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Flexible work schedules growing in popularity as motivational tools

Increasingly, companies are seeing the benefits of using non-cash rewards and flexible scheduling to recognize employees and provide additional motivation.

When it comes to employee rewards, there are a seemingly endless number of options. Increasingly, companies are seeing the benefits of using non-cash incentives and flexible scheduling to recognize employees and provide additional motivation.

Cash incentives quickly lose their appeal as employees typically use the funds to pay bills and cover other expenses. However, employee reward programs utilizing non-financial rewards gives workers something more personal and meaningful. These perks don't need to be merchandise to have an impact on employee satisfaction. The Associated Press reported that a growing number of companies are increasing the flexibility of their paid time off programs.

The source cited a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management that states 9 percent of organizations allow workers to cash out unused vacation time, with 5 percent allowing staff members to purchase additional time off through payroll deductions. The report suggests a growing trend among businesses to help employees balance their work and personal lives.

A separate study by Robert Half Legal found that flexible work hours were named among the top incentives for retaining legal professionals. Sixty-nine percent of respondents stated they wanted more freedom with their schedules. The ability to receive paid time off in exchange for hard work can boost employee satisfaction without increasing costs to businesses. In most cases, workers still get the same amount of time off, but the hours can be used, traded or sold back to companies depending on the needs of individuals.

Additional time off can also be an effective incentive when included in employee reward programs. Rather than paying for an additional vacation day, staff members can earn the time off with hard work. Other flexible scheduling perks, such as telecommuting options, can be added to programs based on employees' desires. This increases organizations' overall productivity and helps reduce stress among workers.

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