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Staff Perks: 20 ideas to incentivise your staff

A happy workforce is a more productive workforce research suggests (Patterson, 2004). It would seem sensible to think that if your staff are happy they’re more likely to go ‘the extra mile’. By looking after your staff you’re also looking after your customers and clients.

Employees want to feel valued and enjoy work. Here are 20 ideas to keep your office smiling and incentivised.

1. Flexible working   

The idea of a 9-to-5 job is fast going out of fashion, especially in the digital workplace. You should be able to trust your staff, now more than ever more workers want to fit work around their personal lives. Flexible working is a great way to show you trust and respect your staff, which will be reciprocated by an empowered member of staff. Let them make their own decisions. Plus, this perk can be completely free.

2. Working from home

Let staff work from home when they need too. Whether it’s due to childcare problems or to save on their weekly travel costs. Working from home can help companies too as it can save money, reduce absences and make staff happier, which can increase productivity.

3. Financial advice

For some people money is the sole reason to work. So why not give them exactly that, or advice on managing their finances better. A financial professional who can offer them guidance on key personal financial decisions, for example, taking the stress away from a mortgage, so they can concentrate at work and be more productive.

4. Recognition

Perhaps the simplest and possibly most effective perk. Give staff recognition for their achievements; whether it’s a regular employee of the month or a more informal thank you. Let them know you appreciate their efforts.

5. Parental leave

Having a baby is one of the best and most stressful times of someone’s life. Raising a family can be tough at times so let staff know you understand by letting them return when they are ready not rushing them back in to work.

6. Educational courses

Education, education, education. Add value to your staff by helping them achieve further qualifications. This will not only help them but will help the company stand out from its competitors. Staff will see educational courses as progression opportunities, which can help to directly improve motivation.

7. Gym membership

Healthy body, healthy mind. This is not only a staff perk but also for employers too as healthy employees are less likely to be ill, are more likely to be happy and therefore more productive.

8. Birthday cake

Who doesn’t like cake on their birthday? As an Employer it shows that you care and recognise them. If you want to know the importance of a birthday cake just ask Yaye Toure, the Manchester City midfielder, who famously fell out with the club over the lack of recognition on his birthday. (

9. Paid volunteer time

Many people would love to volunteer and help their community but can’t due to work commitments. Let employees have a couple of days a year where they can volunteer for a charity of their choice. Employees will appreciate a community conscious company.

10. Chill out area

A kitchen and dining area is a necessity but give employees another place where they can chill out away from eating. A games room where they can relax for an hour at lunch maybe? This will not only be good for keeping staff happy but for team building too.

11. Company swag

Coats. Mugs. Winter hat. A simple perk that will promote the company outside the work environment. Staff enjoy free gear and the company could potentially increase its brand awareness.

12. Coffee Machine

A quality coffee machine could be a winner. Another small perk that goes a long way. Saving staff money and keeping Sandra happy at 9am on a Monday morning.

13. Pet days

Pets improve happiness. Studies suggest playing with dogs can reduce stress and boost morale. This doesn’t cost you much and it can help to cheer up the office on gloomy winter mornings.

14. Free fruit

Healthy snacks promote good health. This perk will reflect the company’s stance on staff wellbeing and can help encourage local businesses.

15. Pension advice

With increasing legislation around pensions make sure staff have free access to pension advice. At Ethos we can provide your employees with our famous Pension Surgeries. (Call us to find out more about this!)

16. Equity

This isn’t possible for every company, but stock ownership gets staff engaged with the company and passionate as they feel part of the project. Staff will be more invested if they have an interest in the company.

17. Stand up desk

Another health perk. A couple of stand-up hot desks around the office give staff the chance to change their working environment and stand up for a couple hours. Sitting down at work all day is proven to be bad for you - getting staff moving can improve productivity.

18. Travel opportunities

A chance for employees to get away together at the end of the year on a company holiday. This perk is expensive but what better way to help staff relax and incentivise them to meet their targets than to offer a free holiday to the top performers.

19. Mental health support

Mental health has for so long been overlooked so offering staff support should be an important perk to consider. Not everybody might need it but it could be very valuable to some employees and improve their overall well-being.

20. Ask them what they want!

Perhaps the most important idea of all. Ask the staff what they want; they feel happy when they (possibly) get what they want and will value the company more.

Choosing the right perks for your company and staff is important but at the end of the day it’s about keeping them happy, healthy and recognising their value. 

If you would like to discuss your current employee benefit structure with us or if you're looking to review or increase the benefits that you offer your employees, get in touch with us on 01302 244 977.

Publish date: 31st January 2018

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