As February is the month of love, we thought for our blog this month, we’d share some ideas on how employers can show their employees some appreciation, which can boost employee satisfaction, make them feel valued and reduce staff turnover. It goes without saying that being happy at work, working in a comfortable environment, feeling supported day-to-day and being appropriately paid should be the first consideration for all employers but if that’s all in place, here are some more ideas.

Flexible working

If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from the pandemic, it’s that flexible working and hybrid working models are effective and are appreciated by employees. It gives them the chance to work around family responsibilities, outside interests or even what time of day they perform best – are they larks or owls?

If your business allows, break away from the 9-5 and consult with your employees on developing a flexible working policy for them.

Free food

Some businesses, such as Facebook, provide three meals a day for employees but we’re not suggesting everyone needs to go that far. This benefit could be as simple as placing a few boxes of cereal in the kitchen for those who didn’t get time for breakfast, keeping a steady flow of tea and coffee going during the day or arranging a regular delivery of fruit for everyone to enjoy.

An occasional staff lunch is always welcome; arrange a pizza delivery and get everyone to leave their desks for a while for a bit of downtime and networking.

Staff discounts

Can you arrange for local businesses to give your employees discounts just for working for you? Corporate memberships at gyms are really common but also consider veg box delivery companies, local cafes & restaurants, travel agents or even new car dealerships.

Paid time off

Many businesses offer their employees extra time off for special occasions. A day off on their birthday is a nice gesture but you could also think about times where some time off might reduce stress such as when moving to a new house or in the lead up to a wedding.

Another option might be to offer employees paid time off to pursue their outside interests; for example, one day a month to volunteer for a charity that is close to their hearts or to attend a class.

You should also make sure your paid maternity, paternity and adoption leave policy is as good as it can be as well as the policy for child care or other caring responsibilities.

Saying thank you

Do you say a simple but heartfelt ‘ thank you’ to your employees often enough? It’s a good idea to keep a note of peoples’ work anniversaries so they can be marked; it doesn’t have to be a special or even an especially long one – you can mark a 1st anniversary as well as a 30th.

If someone has put in extra effort, achieved something significant or supported a colleague, saying thank you at those points is a good idea too. You could combine this with the pizza lunch and use the achievement as a reason for the special occasion.

Health benefits

Private medical insurance, health plans, dental plans, access to 24/7 GP support or mental health care are really valuable benefits and will give employees real choice and flexibility when managing their and their family’s health, especially now when the NHS is under so much pressure.

There are many options available for this type of benefit and it is worth talking to a specialist about it before making any decisions, especially as this benefit is taxable.

We’d love to hear from you

If you have any questions about employee benefits, how they are taxed or how they might affect your employee’s take home pay, just get in touch and we can give you some more information.