ll archives: 3 Ways to Budget for Employee Happiness


Many business owners are acutely aware of their budget. Running a business can be a costly adventure– advertising, legal assistance, overhead costs, and employing workers are all costly and necessary parts of running a business. Another important and less tangible item to consider budgeting for is employee happiness. According to research, happier employees are more productive at work. Employers who realize this correlation and work to improve employee happiness can really benefit in the long run. Here are a few ways to consider budgeting for and investing in the happiness of your employees:

Work-Life Balance

The idea that an employee needs to arrive early, stay late and work on the weekends to move ahead in their career is an idea that is perpetuated by employers who recognize and celebrate that behavior. In reality, establishing a healthy work-life balance comes down to time budgeting and encouragement from leadership. Americans use 16.2 days of vacation time on average and many employees are too nervous to utilize this benefit for fear of being perceived as a lackluster employee. Budget for a fair amount of paid time off so your employees feel encouraged to take a break when they need one. Also consider establishing a flexible work schedule if your business offering can support it. A refreshed, happy employee is a productive, long-term employee.

Personal and Professional Development Opportunities

Think of your business network and contacts. Do you work with an investment company for your retirement benefits? Do you work with an accountant for your tax and payroll needs? Your business partners are also looking for ways to expand their client base, so ask if they would be interested in teaching personal finance seminars to your employees. Providing a venue for your employees to learn more about retirement options, investing and budgeting will show them that you have their best interests in mind.

For additional avenues for personal development, consider offering a tuition reimbursement program for employees interested in furthering their knowledge with certification programs, additional degrees, online learning courses, and industry conferences. Today’s workforce are some of the most indebted when it comes to education, shouldering nearly $1.3 trillion in student debt nationally. Beyond tuition reimbursement, some businesses are taking notice of this debt burden and offering student loan assistance and repayment options as part of their benefits package. Earnest, a student loan refinancing company, has an employer partnership program where they will partner with your company to help bring this benefit to your workforce. Earnest also leverages their own product and offers their employees an ultra-low interest rate to refinance their student loans after they’ve worked there for 3 months.

Health Services

Another budget consideration for employee happiness is to think about the physical health of your employees. Research local gyms to which you can provide discounted memberships or cover the full cost of a membership. Gym memberships can range anywhere from as little as $10 to over $300 a month, so, depending on where you live, employees may opt to not prioritize their physical health because of the high cost.

Maybe taking on the expense of gym memberships is too much for your business, but there are other options. Think of your personal network of business associates, friends and family members. Is there someone you know that could come in to your office and run a yoga class or teach interested employees about nutrition? Maybe offering a health-focused class once a month is more feasible for the business financially, but it still provides benefits to your workforce.

What are other ways your business budgets for employee happiness?

Photography: Kelley Raye

FinanceJamie WhartonComment