Ah, 2019. You were a blessing, you were a curse, and while at times you weren’t my favorite, you were mostly really cool.

When I think back to all we’ve done this year at Zestful, there’s no way I can pin down one favorite thing. Whether we’re talking about our new Slack integration or raising $5M, there’s one thing I know for sure: we’re on a fun ride, and we’re so grateful to our users for coming along.

Over the last six months, we’ve really amped up our blog content, which makes it even harder for me to choose a favorite HR blog of 2019, so I chose 5. 🙃

So without further ado…

#5: What is “toxic positivity” and how to avoid it in the workplace

Unhappiness is detrimental to workplace efficiency.

Unfortunately, too many business gurus put that lesson in their books and rolled out the idea that positivity—in the face of all factors, all setbacks, and all other emotions—was the only way forward. In doing so, they started to choke out happiness in the workplace with toxic positivity.

#4: Employer branding: what it is and how to document it

Interestingly enough, the concept of employer branding is not new. The phrase emerged in the 1990s and, despite a recent uptick in discourse about employer branding, has been used in corporate-speak for over 25 years. While it’s largely unknown why terms and trends resurface and consume our feeds, employer branding is back with a flourish. 

It’s easy to postulate why employer branding would re-enter our collective conscience. Ours is an era of HR rebirth and a complete transformation of how we view business and work. I recently did a deep-dive on emerging HR trends which corroborates the renewed importance of the employer brand.

#3: Walk the walk: How the Zestful team does employee benefits

One could also argue that it’s more important now than ever before for companies to stand out. With younger generations joining the workforce, unemployment at record lows, and turnover at an all-time high, companies are scrambling to put together perk and benefits packages that will attract, retain, and engage a diverse and competitive talent pool.

Even as an employee perk company ourselves, we, too, are always looking for new and better ways to keep our employees happy.

#2: What are fringe benefits? A guide to perk program tax deductions

When it comes to perks at work, things like unlimited snacks, concert tickets, or birthday celebrations are a great way to make your employees feel appreciated. But knowing which perks to treat as benefits deductions, and understanding the difference between how the IRS views work perks as taxable fringe benefits—and when you can just enjoy giving rewards tax-free—is an important distinction to make.

Please note that we aren’t tax experts, and we can’t tell you how to do your taxes, (sorry), but what we can do is provide a comprehensive guide to benefits deductions.

With that said, here’s what we know.

#1: The state of perks in 2019

We’re halfway through the last month of the decade. 😳

Once you recover from that factoid (it’s really NBD, it’s fine, we’re all fine!) you probably don’t need any more reminders that the year is coming to an end. After all, Mariah Carey’s holiday album playing in every establishment (eye roll), you’re constantly hit with Instagram ads you will inevitably fall for (but I do need another pair of boots), and you’re trying your best to get into the holiday spirit even though you don’t like the movie Elf (to be honest, I’m judging you, but to each their own).

When it comes to work, though, it really is cool to look back and reflect on all you’ve accomplished over the past year. If you’re anything like us, you’ve likely spent a lot of time trying to nail down the best office perks for your company—and for good reason. Simply put:

The importance of employee benefits is more crucial than ever.

And we know what you’re thinking: we’re biased. It crossed our minds, too.

Which is why we pulled the data to prove it.

Ready to learn even more? Keep the Zestful blog top-of-mind for the latest in HR, People Ops, and company culture tips & tricks in 2020 and beyond.

Author

Kate Marshall (she/her) is the Head of Content at Zestful. With a background in digital marketing, she uses her analytics and SEO chops to influence a well-rounded, backed-by-data content strategy. She believes in staying as human as possible—even at work—and strives to instill this in her team members. In her spare time, Kate can be found on her yoga mat, at brunch, or hanging out with her dog, Ellie.


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