There are many ways you can support your employees while they’re at work. You can provide them with ergonomic office furniture, you can have coworking spaces and office spaces, so they can decide how they work best, and you can reduce the number of scheduled meetings. These are all things your employees will appreciate, but they will appreciate it even more if you remember that they have needs outside of work too.
It’s easy to overlook employee needs outside of work because they aren’t directly related to the work that gets done in the office, but what happens in the evening and on the weekends can have a huge impact on their focus. That’s why you should support your employees outside of work with these ideas.
Help Them Get to and From Work
Getting to and from work can cause a lot of stress for your employees. It can be dangerous too. Accidents happen all the time, and the smallest things can turn a non-fatal crash into a lethal one, which can make getting to work dangerous and deadly.
If you live in the city, consider encouraging public transit by reimbursing employees for the fare. Dedicated parking spaces can help too. That way, your employees aren’t rushing to find a parking spot, and they aren’t stuck parking in a different lot further from work.
You shouldn’t encourage employees to be late, but you shouldn’t dole out heavy punishments for arriving late either. You don’t want to encourage employees to speed. Instead, consider a flexible start time to give everyone the chance to get to work on time without panicking about being late.
Give Them More Sick and Vacation Time
Life happens outside of work. People get sick and family members get sick. Illnesses can be especially hard on families with small children when parents only have a few days available to stay home.
Extra sick time can take the pressure off of workers to come in when they are ill, which can keep others in the office from getting sick. It can also keep parents from sending kids to school when they’re ill because they can’t stay home with them.
An increase in vacation time is appreciated too. Unlimited vacation policies have been effective for some companies, as they encourage quality of work over time spent at work.
Make Flexible Schedules an Option
It’s nice to have a schedule, but keeping that schedule isn’t always easy. From trying to schedule doctor’s appointments to special events at your child’s school, life can have plenty of other ideas about your nine-to-five schedule.
Instead of making your employees use sick or vacation time to come in late or leave early because of an appointment, consider making flexible schedules an option. It enables those who come in late to stay a little later, and those who came in early to leave a little earlier. The flexibility will take the pressure off, making your workers happier and more productive.
Promote Work Boundaries
Work life in the 21st Century is getting a little out of hand. It isn’t uncommon for employees to be plugged into their email all hours of the day, and many employees put in many more hours at work than the standard 40 hours that most workplaces require.
You can do a lot to help your employees rest and recharge by promoting workplace boundaries. That includes encouraging employees to take their vacation time, but it especially includes educating them on boundaries regarding email. That includes doing things like:
• Encouraging employees to check email during work hours only.
• Using email disclaimers to explain when others can expect to receive a reply.
• Creating auto responses when working on big projects.
• Leading by example and following your own boundaries.
Support Continued Education Outside Work
People don’t get a job and stay there for 40 years anymore. Employees are looking for ways to expand their skillset and challenge themselves. If they feel bored with their job, they are likely to start looking around for a different one.
Instead, join the many companies that help employees pay for college. Some employees may simply take a few classes to expand their current skillset, while others may choose to go back to study something completely different. You’ll benefit from what they’re learning, and your employees will appreciate that you care about their professional development.
Really Listen and Take Action
A lot of people spend a lot of time worrying about work when they’re at home. From office politics to potential layoffs, there’s a lot to worry about. You can make sure your employees spend quality time with their family, and in turn, come to work refreshed in the morning, by really listening to their concerns and taking action.
You should have a way for employees to voice their concerns and make suggestions. When you receive one, don’t ignore it. Either explain why their suggestion isn’t possible or take the necessary steps to implement their feedback. It will show your employees that you really do care about what they think.
Provide Employees With Perks
Employees appreciate some perks more than others. Health benefits, 401Ks, and life insurance are important, but so are other ideas. There are a lot of other perks that will make life easier for your employees that include:
• Paid childcare
• An onsite gym that’s free to use
• Pet-friendly workplace
• Extended maternity and paternity leave
• Grocery store discounts
Ask your employees what kinds of perks would make life easier for them. Chances are, they will dissuade you from in-office ping pong tables and instead offer advice for more practical perks, like the ability to work remotely.
It’s important to provide your employees with a safe and happy workplace, but it’s often the stresses outside of work that have the biggest impact on productivity. Show your employees you care about them outside of work, as well as during work hours, by supporting them with these tips after they leave the office.