Perk It Up To Attract and Retain Great Talent

Everyone wants to work somewhere where they’ll feel taken care of. Google, one the most sought-after workplaces, takes excellent care of its employees; it gives them free food, a gym, allows dogs in the office, and provides one the best life insurance policies in the world. Not every business can be Google, but the company’s commitment to making their employees feel appreciated is a lesson for every business out there, regardless of budget. People want to work where their work will be valued, and if they think they’ll be valued at your workplace, they will come flocking.

If you want to keep your employees around (and you do, since replacing them can cost you up to 20% of their salary), show them you value them. In fact, 53% of employees would stay longer if they felt more appreciation from their boss. This might seem like common sense, but employers often struggle on how to do this practically and consistently. While employees rank appreciation as the #1 thing they want from their employers, company leaders believe they’re most interested in good wages. How can you show appreciation to your employees?

Flex-time: A Perk For All Budgets

Some of the best employee perks, like unlimited vacation time, cost a pretty dime, and subsequently not every organization can afford PTO. Just because you don’t have the money for extravagance doesn’t mean there’s nothing to offer your employees. There are plenty of low-cost perks, and some of them could even help your employees work better. Benefits such as flex-schedules can lead to a growth in revenue according to 63% of managers.

Flex-time is one of the cheapest ways to give your employees a little freedom, and 83% of new employees cite the ability to choose their hours as an important factor in saying “yes” to the job offer. Along with the ability to work remotely, flex time is one of the best ways to make your employees happy. Startups and small companies have led the way in introducing more flex-time into the workplace culture, as well as the proliferation of technology and software that allows employees to work from home. What it really boils down to is, freedom.

Be A Little Crazy, Be A Little Creative

Creativity can stretch budget in order to retain employees with less expenses. Take Motley Fool, for example: they have a surprise two-week vacation for one random employee every month. Your HR staff may not think you could afford an extra two weeks’ leave for twelve employees a month, but think about it this way: employees only use 51% of their paid vacation. Whether they’re afraid of returning to an overwhelming workload or don’t think anyone else could pick up their slack, most workers leave four days on the table, on average.

This ends up hurting their productivity in the long run. You could take Motley Fool’s vacation sweepstakes idea and bend it around your own needs: if you can’t give them bonus PTO, why not use the name-out-of-a-hat theme to give employees their full PTO? Perhaps you could offer one or two bonus days if an employee was chosen and took their vacation right then and there (obviously, you don’t want to force an employee to take a saved-up week off when they planned to use it at another time). It would up your revenue due to the increased productivity, and having this sort of “activity” would make employees a little happier at work, knowing they could receive a bonus day off at any time.

Snacks, Weights and Walks

It costs very little to stock a fridge with yogurt and mixed nuts or fresh fruit, but when it’s done, employees feel the love. Surprise employees with a game afternoon or start having “no work walks” to freshen their mind and their perspective. Talk to a nearby gym about reduced rates for employees or bulk memberships. Can you afford to dry clean your sales team’s suits when they come in from the road? None of these will break the bank but all of them can make employees feel excited, valued and most of all, cared for.

If these ideas don’t work for your workplace, maybe something similarly inspired could? The point is to think about what you can do with your limited budget to make employees feel like they work in a fun work environment. It might take a little bit of thinking (and a little bit of cash), but if you can make your workers feel appreciated, you won’t have to pay to replace them, and you may even get some new hires along the way.

Bio: Sean Pomeroy

While selling other companies software solutions, Sean worked with Michael Warden to design over a dozen applications for different organizations and industries over the years. Sean now focuses on the vision for the company, business development, and continues involvement in the software design of ATS and LMS: Cyber Recruiter and Cyber Train. Want to see what Visibility Software has to offer? Take a demo now.

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Tweet me at @VisSoft

Views: 293

Comment by Daniel Fogel on March 23, 2015 at 5:11pm

Great post Sean!  I'd never heard about that Motley Fool perk before.  If you were given the choice between a cash bonus or a choice of a selection of gift cards, what would you pick?

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