5 Ways to Encourage Employees to Enjoy Their Paid Time Off Over the July 4th Holiday

David Rook

Many employees feel like they have to check-in with work even when they’re supposed to be enjoying paid time off. More often than not, this is a cultural issue within a company. Supervisors might be checking-in and sending emails in the evening or on weekends. This leads their direct reports to believe they need to respond immediately, and they may even start adopting these behaviors themselves. 

Yet, research has shown time and time again that workers need frequent breaks and unfortunately, Americans leave a lot of that paid time off on the table every year. It might seem like workers would be more productive if they aren’t using all their vacation time, but in reality, skipping our vacations actually makes us less productive. To keep employees operating in top shape, we need to encourage them to enjoy their downtime — and perhaps it’s fitting to begin with the July 4th holiday. Here are 5 ways to encourage employees to enjoy their independence...and their paid time off this weekend.

Read More
Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Paid Time Off (PTO), Employee Retention

Related posts

11 Innovative (& Mostly Inexpensive) Employee Benefits

David Rook

An image of five light bulbs hanging on long strings.Employers are struggling to assemble impressive employee benefits packages under the crushing weight of ever-increasing healthcare costs. While these escalating expenses may be forcing companies to cut back on their overall benefits package, there are still plenty of innovative ideas that can enrich a company’s offerings without costing them a fortune. Here are 11 out-of-the-box employee benefits that won’t frustrate your finance department.

8 Affordable Employee Benefits

Convenience Benefits

Dry Cleaning Pickup

Picking up the dry cleaning is something no one wants to do. It’s certainly an unappealing errand before or after a long work day, so offering an on-site pickup and delivery service can be a welcome employee benefit. Employees will pay for the cost of the actual cleaning, so at most, the employer will only be on the hook for a delivery fee from the dry cleaner. It’s a cost-effective way to give some time back to employees.

Flexible Schedules

Allowing employees to work a flexible schedule is essentially free for employers. As work-life balance becomes an increasingly hot topic, workers will appreciate that they can get to their kid’s school event at lunchtime and make up the hours later that evening or on the weekend.

This is an easy employee benefit to offer — as long as there’s some sort of tracking system in place. Some companies use the honor system (assuming everyone will get their 40 hours in), while others use tracking websites, such as Toggl to “clock in and out” so supervisors can be assured their employees are all on task.

Read More
Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Plan Design, Flexible Schedules

Related posts

The Evolution of Black Friday

David Rook
Black Friday has become an enormous "tent pole event" for both retailers and consumers. The day after Thanksgiving has become synonymous with outrageous deals – but also outrageous lines, all-night camp outs, poorly-staffed stores, and sometimes violent confrontations between shoppers vying to be the first to hit the shelves. 
 
For a long time, Black Friday was seen as simply a good day to get a head start on Christmas shopping and save some money. However, in recent years, store openings have crept earlier and earlier, even into Thanksgiving itself, and viral videos of stampeding shoppers, brawls, and even some deaths have contributed to a growing sense that the infamous “holiday” has gone too far. Add to this the numerous complaints from employees on social media and the rise in popularly of online/mobile shopping, and one gets the sense that the importance of Black Friday is finally waning.

The Origins of Black Friday

While the term "Black Friday" wasn’t coined until the 1960s, the day after Thanksgiving has been known as the official start of the Christmas shopping season since Macy’s established its Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924. The term "Black Friday" is associated with by-hand accounting practices, where red ink was used to indicate a loss and black ink to indicate a profit: holiday shopping moves retailers from the red to the black.
Read More
Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Education

Related posts

17 Unique Employee Perks from High-Flying Companies

David Rook

If you think your employees only care about salary, think again. You should never underestimate the power of employee perks when it comes to gauging employee satisfaction. In fact, a survey from Glassdoor found that 80 percent of people would rather have new benefits or perks than a pay raise.

So what kind of perks are we talking about? We don't just mean two-week vacations and employee discounts — companies need to go above and beyond to keep their employees engaged and loyal.

Of course, we've all heard of more and more companies offering perks that would have been unthinkable in the working world of yesteryear, like unlimited vacation or free lunches. However, some companies on the cutting-edge are thinking outside of the box to offer unique and unusual perks to their employees to keep them engaged and happy.

Here are some examples of unique employee perks from high-flying companies:

1. Free overnight breast-milk shipping for new moms on business trips at Zillow.

2. Free egg freezing and fertility assistance for Spotify employees.

Read More
Topics: Company Culture, Innovation, Recruiting

Related posts

More Companies Are Welcoming Pets at Work (& Insuring Them Too)

David Rook

Having a "pets at work" policy is a simple program to implement that can also boost employee morale. Allowing pets in the workplace works particularly well when your employees are passionate about their pets. It's a low-cost perk for human resources to implement, with the added benefit that it can actually improve employee retention.

As reported in Fortune Magazine recently, having Spot as your coworker is quickly replacing foosball in popularity among Millennials: "In a recent survey by social meeting site Skout, more than half of all employees (51%), and 58% of those under age 30, said that dogs in the office make a company 'a cool place to work' — three times the number who said the same about ping pong or foosball tables."

Why Not Make Your Office Pet-Friendly?

People love their pets as a source of inspiration and comfort, but the bond that develops between a pet and an owner gets disrupted every work week for a good portion of the day. Being able to spend time with pets for only brief periods during the early morning or at night can be stressful for both the pet and the owner. That's why having them in the office can help ease separation anxiety for pets, while improving workplace morale for the owner.

Having pets around really seems to bring a more relaxed energy to the atmosphere of the office. Dogs and cats make things more enjoyable for people in all sorts of settings, and offices are no exception. There are also some people who don't have pets but love to be around them. Therefore, this policy can even be a perk for those you never thought of as animal lovers.

Read More
Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Innovation

Related posts

What Cheating on Workplace Wellness Contests Says About the Cheater

David Rook

Wellness programs have been around for decades, and their benefits are well-documented. Research shows they are responsible for a 28 percent reduction in sick days, a 26 percent reduction in health costs, and a 30 percent decrease in workers' compensation and disability management claims. If designed well (e.g. based on population health analytics, etc.), companies can potentially save $5.93 for every dollar invested.

Wellness initiatives and contests have been taken to a new level in recent years, with the emergence of wearable fitness trackers. On the surface, it seems that these trackers would eliminate any tendency to exaggerate activity performance, compared to using manual logs. However, where there's a will, there's a way. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently reported on wellness cheaters. What does cheating on workplace wellness contests say about the cheater?

Read More
Topics: Company Culture, Employee Engagement, wellness

Related posts

Getting a Good Night's Sleep is All the Rage

David Rook

Companies are always looking to improve the quality of life of their employees by using a variety of incentives. To this end, employers are increasingly open to making a number of quality of life allowances, from dogs in the workplace to catering healthier lunchtime meals.

This isn't solely done for the purpose of improving morale and well-being. Employers have noted a strong correlation between employee health and their productivity at work. But can employers start encouraging healthy employee habits outside of their 9-5 purview?

One area of focus for company wellness has been the sleep habits of their employees and how subtle tweaks can have a profound impact on employee productivity.

Read More
Topics: Company Culture, wellness

Related posts

Employee Perks That Make The Holidays Merry

David Rook

Employee Perks That Make The Holidays Merry

It’s that time of year again: the time when employers ponder ways to show their employees appreciation for a job well done and employees hope for a little something extra under the tree. How can you ensure that the holiday perks you have in mind are the ones that will really resonate with your employees?

Giving the Gift of Time

Around the holidays, one of the scarcest commodities anyone has is time. Savvy employers discern that employees highly prize generous holiday leave policies.

Some small, locally owned industries manage to arrange their production schedules in such a way that they can close their doors between Christmas and New Year’s every year. While juggling the production schedule requires forethought and fine planning skills, companies that manage this perk reap the rewards of high employee morale as the holidays near.
Read More
Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Education

Related posts

Employee Revolt: The Rise and Fall of Black Friday

David Rook

Employee Revolt: The Rise and Fall of Black Friday

Black Friday has become an enormous "tent pole event" for both retailers and consumers. The day after Thanksgiving has become synonymous with outrageous deals – but also outrageous lines, all-night camp outs, poorly-staffed stores, and sometimes violent confrontations between shoppers vying to be the first to the shelves. 

For a long time, Black Friday was seen as simply a good day to get a jump on Christmas shopping and save some money. However, in recent years, store openings have crept earlier and earlier, even into Thanksgiving itself, and viral videos of stampeding shoppers, brawls, and even some deaths have contributed to a growing sense that the “holiday” has gone too far. Add to this the complaints from employees on social media and the rise in popularly of online/mobile shopping, and one gets the sense that the importance of Black Friday is finally waning.
Read More
Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Education

Related posts

20 Unique Employee Benefits That Boost Employee Morale

David Rook

20 Unique Employee Benefits That Boost Employee Morale

The hiring world can be extremely competitive, especially in industries starved for top talent. Salary will always be high on the priority list for potential employees, but they also weigh other factors.

A recent study reveals that 95 percent of Americans consider job benefits and perks before deciding whether or not to take a new position or stay in their current one. Companies trying to attract the best employees may need to think a little outside the box when it comes to perks.

Here are 20 unique employee benefits that can seriously boost morale.

Read More
Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture

Related posts

Subscribe for New Blog Post Notifications

Free_White_Paper_Employee_Benefits_Branding
Free_White_Paper_Private_Exchange_Employee_Benefits
Free_White_Paper_Employee_Benefits_Branding
Free_White_Paper_Employee_Benefits_Hospitality
Free_White_Paper_Improving_Employee_Benefits_Communications
Free_White_Paper_Employee_Benefits_Construction
Free_White_Paper_Employee_Benefits_Branding