These activities and office perks can help re-energize and engage employees
With fall in full swing, it’s time to start planning for the end of the year and the holidays. If you’re on autopilot for the company holiday party and bonus structure, consider shaking things up this year with some year-end perks. Studies have shown that recognizing employees can be more valuable than cash in motivating them, and the holidays and start of the new year are perfect times to do so.
No matter your company’s budget for employee perks or holiday events, there are unique ways to incorporate extra thoughtfulness and make your employees feel special and appreciated as you close out the year.
Many companies provide a cash incentive for great performance each year, and that’s a great way to make someone’s holiday season shiny and bright. Consider including a note with the bonus to help tie it to the employee’s impact on the company’s goals, culture and bottom line. Or, make workers feel literally flush with cash by handing out their bonus in stacks of 100 dollar bills. But consider whether it’s a better idea to invest that cash into better job perks.
2. On-Site pampering day
Many companies like ManiCube will bring spa-style pampering right into your office. Consider an office-wide “spa day” featuring mini massages, manicures in the conference room and a healthy catered lunch or someone serving fresh-pressed juice. Stress runs rampant at both work and home during the holidays, and having a breather at the office will be a huge relief!
3. Get silly with gifting
Consider a Yankee Swap or Secret Santa exchange within the office to keep camaraderie up and give employees a chance to have some fun with one another. Keep the spending limits low to afford everyone the opportunity to participate and culminate the event at a holiday party for maximum festive atmosphere.
4. Give the gift of time
Consider giving a bit of extra time off during the holidays. Add an extra vacation day to employees’ banks to use during the holiday stretch (frequently a quiet one on the work front anyways) or think about tossing each employee an afternoon off for a “shopping day.”
5. Recognize employees
The end of the year is a great time to thank employees and recognize their accomplishments. Consider handing out employee awards, whether that’s attached to a prize or just small ribbons and trophies. Create some friendly competition that will fuel employees through the next year, or award silly superlatives to keep it light and fun.
6. Upgrade the Office
Take the holiday as an opportunity to spend some dough on the workplace features that will give your employees an everyday lift. Whether that’s a better coffeemaker, a foozball table or upgraded furniture in the employee lounge, shared amenities are a great way to bring the office together.
7. Donate to charity
Allow employees to make a personal impact by providing them with a budget to personally donate to the charity of their choice.
8. Support their new year’s resolution
Many of your employees will likely resolve to lose weight, get fit or eat better in the new year. Consider supporting those resolutions with programs that either take place in the workplace or are employer-subsidized. Consider an in-house fitness program or partnering with a local gym for a discount membership. Add healthy lunch options with a program like LeanBox. You can even create a team environment with a “Biggest Loser” style competition. Put extra vacation days, a bonus or another special year-end perk on the line for the winners.
9. Choose gifts that are either unique or useful
If your company has a tradition of giving each employee a gift, think long and hard about what you’re providing. Presenting them with something that’s either unique or useful will be the best way to ensure it doesn’t collect dust. For small companies and departments, consider giving managers a budget to pick out something personal. Or, provide gifts that everyone will use and that will make life easier.
10. Upgrade a vacation day
What do your employees do on their days off? Consider creating a list of activities that you’re willing to pay for or subsidize, from a massage to a rock climbing experience, and give them the chance to pick one on their next day off.