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Unconventional Benefits That Keep Employees Happy

Heather Lowery - Nov 21, 2017, 7:00:00 AM

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A high salary is nice, of course, but retaining top talent means putting together an appealing employee benefits package. In some cases, those benefits can even make up for a slightly lower salary. Failing to do this could result in your best employees moving on to a job where their skill is rewarded with better benefits.

When we think of employee benefits, we most often think of medical and dental coverage or a 401K. These are important, but in today's working world, they're not enough. More and more companies are adding unique perks to the benefits packages that boost morale and offer great value to employees. Consider adding some of these unconventional benefits that truly keep employees happy.

Unlimited Time Off

Companies who implement a policy like this generally find it to be respected and appreciated. Employees know they can't be gone all the time, so they use the freedom responsibly and enjoy the ability to take the time they need for weddings, funerals, family events, and more. This article quotes a human resources director at a company who offers flexible time off:

"'Most people kind of self-regulate. And they know when they can and can't take off,' she said. 'You build that trust that if you need it you're going to take it. And making people comfortable to take that time is probably the underlining element there.'"

 Paid Volunteer Time

Encourage connection with the community by offering your employees paid time off to volunteer. They can choose any cause they feel passionate about. This articles mentions Salesforce, a company that offers six days of paid volunteering and $1,000 donated to the employee's favorite charity. This has several far-reaching benefits:

  • Employees feel good about contributing.
  • Employees appreciate your commitment to the community.
  • Local organizations get the help they need.
  • Your business shines as one that cares about the community.

Professional Development

This survey found that "training opportunities" was the third most important way to retain top talent in the construction industry. Offering employees a way to build their skills not only makes them better at what they do for you, but it's another good reason for them to stay with your company. 

Keep in mind this development might include training to learn new skills as well as leadership training and seminars. Personal development is also an option, since a happier, healthier human being is a happier, healthier employee. As your benefits budget allows, consider seminars and conferences, on-site training, webinars, and even an allowance to buy books or subscribe to trade journals.

Meals and Snacks

Don't overlook the power of a free lunch! Feeding your employees saves them money and time, because they don't have to worry about packing a lunch in the morning or driving somewhere to eat during their break. If a full meal every day is not in the budget, consider a weekly or monthly treat, or a supply of healthy snacks throughout the day. 

Health and Wellness

A gym membership is a classic, but consider extending that benefit to the employee's spouse or another family member. Other benefits could include massages, chiropractic adjustments, or a meal delivery subscription.

Comforts and Conveniences

This Forbes article highlighted Merchandize Liquidators, a company that offers employees shampoo, cosmetics, cleaning products, and more. Not having to buy those day-to-day items puts more money in each employee's pocket. Consider other items or services your employees need: childcare, pet grooming or boarding, transportation to and from work, hair cuts, oil changes, and more.

Anything that makes life easier (and less expensive) for your employees helps build morale, loyalty, and job satisfaction, which means you'll keep your most talented employees for as long as possible. When you keep employees happy, your retention issues often vanish. Employee benefits are an important part of the hiring package, and by adding a few unconventional benefits, the best workers are more likely to choose your company.

 

Topics: Employee Retention

Heather Lowery

Heather Lowery

Marketing Administrator at Harbor America

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