Employee Benefits can Increase Productivity

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Employee benefits do more than just make your recruitment process easier. They make existing employees even more productive.

Are you providing the benefits your staff want and deserve? Benefits make employees happy, and happy employees are naturally more productive. Many studies confirm this, including research of 700 people by the Social Market Foundation and the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy at the University of Warwick, UK. They found that happy workers who received 'happiness shocks' (these were perks such as snacks, not actual electric shocks) and were then asked to perform a task were up to 20% more productive than control groups who did not receive such happiness 'shocks'.

What else is shocking? The ease with which it is often possible to change and increase the benefits and advantages of your employees. Think outside the box. Employee benefits are more than just good health care and lots of holiday days. And happy, benefit-rich employees are not only more productive, they tend to stay with their company longer. These benefits can also attract better new employees, so the circle of happiness and productivity continues.

Employee Productivity

To determine whether or not your benefits are contributing to productivity, you need to start by assessing employee productivity. This measure may depend on your company, your industry and the individual job requirements of the employee. For example, if your company sells cars, it is fairly easy to measure the productivity of your salespeople. But what about your administrative staff? It's not so easy.

Before you change benefits to increase productivity, make sure you have current, measurable, and fair standards for measuring the productivity of each position. Starting from scratch? Bring in a third party that specializes in employee productivity and get your current team to actively participate.

Benefits

Ask anyone to name employee benefits, and basics like health care and sick leave top the list.

Some benefits are mandated by state and federal law, but don't let that limit you. Consider these popular and trending benefits:

Free or low-cost childcare. This has been a staple at many universities for years. It's not possible for all employers, but it's certainly a great perk that will attract working parents who want to 'do it all'.
Free gym membership. Bonus points if the gym is on site or within walking distance. Happy employees are more productive, as are healthy employees. Here are some other wellness programs to consider.
Birthday leave. It's so simple, and so much better than the traditional sheet cake and "Happy Birthday" chant in the break room.
Flexible working hours and teleworking options. Not all jobs are suitable for teleworking or virtual offices, but many can be. Not all employees are suited either, so some trial and error is required. However, you can reduce overheads and offer employees the benefit of working remotely if it suits them.

Health Benefits

Health benefits are more than just good quality medical coverage. Each year, take a fresh look at the plans and policies available and ask your current employees what they want in a health care plan. Many want more holistic and alternative care options covered, such as licensed massage therapy and acupuncture. Workers want and deserve coverage for mental health days, and they are looking for quality coverage without unsustainable deductibles. If healthy employees are happy employees who need fewer sick days, everyone wins.

Benefits can make or break a job offer. They can attract the best candidates and, more importantly, keep them.

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