'Superficial' Benefits That Your Employees Hate The MOST And How To Change That!
Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person - not just as an employee - are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.
- Anne M. Mulcahy
Who doesn't love perks while working in a company? The occasional outings with teammates, the atmosphere at the time of festivals or that annual bonus credited to your account… It not only boosts confidence but also motivates employees to give their best shot to the tasks at hand. However, there are certain 'superficial' benefits that employees… well, just HATE! And you as a company are better off without offering them.
Benefits Your Employees Hate The Most. Wondering what these benefits are?
1. Celebrating Festivals In The Office - On The Festive Days
Festivals are when friends and families unite to have a gala time! Now even office colleagues are like family to some, but on festive days, the employees would rather stay home. Regardless of how grand the celebrations are, your employee would probably be sulking from within for not spending this precious time with his/her family and friends.
What can be done? Instead of holding the celebrations on the day of the festival, try holding it a day or so before. The day of the festival can be an off for the employees. Believe us, they would cherish this more. This has a two-fold benefit: 1. They celebrate and bond with the colleagues at work, 2. They get to spend the festivals the way they want to (with friends and family). This ensures that they are refreshed and motivated when they return to work.
2. Team Building Activities (Every Week)
Some offices have ‘Weekly Engagement’ activities which are organised so that the employees can get to know each other better. These outings do help people bond, but having them every week can be a bit of a drag. Worse is having frequent ‘Team Outings’ - Outings are great, sure! But right after working with the same set of people for 8-9 hours every day, you would want to see different faces while exploring the outdoors. Having them once every quarter is fine… Overdoing it can spoil the fun.
What is the alternative? The alternative to this benefit is to have one day set aside in the week or every fortnight, where the employees can wrap up work a couple of hours early. This would give them the opportunity to catch up with family/friends on days other than the weekend. And they come back to work with a smile, knowing that the company cares about their social as well as personal lives.
3. Free Membership To The Office Gym
Membership at the gym is great, for some. For others, it is just downright unnecessary. Not everybody likes to work out and even if they do, let's face it, not many are keen to spend extra hours in or around the office, considering they also work there the whole day!
Alternative? Instead of giving them a gym membership, try giving away a few free coupons of the office canteen! There's nothing better than free food. Now we know this is just the opposite of exercising but there’s something more: You can provide nutritional advice for your health-conscious employees and maybe give them the prerogative to choose a place of workout they’d prefer, within a set range of options in terms of costs and locations.
4. ‘Extra’ Maternity Leaves (Beyond 6 months)
Maternity leave is great, needed, and of utmost importance. Yes. However, if you are providing your employees with extra maternity leaves 'as compared to other offices', it might be useless. A woman needs maternity leave for around 3-6 months at most, till the baby is old enough to be taken care of by someone else. While babies still require care for another 6 months or so, extending the maternity leave beyond that would prove to be futile in some cases and most women might prefer getting back to work or another perk over this.
What would women prefer? There are many offices that open up day care centres or makeshift creches so that the employees need not worry about their young ones. This is an excellent option to give out to all the employees. If working from home is possible, that should be an option as well. The employee can continue working from home for a period of six months, post her maternity leave.
Also, the focus can be on making the office more women-friendly and taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety and comfort of the female staff. The more protected women feel in the office, the better will they work.
5. Wellness Programme
Several companies offer ‘Wellness Programs’ for their employees. According to surveys, not many people are fond of them. Such wellness programs don’t do much when it comes to the happiness of an employee.
What can be the alternative? Instead of a wellness programme, try providing education loans for your employee's children? Chances are that would work better.
6. Frequent Office Vacations (Or Workations)
It is true that office vacations are fun but this is something that the employees can plan themselves as well! In a large company, it is obvious that people don't know everyone. It can be argued that such outings help in the bonding among multiple teams. The fact is people generally tend to stick in their usual groups even though the entire staff is with them!
A working vacation or Workation is a new concept coming up these days in which the teams spend part of the day working and part in leisure. Sounds fun, right? Well, it is. As long as it isn’t too frequent!
So, what to do? Instead of vacations, try and give that time off to your employees and increase the number of holidays they can take, so that they can spend quality time with family and friends. Also, you can also allow your employees to work from home for a set number of days in a year.
7. Paid Leaves (That They Can Seldom Take)
We all know what happens to paid leaves - they keep on getting accumulated! And while paid leaves might sound like a very attractive perk - especially considering they can also be encashed in most places, some employees hate the idea since they know they won't be able to take them!
What Can Be Done? Well, instead of paid leaves, try and give your employees more flexible working hours. You can also help them in planning their tasks in a better way. Another way of helping your employee is to set a number of maximum working hours. For example, an employee must not work for more than 50 hours per week. This will show your employees that you care about them and will also motivate them to work better. Again, work from home option is a great add-on here as well!
Indeed, a company is made by the employees and if they are happy, the company’s bottom line will be happier! The expectation of the employees are changing today and to keep up with that, you must ensure that you are able to do what’s best!