Boosting Morale – Finding Benefits That Matter to Keep Staff Productive
The workplace is undergoing major changes right now. Staff, especially in smaller businesses, may be feeling insecure. When toilet paper becomes the hottest commodity in the marketplace, you know something’s just not right.
Staying a metre away from colleagues and customers, working from home, self-isolation, and staycations pretty much sums up life in Ontario now, and for the foreseeable future. It’s easy to see how employee morale can suffer during these times of distress. So as a small business owner, it’s important to have a plan that keeps people calm, productive, and appreciated.
Finding Benefits for Employees
April 2 is Employee Benefits Day. A day devoted to evaluating the benefits you have in your plan to make sure it’s fulfilling your recruitment and retention needs, and a chance to discover what is valuable to your employees.
As discussed in the past blog “Stability in Business,” employee benefits help attract and retain quality staff who keep your business stable and productive during tough times…likes these.
You might be thinking that this isn’t the time to be re-evaluating your benefits plan or even considering introducing one. But it’s always an appropriate time to ask employees what benefits they value, and it’s seen as genuine interest in their health and wellbeing, and that of their families.
Preference taking is a great tool for planning ahead and uncovering ways that you might be able to motivate and reward your staff affordably, or with little immediate cost. It’s as easy as having a conversation with employees or creating a quick survey to see what could make their lives easier.
Benefits with Benefits
You might discover that Sally would love to leave work at 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to pick up her mother from dialysis and, in return, is willing to open the office at 7 a.m. Or that Sarwan would appreciate being able to use his stationary bike as a desk. Employee benefits should be just that: a benefit for the employee.
Aside from the niceties that you may be able to finagle in your workplace, tried, tested, and true winners exist in any benefits plan. As discussed in the blog “The Future of Employee Health is Virtual,” employees believe that Telemedicine Services, offered by Chambers Plan, are a necessity, as staff see employers as having a responsibility to their wellbeing. And in another blog, “Let’s Talk Affordable Wellbeing Programs and ROI,” it’s a benefit that pays business owners back in return.
These days, benefits are more than just health and dental plans. They can include Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) where staff can access mental health assistance. As we face anxiety from the unknown and isolation from the pandemic, having an outlet for employees—and owners—to talk about their concerns and get help is invaluable. And with many EAPs opting to provide counselling over the phone, it’s a benefit staff can access on their lunch hour from the office or from home if working remotely.
So take a minute to check out these links where you can find a survey for employees to complete, and solution suggestions based on their feedback. And at the same time, here’s a poster that gives you 101 benefits that you may have never considered with many no-cost alternatives you can implement right now.
Talking to a benefits advisor is a smart option, too. Bensol Consulting understands the needs of small business owners and can customize plans that are affordable and stable to help you attract and retain the employees you need to succeed.
But most of all, talk to your staff. If your employees are currently working from home, or for staff who routinely work remotely, start a group email. Talk about what’s going on at the office or in the business to keep people feeling connected and part of the team.
These are uncertain times and being a good business owner and leader requires you to pay attention to staff needs and find ways to keep them happy and productive. Start by finding out what’s important to your employees. It’s one of the few things you can do right now to help everyone feel a bit better.