Head Office, Johannesburg, South Africa

Set yourself apart as an employer with these job perks

people-enjoying-their-perks-at-workIf you want your business to succeed, you’re not going to get very far with average employees. Great talent is hard to find and even harder to keep, so businesses need to start sweetening their pots to keep up with other employers. It’s definitely no longer about the salary anymore and more about the full package. So if you want to attract the best by offering the best, you might want to replicate what these companies are doing.

Shorten their to-do lists

A weekend is never enough to run all of one’s adult errands; nothing is open for long enough and some institutions like the Department of Home Affairs aren’t open at all on Sundays. It’s counterproductive to keep letting your employees take longer lunches or leave early so they can run a couple of errands, but it’s what most businesses are doing. Some businesses, however, have gotten a little creative and tried helping their employees with all of the daily stresses of adult life.

Axxess, one of South Africa’s leading internet and communications service provider, has an onsite laundry (called the Anti-virus Zone) that is open to all employees. An onsite clinic or healthcare centre, like the ones at Goldman Sachs, Capital One Financial and Mars can also scratch a few entries off of your employees’ errand list while keeping them health-conscious (more on that later). Some companies, including Paycorp, even have ATMs on the premises so the staff has one less trip to make during lunch.

Keep them nourished

Oxford Dictionaries, the online modern usage counterpart of The Oxford English Dictionary, recently added the word “hangry” to their lexicon. It’s a portmanteau of the words “hungry” and “angry” and it describes the grumpy mood people fall into when they’re hungry. Feeding your employees is not any employer’s duty, but, of course, this isn’t a blog about duty – it’s about exceeding that duty. In fact, the point isn’t even to feed your employees if that’s not financially feasible, it’s about making it easier for them to find food when they need it. And they will need it.

Most offices provide complimentary coffee and tea, but a truly inspired solution is having a canteen on the premises so that employees can get meals whenever they want to. Google, in Bryanston, has a canteen stocked with a wide variety of fresh and healthy foods that are free for all employees. Of course, not every business is in league with Google, so some office canteens, like the one we have right here at Paycorp, meet the staff halfway by offering subsidised meals.

Encourage good health

It’s difficult to predict and prepare for sick employees; it’s one of those variables of business that business owners can’t completely control. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t mitigate some of it. By proactively encouraging a good standard of health among your staff, you effectively reduce the rate of illness.

Discovery and Uber recently partnered to bring flu vaccines to people whose lives were a little too busy to fit in a trip to the doctor. But what if you sponsored flu shots for all your employees before the flu season starts? Imagine all of the sick days you would avoid if your whole workforce made it through winter without catching the flu. You could also keep your employees healthy with a company gym or company trainer like Hershey’s and MultiChoice do, or you could move closer to the gym if you can’t afford one of your own.

Offset their stress

Whichever way you cut it, the cost of good business is grey hair. A business day scarcely follows the schedule you diligently drafted in the morning and stressors abound. Most adults are capable of managing their own stress, but what will really distinguish yourself as an employer is if you helped them manage it.

A small American company called Certified Angus Beef has several health services, including an onsite therapist available to all its employees. At Uber, employees are encouraged to de-stress by taking naps in one of the “focus rooms” at their San Francisco headquarters and many other companies are exploring the benefits of high-tech sleep pods. Cisco Systems soothes its employees with the help of massage therapists and acupuncturists, while HBO promotes mindfulness and relaxation by offering its employees free meditation and yoga sessions on campus.

Promote fun

Nothing incentivises work like a little fun and this can easily get lost in the grown-up world of business. Some companies keep their employees motivated by ensuring that they can let loose every now and again by doing fun activities that, in addition to boosting company morale, can often foster bonding among colleagues.

Amazon has a pet-friendly campus in Seattle, where employees are encouraged to bring their dogs to work and have them frolic with the employees in the designated dog park. Pearlfisher in London installed a giant ball pit in their break room that became so popular that the both the public and the internal staff are now welcome to enjoy it. On a more conservative budget, you can simply have an entertainment area for you employees to unwind, like MWEB’s gaming zone, or have pop-up day with various fun activities for your staff to participate in, like we do here at Paycorp.