What we believed to be a short stint of remote working before returning to the office stretched out over several months and may be extended into Q4 and beyond. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies made small adjustments to their benefits to help support their employees. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that bigger, more permanent changes will have to be made to account for the changes we’ve seen taking place in the offices and organizations across the country.

remote perks

As the budgeting season draws nearer, it’s important that you’re taking a look at how you’re allocating funds towards employee benefits and how you can continue to do so, taking into account their changing wants and needs. Check out some of the voluntary benefits that are likely to become the most sought after perks for employees.

Childcare

For the parents in your office, a perk related to childcare might be the best thing you could offer. But even prior to the pandemic, childcare was not a commonly provided benefit for employees in need. In 2018, only two percent of employers offered some sort of assistance for the cost of childcare. Now, as employees scramble to remain productive while dealing with their children’s’ care and for some, children’s at-home learning, some kind of support is desperately needed. Consider your budget to determine what type of support you can offer. At the very least, a more flexible schedule for employees can allow them to juggle work and childcare. But if you have the room in your budget, options like partially or fully offsite subsidized childcare, onsite childcare, or back-up care providers are all fantastic ways to support your employees and their families during this difficult time.

Physical and Mental Health and Wellness

We have all dealt with the difficult impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in different ways. For many, the pandemic and its resulting quarantine have been incredibly hard to handle, putting a strain on the mental and physical health and wellness of thousands—including your employees. In recent years, wellness benefits were a popular offering for employees. Now more than ever, it’s important to show you value your employees and empathize with their hardships. How can you do this, given the restraints of a tight budget? Look into various options for providing some kind of wellness benefit. Options like at-home fitness subscriptions, mental health apps, and licensed tele-therapists are all growing in popularity for employers who want to support their employees’ physical and mental wellbeing.

Technological Support

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 7 million people were already working remotely. While reports covering the full number of employees who have moved to part- or full-time remote working due to the coronavirus haven’t been conducted yet, we can only assume that number is significant. If you’re one of the thousands of companies who have moved to some type of work-from-home situation, it’s important to consider how you’re supporting your employees experiencing this sudden change—not only intangible but also tangible support.

This means things that can increase productivity and make a work-from-home set up more feasible. For example, what kind of technology are your employees outfitted with at home? Do they have a quiet space that encourages them to focus? Is their internet connection strong enough to support the amount of work they’re doing each day? If you’re unsure, one of the best ways to find these details out is through a quick, online survey that your employees can fill out, explaining their needs and how their current working environment helps or hinders them. If you don’t have the capability to outright purchase and lend office supplies and technology to employees, consider offering them a small stipend or discounts for what they need.

Recognition

No matter the budget you’re working with, recognizing your employees is a must. At its core, recognition helps reward those who perform above and beyond what is expected of them. It helps promote your company’s values and creates a culture of appreciation throughout your workplace. But beyond that, recognition doesn’t just exist to reward the highest performing employees. It also works as a tool for communication and compassion. Not to mention, end-of-year bonuses won’t provide the immediate financial support employees need right now, while real-time recognition can. It can produce stronger confidence and higher productivity in an employee’s work, and tying your recognition to a monetary reward is a great way to help those employees dealing with financial stress and instability.

How Can You Offer All These Perks With Your Budget in Mind?

So, you understand the perks your employees want. But you may be asking yourself, how can I possibly manage to fit all of this, plus other unmentioned perks like much-needed financial assistance or fun, healthy snacks like they used to get in the office, into a budget that’s already been tightened thanks to COVID-19? PerkSpot might be the solution you’re looking for.

As an employee discount and recognition program, PerkSpot is a cost-free and effective way to help your employees save money right now, when it really matters most. We offer thousands of discounts in more than 25 categories, allowing employees to save on small purchases, like groceries, meal-delivery, and home entertainment, as well as big-ticket buys, like automobiles, home services, and more. Best of all, as a cost-free program, PerkSpot works with any type of budget. When you sit down to adjust your benefits and determine what portion of your budget should be directed towards new and existing perks and benefits, be sure to keep PerkSpot in mind.

Company culture has transformed from a popular HR buzzword to an important element that companies give serious consideration to. As COVID-19 continues to impact how companies manage their employees and their business, culture is more important than ever. Check out a few reasons why keeping up with your company culture is so important right now!

woman at computer

1. Recruitment, Hiring, and Onboarding

During the early stages of the coronavirus, things like recruitment and hiring came to a halt for many companies as they worked to navigate the rough waters of the pandemic. However, it’s become increasingly apparent that we can no longer put important processes like hiring on hold. Instead, we must focus on transforming them, just as many companies have done with other facets of their work.

Company culture has always been an important part of recruitment and hiring. It’s a wonderful way for candidates to better understand the inner workings of the company they’re applying and interviewing at. This is why it should be at the forefront of all HR professionals’ minds while determining a new hiring process.

For example, how do you utilize social media to convey company culture? This is especially important given candidates often can’t meet with you or experience your workplace in person. Consider the interview process, especially for the companies and employees deemed essential. How do you show candidates what steps you’re taking to ensure employee health and safety? Upon hiring, do you have a carefully thought-out and prepared plan to onboard an employee who may have to work remotely for the foreseeable future? All of these are questions that will reflect your company culture. Therefore, you should be considering each one as you develop a new hiring plan amidst the coronavirus.

2. Communication

For many companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, communication has become vital. As a company with essential employees, communicating new health guidelines or changes in hours should be done in a timely manner. As a company whose employees have remained remote, online communication has become one of the only ways to transmit important messages and information.

No matter what your business is, you likely know the importance of communication. But what many don’t realize is how communication and company culture are connected. Remember, company culture isn’t just about weekly happy hours or interesting amenities at your workplace. It’s also about how you value your employees’ health and wellbeing, and how you transparently demonstrate that to them. To keep your company culture strong during the pandemic, reinforce your support of employees by keeping communication constant and educational, and offering a space for them to respond if needed. Work to quickly develop new guidelines based on the information you’re receiving. Then, communicate them to your employees in a way that is digestible and concise. Use different communication channels to send out messages with varying degrees of importance. This way, employees can quickly understand the gravity of a given situation.

For example, PerkSpot leverages a few different communication channels. We rely on Slack to communicate more casual notices, like a fun company-wide initiative or virtual event. We depend on email to send out important messages, like new in-office guidelines or rules for quarantining. Plus, we hold a regular cadence of company-wide meetings, creating a forum in which employees can get updates on other departments and ask questions about future plans or team developments. This effective and transparent system of communicating helps employees better fulfill their roles and responsibilities, thus creating a culture of connected and engaged employees!

3. Productivity and Engagement

Speaking of engagement, there’s no doubt of the connection between company culture and a productive and engaged workforce. A study by Queens School of Business and the Gallup Organization found disengaged workers showed 37% more absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors. Plus, that disengagement translated to 18% lower productivity!

A positive company culture, on the other hand, typically produces more engaged employees. This is because it promotes general employee wellness, support, and respect. If leaders or management put too much of an emphasis on working long hours or being overly productive, without mentioning the value of daily breaks or acknowledging employees’ hard work, a stressful and negative culture can quickly emerge. So, how can you promote a culture of employee wellness and support? Encourage employees to take breaks away from their work, especially if they’re remote. Offer resources that foster both physical and mental wellbeing and motivate leaders in your company to set an example by doing so as well. Recognize your employees going above and beyond to produce great results, which promotes a more engaged workforce and a culture of workplace appreciation.

For example, as an employee discount provider, PerkSpot employees receive all of the benefits that we offer our clients! That means PerkSpotters have access to discounted mental health apps, home workout products, and more. Plus, we add and highlight new discounts that are relevant to the wellbeing of employees regularly so employees are aware of them. These perks are a great way for leadership to demonstrate how they prioritize the health of their employees which, in turn, leads to a more productive and engaged workforce!

For many years, company culture has been a way for companies to highlight their values to current and potential employees. But amidst an unprecedented pandemic, company culture also offers the opportunity to help promote stronger engagement and more informative communication. Plus, it’s the perfect way to attract potential employees when so many other resources aren’t available. As we all work to navigate COVID-19 and its impacts, be sure you continue to prioritize and adapt your company culture!

After months of getting accustomed to remote working, many companies are now beginning to consider how they will return to the office, while still keeping their workforce safe and healthy. We outlined 7 basic steps to take that can help you develop a plan for a post-COVID-19 workplace.

1. Create a Team

Getting started on a plan of attack? To understand the needs of your employees, you should enlist the help of those who know them best! Start a team that includes leadership, as well as employees from your human resources, technology, legal, and operations departments. Include employees from other departments as well. They can offer fresh insight into the general concerns and needs of employees planning to return to the office. This team will be instrumental in developing the guidelines and policies you put in place for your office’s return—but more on that in step 3!

2. Ensure a Safe and Clean Office to Return To

As we all know, hygiene is a top priority as we consider how to return to the office. Make sure there are no concerns about your office’s initial cleanliness. Bring in a professional team of cleaners who know the best way to rid your office of the germs left there and armed with the right tools to do so. If you have cleaners regularly come to your workplace, it might be prudent to increase the cadence of their cleaning, as well as which areas they’re focusing on. For example, regularly disinfect individual employees’ desks, as well as common areas employees congregate in for lunch, breaks, or meetings. To learn more about properly cleaning and disinfecting your workplace, check out these recommendations by the CDC.

3. Develop and Enforce Strict Hygiene Standards

So, your office is sparkling clean, and you’ve got a team brainstorming methods for helping employees return to the office. It’’s time to start thinking about what rules you want to create and enforce. This may vary from workplace to workplace. However, guidelines like washing hands properly, using hand sanitizer, taking employees’ temperatures daily and logging them, creating a flow for moving throughout the office, and adding distance between employees’ workstations are great places to start. Communicate with managers that they should practice these guidelines well, to act as an example for others. Be sure to communicate the rules your team creates often and in multiple places. A slack channel, intranet forum, or the like dedicated to returning to the office, signage on the walls of common areas and employee restrooms, and a company-wide email that compiles all of the new practices are the perfect way to kick off communications.

4. Update Your Handbook and Other Documented Policies

After your team finalizes and implements the rules adhering to your office’s new hygiene standards, be sure you document it properly by updating your handbook, as well as any other documentation where important policies are kept. This way, both HR and employees have a point of reference for the new guidelines. This makes it easier to uphold and follow them. When updating these, consider a response plan for employees who suspect they have or have come into contact with someone who has had COVID-19, as well as the possibility of changing your sick leave and your remote working policy, either temporarily or permanently, to account for those employees. Once you update, communicate it with employees and encourage them to read through the new policies carefully!

5. Seek Out Ways to Keep Up Employee Morale and Company Culture

Amidst all of your planning and preparations for returning to your office, it’s important you keep in mind employee morale and your company’s culture, two things that are vital to a satisfied workforce. You may not be able to carry on with your normal team outings or weekly happy hours. However, there are still ways to incorporate employee morale and culture into your return! For example, offer a service (or a discount for one!) that provides employees who struggled during quarantine mental health support. Encourage employees to stay social with their coworkers, albeit from a small distance. Continue to host virtual hangouts or happy hours if you were doing so during quarantine. Additionally, offering recognition for employees’ hard work is a known way to improve morale, and monetary recognition can be especially helpful for those employees who were financially impacted by the pandemic.

6. Continue Monitoring and Approving

You know what they say: “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” This holds true for your plans to return to the office as well! Understand that you’ll never be fully finished in refining the guidelines you put into place for your employees as they transition once again, this time from remote working to being back in their workplace. Create a forum or another type of space for employees to offer feedback. They can report on how they feel the return has gone so far and ideas for improvement and enhancement. Your employees are the ones most impacted by the rules you and your team have created, so it’s crucial that you listen to their responses and work to incorporate them into your new workplace practices.

7. Be Flexible!

This last step is less of a step and more of an attitude that you should always display throughout the course of the return to your workplace. Flexibility will be key in these next few months as you work with employees who may not feel comfortable returning to work this early, who may have conditions that prevent them from doing so, or ones who are excited to return but have responsibilities like childcare or older family members to address. Offer options like flexible hours or help with childcare, transportation, and other hindrances that keep employees from returning to work.

Returning to the workplace will be no easy task! However, by following these simple steps, you’ll ensure you’ve created a safe and healthy workplace to return to for employees.

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!