In recent years, high turnover rates have caused businesses to prioritize employee retention. The importance of maintaining a long-lasting and productive workforce has put increased responsibility on leadership teams to keep employee satisfaction rates high. While offering a competitive salary is a great way to entice prospective employees to a company, it is becoming evident a strong company culture is the best way to keep them there.
Employee Perks vs. Employee Benefits
While the terms employee perks and employee benefits are often used interchangeably, they have very different meanings. Generally speaking, employee benefits are the non-salary piece of an employee’s overall compensation package. While some are better than others, most benefit packages include health insurance, retirement contributions, and a paid time off plan.
Employees who feel respected, challenged, and truly heard by their employers on a personal and professional level are generally happier coming to work on a daily basis. So, what can an employer offer to increase happiness and loyalty within its workforce? Employee perks!! Perks are additional incentives provided to employees, including flexible working arrangements, career development plans, and a pet-friendly workplace. These incentives increase employee satisfaction and speak to and support the company culture.
5 Employee Perks That Can Help With Retention
1. Flexible Working Options
With many companies requiring employees to return to the office on a regular basis, it’s made companies who offer flexible schedules even more desirable. Flexible work arrangements, while different for every company, allow employees to have ownership of their time. The ability for employees to work remotely or during hours outside of the normal 9-5 workday is paramount in a day in age where job seekers value their time more than ever. For some, the ability to go to a doctor’s appointment during “normal” working hours without being forced to use PTO hours is a massive plus. Others may feel they are more productive during certain times of the day. Flexible scheduling allows those employees to maximize their productivity while still having autonomy over their schedules, which benefits the individual and the company.
2. Pet-Friendly Office Environment
Is there anything better than returning home and being greeted by your loving, loyal furry friend after a long day at the office? Well actually, there is! One perk some companies offer to their employees is the ability to bring their pets to work. Bringing a pet to work benefits the pet owner and the other employees in the office. This perk supports work-life balance for the owner for the following reasons: pet owners get to spend more time with their companion on a daily basis, they no longer have to worry that their pet has been alone and unattended all day at home, and they save money on potential pet care costs
Outside of the benefit for the pet owner, having a pet at work can offer a huge boost for the entire office environment. Being in the presence of a pet often promotes increased positivity and collaboration while helping decrease stress levels. Having happy, productive employees is a huge boost for the workforce.
3. Career Development
Although it comes with a significant investment, companies who don’t offer career development programs are doing a disservice to themselves and their employees. Skill development workshops, online learning courses, mentoring programs, and goal-setting meetings all fall under the scope of career development. Employers that invest their time and resources into helping their workers grow, both personally and professionally, will see an increase in overall productivity and company loyalty. To keep it extremely simple: Most “good” employees are looking to grow within their company. Employees stay long-term when it’s clear leadership is looking to develop their skills and help them advance their careers.
4. Fitness and Wellness Reimbursement
Two of the most common reasons people have for not having a gym membership, or exercising in general, are time and money. Providing your employees with a fitness and wellness reimbursement perk can often solve at least one of those issues, if not both. If money is the issue, employers will now be able to sign up for a membership knowing that the cost will be covered by their employers. For those employees who are strapped for time and can’t make it to the gym, it gives them the opportunity to purchase some equipment for a home gym.
The benefits of exercise on a regular basis are undeniable. Some of these benefits include: decreased risk for chronic disease, increased brain function and improved sleep quality, reduced feelings of stress and anxiety, and better self-esteem. Healthier, happier people are often healthier, happier employees. Happy employees are much less likely to be looking for employment elsewhere.
Offering a childcare perk is a massive incentive for employees who are parents or plan to be in the future. The most common offerings employees look for are onsite childcare, discounted rates, or both. Businesses with the space and ability to offer on-site childcare have a massive leg up on their competitors who may not be able to offer the same. Parents have the comfort in knowing that if something does happen to their child, they will be able to respond within a couple of minutes. Aside from proximity to their children, companies will often offer a significant discount to employees that use their on-site location. Childcare services are known to be one of the largest financial strains for new parents. Companies who provide such perks will have a huge advantage in attracting new talent and retaining their own.
Work With an HR Consultant to Create Perks and Policies Your Employees Will Love
Red Clover, a company that embraces flexible scheduling and career development of its employees, has successfully applied many of these perks into our own company culture. We have helped many small and mid-sized businesses in the design, transition, and implementation of their own company-specific perk programs and supporting policies. If you are looking for help in developing creative perks to increase employee retention rates and overall employee satisfaction, reach out today!