Employee Benefits Program: Tip #8
Want healthier staff? Cash incentives work best
First, employers suggested … then they encouraged … then pleaded. Now, more U.S. employers are turning to the almighty dollar to get their employees to change their pound-packing, chain-smoking, sedentary ways.
Despite the sour economy, more employers are creating and expanding wellness programs. And they’re increasingly turning to financial rewards and penalties to increase participation.
Read 7 case studies of employee incentives and disincentives to encourage wellness in 12 Ways to Optimize Your Employee Benefits Program.
Employee Benefits Program: Tip #9
'Strategic praising': 6 steps to effective employee recognition
“The number-one reason managers don't give recognition is that they don't know how,” says Bob Nelson, author of 1001 Ways to Reward Employees.
That’s why HR professionals need to teach supervisors how to give employee recognition and provide them the tools to make it easier. Studies consistently show that “feeling appreciated” is a key reason employees stick around. And by making employee recognition a companywide effort, you remove a burden from you and make rewards more personal.
Get Nelson's 6 guidelines for effective praising in 12 Ways to Optimize Your Employee Benefits Program.
Employee Benefits Program: Tip #10
Office gift giving: From weird to wonderful employee gifts
Nearly eight out of 10 (79%) executives polled in a recent survey said some form of gift giving occurs in their offices during the holiday season. But it’s not all bottles of wine and Target gift cards out there.
When asked to name the most unusual or unique gifts exchanged in the office, responses ranged from a fully stocked 125-pound aquarium to personalized bobbleheads.
Execs were asked, “During the holiday season, which of the following types of gifts, if any, are typically given in your office?” Their responses:
- 51% Gifts from managers to staff members
- 51% Gifts from staff members to each other
- 43% Gifts from co-workers based on names dropped in a hat
- 39% Gifts from staff to their managers
- 19% None/no gifts given
Don’t let the IRS benefit from your employee awards program
Nothing takes the shine off an employee achievement award faster than having to pay taxes on its value. However, it’s entirely possible to design an employee recognition program that doesn’t cause tax liability for your employees—and is fully tax deductible for your organization.
Caution: You can’t use an awards program to disguise taxable compensation. For example, the IRS will probably look askance at employee awards that are handed out at the same time as annual salary reviews. Similarly, the program cannot be substituted for a cash bonus plan that previously existed.