For over a year, the Covid-19 pandemic has been unrelenting…and people are done. The light at the end of the tunnel provided by vaccines is not enough to keep up morale, and burnout is threatening to drag businesses down just as a return to normal seems imminent. Big, international players like Citigroup and Goldman Sachs know that replacing an employee can cost between 90% and 200% of their salary and so they’re taking no risks. Both are offering some serious work perks to help employees cope, and if you want to ensure your firm’s continued well-being, you should do the same.
Beginning in March, Citigroup began offering “Zoom-Free Fridays,” aimed at mitigating the special fatigue provoked by screen-based meetings. CEO Jane Fraser also urged employees to take their vacation time and announced that for the second year running, the investment bank would hold a firm-wide holiday on May 28 dubbed “Citi Reset Day.”
Similarly, Goldman Sachs, responding to horror stories from junior analysts of extreme overwork, is offering employee benefits in the form of Peloton bikes with a one-year subscription, a Mirror workout system, or an Apple package that includes the Apple Watch SE, iPad Air, and AirPods Pro. This is in addition to the elevated salaries already enjoyed by its employees.
While most small firms cannot match such opulent work perks, they can (and should) consider employee benefits that hold back the massive wave of burnout threatening to sink any business foolish enough to turn a blind eye. Studies show that the best company benefits are those which nourish feelings of being cared for and valued. For boutique firms, this means the following:
Three Work Perks That Pay Dividends
- Increased Flexibility
Working from home may seem like a flexible arrangement but, in fact, the opposite is true. If employees are beholden to the same hours expected of them when in-office, being forced to work from home simply means being forced to juggle both domestic and professional responsibilities at once. Flexible scheduling fixes this (to an extent), allowing your team to attend to household duties when they arise and return to work when they are clearest of mind.
- Health Insurance and Related Benefits
Research shows that the pandemic has dramatically increased the value employees place on benefits. More than ever, top talent is aware that a job is much more than a salary. By ensuring your firm’s health insurance program includes mental health coverage and by expanding related benefits such as childcare and life insurance, you capitalize on this momentum and increase your ability to both attract and retain the best of the best.
- Curated Voluntary Benefits
Surveying your team to determine which voluntary benefits they would most appreciate is an excellent way to show them you have their well-being in mind while avoiding any extra expenses. You might, for instance, gain group rates for insurance that employees pay for themselves or provide your team the option of taking a percentage of their paid vacation time in cash.
Once again, the best company benefits are those that show true caring, and often this arrives in forms that don’t look like traditional benefits, at all. Beyond the three key upgrades to your employee benefits program described above, you also need to nurture an empowering workplace culture that brings out the best in your team not because they love working, but because they love working with you.