour. Times have changed, and so have the personal lives of your employees. By allowing them to create their own schedule, you can give them the ability to live beyond the office.
2. Make it a pet-friendly environment.
It is a well known fact that animals boost ones happiness, so why not let your employee bring their pet along to work? It will encourage camaraderie within the office and increase positive productivity.
3. Feed them!
Everyone loves food, especially when it’s free. The tech companies have been doing this for years, and it seems to be working. By stocking your shelves with delicious—and healthy—options, your employees are less likely to hit the wall and work through the afternoon.
4. Encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Simply offering gym benefits can keep your employees happy. Regular exercise is directly linked to the reduction of stress. Therefore, less stress equals a blissful workday, leading to increased productivity. By allowing your brain to take a mental break from your day-to-day duties, you become reenergized in your workflow.
5. Allow more breaks.
With most work done at the computer nowadays, many tend to become stiff from their stationary jobs. By integrating more breaks throughout the day, it reduces the chance of the 2 o’clock slump.
6. Give more vacation days.
The average American gets less than 2 weeks paid vacation from their employers. But many companies are moving away from this traditional standard, and going as far as offering unlimited vacation days (ex. Netflix and Hubspot). Moz.com is trying an alternative method. They are encouraging their employees to take their days off (21 days is standard), by giving their staff a $3,000 bonus for going on holiday.
7. Consider company retreats.
People tend to be happier when they are working with people they like. By encouraging office outings and group meet ups, employees can get to know one another outside of the cubicle. Air BNB takes their company retreats to another level, literally. Every couple months, they ask their team where they would like to travel to and then create a pseudo-retreat. So if the team wanted to go to the Bahamas, they would outfit a floor of their building to mimic an Air BNB location in the Caribbean.
Ultimately, if you are happy and enjoy what you do, you are more likely to remain loyal to the company. So by showing your employees a little love, they will put out great work in return.