Richard Branson once said: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.” It may sound obvious but to keep staff in position, and to achieve the most from them, it’s important to keep them happy.

Of course, keeping staff motivated and fulfilled can be difficult – but there are lots of benefits and incentives employers can use to help keep them as happy as Larry.

It’s time for a holiday

For staff to be happy at work, and for them to reach their full potential, it’s important to make sure all members of the team take time off to recharge their batteries.

Holidays can be a great incentive for staff to reach their targets. As part of your rewards programme you could even consider giving your highest performers incremental holiday days. Why not check out our blog on how encouraging staff to take holidays can help to boost their creativity.

Duvet days

Originally an American phenomenon, duvet days are growing in popularity in the UK. Duvet days allow workers to take time off work with little or no warning which ultimately makes the practice of “throwing a sickie” redundant.

Some organisations grant staff around four duvet days within their holiday allowance which can be used for any reason from seeing friends to nursing a hangover. This flexibility means staff don’t have to deceive employers and can be open and honest without facing ramifications.

Dress to express

The days of implementing a restrictive and formal dress code where staff are condemned to a sea of black, grey and navy blue are over. Peoples’ personality and individuality are a key component in any business, so why not let that shine through in what your teams can wear?

Of course, there must be exceptions, for instance t-shirts with offensive image or slogans should not be tolerated. To achieve the best results, outline your uniform/dress code guidelines and allow discussions to flow around it.

If you would like to keep your dress code more formal day-to-day, you could try introducing dress down Fridays instead.

Always say 'thank you'

There is the old adage that “good manners cost nothing”, and the impact praise has on colleagues can often be more pronounced than with friends or family. We all know someone who has been upset at work, stating “they can’t speak to me like that”, so it’s important that people at all levels are polite to one another and treat each other with respect.

A polite environment, where people are applauded for their successes, encourages team members to work together, ultimately improving productivity and business success. To get the best results from staff, employers can take time out to acknowledge a job done well, and praise their teams throughout the course of a project.

Recognise mental health

There is growing concern in the UK around mental health with around 40% of employees taking time off work as a result of mental health issues.1 By taking an interest in staff wellbeing, and offering support, employers can help staff feel motivated and engaged, leading to greater productivity and better results.

A good way to support employees’ mental health is by providing access to an Employee Assistance Programme, which provides workers with confidential support, assistance and counselling when required, as well as helping businesses to meet duty of care requirements.

Other financial incentives

Pay increases and bonuses are not always an affordable option to reward staff, so why not consider an employer paid cash plan? It’s a benefit which supports employees with the financial cost of their health care. It can not only prove attractive to current and potential staff, but can also help to safeguard their long-term health, and have a positive impact on your business.

For a fraction of the cost of private medical insurance, firms can give their staff the ability to claim tax-free cash back on both NHS and private health care costs. This includes eye tests, glasses and contact lenses, dental check-ups and treatment, physiotherapy, and much more.

Giving employees the ability to access treatment affordably can help safeguard their wellbeing, maintain their productivity and sends a positive message to other staff and prospective employees, making the organisation a more attractive place to work.

To find out more about how a cash plan from Sovereign Health Care can help to keep your staff happy visit www.sovereignhealthcare.co.uk/business

1 Mind.org https://www.mind.org.uk/workplace/workplace-wellbeing-index/index-201617-findings/

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