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Questions for employees (or employers)

Questions for employees (or employers)

Old Sep 20th 2012, 1:19 pm
  #1  
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Default Questions for employees (or employers)

I'm writing an article on employee benefits and would love some feedback on what you appreciate the most. I'm trying to focus on advice for employers on what they could do to make their staff happier without it costing them a great deal.

The most valued employee benefit in this part of the world is medical cover and there are ways of employers providing this at negligible cost (you'll have to read the piece in due course to find out more!) so that's taken as read. Benefits such as housing and school fees are costly so I'm not looking at -them.

How would the following appeal to you?

-Life assurance provided and paid for by your employer (death in service benefits)
-The ability to swap additional hours of work for days off.
-The option to take a certain amount of additional leave during the year, as a 'salary swap', so essentially unpaid leave.
-Your employer arranging for someone from the bank (if you use the same one as them) to come into the office to sort out problems (assuming this doesn't already happen).
-Your employer arranging seminars at your office on topics like wills or financial planning (obv not from the charlatans!)
- Discounts on say, visits to specific dentist.
- Arranging collection and delivery of dry cleaning.

Any other suggestions that would appeal would be welcome (preferably sensible ones) or any comments (preferably constructive). It's been a long time since I've been an employee...

Many thanks
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Old Sep 20th 2012, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

Originally Posted by Meow View Post
I'm writing an article on employee benefits and would love some feedback on what you appreciate the most. I'm trying to focus on advice for employers on what they could do to make their staff happier without it costing them a great deal.

The most valued employee benefit in this part of the world is medical cover and there are ways of employers providing this at negligible cost (you'll have to read the piece in due course to find out more!) so that's taken as read. Benefits such as housing and school fees are costly so I'm not looking at -them.

How would the following appeal to you?

-Life assurance provided and paid for by your employer (death in service benefits)
-The ability to swap additional hours of work for days off.
-The option to take a certain amount of additional leave during the year, as a 'salary swap', so essentially unpaid leave.
-Your employer arranging for someone from the bank (if you use the same one as them) to come into the office to sort out problems (assuming this doesn't already happen).
-Your employer arranging seminars at your office on topics like wills or financial planning (obv not from the charlatans!)
- Discounts on say, visits to specific dentist.
- Arranging collection and delivery of dry cleaning.

Any other suggestions that would appeal would be welcome (preferably sensible ones) or any comments (preferably constructive). It's been a long time since I've been an employee...

Many thanks
I know it's not as easy here (because not everyone drinks), but I honestly think the summer sizzlers and Christmas parties the company I used to work for in the UK were a great way of motivating people.
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Old Sep 20th 2012, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

Big business now is corporate wellness programmes, either installing a gym or having a fitness facility for them to use and a trainer to build individual fitness and health programmes and wellness seminars
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Old Sep 20th 2012, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

I've worked in the Middle East for 14 years and never had medical cover, so its hardly the most important in my view. Maybe if I was always sick, it would be different. Not sure what is my top priority. A pleasant working environment probably helps.
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Old Sep 20th 2012, 4:16 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

Originally Posted by Meow View Post
I'm writing an article on employee benefits and would love some feedback on what you appreciate the most. I'm trying to focus on advice for employers on what they could do to make their staff happier without it costing them a great deal.

The most valued employee benefit in this part of the world is medical cover and there are ways of employers providing this at negligible cost (you'll have to read the piece in due course to find out more!) so that's taken as read. Benefits such as housing and school fees are costly so I'm not looking at -them.

How would the following appeal to you?

-Life assurance provided and paid for by your employer (death in service benefits)
-The ability to swap additional hours of work for days off.
-The option to take a certain amount of additional leave during the year, as a 'salary swap', so essentially unpaid leave.
-Your employer arranging for someone from the bank (if you use the same one as them) to come into the office to sort out problems (assuming this doesn't already happen).
-Your employer arranging seminars at your office on topics like wills or financial planning (obv not from the charlatans!)
- Discounts on say, visits to specific dentist.
- Arranging collection and delivery of dry cleaning.

Any other suggestions that would appeal would be welcome (preferably sensible ones) or any comments (preferably constructive). It's been a long time since I've been an employee...

Many thanks
they all sound good, we get absolutely nothing bar a flight home each year.

We have to fight for everything all the time, no medical insurance, have to fight to get hours back if we work weekends, pay is late quite a bit etc etc
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Old Sep 20th 2012, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

-Life assurance provided and paid for by your employer (death in service benefits)
I have this, and it is very much appreciated. My spouse gets a lump sum and an immediate "pension" for life, and my kids get a "pension" until they are 18, which is worth about 7k GBP per year. Whilst it's not a life changing amount, nor anywhere near my salary, at least my family have immediate & applicable cover. My biggest assurance though is that my spouse has a professional career and would not financially be up the shitter if I died.
-The ability to swap additional hours of work for days off.
Not so bothered. I get 34 working days per year, plus all the public holidays; time off in lieu for weekends worked, or public holidays worked; plus "family" time if I need to go to dentist/doctor/kids school event etc
-The option to take a certain amount of additional leave during the year, as a 'salary swap', so essentially unpaid leave.
Again, see above
-Your employer arranging for someone from the bank (if you use the same one as them) to come into the office to sort out problems (assuming this doesn't already happen).
Lol - the queue would be so long it wouldnt be worthwhile!
-Your employer arranging seminars at your office on topics like wills or financial planning (obv not from the charlatans!)
so so - wills specific to the region would be useful, but most folks here are long term expats and pretty clued up about these sort of things
- Discounts on say, visits to specific dentist.
Not bothered - peanuts
- Arranging collection and delivery of dry cleaning.
Not bothered - don't have that much that requires dry cleaning, and that which does can be done through the booth that is next to the supermarket

An on-site segregated gym would be great - the "mixed" ones are horrendous if you're female.
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Old Sep 20th 2012, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

-The ability to swap additional hours of work for days off.
-The option to take a certain amount of additional leave during the year, as a 'salary swap', so essentially unpaid leave.


The above gets my vote.
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Old Sep 20th 2012, 8:39 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

Originally Posted by Meow View Post
Benefits such as housing and school fees are costly so I'm not looking at -them
And yet, they're the two things that would do the most to make employees happiest.

I honestly don't think that most of the things you list would go all that far towards improving employees' happiness. They're mostly pretty "meh" - just tinkering round the edges, and staff aren't stupid, they know when companies are doing things on the cheap. We're seeing this sort of thing in my company at the moment as they try and improve their standing in the "Great Place To Work" survey thing that happens every year, when what people really want is not wills seminars or bank employees coming in, it's fully-paid housing and school fees.

Last edited by Eeyore; Sep 20th 2012 at 8:41 pm.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 4:23 am
  #9  
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

Originally Posted by Meow View Post
I'm writing an article on employee benefits and would love some feedback on what you appreciate the most. I'm trying to focus on advice for employers on what they could do to make their staff happier without it costing them a great deal.

The most valued employee benefit in this part of the world is medical cover and there are ways of employers providing this at negligible cost (you'll have to read the piece in due course to find out more!) so that's taken as read. Benefits such as housing and school fees are costly so I'm not looking at -them.

How would the following appeal to you?

-Life assurance provided and paid for by your employer (death in service benefits)
-The ability to swap additional hours of work for days off.
-The option to take a certain amount of additional leave during the year, as a 'salary swap', so essentially unpaid leave.
-Your employer arranging for someone from the bank (if you use the same one as them) to come into the office to sort out problems (assuming this doesn't already happen).
-Your employer arranging seminars at your office on topics like wills or financial planning (obv not from the charlatans!)
- Discounts on say, visits to specific dentist.
- Arranging collection and delivery of dry cleaning.

Any other suggestions that would appeal would be welcome (preferably sensible ones) or any comments (preferably constructive). It's been a long time since I've been an employee...

Many thanks
My employer pretty much does all of this and more. We also have (roughly) quarterly offsite team meetings / building things where we do some sort of training followed by an activity (speed boats, paintbull, etc.).

None of it is appreciated or motivates people.

Personally, I think what people want is flexibility, a clear and transparent career process/ path and the ability to work freely without politics.

As I travel so much, my employer is pretty OK if I don't show up in the office and work from home, turn up late or leave early... I value that benefit more than some corny benefit of a man coming in to sell me a credit card, collect my washing or getting a discount at the Apple Store. Life assurance or access to a gym is never going to make anyone happy...

Days off in lieu create a culture of counting hours etc. which is all wrong - work should be about output not input. Unpaid leave is a pointless benefit for me (and most) as I rarely take my full year allowance anyway - it would be nice if I didn't lose it and got it back as cash though.

For me, I just want everything to work as expected: my visas processed on time, my pay processed on time (paid every 2 weeks so that's ok!), expenses and travel approved on a timely basis, and my boss (and my team) to be available 24/7 when I call and decent office support staff that will actually look at their blackberry outside of office hours for when I'm travelling.

Oh, and what I really want is an office dog and table football.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 4:35 am
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

we want an office dog or cat too! I've asked a few times- answer is always no :-(

You're so right Millhouse- you could run off a dream list but actually its about things running and working as they should, being given the support from HR you need.

Also I hate working in a nanny state environment.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 11:58 am
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

Originally Posted by kittycat1 View Post
we want an office dog or cat too! I've asked a few times- answer is always no :-(
Hardly surprising as there are those who are not particularly enamoured with animals.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

Originally Posted by Eeyore View Post
And yet, they're the two things that would do the most to make employees happiest.

I honestly don't think that most of the things you list would go all that far towards improving employees' happiness. They're mostly pretty "meh" - just tinkering round the edges, and staff aren't stupid, they know when companies are doing things on the cheap. We're seeing this sort of thing in my company at the moment as they try and improve their standing in the "Great Place To Work" survey thing that happens every year, when what people really want is not wills seminars or bank employees coming in, it's fully-paid housing and school fees.
You don't change do you?


Many people do appreciate the extras and some companies simply cannot afford to pay out tens of thousands in extras for their employees. Times are tough for most people. At some realise that a good environment and caring about their staff is appreciated. For many work is not just about money. Sadly for some folk, all they think about is that. As I explained the point of the article is to try and offer extras that all will appreciate without it costing anyone too much. You may not think so but people really do need wills. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous, especially it they have children.

Last edited by Meow; Sep 21st 2012 at 12:13 pm.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 12:08 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

Originally Posted by Spugsy View Post
they all sound good, we get absolutely nothing bar a flight home each year.

We have to fight for everything all the time, no medical insurance, have to fight to get hours back if we work weekends, pay is late quite a bit etc etc
You work for a git.


Employers are daft if they think all these other bits don't matter, especially if they can provide extras for negligible cost.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 12:17 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

Originally Posted by mentalist View Post
I've worked in the Middle East for 14 years and never had medical cover, so its hardly the most important in my view. Maybe if I was always sick, it would be different. Not sure what is my top priority. A pleasant working environment probably helps.
For your sake and your family's I really hope you don't get seriously ill, are involved in an accident, or need an operation.


It is important, but like most insurances you hope it will be a waste of money.
One decent claim could make it the best money you have ever spent.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 12:22 pm
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Default Re: Questions for employees (or employers)

Thanks for the responses, especially for those who read my original post and understood what I was asking. Seems that those highest up the food chain (or those solely focused on money) are the least interested in extras.

Fact is that many employers, especially the smaller ones, simply cannot afford to offer fancy benefit packages, but from my research elsewhere it seems that an employers who listens and tries to make their employees' lives easier in various ways is appreciated.

The fitness/gym suggestions are interesting as I hadn't considered those, which perhaps demonstrates my own priorities!

Any other thoughts welcome. Thanks
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