Consider these easy ways to help retain employees by boosting morale on Fridays.
Here's what you need to know:
- Perks help bring desirable employees into the company and retain them
- Consider eliminating Friday afternoon meetings and offering free lunches and snacks
- Host Friday fun activities or give employees a full or half-day off
- Consider offering Friday as an optional mental health day or give employees the option to work from home
Employees live for Fridays. It signals the end of the workweek, and many companies have begun to realize that offering perks for employees on Fridays makes for a happier, more productive workforce.
Perks are excellent side benefits that help bring desirable employees into the company and keep them coming to work daily. These perks are offered in addition to traditional benefits packages.
Employees no longer view salary as the main reason to take or keep a job. While salary is a huge draw for some, more employees weigh benefits packages and perks in the decision to take a job offer.
Something as simple as free snacks can tip the scales in a company’s favor with a potential employee. Continue reading to discover some easy ways to offer special perks for employees on Fridays.
Eliminate Friday afternoon meetings
When Friday arrives, employees want nothing more than to wind down and turn their attention to the weekend and time spent relaxing. Holding a meeting on Friday afternoon at 4:30 when the workday ends at 5:00 sends the workforce into the weekend on a sour note. Limiting meetings to Monday through Thursday allows employees to plan a catch-up day or even a vacation day for Friday.
Productive work doesn’t always happen in late afternoon meetings, especially on Fridays. After lunch, employees begin to turn their thoughts toward going home, so they see an afternoon meeting as a nuisance rather than a time to accomplish crucial work.
Offer free lunches and snacks on Fridays
Food is a powerful motivator. Many employees are tired of brown-bag lunches or the typical fast-food fare by the time Friday rolls around.
Companies can boost morale and productivity by providing lunch for their employees. Whether it’s a food truck with the company picking up the tab or a fully catered meal, employees often feel appreciated when the company buys lunch.
Employees often feel appreciated when the company buys lunch.
Many employees enjoy a mid-afternoon pick-me-up to help them finish the day on a productive note. Employees also appreciate a basket of snacks placed in the company break room. The simple gesture of eliminating the need for vending machine money gives employees the sense that they are valued.
Host Friday fun days with company-wide activities
Company-wide fun activities boost morale and build cooperation among team members. Depending on the company’s size, these activities can be small-scale, like a company cook-out, or more significant, like a softball tournament among the departments. Employees who anticipate fun activities often prove to be more productive in preparation for recreational time.
Here are a few ideas for activities to incorporate into Friday fun days.
- A ropes course
- A picnic
- A movie
- Board games
- Video game tournaments
- A chili cook-off
Ideas for fun day activities abound, and this list is not all-inclusive. Employees likely have suggestions for fun activities they’d like to try.
A strategically placed suggestion box allows employees to voice their opinions regarding entertaining activities. Choosing employee suggestions to incorporate into company activities boosts morale and allows the employees to learn something about one another, promoting camaraderie.
Offer employees paid time off with Summer Fridays
During the summer, employees who have children enjoy spending as much time as possible with them. Those who don’t have children enjoy time spent with friends or family or enjoy the opportunity to follow the road to adventure. Companies that recognize the need for family time have implemented Summer Friday programs.
Typically, Summer Friday programs give employees paid time off on Fridays between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Some companies allot half-day paid time off, and others allot full days off. Another option is allowing employees to work longer hours Monday through Thursday in exchange for Friday off.
Regardless of the policy definition, these programs have a simple goal. Employees receive extra time off beyond their vacation, sick, and personal leave allotted in their benefits package. Summer hours are a nice seasonal perk, and employees can use them to enjoy time with family or friends without using weeks of vacation or personal time.
Consider implementing half-day Fridays every week
How often do employees simply leave at lunch on Friday to get a jump-start on their weekend? If this happens a great deal within the company, a perk to consider is half-day Fridays. A half-day every week has various benefits.
Having pre-scheduled half-days off gives employees the flexibility to schedule appointments on their afternoon or morning off, so they don’t miss unnecessary working hours.
Consider a year-round 4-day workweek for employees
Many companies are exploring the option of a year-round 4-day workweek. Consider what things actually get handled on Friday during a traditional 5-day week. Can those things be handled Monday through Thursday? If so, a 4-day workweek year-round may benefit the company and the employees.
The logistics of planning a week that benefits all parties involved, from employer to customer, while keeping employees happy takes some creative effort and planning, but companies can do it. Four-day workweeks could present a challenge to those companies that routinely work with customers.
A 4-day workweek year-round may benefit the company and the employees.
Other obstacles to the 4-day workweek include the longevity of the model. Employers expect temporary changes, while employees expect permanent ones, which employers should consider before offering the perk.
Offer workers Friday as an optional mental health day
Mental health issues cause many employees to struggle with productivity. When employees struggle with daily tasks, they may need a free mental health day to regroup. Offering Fridays as an optional workday allows them to take time without bringing attention to their struggles.
The benefits of offering mental health days include more productivity in the long run. An employee who takes a mental health day typically returns to work feeling rejuvenated and more confident. Knowing they can take a day for mental health keeps them at the workplace more often than using sick days when they simply need a break.
Mental health days particularly benefit those who have stressful positions. Those in stressful positions often feel overworked and overwhelmed. Without the ability to express these feelings or take a break from work, some employees leave the job altogether. For employers, offering mental health days facilitates employee retention by creating an atmosphere of support and caring.
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Offer a remote work option with work from home Fridays
During the pandemic, those who adapted to a new work from home business model survived, while those who had no such options struggled to stay afloat. Many employees not only adjusted to the new work-from-home model, but they thrived and enjoyed the new way to work. As businesses transition back to in-person work at the office, employees are balking at returning to the more impersonal atmosphere of a corporate office.
One solution for the struggle between the desire to open offices up to employee return and employee desire to remain remote is offering a compromise. Employers could start by providing work from home Fridays. Employees who prefer to work remotely would do so on Friday while coming into the office the other days of the week.
These work from home Fridays can be combined with half-day Fridays to give employees more incentive to be productive while completing remote work. After all, 1 of the fears is that remote workers will not be as effective as they should.
The takeaway: perks help prevent employee turnover
Employees have changed their priorities. Salary is no longer the be-all and end-all of a job offer. Instead, employees weigh the perks and benefits packages before accepting or declining a job offer. Employers willing to meet them with perks like Summer Fridays or mental health days tend to have less employee turnover than those who maintain the status quo of a traditional workplace.