Employee morale and employee engagement go hand in hand.
If employee morale is high, then you can be confident about a high engagement rate. But consequently, when morale is low, engagement is impacted as well.
It is important to remember that employee engagement is not something that can be self-sustained. The onus is not on the employee to be engaged by constantly drawing on some invisible wellspring of internal morale. Rather, an organization plays a big role in how engaged employees are and it is up to organizations to ensure that employees stay engaged.
This can be ensured through a variety of methods, but one of the most common ways for organizations to boost employee engagement and morale is to be thoughtful and considerate of an employee and their time. By offering thoughtful perks or advantages that the employee can actually use, an organization can improve the rate of engagement. But even the best perks will only work if the employee gets to utilize them freely. For example, there’s no point in giving an employee a free gym membership and then never giving him/her the time to utilize that gym pass!
Here is a list of five meaningful perks organizations can offer to boost employee engagement and morale.
1. Gym Membership/Yoga Class
Employee health also plays a big role in employee engagement. A stressful employee will not be completely engaged at work. Benefits like a gym membership or a yoga class might allow employees to squeeze in some physical activity during the workdays. It is important to remember that with a benefit like this, employees should also get ample time to utilize that benefit. At the same time, it should be an opt-in benefit. Not a forced one.
Also read: Employee Mental Health: Ways to Support Your Team
2. On-site Healthcare
On-site healthcare is one of the more thoughtful benefits organizations can offer employees. Employee health has a direct impact on employee engagement and morale. When organizations show employees that they care about their health and wellbeing, they are sending out a message which indicates that an employee’s wellbeing is primary, not their ability to keep working. This is benefit might be an expensive one, but it is an incredible benefit that ensures employee retention in the long run.
3. Flexible Leave Policy
In the quest for a more manageable work-life balance, one of the things employees are increasingly conscious of is how they get to spend their time away from work. A flexible leave policy gives employees the freedom to plan their leave, however they want without worrying about how they are going to juggle work and their interests. Additionally, organizations with flexible leave policies tend to be an attractive proposition for prospective employees, many of whom nowadays seek out organizations that are more aligned with their interests and are flexible in general (Mind you, flexible leave policies may not work for all organizations, because different industries have different ways of working.).
Also read: How Important Are Flexible Time Off Policies to Millennials
4. Employee Recognition Events
Employee recognition events may not attract prospective employees and neither will they noticeably contribute to a better work-life balance but you know what they definitely will do? Make employees feel valued and recognized. As an added bonus, they will retain existing employees as well!
A culture that values employees and lets them know that frequently and makes sure to recognize them is always going to win an employee’s loyalty and help with respect to employee engagement as well. Employees like knowing that the work they do has value. And they are motivated to do more when they know that their efforts are being recognized.
5. Telecommuting Opportunities
Telecommuting opportunities can be a part of a flexible work schedule that gives employees some leeway with respect to how they structure their workweek. This not only benefits the employees, but in the long run, it might also benefit organizations. For example, some organizations don’t maintain offices at all, instead, their work is done remotely. The nature of work today is such that most of the time, employees don’t even need to be present at an office.
If there’s one thing to keep in mind, it is this- no amount of perks can guarantee improved employee engagement or better employee morale. The important thing is that organizations need to make an effort to care. Employee engagement and morale have never been and will never be a one-time effort. It is always going to be something organizations have to work hard towards.
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