Leading a happy team: These company perks will help you keep your employees happy

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The Beatles famously declared that “money can’t buy me love”, and it seems the same is true of workplace happiness. Because, while a good salary goes a long way towards keeping your team happy, it seems benefits and company perks are far more likely to boost team morale and encourage company loyalty in the long run.

That’s right: research undertaken by SCORE, a business mentoring network in the US, has shown that benefits and perks in the workplace are often more important to employees than higher pay – so much so that an excellent list of company perks will not only boost job satisfaction levels but also attract better, more qualified employees, too. 

Not sure which company perks will keep your team happy? We’re not surprised; in this competitive job market, you’ll no doubt have seen companies offering everything from free fruit and discounted gym memberships to flexible hours and remote working. But, while defining a perk is (to some degree, at least) subjective, there are some company benefits which everyone pretty much agrees are brilliant.

Flexible hours

One of the easiest ways to keep your team happy is to offer them flexible working, as it offers them the opportunity to a) create the schedule that works best for them and b) schedule their work day in whatever manner they want. 

A flexible working arrangement is the sort of perk that is worth its weight in gold because it promotes an excellent work-life balance. It also offers parents the chance to work around their childcare arrangements, not to mention allows everyone to effectively prevent fatigue, better manage their stress levels, and reduce the likelihood of burnout.

While flexible working is very much considered an employee perk, it’s worth remembering that it benefits employers, too; it increases employee engagement and productivity, fosters a sense of trust across the business, and improves employee retention. Win-win!

Remote or hybrid working options

Just as flexible hours allow your employees to effectively manage their time, remote and hybrid working options allow them to work in the environment that best suits them. Again, it offers a better work-life balance, not to mention a chance to avoid the cost and time spent on a lengthy commute – and, from an employer's perspective, offering the ability to work from home means that you will be able to build a genuinely inclusive and diverse work culture, too.

Competitive parental leave packages

Whether it’s paid paternity leave, an extended maternity leave package, or a generous shared parental leave option, one of the easiest ways to keep your team happy is to support them through the big life events. Companies such as Flo, for example, have been praised for promoting equality in the workplace by offering six months maternity leave, as well as a “welcome back” bonus of $5,000 on their return to work to help them settle into the new life.

So, why offer enhanced parental leave? Well, as Paul Wolfe, Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources at global job site Indeed, tells The HR Director: “Paid leave programmes help improve a person’s wellbeing and when an employee is happy and feels appreciated it has a positive knock-on effect on their productivity and loyalty.

For employers, it’s important that programs are inclusive and to understand that there are many different types of families in your workplace when ensuring whoever is the primary caregiver has time with their newborn.”

Employee reward schemes

While we’re used to funny dances, memes and fashion trends going viral on TikTok, the social media site sometimes offers up some inspiration in the form of team morale-boosting company perks. 

Earlier this year, a video from Nando’s employee Chloe Sutherland shone a spotlight on an incredibly generous employee reward scheme. Because, as stated in a letter from her employer, as she had devoted five years to working at Nando’s, she would receive an extra 4 weeks off on top of her holiday. 

Whether it’s an additional day of paid leave for each year of service, company stock options, or something entirely different, think about what you can offer your employees to reward them for their loyalty – and make good on it! 

Team-building activities and company retreats 

Many employees are looking for a workplace that promises a great company culture – and one of the best ways to ensure this is to keep teams feeling connected with one another. So, whether that means you send your team off on a team-building adventure, have them tackle a fun new challenge via Zoom, or spirit them away to a gorgeously gargling destination for an all-expenses-paid company retreat, be sure to make sure that team-building is high on your list of priorities. A thriving company culture is a surefire route to employee happiness, after all!

Charitable and volunteering opportunities 

More than half of 1,514 people employed in the U.S. have said that a company’s charitable work influenced them to accept a job offer. So, whether this looks like company-sponsored charity events, or time off for volunteering, think about how you can empower your team to make a difference – and you’re guaranteed to make them happy in the process.

Free (or discounted) gym membership

A number of companies have begun to offer perks around wellbeing, such as free (or discounted) gym memberships, cycle-to-work schemes, free fruit and healthy snacks, or access to mental health apps like Calm. Better enabling your employees access to a positive and healthy mindset is a great way to keep them feeling happy!

Promote a good work-life balance

It’s the little things that count; offering an additional day of paid leave for an employee’s birthday, extra time off at Christmas, early finishes on a Friday, or a flexible approach to bank holidays (some employees might prefer to use their bank holiday days elsewhere in the year) shows your team that you care about their work-life balance as much as they do.