10 easy ways to be a great employer
1. Birthday day off
Consider how productive people are on their birthdays, cue long lunches and eating cake, versus how much they’ll appreciate the day off. They’ll come in refreshed and relaxed the day after and might even bring some leftover party food.
2. Social Committee
A Social Committee that represents most teams in the office is a fair way of organising events, such as the Christmas party (and it means you don’t have to). They can also deal with other issues such as a lack of teaspoons in the kitchen or a request for milk to be provided, as well as other events and charity fundraising.
3. Relaxed dress-code
You could do this once a year for charity, once a week on a Friday or every day if that works for your company. You’ll need to put some guidelines in place, such as wearing business clothes for client meetings. It might be a good idea to trial it first.
4. Duvet days
Give your employees 1 or 2 extra days off for when they’re not feeling their best. The idea is that employees don’t have to ‘pull a sickie’ and they can take a day off at short notice. It stops unproductivity in the office and allows employees to recuperate, even if they’re not technically ill. C’mon, we’ve all had one of those days.
If you want the most talented people, you may need to get over some obstacles. And one of the main ones is location, especially if your office isn’t in London, and even if it is. Whether you have employees that need to work from home once a week, twice a week or for the whole week, it’s a good idea to implement a remote working practice, with the right tools in place it can be a real asset to your company.
Let’s rewind a little. Get people off to the best start by making sure they have a proper induction to the business. Take them out for lunch on their first day, assign them a buddy so they can recognise a familiar face around the office and make sure they understand what happens in every area of the business. There’s no point having someone in finance who doesn’t understand the sales team.
7. Free food
Everyone loves food, especially when it’s free. So why not celebrate company events with food. You don’t have to go all out and take the entire company to a Michelin-starred restaurant, but get some biscuits or doughnuts in. Or provide your employees with fruit once a week, that’ll give them a nice little healthy boost.
8. Tea and coffee
Put a stop to endless coffee runs and fighting over milk by providing tea and coffee for your employees (and green tea and decaf coffee if you fancy). They’ll appreciate it, you can buy in bulk and they might even make you a cuppa whilst they’re at it.
A nice office with good facilities goes a long way. Make sure there is somewhere your employees can sit to eat their lunch, so they take a break and don’t end up eating it at their desks every day. It’s also important to have nice meeting rooms, not just to impress your clients but for the sake of your employees too. Get some whiteboards up so they can brainstorm and make sure you have enough rooms to meet demand.
You can have the best facilities and benefits, but you’ll soon find that the best employees won’t be happy plodding along. They want to learn, grow and develop personally and professionally. Share knowledge and encourage learning. You could even give employees an allocated hour a week for innovation, where they can read up on their specialist subjects and learn about what’s changing in their field. Helping them helps you and your business after all.