Employee appreciation efforts typically focus on rewards and recognition for what happens in the workplace — a well-done project, a stand-out sales month or a team luncheon.
But a comprehensive employee appreciation program should also consider what happens outside the workplace.
This is especially important during the school year, when parents and others often have demanding obligations related to childcare, after-school activities, college tours and more.
Be mindful of the obligations your employees have outside work during the school year. Valuing employee time both at and outside of work is a great step toward building employee engagement and fostering feelings of appreciation.
Read on to find out why showing appreciation during the school year helps parents and non-parents alike and fosters a workplace culture committed to productivity, respect and gratitude.
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Parents appreciate flex hours so they can keep their commitment to work while also fulfilling school-related obligations such as parent-teacher conferences, curriculum nights and college parent-orientation weekends.
Be sensitive in particular to second- and third-shift workers, who are up against even bigger scheduling challenges when it comes to such responsibilities.
Flex hours benefit everyone, not just parents. Employees without children will also appreciate some flexibility in juggling personal and professional obligations.
Keep all employees in mind when developing flex-time policies. Flex hours can be a point of contention if not handled correctly, as CNBC reporter Allison Linn found last year for her story “Office Smackdown: Parents vs. Childless Workers.”
Ellen Ernst Kossek, a professor at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management, told Linn her research has shown that businesses that promote a culture of flexibility have a higher worker commitment and lower turnover, not to mention workers who are better off.
“We see links to health and well-being, regardless of whether you have kids or not,” Kossek said.
Other benefits of flex-time include decreased absenteeism, better productivity and happier employees, according to organizational psychologist Dr. David G. Javitch, writing for Entrepreneur.
Maybe your employees want to further their education. Consider offering benefits such as low-interest rate education loans or merit- or need-based scholarships to support their goals.
Employees who participate in education benefits through work are more likely to stay with the company five years or longer, according to a study discussed in the HR World article, “The Pros and Cons of Providing Employee Continuing Education.”
While education does make an employee more marketable to the competition, education benefits increase employee loyalty and “show that a company truly values its employees and their future,” HR World’s David Hakala writes.
Investing in wellness programming is a vital to supporting your employees.
Parents and others caring for children during the school year will appreciate opportunities to be active, as well as classes in healthy school lunch-making and stress reduction. For many parents, a workplace exercise class could be the only chance all day for “me time” or self-care.
Forbes contributor Zeynep Ilgaz advises in her article “Why Companies Should Focus on Working Parents, Not Working Moms”: “Provide a comprehensive health plan and corporate gym membership, hold classes on fitness or stress reduction and organize health days with free flu shots, vaccinations and preventive exams.”
Healthy habits build a healthy work-life balance. Family-supporting work policies keeps employees “productive and focused on giving their best effort while they’re at work,” Ilgaz writes.
Share gifts that are family-inclusive, such as a gThankYou! Turkey or Ham Gift Certificate.
Employees will appreciate being able to enjoy a company gift together with family. gThankYou! gift certificates are also convenient, versatile and practical — all qualities highly valued by busy parents juggling school-year responsibilities with work commitments.
Need more employee appreciation and engagement ideas? Click below to download our FREE eBook, “The Top 20 Employee Engagement Blogs You Should Be Reading”. This one-of-a-kind guide connects you to top employee engagement thought leaders to help you take engagement to the next level in your workplace!
About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-484-1658.
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