Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Motivating Employees with Time Off + Incentives

At exaqueo, we strongly value the need to fully disconnect from work and recharge, so we provide a shared week off in both the Summer and Winter as a benefit for our team to enjoy. In the spirit of exaqueo’s upcoming Summer break, we’re sharing the latest news on motivating employees with time off and incentives. Enjoy!

1) We Gave Our Employees Fridays Off Paid and Now We Have an Amazing Team from Entrepreneur

“Taking Fridays off isn’t an extraordinarily new idea. Billionaires Carlos Slim and Larry Page have spoken publicly in support of shorter work weeks since 2014, but the idea has yet to catch on.

At many companies, in the San Francisco Bay area particularly, work perks are very entitlement-focused and thrown at employees like Frisbees -- team happy hours, free gym memberships, a fully stocked kitchen, logo-emblazed hoodies, an in-office ping-pong table. These perks were essentially non-existent a decade ago, but have now become so common that employees actually expect them, lessening their appreciation for them. We often hear company leaders soapbox about employee wellness and providing a work-life balance, but does throwing employees a free gym membership truly promote that?

A recent EY survey revealed that one-third of employees report that managing a work-life balance has become harder than ever. This leaves me to believe that today’s run-of-the-mill incentives do nothing to motivate employees. They simply create expectations (for what?) and waste company money. While several hyper-funded, successful companies go above and beyond to offer something unique -- vacation allowances, college tuition reimbursements and long-term paid parental leave -- only a select few actually give employees a true work-life balance; one that includes more time off.”

2) 3 Methods Science Recommends for Motivating Employees from FoxNews U.S. Entrepreneurship

“According to a 2013 Gallup study covering the US market, “70 percent of workers are not engaged in their jobs.” With this startling statistic in mind, many managers wish they could understand what triggers employee motivation, especially as many different sources revealed a positive correlation between motivation and performance.

Here’s what Duke University's Prof. Dan Ariely, a renowned thinker on behavioral economics and irrationality, can teach us about employee engagement and factors influencing motivation levels.”

3) 6 Ways To Motivate Your Employees To Be Creative from Inc

“Creativity happens in the intersection of expertise, creative thinking skills, and motivation. You cannot do anything about expertise and creative thinking skills, but here is what you can do to motivate your employees to be creative. And the best part? It costs nothing!

Creativity is more like curling than golf. You don't drive the ball, you make room for it to slightly change direction, and you have very little control over it. Even if it drives you crazy. Creative bosses don't try to force their employees to be creative. It doesn't work. They don't even try to give their employees 20% of their time to be creative, or build an innovation lab for them, because those don't work either. Instead, creative bosses allow their employees to create naturally and individually. The keyword is allow.”

4) 3 Types of Workplace Incentives Your Employees Actually Want from Business News Daily

“Employee incentive programs like rewards or discounts may sound good in theory, but they're not always as beneficial as they seem. While these are positive ways to show appreciation for exceptional employees, some programs are difficult to use, or simply don't matter to workers.

If you want your staff to use your incentive programs, it's crucial to make sure your employees actually care about the rewards you're offering. Based on recent research, here are some tips for implementing three types of workplace incentives that employees are interested in."

5) Why Everyone Should Have Unlimited Vacation Days from The Huffington Post

“Since 2004, Netflix employees have taken as many vacation days as they’ve wanted. They have the freedom to decide when to show up for work, when to take time off, and how much time it will take them to get the job done. As far as I can tell, this hasn’t hurt Netflix one bit. Since instituting the policy, it’s grown its market cap to over $51 billion."

Kathleen O'Brien (@kathleen_eliz) is a Lead Consultant + Project Manager for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research, and recruiting strategy offerings.

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