Posted by Accountemps on Monday, January 6, 2014 - 00:00 | Follow me
Do you know which New Year’s resolutions your accounting and finance team members have made for 2014? If they’re like many workers, their goals likely include staying healthy and building their professional skills. Second question: Do you want to help them make good on their resolutions?
It’s not as odd a question as you might think. By helping your staff members with their goals, you can — at the same time — boost the productivity of your team. And it may not be as hard as it sounds to kill these two birds with one stone.
Start by revisiting the employee perks you offer. There are a number of programs that can help your staff meet their diet, exercise and professional development goals for the New Year. These benefits will, in turn, pay dividends for your business by reducing employee absences, prompting higher energy levels and augmenting your team’s skills and knowledge.
I like to think of these as employee perks that work — employee benefits that are mutually beneficial. Human resources (HR) managers polled in a new survey by Accountemps pointed to a number of employee perks their companies either now offer or have plans to offer in the next 12 months. Topping their lists were subsidized training or education, flexible work hours or telecommuting options, formal or informal mentoring programs, and subsidized gym memberships, snacks and lunches. Let’s take a closer look:
Subsidized training or education — Consider covering the costs for interested employees to attend industry-related conferences and seminars. Forty-five percent of HR managers in the Accountemps survey said their company is now offering (or will offer in the next 12 months) this perk. Besides workshops run by training companies, accounting and finance associations sponsor programs that are specific to your staff’s needs since these organizations are well aware of the issues most important to their members and tailor their programs accordingly.
Flexible work hours or telecommuting options — Improving their work/life balance is the resolution I hear colleagues talk about most often. One of the most popular ways to help employees improve theirs is allowing alternate work arrangements such as flexible hours or telecommuting. Thirty-five percent of HR managers in the Accountemps survey said their company is now offering (or will offer in the next 12 months) one or both of these. If you give your team control over their work schedules, they’ll be better able to deal with pressures on the home front and, as a result, become more focused and productive on the job.
Formal or informal mentoring programs — You can give a late Christmas present to your team members whose resolutions include developing their skills: connecting them with mentors. Thirty-three percent of HR managers in the Accountemps survey said their company is now offering (or will offer in the next 12 months) this perk. Well-chosen mentors can help staff concentrate on gaining know-how that benefits your business the most. The best companies use mentoring to build attributes that are effective not only today but also help employees pursue a career path that is meaningful to them.
Subsidized gym memberships, snacks and lunches — A perennial New Year’s resolution is getting physically fit. Yep, easier said than done, I know. But you can ease your team along the path by helping them pay for gym memberships and also offering healthy snacks and (if you have a company cafeteria) lunches. Twenty-four and 19 percent of HR managers, respectively, in the Accountemps survey said their company is now offering (or will offer in the next 12 months) subsidized meals and gym memberships.
Sure, money talks, but the power of offering the perks workers love is something you should never underestimate. Now that companies increasingly require specialized talent that’s getting harder and harder to find, creative benefits that align with your team’s goals could very well be the carrot that allows you to attract them — and keep them.
Related post: 6 Ways to Keep Your Career New Year's Resolutions