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Infographic: What Your Employees Need For Success

In the past few years, employees’ needs to achieve success have shifted with financial wellness making its way to the top. In addition, employees are seeking improved appreciation, emphasis on diversity and inclusion, hybrid or remote work environments, and a company culture that aligns with their values. With high turnover rates, what can you do to attract and retain top-notch talent?

Employees are looking for more out of their employer. What options do you have to improve morale, retention, and success? Listen to employees needs, have direct conversations, and consider additional benefits. PerkSpot could be the perfect solution.

Interested in learning more about the value of an employee discount program? Sign up for a demo today. Your employees will thank you later!

The Key to Increasing Your Employee Retention Rate

According to a study done by SHRM last year, the largest challenge cited by workforce management was dealing with low employee retention rates. Unfortunately, the stats don’t lie on this one. Approximately 3 million Americans have quit their job each month since January 2019. Plus, replacing a highly-trained employee who leaves his or her position can cost up to 200% of their salary. Were some of them your employees? If so, your employee retention rate is probably top of mind.

But what can you do about this? Perhaps you’ve tried some of the common methods, like a new and improved onboarding process, a program that invests in your employees and their professional development, or an overhaul of your company culture. What happens when these don’t work?

How can you increase your employee retention rate? A rewards and recognition program is the key.

A rewards and recognition program allows you to formally recognize an employee for anything from a good deed around the office to a fantastic work ethic they exude to a project that goes above and beyond what you expect from them. What is really great about a rewards and recognition program is that it benefits both employer and employee. For employees, concrete appreciation in the workplace is a motivator and a reminder that the work they do is valued by their employer. For the employer, recognition can lead to increased engagement, productivity, and of course, retention rate.

What sets a rewards and recognition program apart from other recognition methods?

  • Visibility
  • Inclusivity
  • Timeliness

Visibility

Typically, recognition used to be a private thing. Managers would bring employees into their office, or send them an email, letting them know they did a great job. As a result, the recognition goes widely unseen by the rest of the office or workplace, including other managers, executives, and coworkers. Consider the effect public and specific praise has, not only for the employee being praised but for his or her peers. We know that employees want recognition. So, when they see their fellow coworkers receiving it, and more importantly, they understand exactly what they did to receive it, they’re more likely to duplicate that exemplary work ethic. Or, perhaps, they’ll apply that drive and find a new and exciting way to succeed on their own! Either way, employers are guaranteed a more productive employee, and workers feel more motivated and incentivized to work harder.

Inclusivity

When you consider your employee retention rate, and the employees you want to retain, who comes to mind first? The executives, who will be the most costly to replace? The high performers, which will leave a gaping hole in your workplace? The under-engaged, who are at the most risk to quit their jobs? Instead of focusing on a specific target in your workforce, why not target everyone? A rewards and recognition program that puts everyone on the same playing field, and rewards everyone with the same kind of praise and monetary compensation means you don’t have to choose which employees you should focus your efforts on. Not to mention, employees will notice this change in the hierarchy. No one wants to feel as though their employer values another coworker over themselves, so remove that problem entirely with a rewards and recognition program that emphasizes inclusivity.

Timeliness

Imagine you just nailed a presentation or finally hit your lofty goal for your team. You know you’ll be recognized for your achievements, yet you find yourself waiting until the end of the quarter for the company to meet and hand out recognition, or even the end of the year, for that bonus to drop. Soon enough, you’ve forgotten about the achievement and the recognition that comes with it. Worse, you feel no drive to repeat those actions because you saw no praise or appreciation for them. Employee recognition should be given in real time, as soon as a manager (or peer!) hears of it. In doing so, an employee understands the connection between the output of good work and the reward that comes with it. Better yet, they will continue to strive for more rewards, meaning a continued stream of high-quality work.

A decreasing retention rate is something several HR managers are currently dealing with and unfortunately, many of their strategies to fix it aren’t working out well. That’s why a rewards and recognition program is the answer. It allows you to give public, on-the-spot recognition that all your employees can use. Click here to find out more about PerkSpot’s Rewards and Recognition program!

Are Your Employees Actually Engaged?

Increased productivity, better retention, happier employees … do we have your attention yet? These are all things managers and HR officials should strive for, and they can all be achieved with one simple word – engagement.

What is employee engagement?

Employee engagement is vital to any company, large or small. It creates a network of employees that are more than just happy or satisfied, but who are genuinely committed to their company. Not only do engaged employees have a deep understanding of their company’s values, but their own personal values align with them. When you can achieve a strong compatibility between company and employee, you have reached peak engagement in your employees!

Why is it important?

Companies that report having engaged employees outperform those that report low engagement numbers by 147% in earnings per share. Employee engagement doesn’t just benefit your workers, but your company as a whole! If you’re hoping to get your numbers up as you finish the quarter, consider improving your engagement numbers first, and revenue will follow.

Studies show highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their company than those feeling less engaged with their work. Yes, you read that right! An increase in employee engagement is just the thing to fix those retention numbers that keep dipping.

70% of workers don’t feel engaged at work, according to career experts at the Muse. Yikes! Reflecting on all the benefits of an engaged workforce, that’s a concerningly high statistic. Perhaps you’re thinking about your employees, and maybe even worrying about their engagement levels. Keep reading, because we break down how to measure and improve your employee engagement.

How do you know if your employees are engaged?

Here are some tell-tale signs that you can look for:

Proactivity
Engaged employees are proactive. Instead of sleepwalking through the first few hours of their morning, they jump into a new work day. These kinds of employees don’t wait for managers to give them tasks; they are self-motivated, seeking out ways to be productive and helpful throughout the office.

Communication
Engaged employees love to talk, and we don’t just mean water cooler chatter. (Although, that’s important too!) They keep managers and employees updated and informed with progress reports. They are open to both giving and receiving feedback. Eventually, an engaged employee can even become a great mentor for other employees, helping them step into their roles and improve their own levels of engagement.

Career Advancement
Career and company advancement is important to an engaged employee. Remaining stagnant at one level isn’t enough for them, and they will continue to look for ways to improve their output, as well as general company success. This is because they’re invested in the company, which is the most important sign of an engaged employee.

Engaged employees are essential to the wellbeing of a company. They help to create an environment that inspires other employees. If you’re concerned about the engagement levels of your employees, check out our recent post about everyday employee engagement tips that can have a big impact on your business.

Recruiting for Remote Workers: What to Look For

As today’s world becomes more and more interconnected, working from home and hiring remote workers has become part of almost every office life. As you seek to find workers who can provide value, even from a distance, our recruitment strategies also need to evolve with the ever-changing workforce. When recruiting for remote workers, here’s what to look for:

Where are they?

EVERYWHERE. The tricky thing about remote workers is that they aren’t limited to the local area so it can often be harder to mine through candidates. Start with your website and blog. These will be people who are already obsessed with your company and would be happy to apply or recommend someone that would be a great fit. You can also try sites like FlexJobs or WeWorkRemotely.com that provide listings just for remote opportunities.

Who are they?

There is a big difference between someone who likes the idea of working in their pajamas, than a worker to thrives in a quiet, private environment. Look for workers who prove they have what it takes to handle the unique challenges they’ll face from working remotely. Ask them about past experiences where they have been productive working alone or collaborating across offices. Forbes says you should ask these candidates two questions:

  • Tell me about a time you’ve made an important decision without the help of a supervisor or boss?
  • Could you tell me about a time you got tough feedback from a boss?

These questions provide great insight into how they problem solve and can handle feedback when they don’t have the luxury of meeting face to face.

What do they want?

It’s obviously important to know what you’re looking for, but it’s also super important to keep in mind what these employees want. Fast Company has a great article that explains what most remote workers need from their bosses. Think: advanced technology, open door policies, and of course, great communication skills. When you’re recruiting or interviewing remote candidates, be sure to talk about your communication structure and process. Highlight expectations and focus on how they’ll be supported to meet these goals.

How do we get them?

You’ve found your perfect remote employee, but now it’s time to let them know why they should choose your company. While they won’t be in office to access the free snacks or comfy lounge chairs, there are awesome perks you can provide to workers near and far. Did someone say Employee Discount Programs? Obviously, we’re a little bias, but PerkSpot is a great recruitment and retention tool for employees scattered all over the U.S.. We even offer a plethora of local discounts so they can find deals right in their own neighborhood! Other ideas for perks could be ample time-off, sabbaticals, or an annual stipend for continuing education.

Finding great remote workers can be difficult, but with these tips, you’ll be staffing up in no time!

Pet Perks: Bring Your Pup to Work

There’s a reason why instagram handles like @animalsdoingthings and @dogsofinstagram have 1.4 million and 4.1 million followers, respectively. People love their pets. And specifically, millennials love their pets.

Over the years we’ve seen that millennials are delaying parenthood in order to maintain independence and focus on their careers. But, with a delay in parenthood comes an increase in pet ownership. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA), 44% of Americans own a dog, while 35% have a cat.

If you think pet ownership isn’t affecting the workplace, think again. Here are few reasons to consider offering benefits for pets in the workplace and where to start:

Pets are Part of the Family

According to a survey by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance, 89% of pet parents exercise with their pet regularly, 70% sleep with their pet and 14% manage a Facebook or Instagram account for their pets. As pet owners intertwine their lives more and more with their pets, it should come as no surprise that providing space for pets in the workplace is of high value to these employees.

Pets are Expensive

While pets are a much more affordable alternative to children for many, they still come with a price. Fifty-five percent of pet parents told Healthy Paws they spend over $75 each month on their pets. Employers who choose to help with the burden of these expenses will definitely stand out among job seekers.

Implementing Policies for Pets

PerkSpot client, Banfield Pet Hospital, reported that 7 out of 10 employees and Human Resources decision makers said that allowing pets in the workplace made a positive impact on workplace morale and office dynamics. And while 56% of HR decision makers who don’t currently offer these perks forsee a difficult implementation, only 25% of those who offer pet-friendly policies reported difficulty with implementation. It seems the idea of implementation is scarier than the reality.

While it seems most people love pets, there are always exceptions to this rule. What can be a great perk for some employees might be another’s worst nightmare due to allergies or trauma. Start by hosting a “Bring Your Pet to Work Day” and gauge results using employee surveys and feedback. It’s important to be considerate to those who aren’t pet lovers while still offering benefits and perks for pet parents. One easy way to provide benefits to pet parents, without affecting the non-pet lovers of the world, is by providing pet insurance. This is still a highly coveted perk, requested by 23% of employees in Banfield’s survey. Affecting only those who opt-in to this perk, it’s a great way to determine interest and set your company apart with pet-friendly policies.

Does your company currently offer benefits for pets? Perhaps this is the next move for 2018.

Why You Should Factor in Discounts

Coupons, deals, discounts! These three words might not be ones you normally think of when it comes to employee happiness… but science says, you might want to look closer.
discount science Discount science is an understudied topic, but we think it’s an important one! From keeping employees’ happy to saving them valuable time and money, the evidence is clear.

The History of Coupons

But let’s start from the beginning. Have you ever wondered where coupons started? According to TIME, Coca-cola introduced the first coupon in 1887 with a hand-written ticket offering customers a free taste of their new drink. The success of this campaign is evident in how vast Coca-cola’s reach has been over the last century. Fast-forward to today and more than 700 corporations offer discounts on some type of product or service. It’s no secret that coupons work. But what makes them so successful? And why is it relevant? Only discount science can say!

Discount Science

The Happiness Factor

According to a study in 2012 by Coupons.com, coupon recipients were 11% happier than those who did not receive a coupon. Scientists measured oxytocin levels in participants, the same hormone we experience when we kiss or hug someone. They found that consumers who received a coupon had higher levels by 38%. Scientifically, you could say they were in love with the savings!

The Time Factor

Unfortunately, according to media company Valassis, time is (literally) money for many of today’s employees. In their recent survey, 53 percent of respondents said they spend over two hours a week searching for deals and savings, while 25% of millennials and moms invest over four hours into their search.

The Employer Factor

We believe this is where, as an employer, we can make lives a lot easier for our employees. Employee engagement has gone from a hot topic to a make or break for attracting and retaining top talent. In fact, 4 out of 5 employees would rather receive benefits or perks over a pay raise. By providing discounts, you’re not only putting money back in your employees pockets, but you’re saving them valuable time and energy as well.

It’s easy to offer perks, but are you offering the right ones? Providing discounts can improve happiness among your employees while saving them valuable time and money. The best part is that our discounts are easy to access and easy to use! We’ll save your employees hours each week and put smiles back on their faces.

Contact our team to learn more!

The Returnship

Have you seen the movie, “The Intern”? You know the one. Robert DeNiro comes out of retirement to work for a thriving start-up in the fashion industry run by Anne Hathaway. Funny, heart-warming, and inspiring, it’s a film that not only highlights the new “Lean In” culture with corporate feminism at its core, but also focuses on the generational gap that exists between DeNiro and his fellow co-workers. Returning to the workforce after a tech boom caused DeNiro’s character to face many new obstacles he might not have anticipated.

returnship

Don’t worry. We’re not writing a film review here. But “The Intern” got us thinking about this relatively new trend called the “Returnship”.

“Returnship” was a phrase coined by Goldman Sachs in 2008 when they developed an onboarding program specifically designed for people who had taken a break from the workforce, either to raise kids, serve in the military, or just simply, to take a break and reevaluate. Similar to an internship, their purpose in this program was to sharpen skills that they may not realize they need after taking an extended time off and to help these employees land a job, either at their firm or elsewhere.

But Goldman Sachs isn’t the only firm providing this service. In fact, you can find returnships from many other companies such as Deloitte, PwC, Ford, Johnson&Johnson and more!

If you’re thinking about a Returnship or offering the program to your employees, here are a couple of the benefits you can find:

Returnships Provide Tech Training

Technology is constantly changing. Whether you’ve taken 2 years off or 10 years off, chances are you have a few things to catch up on. By participating in a Returnship program, you have an opportunity to sharpen your skills, without neglecting your job responsibilities. Returnships can provide the support and training needed to do the job successfully: a win-win for both employees and employers.

Returnships Provide Equal Opportunity

43% of women take time off to raise families. This fact alone has made it difficult in the past for women to have equal opportunity in the workforce. Returnships are changing that. No matter the reason for taking a break, Returnships provide equal opportunities for men and women to step back into the workforce when they are ready while gaining the necessary skills and growing their network.

Returnships Provide Launching Pads

Many people returning to work may not be 100% sure what type of job they’re looking to fill. For some their previous job may not exist, while others might be considering a career switch. Returnships can be a great launching pad for experimenting with various types of roles and understanding the various nuances and changes of each. After completing a returnship, employees will be better informed and prepared for the role they’re stepping into.

The internet is full of mixed reviews when it comes to returnships. Are you thinking about implementing this program at your company? What are the obstacles you think you’ll face?

The Human You’re Forgetting to Manage

As a human resource manager, you’re in the business of managing humans. Everything you do, all day long, directly and indirectly, affects the people in your organization professionally and personally. But while you spend time managing the careers of your employees, it’s easy to neglect the most important human in your sphere of influence: yourself.

invest in yourself

How many steps have you taken this week to invest in your career? What about this month? This year?

While we spend time working to retain our top talent, we can forget to focus on the own talents we possess and the ways we need to grow. So no matter how busy you are, here are five easy ways you invest in your career right now.

Invest in Your Intelligence

Train. That. Brain. Many of us remain cognitively stagnant. Once we graduate, we no longer have textbooks to read or homework to practice. Stimulate your brain by practicing some simple tricks everyday to keep your senses sharp. One of my personal favorites is an app called Elevate. You’ll take an initial IQ test to gauge where you land in certain categories, such as Reading, Writing and Math. From there, they’ll provide short games you can complete in just five minutes. It’s highly addictive, challenging, and a great way to improve everyday skills.

Invest in Your Goals

First things first, establish your goals. Whether those are New Year’s Resolutions or a trajectory for reaching your next promotion, make sure you have clear and achievable goals for the next year written down and in a place where you’ll see them on a regular basis (I keep mine in the “Notes” section of my iPhone).

After you’ve written out your goals, think of what actionable steps you can take to achieve them. And this doesn’t just apply to professional goals. Let’s say you want to read 20 books this year. Make your list, decide where you want to start, and break it down into what you need to accomplish each month (read 1.5 books) or week (200 pages). Evaluate your goals in a few weeks and adjust them as necessary. This is key to avoiding burnout and still keeping your momentum.

Invest in Your Community

This seems counterintuitive, but by helping others, you can meet new people, learn new skills, and stretch yourself in ways you never would have thought. Find ways to invest in your community by joining the board of a non-profit, volunteering at a local shelter or soup kitchen, or even cooking dinner for the new neighbor. Depending on your availability, you might not be able to take on a new commitment, but there are small ways to do good every day. A good friend of mine is quick to send a Starbucks gift card (via email… so easy!) when I have something big coming up or am going through a hard time. It’s a small gesture that can go a long way. Consider big and small ways to invest in your circle of influence.

Conquer the Sunday Night Blues

sunday night blues

An awesome article in Fistful of Talent recently discussed the “Sunday Night Blues”. Well-written and well-researched, the author describes the misery many people experience before returning to work on Monday morning. He dives into why this might be true of the 76% of Americans who say their Sunday Night Blues are so bad they want to look for a new job.

While you can read the article for a more in-depth view of the “Sunday Night Blues” and their sweep across America, let’s discuss a few ways we can conquer the blues by providing employees with a better place to work in the first place.

Give Them Something to Look Forward To

Think about your team and the weekly activity they enjoy doing the most. Maybe it’s a meal you share together or a fun team building activity. Whatever it is, try moving it to Monday to engage your staff right from the get-go. Start incorporating a daily stand-up as part of your Monday routine to encourage your team by celebrating wins and highlighting star performers. Just make sure to save any constructive criticism for later in the week when morale is higher.

Take Advantage of Fridays

When the end of the week rolls around most of us check out for the weekend. But often that can make Monday even more painful. Ending your Fridays well and setting you and your team up for success is essential for a productive and pleasant start to your week. The Muse provides a helpful worksheet for ending your week by celebrating accomplishments and assigning tasks for the week ahead. Using this sheet can help you feel more successful and less overwhelmed on Monday morning.

Let Them Flex Their Schedule

One of the greatest benefits at PerkSpot is the ability to flex our schedules. This could mean working from home when it’s storming out or working later hours to catch up on some Zzzzs. Providing flexible schedule opportunities for employees can help improve productivity and has even made a difference in closing the gender pay gap. Telecommuting is becoming all the more popular, so it will not only satisfy your current employees but also help you stay competitive when recruiting new hires.

Lead by Example

Nothing is worse than walking into the office on Monday morning to hear your supervisor or coworker moan and complain. On the other hand, Gallup reports that “Positive leaders deliberately increase the flow of positive emotions within their organization,” and can lead to greater engagement and improved performance. If the leadership is not staying positive, it’s highly unlikely their employees will maintain a positive attitude.

Combat the “Sunday Night Blues” by providing a better workplace for our employees, starting with our own attitudes.

Why We Decided to Offer Sabbaticals This Year

While we operate like a start-up, we actually celebrated TEN years at PerkSpot last year. With this longevity came a need to reward and challenge our employees who have been around for the long haul. That’s why this year PerkSpot decided to offer sabbaticals to our more tenured employees.
sabbaticals

What is a Sabbatical?

Sabbatical comes from the word “sabbath”, which means “rest”. A sabbatical is a paid leave granted to an employee after they have fulfilled a set number of years in service at their company. In our case, this begins with a two week paid leave after an employee has been with PerkSpot for three years and is increased to three weeks after five years.

 

What is the Purpose of a Sabbatical?

There are many reasons behind taking a sabbatical. In addition to giving employees some much needed time off, a sabbatical should also be focused on personal and professional development. Each employee is encouraged to spend the time away pursuing their “hopes and dreams”. Oftentimes we find ourselves so caught up in the daily grind, we forget about those bigger goals and aspirations we want to accomplish. This could mean perfecting your Spanish with lessons in Cuba or discovering artifacts on an archeological dig (yes, these are real PerkSpot sabbatical plans). While these experiences may not directly relate to our jobs, they can enrich our lives and in turn make us better individuals and employees.

 

Making the Most of a Sabbatical

If you’re considering taking a sabbatical or offering this option to your employees, here are a few things to consider:

1. Make It Challenging: A sabbatical can be relaxing, but it should also stretch you. It provides the perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and discover something new. These are the moments where we truly grow. If you’ve never been outside the country, consider traveling for your break. Or if you’re a travel nut, maybe you decide to stay local and spend the time reflecting. Whatever you decide, just make sure it’s pushing you to greater heights.

2. Make It Relevant: While we’ve already said that a sabbatical doesn’t have to directly apply to your career, it should help you master new skills, improve upon existing ones, or provide an opportunity to improve relationships with clients, employers, or colleagues. Use this time to generate experiences that will help you in the future.

3. Make It Last: The experience shouldn’t stop when you get back to the office. Bring along a journal to document what you’re learning. You’ll be more likely to retain the information and have something to reference when looking back on your time spent away. If you’re not a writer, maybe document your experiences through photos. Your Instagram account will thank you.

 

We love to hear about our employees’ sabbatical plans. If you took a three week sabbatical, how would you use your time away?