If you’re looking to save a little working capital but still want to create a supportive environment for your employees, you obviously can’t shower them with expensive benefits. Here are three low- or no-cost benefits you can offer your employees without emptying your bank account.
1. Flexibility. Whether employees use flextime to attend a child’s school play, work for a charity or just take time off, offering a flexible work schedule is a great perk that doesn’t cost your business anything. And flextime isn’t just a benefit that working parents appreciate. A survey conducted last summer showed 40 percent of Gen X said they would quit a job, or turn down a job offer, if it didn’t include flextime. Flextime shows your employees you trust them to get their jobs done even if they have to leave early a few days a week. You can offer flextime and keep the chaos of different schedules to a minimum by asking for a week’s notice, using scheduling software or asking workers to post their hours on a company intranet.
2. Community involvement. Sometimes getting out of the office is just what the business doctor ordered. Schedule one day a month for you and your employees to volunteer at a local homeless shelter, pick up trash on the beach or participate in some other local event. A change of atmosphere is always good to get the blood flowing and if you’re volunteering you’re doing something good for your community. Check with your local community activists or city business development office for some ideas.
3. Food and other small perks.
– Bring in bagels or pizza for the office once a week.
-Plan a company bake-off contest and let everyone share the desserts.
– Have a “bring your kid to work” day or “bring your pet” to work day.
– Offer your employees optional pet insurance; the cost is minimal.
– Send employees to conferences or seminars to improve their job skills and knowledge.
– Bring in a yoga instructor once a week to encourage workplace wellness.
– Supplement gym memberships.
– Match employee charitable contributions (tax write-off for you!)
– Bring in a financial advisor to help employees save for retirement, plan for college, etc.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.