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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!

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!

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.

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.

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.
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!

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!

company culture

Hire with Culture in Mind

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

Communication is Key

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

Connect Office Space to Culture

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

Recognize Outstanding Employees

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

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

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!

vacation time

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!

Lessons We Learned From Our Summer Interns

July has officially wrapped up and August has begun. We’re starting to see back to school commercials on TV and school supplies filling the shelves. That can only mean one thing – internships at many companies, PerkSpot included, are coming to an end. While we will be sad to see our interns go, we’re so appreciative of the lessons they taught us during their time at PerkSpot- and here are some of the most important ones:

internship programs

1. Ask Questions

When an intern comes into your company, they’re bound to have a question or two … or twelve! A new workplace, new responsibilities, and new faces can equal a lot of confusion for someone, and we loved watching our interns learn how to adapt and acclimate to our workplace. But most of all, it was very refreshing to experience people in the workplace who weren’t afraid to ask questions when they didn’t know the answer to something or wanted to dive deeper into a topic or project. In the workplace, there can be an incredible amount of pressure to know the answers at all times. When did we stop asking questions? Asking the who, what, when, where and, most importantly, why, of something helps us create and innovate. It’s how we continue to move forward instead of getting stuck in the same place. Take a page out of our interns’ books and ask a question whenever you’re unsure!

2. Be Enthusiastic

The beauty of an internship program is that interns get to try their hand at several different projects and tasks. Often, doing so helps give them get a better understanding of what they do and do not enjoy, so they can make better decisions about the roles they’d like to pursue in their careers when it comes time to do so. As we assigned tasks and asked for help in various projects from our interns, we loved the enthusiasm they displayed. No matter how big or small the task, our interns strived to give their 100 percent, every time. Sometimes at work, the things we do over and over again can feel menial and tiresome. We forget the excitement and sense of achievement that we felt the first time we completed a task perfectly on our own and watching our interns do so reminded us of that. Adopt the enthusiasm of an intern and you’ll enjoy your workload you work on a bit more.

3. Make Connections

As our summer internship program wraps up, the LinkedIn requests and emails with contact information have come rolling in! Our interns made wonderful connections this summer, with their coworkers, managers, and fellow interns, and they’re working hard to make sure those connections remain intact and strong as they leave our office. But connections like these shouldn’t stop just because you’ve lost your intern status. Networking is part of the professional world, and an important part at that. Make a concerted effort to form connections with those that you work with, as well as people who work in your field and can relate to the work you do every day. Not only is it enjoyable to have coworkers and friends you can celebrate and commiserate with, but you just might find that you’ll need their assistance in your professional life one day!

4. Invest in Yourself

One of the most important elements of an internship program is helping interns grow themselves as working professionals. They’re constantly seeking out opportunities to gain skills or develop the ones they currently possess. They dive into projects they might not be completely familiar with just so they can gain experience and know-how. When was the last time you gained a new skill? We encourage you to be like an intern: be open to taking on new skills, both in your professional and personal life, that can help you grow as an employee and person.

We can’t believe that our summer internship program is almost over. It feels like just yesterday that we welcomed our interns to the office, and soon we’ll be wishing them good luck on their journey. But PerkSpot is extremely fortunate to have had their skills and talents in the office, if only for a short time. Us PerkSpotters will be sure to take the lessons they taught us to heart, and we think you should do the same! What did your summer internship program teach you?

How to Keep Your Employees Productive During the Summer

As HR professionals, we know how hard it can be to keep employees motivated and productive during the summer months. In fact, Business Insider reported that employee productivity drops as much as 20 percent as spring turns into summer. With the Fourth of July coming up, it’s difficult not to worry about employee motivation dipping even further. Here are three great tips for keeping your employees productive, despite the distraction of summer.

summer productivity

Go Outside

Every office worker knows how hard it can be to sit at their desk while they see the sun shining outside. Let your employees enjoy the nice weather by suggesting managers arrange for outdoor or walking meetings, which gives you a good chance to stretch your legs and feel the sun. If your office location permits, create an outdoor break area, or open the windows and let the fresh air in. Not only does a breath of fresh air improve the productivity of your employees, but studies also report it can help cognitive function, decision making, and overall health!

Set Summer Goals

Summer isn’t a typical time of year to set goals for your employees, but when done right, it can seriously improve motivation throughout the workplace. Putting incentives into place gives employees a good reason to buckle down and remain engaged in their own work. If you want to have more fun with it, look at your company culture and create goals based around that. Here at PerkSpot, we host an annual summer event that gets the employees outside and enjoying the great weather. Plus, all the proceeds that come out of the event are donated to a local charity of our choosing. Each summer, this event allows us to give back to the community, and have fun doing it!

Encourage Vacation Time

Did you know that 64 percent of employees say they feel refreshed and excited to get back to work after a vacation? Not only should you encourage employees to actually use their allotted vacation time, but take it one step further. Remind them of the importance of “logging off” during their vacations – 41 percent of vacation takers say they still check on work while away, which means they aren’t able to fully decompress from the stress that may come with their position. Instead, create a system at your workplace that ensures others can fill in when their coworkers are out on vacation. This can provide a sense of relief for your traveling coworkers, and a better sense of teamwork and togetherness in general.

Summer can be a difficult time for employee productivity, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, you can increase motivation among your employees by trying out these easy tips! How do you improve employee productivity during the summer? Let us know!

4 Summer Perks Your Employees Want

Temperatures are going up, the sun is coming out, and we can officially say that summer is on its way in! As the season changes, you might be thinking about how you can implement a few summer perks that employees can enjoy during these extra hot months of the year. Here are 4 suggestions for ways you can bring the sunshine into your office this summer!
summer perks

Flexible Hours

We know summer is a popular time for family vacations and long weekends. So, offering a perk like flexible hours is sure to be a hit among employees. Fortunately, there are several varying levels of flexibility you can try out to see which fits your company culture best. Start by offering more work from home options. That way, employees can still get their work done, but they have the option to do so in the comfort of their own home, or maybe at a sunny cafe if the weather allows it! Another popular method of implementing more flexibility is Summer Fridays. Companies can offer half or full days off each Friday. This keeps employees productive and engaged, while still creating a more flexible schedule if they choose.

Summer Outings

While we firmly believe in fun company outings all year round, summer is an especially good time to get your employees together for some out-of-the-office bonding! Whether you’re rooting on your favorite hometown baseball team, cheers-ing to a great week at a fun bar or restaurant, or hosting a company-wide picnic, outings like these are a great way to reward your employees for their hard work.

Wellness Challenges

Healthier habits tend to ramp up more in the warmer months. Encourage your employees to develop a healthier lifestyle with wellness initiatives that reward them for regular exercise. For example, we just wrapped up a May gym challenge here at PerkSpot that encouraged employees to workout twice a week for at least twenty minutes, doing any exercise they felt comfortable with! As a reward, each employee who completed the challenge got $100 to put toward new or improved gym equipment. We’ll follow that with a bike-to-work challenge in June, complete with prizes donated by local bicycle shop, Kozy Cyclery. Challenges like these give employees a great incentive to get active, plus create a sense of friendly competition and camaraderie among coworkers.

Casual Dress

As the temperatures climb, it feels more difficult to put on the stifling blazer and slacks your company might require. Try adopting a more lax dress policy that makes it easier for your employees to dress for the weather. Create and enforce specific guidelines that you’ve decided on ahead of time. This can include things like no bare shoulders, appropriate length shorts and dresses, or no open-toed shoes. Consider your company as you create this summer dress policy to ensure that it fits with your culture, while still benefiting your employees.

Spring Cleaning Your Employee Handbook

It’s finally springtime, so spring cleaning is probably on your mind. However, you can put back the mop and sponge and place your household chores on the backburner, because we’re talking about a different kind of cleaning. It’s time to break out your employee handbook and evaluate whether it needs some cleaning of its own!
spring cleaning employee handbook
Your employee handbook should be assessed at least once a year and reviewed for any necessary changes. But how can you tell whether your employee handbook is in need of some sprucing up? Here are some common cases in which it’s smart to evaluate your policies:

  • Adding Employees
  • Changing Office Spaces
  • Updating Benefit Plans
  • Remodeling Company Culture

Adding Employees

According to Top Resume, January and February are typically the most popular months for bringing new employees on board. If you just wrapped up your hiring season, it’s time to take a look at your handbook. As your company grows, it’s important to make sure your policies are growing with it. You may be dealing with different employees than you’ve experienced before, like new parents or remote workers, and your handbook should reflect their situations and the code of conduct they should follow, just as it does your full-time, in-office employees.

Changing Office Spaces

Here at PerkSpot, we know a thing or two about this one! As a company that’s recently moved office spaces, we know the time and effort that goes into relocating. But after the dust has settled, take a minute to refresh your employee handbook for the new office. Every office space is unique, so the policies you have in place for employees will most likely be unique as well. At the very least, make sure to include your new location’s address, updated hours, and any other important information employees need to know.

Updating Benefit Plans

When you are dealing with a modification to your company’s benefit plans, you’ll most likely communicate the change with your employees in a number of ways, like email, a company-wide meeting, or in-person communication. But it should still be reflected in an updated employee handbook, so there is always an easy and convenient place employees can look to for any details they’re curious about.

Remodeling Company Culture

Any HR professional knows the importance of culture in their company, and if you’ve recently undertaken an overhaul of your company culture, an update to your employee handbook should follow. This might be an adjustment to your time off policy, dress code, or proper social media usage. Keep in mind, your employee handbook is one of the first things new hires will read about your company, so illustrating your culture properly will start everyone off on the right foot.

The season is changing and your employee handbook might be in need of some changes as well. Even if you’re not dealing with one of these cases, take some time out of your day to evaluate where your company is, and whether your employee handbook appropriately displays that.