The incentives that companies offer their employees, whether during the recruitment process or as a motivator for high-standards of work, play a pivotal role in shaping the workplace culture. When employers put in constant effort to ensure their employees feel valued and take steps to motivate the team, it helps improve productivity, reduce turnover, and forge positive relationships among coworkers.
And when those other expectations are not met, employees will start looking for greener pastures. A recent survey released by Randstad Singapore revealed that 51% of all respondents are actively looking for a new job in the next 12 months. This is surprisingly, since most would rather stay in their current job during a pandemic.
Instead of entering into a price war with their competitors to attract talent, many businesses have shifted their focus to offering more non-monetary benefits. Here are some of them.
3 best non-monetary rewards in the workplace
With COVID-19, employees are facing a heightened sense of stress having to manage disruptions and maintain productivity at the same time. This is especially so for parents who have to juggle caring for their children and ensuring work gets done. Being stuck in that position can do more harm than good for their mental health and perception of their employer in the long-run. Employers should motivate employees through non-monetary incentives to help alleviate stress and increase work productivity.
1. flexible working arrangements
Even before the pandemic, there have been increasing expectations of employers to provide flexible working arrangements. This type of non-monetary incentives is found to lead to positive outcomes such as an increase in job satisfaction and a reduction in stress experienced.
Employees are attracted to flexible work arrangements for different reasons. For the younger workers, having the control and capability to plan out their day can leave them feeling more satisfied with both their life and work. For the more experienced professionals, having the flexibility to work from home will give them time to look after their children and their parents or spend time on their hobbies. Flexible arrangements may also be attractive to employees who prefer to work when they feel most productive, which could either be during the day or at night.
Even as the situation begins to improve in Singapore, many employees are still working from home. However, to ensure retention in the long-run, employers should consider placing their employees’ mental and well-being as a priority and continue to offer flexible working hours.
Companies would also need to do more to maintain productivity, which can be attained through increased employee engagement efforts. Managers should be more proactive and check on their employees regularly, taking the chance to remind them to take frequent breaks to prevent burnout. This could be in the form of daily morning check-ins to align on their workload and offering support whenever needed.
By offering such benefits to workers, employers are able to demonstrate and build trust with their employees. Their staff will not only feel more comfortable working with the team and having the level of mutual trust between them, but also discover how work-life balance can make their jobs more meaningful. When they appreciate the support that the employer is giving them, they will start to build a sense of loyalty with the organisation.
2. mental health wellness programmes
Having to work from home since April, or even earlier for some firms that have taken proactive measures, employees may be experiencing unanticipated mental health consequences due to isolation, stress and burnout. This is especially prevalent for employees who are accustomed to and are more appreciative of conventional “office life” and a steady rate of social interactions at the workplace.
Companies can actively encourage their staff to incorporate healthy habits into their day-to-day. This can be in the form of inviting employees to attend online fitness classes together as a team, or simply encouraging them to consume healthier meals.
Human resources teams can also look into providing additional healthcare benefits, such as annual medical check-ups. These frequent health consultations can diagnose medical conditions much earlier, which would result in a better prognosis and lower cost insurance premium in the long term for both the employee and employer.
3. vacation benefits
The Singapore government has implemented strict border control and community measures to minimise transmission since January this year. With companies mandating work-from-home policies for months, employees are beginning to feel cooped up at home. In fact, global sentiments towards COVID-19 have shifted from fear to anger as many begin to feel large-scale social isolation amidst the staggering loss of human lives.
Many employees are choosing not to clear leave days at the moment, as they have been cognitively trained to take annual leave for travelling or planning for big life events such as weddings.
Though the pandemic has halted travel plans, it is still advisable for employees to take some time off to avoid burnout and refresh their minds. Employers can also encourage employees to not look at their emails or partake in work-related activities while they are on leave.
Moreover, employers can look into fostering a culture of work-life balance in the company to help alleviate some of the stress people tend to deal with while on annual leave. For instance, colleagues should encourage each other not to work while they are on leave. Team delegates should also ensure that they are able to solve problems and deliver work on their own without asking their colleagues who are on leave for help. For those working in smaller offices or who do not have a team, limit the number of work hours when on leave to the minimum.
Though businesses may be temporarily unable to meet employees’ salary expectations during such extraordinary times, companies can be creative in their employee engagement. Organisations that revise their policies to address new employee needs will naturally have a more engaged and loyal workforce.
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