It’s no secret to most managers, and employees for that matter, that regular employee check-ins are an important part of any job. While the frequency and format of an employee check-in can change from organization to organization, the content will typically stay the same. Check-ins allow for more direct communication and feedback between managers and employees. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to provide project updates and share any questions or concerns.

employee one-on-ones

Though employee check-ins have gotten considerably more complicated as so many workforces and organizations have moved to remote working, they’ve also become more important than ever. Check out the four reasons why employee check-ins are so important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. Feedback

Employee check-ins, commonly referred to as one-on-ones, are always a great opportunity for both managers and employees to offer feedback on a number of different areas they deal with on a daily basis. However, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, check-ins give both parties a chance to offer feedback on more than just performance. It’s important for managers to open up the floor for employees to evaluate how they are feeling about their current work situation, remote or not, as well as things like company responsiveness, communication with fellow team members and departments, and more. Managers should encourage employees to share their thoughts on all of these subjects, and any other important ones that come to mind, and ensure them that their feedback during one-on-ones is private and confidential.

2. Support

There is no denying the fact that we are dealing with difficult times, and many employees may be struggling personally with adjusting to this new normal. While it’s still important that managers stay professional during check-ins, a one-on-one with employees presents a wonderful opportunity to assess any areas the employee might be grappling with and offer both empathy and support. For example, we know that many are experiencing heightened levels of worry regarding their finances during these times. Therefore, remind employees of any financial wellness benefits the company offers them that they can utilize. Similarly, if your company offers mental health checks or wellness benefits, now is a great time to mention to employees that they’re available and even explain how to enroll! If you’re a current PerkSpot client, don’t forget that your Discount Program offers a number of exclusive discounts to your employees in important categories like health and wellness, financial wellness, and more! If you’re not a current PerkSpot client, but you’re interested in offering this as a benefit to your employees, click here to get more information!

3. Stress

There’s a good chance managers probably know the signs of burnout and they might even be trained in keeping an eye out for them in employees. Now more than ever, it’s important to be on the lookout for those signs: an employee who is noticeably and regularly tired, forgetful, anxious, or easily frustrated could be suffering from the early stages of burnout. For those who are working remotely, it’s easy to extend your working hours without even noticing, as there is no signal that the workday has ended. If managers begin to notice employees seem burned out, look for areas where they can help the employee manage his or her workload, and encourage them to log off when their workday is done. Be sure to offer positive reinforcement and recognize the hard work they’ve been putting in.

4. Communication

Obviously, employee check-ins are all about communicating about ongoing and future projects, setbacks, day-to-day responsibilities, and more. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, take that communication one step further. If managers are no longer seeing employees every day, they might not realize it, but both managers and employees are missing those daily communications they probably took for granted. Make sure that now, your one-on-ones are used to ask how they’re doing and feeling, what’s new for them, and offer the same responses back, so they feel the communication is going both ways. Additionally, employee check-ins should be the time in which managers communicate important updates and information regarding your company and COVID-19. At a time when everything is so unsure, they’ll appreciate the extra communication and reassurance.

No two employees are the same, and therefore, their check-ins won’t be either. Make sure managers take some time to consider the employee they’re meeting with and how he or she prefers to communicate and work. This can help direct the conversation and ensure that they are getting the feedback they need, plus offering support and providing updates employees are looking for.

Even in the best of times, HR directors understand the importance of employee recognition in the workplace. It can improve motivation and productivity. Plus, studies report that a lack of acknowledgment for employees’ hard work can make them twice as likely to leave their jobs as their more often-recognized counterparts. But now, more than ever, recognition is a necessity in the workplace, not only to improve output and reduce turnover, but more importantly, to reinforce to your employees that you are supporting them in these trying times.

recognition

So, what are the best ways to recognize your employees right now? Keep reading to check out some of our favorite recognition methods!

1. Public Recognition

During non-pandemic times, your company probably announced recognition to teams, departments, or company-wide, depending on your company’s structure. But now, that kind of announcement may be much more difficult to achieve. If you’re impressed by an employee’s work and you want to acknowledge it, look to other channels your company uses. For example, a short message explaining the situation and how your employee rose to the challenge can be sent via an email, Slack, or ping. Not right for your company? Try posting it to a special section of your company’s intranet or to a common employee area like the break room! As more posts of recognition build up, you’ll notice a similar increase in employee motivation and appreciation.

2. Treat Them

At PerkSpot, team lunches and outings are a common occurrence and were regularly scheduled to celebrate a job well done on a tough project or a successful quarter. While we can’t get together in person to share our successes these days, it’s still possible to virtually come together and acknowledge each employees’ contributions! Try treating a team, or dedicated group of employees, to a lunch they can have delivered to their own homes. Then, encourage them to hop on a Zoom call to eat and celebrate together! For those of you who are still seeing their employees in person, an action like putting out treats in the break room or other communal areas is a great way to show recognition! Small treats like individually wrapped candy, which are sanitizable, are a great way to accomplish this while still staying safe and healthy.

3. Offer Future PTO

Hard work from our employees has never been appreciated more than these days, especially from the essential workers who are helping keep many important businesses open and running when we need them most. To show recognition for the renewed commitment employees are showing to your company, offer them opportunities to take PTO in the future! While they may not have an opportunity to take a day off right now, they’ll definitely enjoy some rest and relaxation after things have calmed down more.

4. Send Thank You Notes

There is something about a thank you note that feels more genuine than many other types of recognition we receive. Are you still regularly seeing employees in person and want to send them a special thanks for their hard work? A short note of appreciation can go a long way! If both you and your employees are working remotely, a physical thank you note can be more difficult to achieve. Opt for an e-card instead, so you can still include a personalized note while upholding social distancing limitations.

5. Encourage Peer-To-Peer Recognition

Did you know 86 percent of employees feel more connected to their colleagues when they give recognition? At a time when employees are not seeing each other face-to-face as often, peer-to-peer recognition can fill the gap and help create a sense of connectedness among your workforce. Encourage employees to recognize their coworkers when they lend a helping hand or notice them going above and beyond with a quick email or note! Though the action seems small, any employee will appreciate the effort.

6. Offer Rewards Through a Recognition Program

At PerkSpot, we believe so strongly in employee recognition that we developed a program so any company can do it! With PerkSpot’s Rewards & Recognition program, managers can recognize employees by sending them a personalized note of thanks, plus rewards credits, which they can then redeem in our Gift Card Store, which houses more than 150 gift cards from top brands! We know the positive impact a monetary reward can have on employees, especially when it comes in the form of a gift card. In addition, this allows employees to save money on essential items at a time when they need it most. Plus, until June 30, PerkSpot is waiving all fees associated with our Rewards & Recognition program! If you’re interested, click here to request a demo and learn more about how you can recognize employees today!

Recognition is important for employees all year round, but there is no better time to be pursuing a recognition method for your employees than right now. Let them know you’re thinking of them in these hard times and sending your appreciation for their hard work and commitment when they need it most. Get started with one of these great suggestions!

There’s no denying the fact that the last few weeks have been a difficult time for everyone. Navigating the impacts of COVID-19 has meant different things for different people. For many, it means practicing social distancing and self-isolation, which translates to an extended period of working from home.

For those that have the option to work remotely, it can seem like a treat to work in more comfortable clothes and save time on the commute. Yet, working from home several days in a row also feels tedious and frustrating, especially when you’re being bombarded by stressful news updates, distractions around the house, and a less stable routine. Keep your productivity in check with some of these helpful tips.

Create the Right Atmosphere

To start your days on the right foot, it’s important to create the right setting. Though tempting to simply grab your laptop and other necessary tools and set up shop on your couch or in bed, one PerkSpotter gave us a tip about how detrimental that can be to your workday. He noted that the brain is adept at making strong associations and will draw connections between your couch/bed and places of relaxation. This can make it more difficult to focus on and accomplish work, as your brain thinks you should be comfortable, relaxed, and less focused than normal. Instead, find a place that offers peace and relaxation. If you’re living with others, remind them that your work area needs to be just that – a place you go to get work done.

Dress the Part

Ready to roll out of bed and start your workday? Not so fast! Similar to the concept of needing the right place to work, changing out of your pajamas and into something a bit more put together can help drum up the productivity you’re looking for. Of course, we’re not suggesting that you throw on a blazer or heels. But waking up and getting dressed and ready helps signal to your brain that rest is over and it’s time to get to work. It’s okay to choose something a bit more comfortable than your regular work attire, but remember, it should still be something you’re okay with other coworkers seeing, in case your company holds regular video calls and meetings.

Take Breaks

When you’re in your normal workplace, it’s easy to take breaks. You can jump into a quick conversation with coworkers, grab a snack, or take a walk outside, all of which can help get your mind off work for a moment, as is the purpose behind a fast break from work. When you work from home, that proves more difficult, especially considering the fact that we must go outside less and practice social distancing. However, a fellow PerkSpotter offered a great tip—he implements the Pomodoro technique into his workday, which instructs the participant to work on a cycle. You’ll work for 25 minutes on one specific task, and when your 25 minutes are up, you can take a quick break of about five minutes. After about two hours, he recommends taking a longer break of up to a half an hour, in which you can get up, stretch your legs, go for a long walk (if you’re in good health, and keeping at least six feet away from others), and unwind from the work you’ve just achieved!

Keep Up Communication

Everybody knows the importance of communication to ensure you complete your work on time and correctly. But when an entire workplace is working from home, that can be a bit more difficult. What you tell one person, you may forget to tell another. Things can much more easily be miscommunicated or changed, without informing important stakeholders. At PerkSpot, our work from home rule, especially as we deal with the coronavirus and its impacts, is to overcommunicate. Consistent meetings between leadership, managers and their direct reports, and entire teams helps ensure information is funneled properly to the right people. It’s also important to remember that we’re not just communicating strictly work-related information during work hours. It’s okay to send a funny Slack message, share a news update, or relay your concerns during work. These are stressful times and it helps to feel connected with those around us.

Enforce Regular Working Hours

For many companies, their culture is just as important as the actual work they do. Unfortunately, working from home can make it harder to boost the spirits of your employees, which is necessary now more than ever! At PerkSpot, we took a good look at some of the regular activities we participate in that are directly tied to our culture, and worked on re-shaping them so they would fit into a work from home situation. For example, every Friday at 4 o’clock, PerkSpotters gather together in the kitchen to raise a glass to the week and celebrate our wins. Of course, that can be a bit harder to do when everyone is in their own respective homes. Still, we felt it was important to create a sense of community among us. Therefore, we created a Zoom meeting that holds all of us PerkSpotters, encouraged everyone to grab a glass of whatever they were drinking, and we cheers’ed to one week of work from home down!

There is no doubt that staying productive right now is difficult, no matter what your situation. COVID-19 has proved to be a stressful and scary thing to handle, and we’re all trying to figure out the best way for us to do so. However, social distancing and self-isolation is the most important thing we can all practice right now—assuming that you are in a field of work that allows for working from home—which means that this could be our reality for a while longer. If you’re struggling to help your employees with their productivity, share these tips, and let us know what you’re doing as a company to stay positive and productive!

In 2018, 71.5 percent of women with a child or children were either looking for work or currently employed. That number goes up to 93.9 percent for fathers with a child or children. Those numbers translate to an incredibly large amount of employees who are juggling the responsibilities of both work and parenting. One of those responsibilities? The high cost of child care. The average American couple spends 25.6 percent of their net income on child care. For a single-parent household, that number more than doubles.

childcare benefits

Still wondering whether you should give your employees with a child or children a hand with affordable child care? Here are four reasons why child-care benefits are imperative for your company to offer!

Why You Should Offer Child Care Benefits

Improve Recruitment Efforts

Are you a human resources professional, a recruiter, or simply a manager trying to fill a role on your team? Then you probably know about the difficulty of finding great talent in today’s workforce. With unemployment at uncommonly low rates, the search for the right candidate is growing increasingly competitive. So, how can your company stay in the mix? Offer child-care benefits. A recent report by SHRM found that only 2 percent of American organizations help their employees pay for their child-care costs. Separate yourself from the competition that is hoping to recruit the high-talent candidates you have your eye on by providing them with a meaningful benefit like child care.

Support Your Female Employees

According to a report on motherhood in America, in 2017 there were 25.1 million mothers in today’s workplace. But after having a child, one in every three women chose not to return to work. That means a significant loss in your company’s gender diversity, especially as you look to more senior and executive roles. Yet, we’ve long understood the importance of having women in leadership: a Morgan Stanley report found that it can translate to increased productivity, greater innovation, better products, better decision-making, and higher employee retention and satisfaction. All of that simply means that your bottom line improves when you have gender diversity, especially in leadership. While the modern family dynamic, like two employed parents or a stay-at-home father, is growing in popularity, women are still more likely than their male counterparts to stop working so they can assist with child care. Support them by offering another route for child care that doesn’t lead to them leaving their careers if they don’t voluntarily choose to do so.

Prepare for Millennial Parents

The average age of motherhood is increasing and parents are choosing to delay having children. That means the percentage of Millennial parents, which sat at 48 percent in 2016, will likely increase exponentially in years to come. Even if your current workforce doesn’t consist of multiple parents, that doesn’t mean it won’t. It also doesn’t mean that parenthood isn’t top of mind for many of them. Millennials are aware of their futures and are ready to begin planning for parenthood if they aren’t already doing so. Show them you have an investment in their future, and you want to be an integral part of it! How can you do so? By providing a child-care benefit that they can use in the future.

So, how can you offer child-care benefits without breaking the bank?

According to two separate reports issued by the pro-business US Chamber of Commerce, research shows that when companies provide support for child care, employee absences decrease, job satisfaction increases, and job turnover declines by as much as 60 percent. Clearly, child-care benefits are not only beneficial to the employee, but the employer.

But we understand the difficulty in creating and implementing a child-care benefit program that parents want and your budget can afford. That’s why PerkSpot has added exclusive child-care discounts to the thousands of discounts already offered on our Discount Portal! We know that as new parents return to work and expecting parents begin to prepare, not just child care, but support by their workplace, are at the top of the list of things they look for in an employer. With discounts to top, nationwide child-care providers, you can give discounted tuition for your employees’ children, plus discounts on things like toys, clothes, and other important baby gear.

To learn more about how you can offer exclusive discounts on child care and other categories, click here.

After the ball has dropped and the confetti has fallen, it’s time to look forward to 2020. More importantly, it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions. After all, the start of the year is a great chance to set fresh goals. But studies show that over seventy-five percent of people end up breaking their resolutions after only 30 days! Keep reading to learn how you can make your employees’ resolutions a bit more achievable.

employee new year's resolutions

Why Are Employees’ Resolutions Important to You?

But first, you may be wondering why your employees’ resolutions are of any importance to you. If they’re hoping to eat healthier or travel more, why should you worry about whether they actually accomplish it? It doesn’t matter if your employees choose to target personal or professional development in their goals – you’ll be impacted.

A healthier employee is also a more productive, engaged, and committed employee. Furthermore, accomplishing a resolution can give someone a real boost of confidence, which carries over into their work and demeanor. Plus, many of the popular resolutions are based on improving one’s health. You can guarantee that an employee who accomplishes a goal like improving their diet or exercising more often will actually end up costing you less as a company in terms of sick days, better performance, and lower insurance costs. Encouraging and helping an employee will benefit both the company and the employee in the long run! So give your employees an extra hand and help them beat the New Year’s resolution statistics with these easy tips.

4 Ways to Help Your Employees Accomplish Their Resolutions

Create a Clear Goal-Setting Process

To actually achieve a goal, it’s important that employees understand exactly how they plan on doing so. Help your employees model their resolutions after similar goals you’ve already helped them set in the workplace. For example, most professional goals follow the SMART goal setting concept, meaning they’re Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. When you apply those qualities to a goal, it’s much more digestible and therefore, more achievable. If you create a resolution, that’s broad or incredibly difficult to achieve, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Encourage employees to break down resolutions by time periods, specific measurements, or steps, which will help keep them on track longer, plus it will give them small senses of accomplishment, so they can see results and keep working hard. Email your employees a template that lists out the SMART goal characteristics so they can fill it in themselves, or take it one step further and host a lunch and learn to refresh them on setting SMART goals.

Emphasize a Social Atmosphere

Studies have shown that announcing your goals and receiving positive affirmation and encouragement can trick your brain into already feeling accomplished, thus making you less motivated to work on them. But instead of simply telling your employees to divulge their resolutions to their coworkers or managers, you should work to create a community that offers support and togetherness within your workplace. There’s a good chance that many of your employees will have similar resolutions, both professional and personal, and sharing them with one another can help hold employees accountable and give them fellow coworkers with whom they can share their failures and successes and get tips and tricks for how to stay on track.

For example, consider starting a book club for those hoping to read more often, weekly workout group for the employees who want to hit the gym, or a recipe sharing group for those trying to eat healthier. Plan and encourage employees to participate in office outings to drum up more socialization. Even small things like creating a space in your office where employees can take short breaks and chat together over healthy, office-provided snacks like fruit will help them stick to their resolutions and share them with coworkers! Having someone go at it with you makes your resolutions a million times easier to accomplish.

Bring in the Experts

It’s likely that you’re not a definitive expert on something like fitness, financial wellness, and other popular resolution topics. But fortunately, the experts are out there! The best thing you can do for your employees is to find them and bring them in, so they can share their secrets on the best ways for employees to accomplish their goals. A benefit like this is sure to excite employees who are hoping to keep their resolutions intact, especially if they’re starting to lose their enthusiasm or drive, as it will offer a fresh perspective and give them new motivation to keep going forward.

Give your employees the chance to meet one-on-one or ask questions afterward so they can get tailored advice.

Give Employees a Financial Hand

Some of the most common resolutions include things like “Eat healthier,” “Go to the gym more,” “Travel more,” “Learn a new language,” and “Pick up a new hobby.” While those are all very commendable resolutions to achieve, they have one thing in common. They can tend to have major cost implications. If an employee is hoping to go to the gym more, that will most likely entail a gym membership. Plus, items like apparel and equipment could eventually be needed. If an employee wants to visit new places in 2020, they’ll need to pay for transportation, accommodation, and day-to-day costs. Unfortunately, costs end up playing an important role for many in achieving their resolutions. And even if your company is in the position to offer, for example, a discounted gym membership, you’re still failing to include the employees whose resolutions have nothing to do with that.

That’s why a free perks and discounts benefit might be what you’re looking for. Not only can you offer a discounted gym membership, but you can also offer discounts on travel, food, and more. With a benefit like PerkSpot, you’re not taking any money out of your own company’s pocket. Better yet, you’re still managing to put money back into your employees’ pockets!

There’s a reason that more than seventy-five percent of people who set a New Year’s resolutions eventually give up. They’re hard! Dedicating an entire year to improving yourself can feel like a frightening endeavor to begin, but you can make it that much easier for employees by making your workplace more resolution-friendly. Urge employees to come up with a plan for how they want to achieve their goals, bond over their resolutions, learn from the experts, and give them an extra push in the right direction with a perks and discounts benefit that will help them save on the products and services they need to succeed!

The table is cleared, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have come to a close, and it’s time to look forward to the next day on our schedule: Giving Tuesday! Keep on reading and we’ll get all of your pressing Giving Tuesday questions answered. Plus, learn how your company can participate in Giving Tuesday and other charitable activities this holiday season.
giving tuesday

What is Giving Tuesday?

Created in 2012, Giving Tuesday began with the idea that there should be a day in place dedicated to the act of doing good and giving back, especially as the holiday season officially begins. What started as a small idea has snowballed into an international day of charity. Last year alone, over $400 million was raised in online donations. That’s not even counting the hours put in volunteering and giving back in other ways! If your company isn’t already taking part in Giving Tuesday, it might be tough to do so this year. But you can still learn about the date and its importance, as well as participate in other charitable activities. Check out 3 reasons why charitable giving as a company is so vital, and how to get started immediately!

Why should my company participate?

Fortifies Company Values

Remember those company values you created a long time ago … and then promptly forgot about? Giving Tuesday, and other charitable days and acts that fall under that umbrella, are a great way to remind your employees of the values your company stands on. And if your values happen to be a large part of your company and how it runs, what better way to emphasize them than a day solely dedicated to giving back?

Boosts Morale and Engagement

Despite the exciting nature of the holidays, you probably know hard it can be to engage your employees at this time of year. Between stressing about holiday finances, battling off illnesses, and juggling work responsibilities, it can be a difficult time of year for many employees. A day like Giving Tuesday is the perfect solution, as it reminds them of one of the true reasons for the season, which is to give back to those in need! Not to mention, an employee is more likely to respect and appreciate an employer who takes part in and encourages charitable acts like donations and volunteering.

Strengthens Community Relations

One of the best things about participating in Giving Tuesday, and other, similar philanthropic days, is that you can do it in any way you see fit. One of our favorite ways? Picking a particular charity (or maybe a few) that are near and dear in more ways than one. Finding local charities that support your community and partnering with them means you can give back to the local neighborhoods that have helped get your company to where they are, perhaps through cleaning up the area, improving local schools and parks, or lending a hand to your favorite small business nearby.

How do we get started?

Visit Givingtuesday.org

Now that you understand the importance of a holiday like Giving Tuesday, it’s time to figure out how you can get your company involved! You can find inspiration for giving back, either as an individual or an organization, on Giving Tuesday’s own website: givingtuesday.org, which contains several helpful resources. If you’re unable to develop a full plan for ways your organization can give back, simply send the Giving Tuesday link to employees and encourage them to research ways they can give back on their own.

Survey Employees for Suggestions

If you’re hoping for full participation from your employees, the best thing you can do is ask for their input. Using your company’s communication method of choice, take a poll or run an anonymous survey. This allows employees to make their own suggestions on how your company can best funnel its efforts. Employees might have great intel on local charities or important people to get in touch with. If not, they can still offer ideas that they’d love to participate in themselves!

Host Your Own Giving Campaign

Host Your Own Giving Campaign
While some companies may opt to have a local charity guide the majority of their charitable giving, others may want to organize their own giving campaign that they can control. If this sounds preferable to you and fits your company’s model and culture, give it a swing! Need some inspiration? You can host a food, toy, or coat drive! If your company hosts a regular gift exchange, try shaking things up this year and encourage employees to donate instead. Then, offer to match the value of any gifts donated to incentivize them!

Host a Day of Volunteering

Some companies and employees may choose to compile donations or collect money to donate to their chosen charity. Others prefer to do their part by actually getting their hands dirty and volunteering themselves. If you think this fits with your company, find a local charity that’ll benefit from your company’s help. To achieve maximum employee participation, schedule and organize a paid day of volunteering where your employees will volunteer together! Not only are you giving back to the community, but your employees have the chance to bond and get to know one another outside of the office.

Charity is incredibly important, no matter what day it is. But today of all days, make sure you take a look at what your company does to give back. If you want to do more, try implementing one of these suggestions during the upcoming holiday season! Happy holidays!

Sometimes, it feels like we were just celebrating the Fourth of July and then we blinked and it’s the holiday season! As the end of the year approaches, HR professionals are hard at work filling their offices with holiday cheer. And the one thing that’s at the top of many lists? Employee gifts!

And while 94% of employees in a recent survey said they want some form of seasonal gift, remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a bonus to make your employees feel valued and appreciated. Plus, for many companies, a unique employee gift aligns more closely with the company culture. Check out some out-of-the-box options that will have your employees smiling for the rest of the year!

Holiday Party

What better way to celebrate the end of the year than a company-wide holiday party? You may be thinking of the costs associated with something like this. However, it’s possible to keep a holiday celebration under budget! If possible, utilize your own office space and suggest a potluck, encouraging employees to bring in their favorite dishes to share with their coworkers. You can even hold a gift exchange like a Secret Santa or White Elephant – make sure to include a modest value for the gifts so employees don’t feel pressured to spend big bucks on anything. This is a great way for your employees to get together outside of the normal work hours and celebrate the holidays!

Extra PTO

According to a recent survey, almost 30% of employees said what they’d most want from their company is a few extra hours here or there to spend with their loved ones. As a holiday gift, offer employees an extra vacation day or close the office slightly early leading up to the holidays as a special treat. Work tends to slow down as the quarter comes to a close, so you likely won’t experience a strong impact in output, and you’ll have some happy coworkers who return from their holiday refreshed and ready to get back to work.

Charitable Donations

You know what they say – this is the season of giving! So why not give back on behalf of your employees as their gift? You can make a small (or large!) donation to the charity of your employee’s choice in his or her name, or choose a few options and give them the choice. Bonus points if you pick charities that give back directly to your local community! Not only are you paying it forward in a big way, but your employees will appreciate your charitable thinking. If you want to make it a bit more personal, you can even schedule a day of volunteering at a local charity where your employees can give back themselves.

Productivity Gifts

For some employees, there’s nothing better than unwrapping an actual, physical gift. Make it a win-win and seek out gifts that your employees will love and you can enjoy as well. For example, do you ever hear of employees complaining of bad backs or sore wrists due to typing at their desks all day? Give them a new ergonomic keyboard or chair! Is your sales department dying for branded apparel they can wear to important client meetings? Try presenting them with a branded polo or vest! These are gifts that they’ll enjoy and use, plus they’ll appreciate knowing that you’ve heard their requests throughout the year!

Rewards & Recognition Dollars

Sometimes, a monetary gift really is the way to go! But instead of simply writing your employee an impersonal check, why not use your Rewards & Recognition program to say happy holidays? Not only can you customize it by including a personal note of gratitude and appreciation, but it also gives your employees the opportunity to redeem for a gift card for a number of different stores! Whether they want to treat themselves to something special or use it to help them for holiday gift-buying, rewards and recognition credits give your employees the freedom to buy what they want and the knowledge that they’re being recognized for a job well done. Want to learn more about rewards and recognition programs? Get started here!

Holiday gifts can be a tough thing to navigate, as you want to reward and recognize your employees, but still find something that feels unique to your company and culture (and doesn’t break the bank). Try any of these options and you’ll have some happy employees!

We set our clocks back over the weekend, which means the days are shorter, the air feels colder (for most people), and for some, it can be hard to keep both their physical and mental wellness in check.

employee health

While employee wellness should be an important subject to keep in mind all year long, there is no time more crucial than the winter. In fact, December and January are two of the three most popular months for employees to call in sick, according to a study by CareerBuilder. Of course, employee health is the top concern when it comes to this problem, but it can also affect other areas of your business. Poor productivity, heightened absenteeism, and a decrease in overall performance are all connected to a dip in employee wellness. Learn how to keep the physical and mental health of your employees a priority during the winter!

Sponsor an Employee Flu Clinic

Do you hear an increase in sniffling or coughing throughout the office? Even though winter hasn’t actually arrived, flu season is already upon us. According to CNBC, its peak hits between December and February. Get ahead of it by offering your employees a flu clinic – the sooner the better! For optimal employee participation, choose a day when most of your employees are in the office or, if your employees are part-time, offer the clinic over the course of a couple of days so they can take advantage of the perk!

Provide Healthy Office Snacks

One of the most popular resolutions people set for themselves each year is to have a healthier diet, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until January to encourage your employees to eat a bit healthier. In fact, most offices will probably notice an uptick in unhealthy eating as the holidays near, what with leftovers and snacks being passed around. Help your employees get a jump start on their resolutions (and improve their wellness!) by offering nutritious, well-balanced snacks. This can range from simply leaving fruit out to finding a service that caters the snacks to your office! Want an insider tip? Check with your company’s insurance provider. Some will actually offer a discount to your company for providing those healthy snacks.

Start the Mental Health Talk

Physical health isn’t the only part of wellness you should address in your company. Over 3 million people a year are impacted by Seasonal Affective Disorder, some to the point of major depression. Mental health is an incredibly important topic, and it’s vital that you address it as such within your company. Make a point to have open, honest conversations with those who want to participate about what they’re going through. Emphasize the fact that you’re happy to talk privately with anyone who may need to do so. If this problem personally affects you, make sure you keep your health a priority, adjust your goals, and set realistic expectations for your work!

Offer Wellness Discounts

This winter, give your employees’ physical, mental and financial wellness a boost. As winter rolls in, your employees might feel tempted to skip their normal workout, or even cancel their gym memberships due to high costs. A perks and discounts program can help combat this issue. You can offer employees exclusive deals on things like gym memberships and workout equipment! Encourage your employees to utilize their discounts to save money while they focus on their wellness by communicating the program throughout your company. If you’re interested in implementing this program into your benefit suite, click click here !

Winter can be hard on your employees, and it’s easy for their wellness to fall to the wayside. Not only can these tips help improve your employees’ mental and physical health, but they can also improve the overall productivity and performance of your company. It’s a win-win for everyone!

For a small business, the process of scaling up is one of the most exciting endeavors your company can undertake. It means you’ve been so successful that people want more. This is reflected in the need to grow your product, your workforce, and your sales! But with growth can come some unexpected problems. One tough one is learning how to scale your culture to match your burgeoning company. Check out these tried and true tips to get started!

company culture

Hire with Culture in Mind

Any growing company knows the importance of hiring the right talent as they scale up. But many recruitment and HR professionals tend to make the fatal mistake of hiring anyone who fits the job description, without keeping culture in mind. While there may be several candidates that can adequately fill an open role, not every single one can both fit and add to your own company culture. So how can you make sure they’re the right candidate? Incorporate your company’s values and mission into interview questions to get an idea of how the candidate responds to them. Don’t be scared to place a strong emphasis on your culture and values. That way, the interviewee understands what they mean to the company. But an emphasis on company culture shouldn’t end with an offer letter! Include instances of your company culture in the entire onboarding process. For example, explain office dress code, vacation policy, and any other unique features that you feel gives an indication to how your company runs, both internally and externally. This starts new hires off on the right foot and gives them immediate exposure to your culture.

Communication is Key

When your company consists of five or 10 people, communication is rarely a problem. However, as you scale up, you might start to notice that there’s a much stronger need for a communication method that keeps all employees up to date and informed of important matters. Your communication approach should also give employees the opportunity to speak openly with executives in the office. Whether it’s a monthly, company-wide meeting, an open-door policy, or another format that uniquely fits your company, make sure you create some sort of process that inspires transparency, openness, and communication among all employees.

Connect Office Space to Culture

Many smaller companies don’t just experience growth in employees or sales figures – many will literally grow out of their office space and choose to relocate to a new space that fits their size better. If this is the case for your company, don’t forget to bring your culture along with you! Don’t just make an identical replica of your old office. Instead, work on finding ways to adapt your culture to your new office space. If your culture stresses the value of communication and collaboration, an open office format will point to that. If you enjoy bringing a tone of levity into the office, consider implementing pet-friendly days or regular office get-togethers, like happy hours or game nights that utilize your office space (if possible).

Recognize Outstanding Employees

It’s no secret that recognition can improve engagement, morale, and even productivity among employees. But it can also be a useful tool that conveys your company culture. Make an effort to visibly recognize those employees who you feel embody your company’s values. It’s especially important that you do so in a way that fits in with the company culture. For example, at PerkSpot, we have multiple forms of recognition. The first is the option for any employee to recognize any of their coworkers for a job well done! This cross-departmental recognition creates a culture of appreciation throughout the entire company. We also choose to highlight one specific, outstanding employee each week, who went above and beyond to complete their work in a way that represents our values well. Not only does this affirm to each individual employee that the work they do is important and appreciated, but it also gives their fellow colleagues a good understanding of what kind of words and actions align with the culture of your company.

Any company that is in the process of scaling up should be proud of the growth they’ve already seen! But now comes the tough part – making sure that, as you grow, you remain loyal to the culture and values you started with. Follow these helpful suggestions to keep your company culture intact as you grow!

A recent report by Willis Towers Watson discovered that almost a quarter of surveyed employees fell into the “high-stress” category when it came to dealing with their finances. Unfortunately, that financial stress tends to pervade nearly every aspect of an employee’s life, including – obviously – their work. And the stats don’t get any better. Employees who are struggling financially will lose 41% of work time compared to their less-stressed counterparts. Plus, they’re more likely to have low engagement and productivity levels. Whether we like it or not, an employee’s financial struggles can easily become an HR problem. Want to fix that? Check out the top 4 ways you can easily help improve your employees’ financial wellbeing!

employee financial stress

1. Flexible Schedule

HR professionals already know the importance of a flexible schedule. Not only does it provide the opportunity for a better work-life balance for employees, but it can actually improve productivity and engagement. But there’s another unexpected upside to allowing your employees a bit of flexibility in their scheduling: it saves them money! The option to work remotely or choose your own hours means employees don’t always have to commute into work, so they can save on gas or public transportation costs. What’s more, the necessity for child or pet care, which is more often than not a costly expense, is dramatically reduced. If you’re looking for an easy way to help your employees save, consider implementing a flexible scheduling option!

2. Financial Advising

Many employees develop their financial stress simply because they don’t feel educated enough on the topic. When this is the case, the best thing you as an HR professional can do is offer them as many resources as possible. To begin, get a good understanding of the kind of financial advice your employees want with a survey. From there, you can find a myriad of options that will provide financial education to your employees. Depending on your employees, this can range from budgeting advice, saving tips, investment suggestions, or retirement plan help. Not only can these lessons benefit your employees’ financial wellness, but a less financially stressed employee will be more productive and more engaged.

3. Referral Bonuses

As an HR professional, you probably know the importance of acquiring talented employees for your open roles. But did you know that the most effective way to recruit talent is through your current employees? Not only do employees understand their employer’s brand, culture, and needs, but they also know whether their referrals are equipped to fill open roles. Incentivize your employees to refer the best possible candidates by offering a referral bonus and encourage them to put it towards something important, like monthly payments or a savings plan. You can help put money into your employees’ pockets and find fantastic candidates all in one fell swoop!

4. Perks and Discounts

One of the best ways to help your employees save money is to offer them discounts in the places they spend the most money. But that can be difficult when you have a diverse workforce with different needs. Some employees may want to save on big-ticket items like automobiles or insurance. Others may want savings on smaller, everyday items like groceries, electronics, and other categories. That’s why an option like a perks and discounts program is perfect. Employees can search for the discounts that apply best to them and use them as they see fit.

Everybody knows how difficult it is to concentrate on work and other responsibilities when financial stress is weighing heavily on their mind. Therefore, it’s important that an employer takes the necessary steps to relieve employees’ stress when they can. If you don’t already, try implementing these different suggestions in your company to improve financial wellness, engagement, and productivity!