Companies are always looking for ways to attract and retain top talent. In a Forbes article about the war on talent, the author discusses decreasing unemployment rates, increasing hourly workers’ wages, and how we need to rethink how we compensate employees.
With hourly employees, pay has a higher impact on hiring and retaining. For salaried professionals, pay is just one part of the entire picture. Affordable benefits such as healthcare, group life insurance, cafeteria plans, and more are critical. Time off is key to hiring and keeping the best.
In addition to the typical benefits, employers in hotter job markets are also adding other types of job perks. In an article on Glassdoor.com, companies show their personality with unusual perks. Netflix has unlimited vacation time, American Express gives five-month paid leave for new mothers, while Reebok gives free fitness classes.
Google – known for it’s unusual and fun benefits – does something interesting. They allow employees to offer classes. By teaching, employees gain a deeper knowledge of their subject, get exposure and practice in public speaking, and build confidence. It’s also a great way to offer a wide expanse of subjects for FREE.
How do lesser-known companies compete with a smaller budget? Sometimes it’s a matter of understanding your target employee market and giving them exactly what they want. Austin Benefits lists 101 creative benefits for all budgets.
Do you have active, athletic employees? You may choose to offer free fitness classes. Copy Google and let employees teach the classes (think yoga, fitness classes, personal training and more).
Do you have tech geeks? Get a gaming console and add it to your cafeteria or employee area.
Are your employees readers? Create a library (and this can be done by asking people to bring in books they are willing to donate or buying books from the local thrift store).
Do you have high achievers? Set up a mentor program. Create a professional development plan (you can use inexpensive programs like LinkedIn Learning or Udemy for your entire company).
Do your people need some stress relief? Offer stress management courses, meditation, yoga, etc. Create a relaxation room for employees to get away from their desk or office and refocus. If feasible, hire a massage therapist for a day or 2 per month.
Do you work in an area with a more relaxed environment? Consider a relaxed dress code that allows people to come to work as they want (within reason).
Do you have a younger crowd? Or a higher than normal group of non-married people? Provide social interaction with game nights, fun social events. And more.
Are your people human? 😉 Then they will probably love time off. Add extra time off around certain holidays, allow for shorter workweeks or shorter days during slower periods, and/or give more time off in general.
Ask employees what they want. Get creative. Have fun.