9 Unique Benefits that Differentiate You as an Employer and Help Attract and Retain Top Talent
Benefits are always evolving to meet the needs of talented employees. As different benefits are more valuable to different people, it’s critical to try and identify which strategies are in the best interest for both your business and the people who work for you.
Attraction and retention techniques need to be tailored to your employee base. Companies recruiting skilled machinists are going to have different needs than companies trying to find talented business students coming right out of college. The key is finding a good mix that make sense for your business. Here are nine unique traditional and untraditional benefits that can help you attract and retain talent for your business.
Flexible Work Environment
Every employee can have a different scheduling need. Flexible work environments give your employees the freedom they need for their evolving schedules.
A strict 9-5 work schedule can make life difficult for employees, forcing them to find a babysitter when a child is sick or needs to be picked up from school. Other personal situations may call for a need to leave early one day a week. An inability to meet these needs can leave employees frustrated and looking for opportunities at other companies. Simple benefits like work-from-home days or an adjustable schedule can be appealing to new job candidates and keep your current employees fully engaged.
Summer and Holiday Work Hours
Like a flexible work environment, summer and holiday work hours can provide extra flexibility for employees, especially if your business is seasonal in nature.
A policy like summer hours can help you reward employees by allowing them to go home early if they get all of their work done in 36 hours instead of 40. Many businesses have adopted summer hours and close the office during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. This is another way to reward employees and entice potential new talent.
Stay Interviews and Employee Feedback Surveys
One great way to help with retaining employees is to engage with them and let them know that their voices are heard. Stay interviews and feedback surveys give employees the chance to do this both personally and anonymously.
Stay interviews are an opportunity to build trust with employees while assessing the degree of employee satisfaction and engagement. Anonymous surveys also allow employees to give honest feedback. Both options can provide useful information so t you can catch issues before they drive some employees to leave the company.
The addition of longer and better paternal leave packages is a major hot topic for employees. Large tech companies are leading the way in upping offerings for new dads, but they’re not the only companies that could benefit from improved paternity leave.
A wellness program and other health-driven benefits can help you take care of your employees while potentially saving your business some money. Wellness initiatives can cover a wide range of benefits, including:
- Health coaching
- Free gym memberships
- On-site fitness facilities
- Usable health hours where employees can exercise on the clock
These programs allow you to show your employees that you care about your employees’ well-being. It also can end up leading to significant health insurance savings, as the number of employees who participate in a wellness initiative can drive down your overall benefits costs.
Bonus programs can give employees more financial incentive to remain with a company while providing additional benefits for your business. A great example of this is a new hire bonus program.
This program provides staff members with bonuses for recruiting their contacts or friends to your business. If an employee has a contact in the industry, they receive a bonus if your company hires them, with the bonus based on the level of the hire. This helps your company as well, because your employees are more likely to remain engaged and employee referrals tend to make for great job candidates.
Additional training and education opportunities can be a great way to show your employees that you’re invested in their future. Continuing education perks can include:
- Providing on-the-job training
- Promoting certification opportunities
- Sending employees to conferences and trade shows
- Offering financial assistance for higher education
According to The Washington Post, “research shows that individuals who have opportunities for professional development are more engaged and committed to their firms than those who do not have those opportunities.” These measure show your employees that you value them and support their development.
Paying Student Loan Debt
With student loan debt being a major concern for many younger professionals, some businesses are helping out in an attempt to attract and retain top young talent.
Last year, The Wall Street Journal reported that “more than half of current students and recent college graduates with student loans said they would rather receive an offer of loan help than a health plan.” Some businesses are taking advantage by offering plans that help pay off those loans. Since only a small percentage of businesses are currently doing it, younger talent can be very attracted to positions at those companies, making it a powerful employee attraction tool.
Defined Career Path
People don’t want to feel like they’re stuck in a job. Defined career paths show new talent that you have a plan in place for their future and can help nurture their transition along the way, from a full-time student to a full-time professional with a growth plan ahead of them.
Finding Attraction and Retention Strategies that Work for Your Business
Depending on your business, you may not have a human resources department to carry out strategies to attract and retain top talent. That doesn’t mean that you can’t offer the same attractive benefits for current and future employees. If you don’t have your own HR department or need help determining benefits strategies, Apple Growth Partners can help. Our Healthy Growth Checkup not only helps you stay compliant with federally-mandated benefits, but also enhances your recruiting tactics with innovative ideas you can use to attract and retain employees.