Employee Perks – Differentiate Yourself by Involving Employees

As the struggle for recruiting and retaining employees gets more intense, many organizations, especially large ones, are offering employee perks. In a previous post we highlighted focusing on differentiating yourself as a small business and leveraging the things that impact employee retention the most.  

However, if you do want to add in some additional perks for your employees, here are some ideas to chew on for a bit.  

Give Employees a Voice

Many employers hesitate in involving employees because they may ask for something that you can’t or won’t do?  But there are so many benefits of involving employees in these discussions.

  1. It is a great way to engage employees further — and higher engagement means higher productivity and higher retention.    
  2. You won’t waste your time implementing things that may not be of value to your employees.
  3. Employees are very creative — chances are they will come up with something you may never have considered.  

The importance consideration in involving employees in the discussion is to manage expectations.  This is how you avoid the ‘what if they ask for something that we can’t or won’t do’. As you introduce the topic, make sure you let them know:

  • what the decision criteria are, and
  • how the final decision will be determined.  

You have to do this correctly.  If you do not communicate these aspects upfront, employees may feel you changed the rules on them part way through the game.  The result is a loss of trust, a crack in the culture and disengagement from employees.

Be Clear on Decision Criteria

Decisions are always best when you have identified the criteria BEFORE you start the discussion.  If you are involving others in the process, it is important that you identify your non-negotiables.  What needs to be in place for any perk implemented. Examples of criteria could include:

  • Making sure that work requirements are met (if the company’s business hours are 8:00-5:00 p.m., those hours still need to be honored or if there is a requirement to fill customer orders within a certain timeframe, those time frames still need to be met).
  • Ensuring alignment with values.  For example, if you value growth and development, it would be important to have a perk that provides employee growth and development.
  • Staying within an identified budget.

Another result of communicating and clarifying the criteria is that employees will start to apply that filter themselves before they even consider bringing it up.  Therefore employees will be more thoughtful when suggesting ideas for perks.

Decision Making Process

It’s important that employees know how the decision will be made and what input they will have in the process.  For example:

  • Will it be a voting process and the idea with the most votes be implemented (as long as it fits the criteria)?  
  • Will there be a committee that determines what is implemented?  If so, how will the committee be selected? And how will the committee get feedback from employees?
  • Will you and/or a management team be making the decision?  If so, what involvement will employees have in the decision making process?  How will they be able to provide their thoughts and feedback?

To learn more about how to engage employees, let’s connect! Here’s a link to set up a meeting directly with us: Connect with People Spark

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