The news on employee engagement and morale hasn’t exactly been cheery lately. Suzanne Lucas has some suggestions for steps you might take to make your people feel a little better.
Lucas, known to all as the Evil HR Lady, offered tips on wellness programs and perks on Inc.com. Here’s a sampling:
Give people their weekends back. Lucas cited a consulting firm that adopted a policy of no emails from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. weekdays — and a 48-hour ban on weekends.
Health food, even at 2 a.m. A hospital chain recognized that many of its employees rely on vending machines for their food, Lucas said. Rather than removing the unhealthy vending machines, the company installed self-service kiosks stocked with healthy food — even complete meals. The end result was weight loss and reduced healthcare costs for employees.
Appeal to their sense of competition. Lucas highlighted a manufacturing concern that implemented a fitness program that focuses on friendly competition. Employees can form teams or compete one-on-one in vendor-designed programs. At the one-year mark, the company had 68% of its employees participating.
Catered lunches. Food makes employees happy. And an occasional lunch could go a long way toward building camaraderie.
Recess. Lucas cited a company that, in addition to sponsoring things like running or walking clubs, offers an occasional, spontaneous outside recess break, as one of the things to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Dog friendly environment. Not for everybody, but if you’ve got an organization full of dog lovers, the opportunity to bring Fido to work is a big deal.
Yoga classes. This is something most small companies would love to have, Lucas says.
Volunteer day off. A vacation with a purpose, Lucas says. She described a company that implemented a program that allows employees to take a paid day to do some volunteer work in the community. Good for morale, good for the community and good for the company.
Nap room. By far our favorite of Lucas’ suggestions. And everyone recognizes the restorative and refreshment powers of a short snooze. Well, almost everyone.