Boost Morale with Meaningful Yet Cost Effective Employee Perks

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employee perksIt has been said that the way to determine success or failure in business is the quality and commitment of the people you hire to work for you. In order to maintain these factors, a company must be able to provide incentives that employees see as valuable, in exchange for their efforts.

In a 2012 joint survey conducted by Harris Interactive and CareerBuilder, nearly 4 thousand workers were asked what their key motivators were. The results of the survey revealed that many employees are looking for more than just a paycheck.

  • 59 percent of the polled workers indicated flexible schedules would be a major plus.
  • 48 percent merely want to be validated that they are making a real difference.
  • 35 percent like having challenging work and assignments.
  • 33 would like the option to work from home
  • 18 percent are looking for academic support.

Affordable Incentive Ideas for Employees

Outside of the normal compensation and benefits, there are many creative perks you can offer your employees that won’t break the bank. Here are some ideas that ma work well for your staffers.

On-site Wellness Services – Much evidence points to the connection between healthy employees and productivity, as well as cost savings. One Harvard University study advised that “medical costs fall about $3.27 for every dollar spent on wellness programs, and absentee day costs fall by about $2.73 for every dollar spent. This average ROI suggests that the wider adoption of such programs could prove beneficial for budgets and productivity.” Try adding a small fitness center to your building or invite wellness practitioners to offer their services for half-price to employees.

Flexible Work Arrangements – In the quest for more work-life balance, more employees are looking for workplaces that allow greater flexibility with work schedules, including the ability to work from home occasionally. This can help to raise morale as employees experience less stress knowing you care about their other commitments too, like being a parent or caregiver.

Casual Work Environment – Reduce the “fashion show” at the office and give employees the option to wear jeans and t-shirts. Create a corporate dress code that allows non-client facing employees the ability to focus on their work rather than their wardrobe.

Corporate Discount Program – Your company likely has a number of discounts available from vendors, from travel and entertainment discounts to local services and technology – you can pass these cost savings along to your employees as part of a corporate discount program.

Celebrations and Meals – Take the time to celebrate the achievements of your company with a once quarterly company event. Bring in a catered lunch, invite a local band, and just let employees enjoy a few hours of fun.

Comfortable Break Rooms/ Bathrooms – There are many times when employees need to de-stress due to a challenging situation at work with a client or a co-worker. They are most often to head for the nearest rest room or the company break area to do this, so make sure it’s a comfortable place to find retreat from everyday work stress.

Individual Recognition  – All employees need to feel valued, so encourage your management team to take the time to leave a simple, handwritten card on employees’ desks for work achievements and dedication to company goals.

Professional Learning Opportunities – Having a workforce that’s well trained and up to date on important industry concepts can set your company apart from the competition. A valuable perk for many employees is the ability to head back to school to earn a college degree or an industry certification. Be sure to support this decision with flexible work time and financial incentives.


Decide right now what is the most important aspect of managing your human resources and take the time to identify perks that are relevant to your employees and the industry. Above all else, consider how you can thank your employees as often as possible. Showing a little appreciation can go a long way, and it can take your business to the next level.


This post brought to you by ShiftHR, a leading HR consultancy firm located  in Charleston, South Carolina. Founded and managed by Pat Eardley, an HR expert with over 16 years of experience, ShiftHR provides on demand HR solutions and services to small and mid-size businesses. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for important HR updates every month, and you are welcome to connect on our social networks.

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