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3 Simmering Ways to Make this Summer Special

With temperatures rising and flowers once more in bloom, we’re all breathing a sigh of relief as we finally head out of winter. But it might be a surprise that Summer is just around the corner! Dust off that company grill and get a head start on summer plans at the office with these three tips from PerkSpot!

Sunglasses on Summer Sand

 

1) Normalize Vacations for your Employees this Summer Break!

What would Summer be without Summer Break? Remind your employees that it’s getting close to the best time of the year to kick back and take a break. Encouraging regular vacations is an excellent way of sponsoring a positive culture!

The warm weather is perfect for finally making use of saved-up PTO, so encourage employees to use their time off and managers to lead by example. If you do, you’ll see a healthier and happier workforce – especially with a discount program to help employees save on all their vacation needs! Travel and vacations are one area where PerkSpot can help employees save armloads. With savings on everything from the flight to the hotel to the restaurants, PerkSpot can make vacations stress-free. If you’re interested in hearing more of the benefits PerkSpot can offer to employees, sign up for a demo today!

 

2) Use the warm weather to encourage wellness initiatives!

Healthy employees are happy and productive employees – it’s no surprise that physically and mentaly healthy employees call in sick less and show improvements in both focus and productivity. So why not introduce some health and wellness programs now that it’s finally feeling good to get outside? Biking is a fun and healthy way to see the local neighborhood and even city in a whole new way. Why not take steps to encourage it as the weather warms up?

Try setting up a bike-to-work challenge, for instance! Offer employees rewards for taking healthy transportation options rather than car or bus. For remote workers, virtual meditation sessions or community exercise (yoga or pilates are perfect) can be a great way to encourage employees to get moving! By starting positive health initiatives during this summer, you can help fuel healthy living year-round in employees.  Healthy employees are happy employees, and you’ll see productivity  boons as a result!

 

3) Focus on building a community with regular Summer events!

Ultimately, you want your work environment to feel like a community. Warming temperatures mean the perfect time for challenge courses or outdoor barbeques! While in-person events can be a great bonding experience, always be sure to consider your remote teams as well. Incorporate regular virtual events into the calendar, so those working from home can be part of your company culture! From trivia nights to beach parties, there’s no shortage of community events that can spice up your schedule.

Planning summer socials can help bring your whole organization together, and create a feeling of solidarity between teams; not to mention how much fun you can have with it!  Hosting regular social gatherings, including virtual events, makes it much easier to maintain morale, especially amongst extra-motivated employees. Help cultivate a positive company culture while strengthening morale with some new event series this Summer!

This Summer is the perfect time to spice up your workplace with new events, healthy habits, and light-hearted socials. These help HR departments foster satisfied employees at both the enterprise and team level! With new social programs, encouraged vacations and an authentically upbeat attitude this summer, you can reduce turnover and encourage employee loyalty through the simplest means possible – making your organization an amazing place to work.

Dealing with Burnout as an HR Professional

In today’s competitive candidate market, life as an HR professional has never been quite so exhausting. Being forced to chase after candidates in the age of work from home and tremendous employee freedom has meant a difficult balancing act between providing appealing, top-quality benefits, managing cost efficiency, and negotiating employee concerns – all while dealing with the fallout of a global pandemic. It’s no wonder that burnout is skyrocketing at HR departments all over the country – but there is a better way. And with World Health Day officially starting today on April 7th, there’s never been a better time to help your department get physically and mentally healthy!

Burnout Business Woman Overwhelmed

42% of Human Resources teams report feeling overburdened with projects and responsibilities. And on one hand, this is something that should be taken up with management; when HR teams are simply too small or too overworked, there needs to be discussion about expanding Human Resources or offloading responsibilities. But a second, equally important aspect of this equation is learning to deal with burnout individually. And for that, we should first understand what “burnout” really means.

When we talk about burnout, we’re talking about the feelings of dread and exhaustion that rise up when we’re forced to do demanding, repetitive work. It’s the sense of doing tasks purely out of obligation, no longer believing they have any real impact. And the first step in re-gaining your passion is to re-gain control over your schedule.

Set Boundaries

The first step of assessing burnout is setting boundaries. It’s important both personally and professionally to be able to step away from work communications; for instance, turning off Slack and email past six-o-clock. Sticking to a routine that clearly separates work from life is fundamental to having a good work-life balance. Even if you’re on-call for emergencies, emergency should never mean every night, and if they are, then that’s a conversation you need to have with management.

Build Strong Communication Habits

Fostering good communication with management and the executive team at your workplace is another important aspect of managing burnout. That’s because burnout isn’t all about stress, but also lacking a sense of agency and value in what you do. When you feel you’re doing “meaningless” work, or don’t have control over your own schedule, burnout is far more intense. Prioritizing valuable work and setting firm boundaries on your own schedule is often a necessary step in managing burnout.

Break your Routines

More than boundaries, you’ll also want to start breaking your routines. While routines can provide a comforting sense of normalcy in our lives, they can also become trapping. If you notice you’re performing the same tasks in the same way over and over again, then it’s time to find something new. Maybe it’s as simple as switching up your morning routine, maybe it’s taking a new route around town, or maybe it’s shifting into a new aspect of your department’s operations.

Discover Personal Stress Management Solutions

Finally, there’s the most traditional (but still very important!) part of dealing with burnout – personal stress management. Exercise and meditation are the two most common methods, but it’s important to find what works for you; whether it’s walking your dog, paddling down canoe trails, or simply taking five dedicated minutes to focus. By understanding your stress and mentally moving on, you can take control back from your emotions.

Properly managing burnout requires breaking negative feedback loops, getting excited about work, and learning to manage stress. While that’ll require a lot of personal initiative, there are some tools that can help manage burnout stress.

One area you can cut down on stressful micromanagement is with PerkSpot’s single stop benefits platform, which offers countless diverse benefits for your diverse employees. With a suite of discounts at their fingertips, PerkSpot provides employees with the resources they need to cope with stress and burnout – whether it’s deals on ergonomic office chairs and gym memberships or complete getaway vacations to exotic destinations at a discount, schedule a demo today to learn more about the ways that PerkSpot can be a powerful burnout-burning resource for your organization this World Health Day. 

Using Clear and Open Communication to Build Better Business


Thought leaders, motivational speakers and executive strategists alike continue to stress the crucial importance of quality communication for business success, regardless of industry. But at first glance, it looks like they’re just advocating for the obvious; after all, who
really needs a guide on how to communicate? If there’s anything that comes natural to us, it’s the ability to communicate what we’re thinking and feeling to other humans, right?

 

Multi-colored transparent heads engaging in close communication

 

Well, yeah. But when we put communications in the context of massive operations spanning dozens or even hundreds of corporate employees, things can get a lot more complicated, very fast.

The most important thing to remember about quality office communication is that more meetings does not equal better communication. In fact, the opposite is true; the more concisely you are able to express your ideas to the rest of the team, the more clear the final message will be. Don’t  just set up dozens of meetings with every employee or invite everyone to technical meets where most won’t have anything to contribute; instead, seek to partition employees into areas where their specific strengths and experience can be leveraged, and only bring them into the loop when their insights will provide some momentum to the larger conversation. To avoid falling into the trap of scheduling meeting after meeting to communicate your intents, remember the three E’s of employee communications; Explain your motivations, manage your Expectations, and lead by Example. 

The Three E’s

Explaining your motivations seems obvious, but it’s easy to forget in the heat of meetings! Even though a plan might be perfectly clear in your mind, employees can’t figure out what you’re thinking unless you tell them. If you have a specific vision in mind for an element, it’s essential that you clearly explain that vision right off the bat; don’t just tell your employees that you need a flier, explain how you envision it being used and what audience you want it to hit. Remember that just because you see things a certain way doesn’t mean that everyone else will have the same assumptions!

Managing expectations is the second key step of fostering quality communication. Although it’d be nice to be able to perfectly communicate exactly what you need on the first pass, every time, it rarely works out like that in reality. If you’re returned something that doesn’t match up with your expectations, it’s important to not get frustrated. Instead, try to identify what exactly it was that the other party misunderstood; often, small differences in envisioned use can create significantly different final results. By pinpointing the miscommunication, you identify the root cause of the issue rather than trying to provide touch-ups to the minute details.

Finally, you should strive to lead by example. Making visual aids or other active resources can help enormously in presenting a unified vision on a project, or offering employees a skeleton framework for ideation will keep them tethered to the core concepts you outline. By actively involving yourself in the process in these ways, you can reduce miscommunication enormously and course-correct through showing – rather than telling at a barrage of circular meetings.

Building Effective Communication Structures

Clear and precise communication is also part of what makes PerkSpot such a breeze to use. As a one-stop discount platform, PerkSpot communicates on your behalf to your employees, making them aware of and engaged with their benefits. To learn more about how PerkSpot’s discount program can help boost morale and benefit employees, request a demo and find out! 

Hopefully with these tips in mind, you can help make your workspace a less confusing and more productive environment. As long as you remember that honest, open communication is key to any successful business, you’re sure to see the results.

The Importance of Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day is finally here, and we’re excited to share some advice on making the day special for your employees!

Make no mistake – Employee morale is crucial to the success of your business, regardless of industry. That’s why Employee Appreciation Day is so important, serving as a yearly reminder to treat employees with respect for their hard work and build up the people that make your business special. But if you missed it this year, don’t fret! Employee appreciation is a year-long commitment, not a single-day celebration; it’s never too late to show your employees how much they matter to you. But how important is showing appreciation to employees, when you get right down to the numbers?

Incredibly. Employees who feel appreciated within their organization consistently work harder and more efficiently, both reporting and recording higher returns that scale proportionally to their sense of value in the office. According to the American Psychological Association, feelings of value directly translate into higher productivity, regardless of associated industry. A sense of being valued within the business also has a positive impact on employee wellbeing more broadly, with those who feel valued reporting higher levels of work-life balance and employment satisfaction, even with all other relevant factors kept static. 

How does Employee Appreciation affect turnover?

There’s good evidence that employee appreciation is the most important, or at least one of the most important factors in employee retention. A study from the Harvard School of Business found equity, recognition of achievement, and a sense of camaraderie as the three key elements of ensuring high employee motivation, all of which are strongly tied to a sense of employees feeling valued and appreciated. These factors directly correlate to rate of retention. 

Considering positive workplace culture increases both productivity and employee retention, it’s easy to see how cultivating a feeling of appreciation amongst employees can lead to direct, significant benefits for your business. Most importantly of all, however, is that employee appreciation cultivates a generally positive work environment, which, in turn, creates a positive feedback loop that encourages good work culture. When employees feel comfortable and safe with their co-workers and managers, every measurable aspect of their work (and indeed often their lives outside of work) significantly improves. While an honest and positive environment also serves as a safeguard against negativity and factionalization that can turn workspaces hostile and severely impact employee morale, job satisfaction, productivity, and retention. 

Using Employee Appreciation Day to build a Healthy Work Culture

With all this in mind, making employee appreciation day a part of your workplace schedule can be a great way to show your employees that you care. But ultimately, it’s the little things adding up that build a conducive and healthy atmosphere – even down to simple little matters like remembering to say thanks after an employee turns in something they’ve worked hard on. Small trinkets and signs of appreciation can go an incredibly long way. It’s rarely the dollar value that matters, but instead the fact that you’re putting in thought to show you care.

PerkSpot can help make recognizing your employees easy, giving you a wide selection of customized gifts to make your employee’s days a little brighter – but from gift-giving to a simple heartfelt thank-you, there’s any number of ways to show you care about your employees. How you choose to foster a positive work environment is up to you, but both your employees and your bottom line will thank you for doing so!

3 Reasons Company Culture Is So Important Amidst COVID-19

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!

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!

7 Steps for Returning to Your Office After COVID-19

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.

Why Checking in With Employees Is More Important Than Ever

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.

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.

Why Your Company Should Participate in Giving Tuesday

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.

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

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!

How to Keep Your Company Culture as You Grow

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!

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!

Why PerkSpot Offers Open Vacation

When the name of your company is PerkSpot, it’s understood that you’re going to offer some pretty good perks to your employees. One of our company-wide favorites? Our open vacation policy! Check out why PerkSpot chooses to offer this and why it could be the right PTO policy for your employees!

But first… what is an open vacation policy?

An open-vacation policy is tough to define, but we’ll do our best. Essentially, a company that offers open vacation doesn’t create a specific amount of days that its employees can take off. The policy can vary from company to company. Some refer to it as unlimited vacation. Others suggest a general amount of days but don’t dock employees for choosing to take more or less, and some have their own customized vacation policy that includes other guidelines. Here are our top reasons for offering open vacation!

1. Encourages Work/Life Balance

In a recent poll by Gallup, over 60 percent of surveyed employees said they feel burnt out at work sometimes, very often, or always. One of the best ways to combat burnout? Unplug! At PerkSpot, we place a strong emphasis on creating a good work/life balance, and using a vacation day (or three!) gives employees a chance to do this. Whether PerkSpotters choose to use their time off relaxing on the beach, exploring a new city, or immersing themselves in some quality self-care, it’s okay by us!

2. Boosts Company Morale

Simply put, employees like vacation! That’s no surprise to anyone, but what might come as a surprise is how much offering a perk like open vacation can improve both company morale and employee loyalty. Employers who offer open vacation must instill a good amount of trust in their employees and the fact that they won’t take advantage of it. Similarly, employees who receive such a great perk will go to great lengths to ensure it’s something they use, but don’t abuse. It’s a win-win for both employer and employee!

3. Improves Work Skills

Believe it or not, an employee’s work can actually improve from taking time out of the office to relax. According to an internal Gallup done by Ernst & Young, year-end performance ratings improved by 8 percent for every 10 hours of vacation time an employee took. Plus, they found that vacation-goers were less likely to leave the firm than those who rarely used their vacation days. What’s more, traveling can help improve an employee’s flexibility and communication skills and provide them with a new perspective.

An open vacation policy is a great perk, but it’s not something that will work for every company. If you choose to implement it, be sure to include guidelines about proper communication and planning before any vacation is taken so that it’s a smooth and easy transition. Happy vacationing!