It seems like there’s another article every other day about new perks that companies are offering. Airbnb gives employees a $2,000 dollar travel stipend, Adobe shuts down the entire company for two weeks during the year, and Netflix gives new moms and dads a full year of parental leave. Even though those probably aren’t practical for a community bank or credit union, it doesn’t mean that you can’t provide great perks to your employees.
About 53% of those who have employee perks say that those perks give them a better quality of life. And we’re not talking about extra snacks in the breakroom or a foosball table. Employees want perks that make them feel appreciated and improve their life — which means they’ll value their job more and will stay with you longer.
Here are four perks that your employees actually want.
More Paid Time Off
In a recent Xentec survey, 43% of employees said annual leave is the benefit that would make them feel the most loved by their employer. Plus, it’s good for you too; according to Project Time Off, employees who take more vacation tend to be more productive. SoFi offers their employees unlimited vacation, but you don’t have to start there. Consider increasing your paid time off policy by a few days, plus you can always add in a more fun element too, like giving every employee their birthday off.
A Wellness Program
Google has an onsite gym and provides fitness classes to employees throughout the day. And while you probably can’t renovate your institution to build a gym, consider having a yoga instructor come in once a month after you close for some post-work relaxation. You can also reach out to some local gyms in town to see if you can partner to offer employees discounted memberships. Or provide employees with a fitness tracker and set up fun competitions to encourage them to take more steps throughout the day.
Development and Advancement Opportunities
Employees who think their current role isn’t going to lead anywhere probably won’t stay at that company for long. In a 2016 Gallup poll, 87% of millennials said professional development or career growth opportunities are very important to them. Clothing brand Bonobos offers a variety of sessions across the company that teach employees about management, goal setting, navigating relationships with senior managers, and customer experience.
Talk with your own employees and find out what their goals are, where they see themselves in the next few years, and what skills they want to learn to get them there. There are plenty of free or cheap training courses online you can get for your team (We love Udemy. They have frequent sales where you can get their courses for dirt cheap.). You can also encourage employees to shadow other team members who are in roles they aspire to.
In a Fast Company survey, more than 70% of respondents said employees value experiences over things or at least a combination of the two. Pinterest hosts monthly studio nights where employees can learn a unique skill together, like baking, beekeeping, and lumberjacking.
You can give your team great experience-based perks too. Met a goal? Go to happy hour! Impressed with your service reps? Take the whole team to lunch or surprise them with tickets to a local sporting event. The options are endless, but the sentiment is the same. Show employees you value them and appreciate everything they do for your institution.
Another way to find out what your employees really want? Just ask them.
See what would make them happier in and out of work and then brainstorm how you can offer it. The other key to implementing these perks is ensuring your employees know it’s okay if they take part in them. There’s no point in starting a shadow program or bringing in a yoga instructor if employees feel like they will be punished for stepping away from their desk to enjoy the perks.
Whatever you come up with, it’s important to make your employees feel appreciated. Happier employees mean better interactions with account holders, which leads to loyal relationships for years to come.