In today’s competitive job market, many companies are struggling to lock down top talent. As small businesses account for 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs, it’s likely your business has needed to hire new employees at some point and encountered this challenge. To incentivize qualified candidates, companies must offer more than a competitive salary and typical benefits. Employees want more—unlimited vacation, office dogs, work from home, nap rooms—the list of “work perks” goes on.
Millennials, the generation that craves freedom and independence, currently account for the biggest portion of the workforce—and they will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2020. Adopting perks that focus on freedom, flexibility, and company values will give your business a leg up when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees.
53 percent of employees with perks say extra benefits have improved their quality of life. But which perks actually make a difference? It can be overwhelming to decipher what benefits at work really matter to employees, so we did a little digging to find out.
Flexible Work Environments
32 percent of employees have flexible hours, and 41 percent say that flexible hours are the most important perk they receive. Today’s workforce cares deeply about work-life balance, and flexible and remote work environments give people the freedom to manage both work and personal life. With managers out of the line of sight, the onus to be held accountable is on employees—which actually increases productivity. Not every business lends itself to remote work, but even allowing your staff a little bit of flexibility—like balancing books or conquering produce orders from a home office—will go a long way.
It’s not just work-from-home that the workforce cares about—it’s flexibility on paid time off, sick leave, parental leave, bereavement, and schedule planning. People want to work for companies that are empathetic to life’s happenings—knowing that they have the freedom to take time away from their work encourages employees to be more present and efficient during work hours. A study from Stanford showed that employees with flexible PTO saw 50 percent less attrition and took less sick days and time off. Allow your staff to have control over their own schedule by setting the expectation that if they are reliable, the team can be flexible. When a team member feels they have the flexibility to go to school, work a second job, or just attend a child’s baseball game, their overall satisfaction and efficiency will increase.
If you’re worried about limited employee communication if your company allows remote work, consider leveraging a team communication app, or scheduling quarterly group meetings, to keep your workforce connected and feeling in control of their schedule.
Development Focused Benefits
87 percent of millennials say that professional development and career growth opportunities are very important to them. But of all full-time employees, only 25 percent have paid professional development. Offering educational and growth opportunities are easy ways to differentiate your company from others, giving you a better shot at hiring top candidates.
If you’re running a small business and are worried about finding the time to offer additional support, you don’t need extensive weekly training seminars—simply by offering more opportunities to keep employees’ skills fresh shows that your business is invested in your staff’s development. Educational opportunities, like shadow programs that allow staff to jump from waiter to manager, help employees fulfill both professional and personal goals—keeping them motivated and productive.
Perks That Align with Company Values
Perks are a great way for companies to show who they are and what they value as an organization. Think outside the box about what your business stands for, and how that can be manifested through employee benefits. At Beyond, we strive to make a difference through our determination to transform the business world. Doing this means supporting our employees and their families—that’s why Beyond Cares exists. Beyond Cares provides disaster relief or emergency hardship assistance to employees of Beyond and neighbors who experience a qualifying financial hardship and need immediate assistance for reasons beyond their control.
Perks like this show your employees that your company actually walks the talk and encourages employees to be more aligned with company values in their daily lives. Your employee benefits should evolve with your business, adapting to the needs of your workforce and always ensuring they bring added value to your company.
While extra perks are an excellent way to increase employee retention and recruitment, don’t think it’s all you should be offering. If you’re not offering an employee benefit program and competitive compensation—it’s time to start. Providing your team 401k, worker’s compensation, and health insurance options will give you and your employees peace of mind—learn more.