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During his tenure as mayor of New York City from 1978-1989, Ed Koch was commonly heard asking his constituents, “How am I doing?”

Koch was ahead of the curve in understanding that honest feedback from the residents of New York was a critical part of knowing how to best serve the city.

When applying that philosophy to the workplace, the same holds true. Asking for feedback from employees increases motivation, empowerment, and contentment in the workplace. Although they are intangible qualities, they are inherently beneficial to growing a successful business. Employees crave appreciation, work-life balance, honesty, and transparency, which may require intentionally creating a healthier culture at the workplace.

For instance, a benefit trends study by MetLife reveals that 69% of employees say that having a more comprehensive array of benefits would increase loyalty to their employer. Another statistic notes that 59% state that their employers provide benefits and programs to support and improve their well-being throughout the challenges of COVID. The study’s authors state that employees who feel supported by their employers report feeling more successful, valued, engaged, productive, and respected. If employees are unsupported, reports of those feelings drop significantly.

Unfortunately, many firms have not done a good job maintaining a cohesive workplace environment throughout the pandemic. Many employees report feeling “left behind” by bosses who did not provide adequate support during this time.

As we all move forward, successful companies must learn that attracting and retaining talent means providing benefits beyond the basics like health insurance and retirement plans.

A Positive Work Environment: Good for Employees, Good for Business

According to iSmart Recruit, a company with happy employees outperforms its competitors by 20%.  Making sure protocols and policies are in place to ensure a satisfied workforce is essential in today’s post-COVID era. Here are some ideas on how employers can go beyond basic benefits to create a positive work environment and enhance employee confidence and satisfaction as they return to the office:

  • Expanded health benefits
  • Gym or fitness memberships
  • Transit allowances or ridership cards for public transportation commuters
  • Pantry or micro marketplace services
  • Free daily fresh breakfasts and lunches
  • Roomy break rooms to avoid crowding and promote social distancing
  • A clean and sanitized dining area, common areas, and workspaces
  • After-work socials
  • Flextime opportunities to avoid or mitigate burnout
  • Educational opportunities
  • Thoughtful gifts to remote workers such as snack boxes or coffee gifts
  • Holiday celebrations or staff appreciation days
  • Reorganize workspaces to provide more space and privacy

Make Your Office Inviting and Safe

Want to draw remote workers back into the fold? “Make your office inviting and effective, with nice furniture, tables, and snacks and beverages, if possible,” says Tom Heisroth, senior vice president at Staples Advantage.

Judson Kleinman, CEO and President of Corporate Essentials states, “New times require new ways of thinking. It’s essential to create a safe space where your team can connect and thrive, and provide options for workers to feel appreciated.”

If you see low morale, a decrease in productivity, or an increase in attrition at your company, it may be time to add “benefits beyond the basics.” A well-designed, fully stocked breakroom can make all the difference. Contact Corporate Essentials to explore creative and healthy options to fuel your New York City or New Jersey team with a complimentary on-site or virtual break room audit.

Reimagine Your Break Room

Judson Kleinman

As the founder and CEO of Corporate Essentials, Judson set out with every intention of bringing a new meaning to the words "office culture". As leaders in the industry, his company constantly sets the bar by investing in, and improving their product offerings, technology, people and training. 20 years and 1500 clients later, Judson can proudly say that Corporate Essentials continues to positively fuel culture and allow over 150,000 employees to work happy.