Non-wage benefits – are there any which we do not have to pay for?
The costs of non-wage benefits are a topic that is often discussed during conferences and events in the benefit industry. Large corporations that have the right resources do not have to think about the price of benefits. For smaller companies, however, this can be a real puzzle. How to increase the team’s motivation or expand it with new talents without spending a fortune?
In the United States, but also increasingly in Europe, surveys are carried out to measure employee satisfaction with working conditions. They are to help understand what employees are currently paying attention to and what to invest in to ensure comfort at work. It turns out that in addition to remuneration, non-wage benefits also really become important. However, not those that can be added to your salary and converted, for example into PLN. It is actually not the point nowadays. What matters is a sense of confidence and awareness that the workplace fits the employee profile.
Top non-wage benefits
Research clearly indicates that the most popular benefits include health services, e.g. dental care. A flexible work schedule is also becoming more common. For employees, not only having a family, but also the younger ones, e.g. millennials born in the 80’s and 90’s of the 20th century, the basic criterion may be whether you work on a task basis or the employer counts the hours spent in the office.
Then there is remote work in the rankings. Even in Poland, this is not a novelty, although it still raises a lot of controversy, perhaps related more to our cultural habits than the lack of trust of our staff. It is worth noting that most of these non-wage benefits do not generate high costs for employers, and in some cases they are completely free.
Time – a non-wage benefit at a premium
It’s worth starting by rethinking your team’s work schedule. Of course, not every employer will be able to afford it, because work in some places, such as offices or hospitals, must last in the right time. On the other hand, in corporations or enterprises providing broadly understood services, such a benefit as flexible working hours may prove to be really at a premium. In addition, it is worth considering other facilities for employees, corresponding to their often busy schedule, also outside the company. Members of such a team can be offered to come to the office at appropriate times for them. In this way, the working time on the macro scale will increase and become more dynamic.
It is common practice, especially in the summer, to reduce working hours, e.g. to six hours every Friday. The phenomenon of work life integration is already so present in our lives that, as an employer, we do not have to worry about not fulfilling our obligations by offering such a non-wage benefit to our employees. For economic and ecological reasons, as it turns out, a constant presence at the workplace is no longer so necessary, thanks to which the employer can make savings in the global budget of the company.
There are also corporations that offer unlimited and unattended leaves, however unbelievable it may sound. Still, these are just suggestions and ideas from around the world. They do not have to match every company’s profile. Not every employee must also feel at ease when deciding on their own schedule. It is better to introduce such changes gradually or test, offering remote work in specific situations or days.
Apparently there is nothing for free, but …
It is also quite popular and not necessarily expensive to adapt the free space in the office so that employees can spend breaks or time there when they need to leave the desk. After all, remember to get up from the computer every hour for a moment and walk around, which will improve circulation or look out the window, because nothing relaxes your eyes like green leaves on trees. A new space, free from duties and conducive to relaxation, does not have to be a mini gym or an oasis of Zen, where you can meditate or practice yoga. It can be a room furnished simply, but enabling employees to eat a meal in peace, have a private conversation on the phone or count to ten when they are stressed. Of course, once again it should be remembered to design this place so that it corresponds to the character of the company and the daily rhythm of work and the needs of the team.
Among the completely cost-free non-wage benefits that many employers can afford today is the day when you can come to the office with your pet. All we need is a small bowl of water. Another idea, which should not cost anyone anything, can also be a day without a tie and high heels or other elements of an outfit.
Small gestures are generous non-wage benefits
There are many ways to make the workplace more attractive to current or future employees, and, contrary to appearances, they do not have to be expensive. First of all, the idea and knowledge of the employees’ needs or interests are what counts. Even small gestures can be perceived as generous. Sometimes free parking or a place where you can safely leave your bike is a great thing. It is important to get to work calmly and not worry about where we stood and how much it will cost us, or whether we will have to go home. This time is better to devote to work, which will pay off more for both employees and employer.