These suggestions won’t put more money in your pocket, but they may put more pep in your step at work. At least that’s the thinking of the dean of a Virginia business school.
For those companies that can’t afford raises, K. Habib Khan, acting deal of the School of Business at Stratford University in Falls Church, Va., suggests the following perks to maintain staff morale during tight financial times. Companies should:
1. Give employees the ability to have a flexible schedule. “Many people would appreciate being able to work four 10-hour days per week, or working one day per week at home,” he said.
2. Allow a casual dress code, even if it is just one day per week.
3. Provide a catered lunch or pizza party once a month.
4. Celebrate each employee’s birthday with a cake and gift card.
5. Once a month have everyone’s car cleaned on-site by a mobile car-wash company.
6. Periodically, bring in a massage therapist to provide everyone with a complimentary chair massage.
7. Keep stashes of things to give away occasionally to those going beyond the call of duty. These extras could include gift cards, concert tickets or health-club memberships.
8. Set up a relaxation or recreation room where employees can de-stress or have some fun. Companies may want to include a TV, pool table, or an air hockey game.
9. Employers should offer promotable employees a title change, even if the companies can’t afford to pay the workers more. “They appreciate being able to have a new title, which will provide them additional benefits for years to come,” Khan said.
“Not giving out raises can have a real negative impact on employee morale and motivation. You may even lose some talented individuals,” he said. “But if you still take the time to show that you appreciate them during this rough economic time, they will be more likely to hang in there and remain dedicated and loyal employees.”
These suggestions could go over like a thud with some workers. Afterall corporate profits are at historic highs, while the pace of employee wage growth is at record lows because of salary cuts and freezes.
On Long Island, wages averaged $50,833 in 2009, up just 1.1 percent from 2008, according to state Labor Department data.
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