10 job perks to boost employee satisfaction in small businesses

Two colleagues laughing in a company meeting

It’s great seeing all the employee perks Google and Netflix offer, but small businesses need to get creative with theirs

Employee perks can sometimes be forgotten in small businesses. But as the owner it’s your job to show your co-workers that you care.

We know that you value your employees. But how can you take the time to show appreciation when you’re busy trying to hold down the fort? Financial uncertainty can be a burden for anyone to carry, but dedicating some time to making a creative employee perks programme will ensure that your co-workers stay dedicated to fighting for your business.

It’s amazing to read about the perks that Netflix, Google and other international businesses offer. But what if you don’t have the money to pay for holidays and health insurance?

Employee perks for small businesses

1 – Flexible hours

For the ultimate work-life balance more companies across the board are allowing flexible hours. Employers are ignoring holidays and sick days to track project progress instead. As long as work gets done, they don’t care about time spent in the office.

This level of trust is something some small business owners might wince at, but it really inspires your employees to perform well. They will be able to log on whenever they work best – be that at midnight or 8am – to get their work done.

This perk allows people with additional responsibilities – like caring for children – the freedom to manage their own time. They might get to pay less for childcare as they can dedicate more hours to their little ones.

2 – Relaxed holiday time

On the subject of flexible hours, a relaxed approach to holiday time is also becoming more common.  Whether this includes co-workers getting their birthdays off or earning more vacation days as they stay at the company, this perk is guaranteed to boost workplace happiness.

3 – Pet allowances

Who doesn’t love a dog in the office? By allowing your co-workers to bring their pets to work you foster a more relaxed, positive company culture. Dogs automatically bring happiness wherever they go, just make sure the intern doesn’t bring their cat in on the same day…

10 creative job perks to boost employee satisfaction in small businesses

4 – Development opportunities

Always a winner, development opportunities foster a sense of accomplishment among all your employees. And by offering free training to your team, you also gain a more skilled workforce by default – it’s win/win!

5 – Food

The most obvious job perk is free food and drink. It’s a small thing, but free food can easily make anyone’s day. Whether you invest in a fancy coffee machine or a fruit bowl, your co-workers will gobble this perk right up.

If your team is working from home, consider sending them a gift basket full of goodies.

6 – Office parties

If you’re spending the holidays in the office, you might as well have a good time. Holding office Halloween, Christmas and New Year’s parties is a great way to get everyone smiling.

Whether you go all out with fancy dress, homemade decorations and themed food or keep it simple with an after-hours mixer, your team will love their office parties. This perk is great for fostering a strong team spirit, sense of belonging and fun in the workplace.

7 – Health benefits

Did you know that sitting down has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and death? Maybe investing in those office chairs wasn’t the way to go…

Although some offices advocate for treadmill desks and on-site gyms, there are ways to promote health without forking out a fortune. Companies that offer paid days out and discounted gym memberships still foster an image of caring for their employees.

Another way to look after your team is to offer health insurance. Covering dental and eye care bills can be a cheaper way to care for a small team.

10 creative job perks to boost employee satisfaction in small businesses

8 – Recognition

The ultimate budget perk? Just saying thank you.

This one is especially important for remote teams. Taking the time to say thank you is a great way to make people feel a sense of recognition. Applications like Bonusly are a cheap way to announce someone’s good work, but sending over a personalised note and small gift can do wonders, too.

9 – Positive employment schemes

Modern employment concerns like diversity and socioeconomics are in the minds of most workers. Taking part in a diversity scheme will give your co-workers a feeling of pride that hiring the same old white guy just doesn’t. When teams know they’re fighting the good fight, they work harder.

On a similar note, running paid internship schemes is another way to diversify your business – especially if it’s based in London. So many young people can’t pursue their dream careers because they can’t afford to take on an unpaid internship. By paying your youngsters London Living Wage and helping with their transport costs you open your business up to new ideas and people.

This might not be one of the standard fun employee perks that you’re used to seeing, but small businesses must advocate for diversity to make their current employees feel good.

10 – Understanding

All of these employee perks boil down to small businesses and their owners properly appreciating their teams. Consider putting yourself in your co-worker’s shoes – ask yourself: what are their worries and fears? What do they want out of this job?

Paying attention to the needs of your team is essential for being a good leader.

Are you ready to expand your happy team? We’re ready to help. At DigitalGrads, we advocate for fair employment and great workplace culture in small businesses. Sign up to find your next talented co-worker today to put your new employee perks to the test!