Every organization is in a continuous battle to find and retain the best talent. Aside from compensation and traditional benefits, there are other creative perks companies are offering to keep their employees happy. Some of these are surprisingly affordable, if not free, to implement.
Consider one or more of the following practices. How would these resonate with your employees?
- Flexible work hours
Who doesn’t want to be able to pop out for a mid-day meeting with little Johnny’s teacher without taking a vacation day? If missed work can easily be made up earlier or later in the week, why not offer the flexibility to your employees? Whether it is for specific events or you allow an employee to adjust his or her weekly work hours, fostering flexibility in one’s work schedule will show employees that you understand and support work-life balance.
- Working remotely
Technology today allows virtually any job to be done from anywhere, at any time. Working remotely saves employees time, as well as travel expenses. In addition, it enables employees to work comfortably from their own homes.
- Child care assistance
Child care is expensive, yet necessary. According to a study by the Center for American Progress, almost a quarter of American children under the age of five are in some form of organized child care. If you have the ability to offset that cost or negotiate a discount at a nearby child care facility, you may just be seen as a hero! Some employers may take it a step further and offer on-site child care services. How convenient is that?
- Gym or workout area
Do you have an unused conference room or area in your building that you could turn into a work out room? This is a perk for both employees and employers. Not only are employers promoting employee health which could positively impact your group health insurance rates, studies show that exercise regularly are more productive and get sick less often. If you do not have space for a gym within your facility, consider negotiating a discount with a local gym or a chain of gyms with locations near your offices.
- Paid volunteer hours
Is your company a champion of philanthropy? Some companies are going beyond the typical gift matching gift program and developing policies that allow employees to volunteer a specific number of paid hours as another type of corporate-sponsored charitable program. What a great way to demonstrate community support and encourage employee involvement too!
Who doesn’t love free food? You know they love it by the pitter patter of feet to the break room when a vendor stops by with a treat. Whether you cater a morning meeting with a simple breakfast or provide an ice cream treat on a hot summer afternoon, employees will appreciate the brief break and delicious treat.
- Unlimited vacation time
LinkedIn jumped on this bandwagon in 2015, offering unlimited vacation or “discretionary time off” to its employees. While most companies that offer this perk add the stipulations that your work must be completed and manager pre-approval is required for all time off requests, it’s still seen as a huge benefit to employees.
- Casual dress
While you always want to provide certain guidelines in your employee handbook, employees generally respond favorably to being able to dress comfortably during the work week. Tandem HR, a Chicago area PEO, has a casual dress policy unless a staff member is visiting a current or prospective client. In that case, the employee dresses business professional. Employees are grateful for this free little perk!
- Snow days
Why not call an employee snow day when schools in the area are off? Most employees will appreciate not needing to take a vacation day because of Mother Nature’s cruelty. Alternately, when bad weather conditions are predicted in advance, communicate a plan so that employees can plan ahead to work from home instead of commuting in to work.
- Pet insurance and care
People love their pets. According to the American Pet Products Association, approximately 37-47% of all American households have dogs and 30-37% have cats. Pets are a valued part of our lives and if our employers care about them, they care about us. Pet insurance is a great voluntary benefit that can be offered at no cost to the employer for those employees that elect it. Another idea is to identify a local pet “day care” and negotiate a discount that can be offered to your employees – this is great for those team members that need to work extended hours.
Are you interested in exploring additional ways your business can differentiate itself from the competition? Tandem HR, a Chicago area Professional Employer Organizations (PEO), provides an edge to small and midsized companies so they can directly compete with their Fortune 500 rivals for talent.
Tandem HR helps clients save time and money while growing their business by taking on the administrative tasks associated with human resources, benefits, payroll, tax administration, regulatory compliance and risk management. Call 630.928.0510 or visit TandemHR.com for more information today.