According to a Lexicon‘s definition, employee welfare entails everything from services, facilities and benefits that are provided or done by an employer for the advantage or comfort of an employee. It is undertaken in order to motivate employees and raise the productivity levels. While usually employee welfare is perceived as a monetary incentive, it does not necessarily have to be in such form. However, there is a distinction between employee welfare required by the law and employee welfare established voluntarily by the management. The following 5 examples will refer to the latter one, the non-statutory welfare benefits, which can though be subsidized by the State, according to the geographical position of the company. The aim of a welfare program is always to make the employees feel cared for by their management and thus become more fulfilled, satisfied and productive.
Caring for the employees’ families shows a very particular attention. There are many forms of getting involved in the family life of an employee as a company. The most common is probably, for big companies, to offer childcare on site. But it can also be a yearly Kids Day, some free hours on Father’s Day and on Mother’s Day, an Open Day for family and friends to visit the company, additional or preferential holidays during school holidays. Convincing the employees’ families that their company cares might help discussing work issues at home, in favor of the employer.
Further education on the workplace can sometimes be an essential, but very often it is an optional, which is to consider a privilege for the staff. The choice has to be wide, because if it is restricted, it is likely to be perceived as a poor and boring initiative. The State or the Region very often welcomes further education programs. That is why the company can usually apply for grants or tax benefits. However, there exists also a very cheap way to spread knowledge: to implement a knowledge sharing system. A simple communication platform, a mentorship program, an internal academy: there are ways on every scale to help transferring current knowledge of experienced employees to learning employees.
Providing the employees with an additional Health Insurance is very common in France. It is a benefit that most citizen really appreciate and value. Another health assistance benefit is to offer preventive medical checkups or medical visits when returning back from an illness. Also, a free visit to a work psychologist when encountering risks of burnout and other mental health dangers, is welcome when caring for the employee’s health.
It can’t be hidden that employees who benefit of discounted prices in cinemas, gyms, supermarkets, shops, bars, restaurants or even while reserving their holidays, are often envied by employees of a regular company, which does not offer such thing. Discounted prices for employees definitely constitute a competitive advantage.
Sports connect people. The office colleagues might not share the same sport, but the employee of the office next door could. Besides the healthy aspect, organizing a football game, a ski race or even one’s own Office Olympics will improve team building beyond the classical working teams. Furthermore, it enables new friendships. To round it up, attractive prizes enhance the presence of the employer behind the action.
These 6 examples of welfare benefits are by far not all you can do! Each country usually has its own benefit habits, but going the extra mile and adding some more will help creating a positively perceived Employer Brand and increase the employee’s loyalty. So welfare is not only dictated by the law, but it is each company’s own choice of offering a complete, attractive package to their beloved staff members.