Love is in the air, but how do your employees really feel about working for your company? Are your current employees your cheerleaders? Is it love at first sight when it comes to attracting new recruits, or do you struggle to fill your vacancies?
8 tips for enhancing employee engagement
Here are our top tips for enhancing employee engagement and making employees feel loved in your workplace, from simple gestures to longer-term projects.
Embracing flexible working / work life balance
It’s estimated that over 2 million people have changed careers due to lack of flexible working options throughout 2023. 71% of workers view a flexible work pattern as important to them when considering a new role, while 69% say the ability to work remotely is important.
And if you didn’t already know, from 6 April 2024, the new flexible working regulations come into force which means that flexible working requests will become a day one right. You can read our full article here which explains all the key changes.
Private Medical insurance
The most desired work perk by far is private health insurance, a fact backed up by multiple different surveys. You can either offer a group health insurance plan where you cover employees yourself and your employee doesn’t pay a penny, or you can offer it as a voluntary benefit which the employee pays for but at a discounted rate.
Enhanced pension contributions
After private health insurance, enhanced pension contributions are the second most desirable perk at work. Since the introduction of auto-enrolment and having to offer a pension scheme, it should come as no surprise to employers that a strong pensions plan is seen as a key benefit.From offering higher levels of matched contributions or switching to salary-exchange, a more tax effective way of boosting pension savings, employees should find these an attractive offering.
Learning & development opportunities
Learning and development is good for your business and your team. Career progression is vital for 91% of millennials*, so prioritising opportunities to learn and improve should be a top priority for organisations.
Training can take all sorts of different forms, from personalised budgets to needs based training, some examples below:
- Webinar subscription
- Personal training budget – an allocated amount per employee, ensures equal development opportunity for all
- Project based training
- Needs bases training
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HR policies… for everyone
You don’t necessarily need to take the road less travelled and have a radical overhaul of your HR policies. However, as you’ll see in some the examples below, they provide a glimpse of what is possible and what could be the new norm in years to come – and what employees could expect as standard.
- Inclusive parental leave policies & enhanced pay
- Menopause leave policy
- Miscarriage leave & pay
- Fertility treatment leave & pay
- Equal parenthood leave
Health & well-being initiatives
Engage Health Group found that 9 in 10 employees place ‘health’ as their top life priority, of them and their family, yet 1 in 3 employees said their employer was not interested in their mental or physical wellbeing.
With sickness absence levels at a 10 year high, health & wellbeing initiatives should be a key workplace benefit that your employees will love you for.
- Discounted gym membership
- Regular yoya / gym / Personal Training or exercise classes at work
- Generous holiday allowance + ability to buy additional holiday
- Cycle to work scheme
- Healthy snacks
- Paid self-care day i.e. duvet days
- Access to mental health services & more mental health support
- Going beyond statutory sick pay to offer enhanced sick pay
Other allowances & perks
There are a whole host of allowances and perks you can use to charm your employees and attract new recruits, some of the most popular ones we’ve seen recently are:
- A budget for home-working set up
- Laptop/tech allowance
- Free or discounted meals such as lunch and/or breakfast
- Subsidised commuting or travel allowance / contribution
- Subsidised childcare costs
- Long service award – from additional holiday to cash bonuses
- Paid volunteering days
- Matched charity donations
Every day small gestures
Some workplaces are brilliant at the everyday small gestures that create a warm culture and working environment. Our team are lucky to have wonderful colleagues and a caring leadership team who regularly demonstrate small gestures of appreciation.
The examples below are either free or a small cost to businesses but have a big impact, leaving a lasting impression and that warm fuzzy feeling inside.
Some examples are:
- Thank you & positive feedback regularly – not just at review meetings
- Early finishes – on special days or on a Friday at 3pm
- Birthday card / cake, Birthday off
- Easter eggs
- Christmas card and/or gift, advent calendar
- Regular team socials & work events
- Friday lunch pizza or 4pm drinks
We hope this has given you some ideas to help you increase employee engagement and create a positive working culture, beyond valentine’s day.
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