The economy is seemingly strong right now, and unemployment is low. There is also a skills shortage, and all of these elements are making recruiting and hiring a difficult proposition for many employers. To secure top talent, it’s important for employers to offer things that they find appealing, but not every employer has the huge benefit of a Silicon Valley company to build company gyms, daycares, and full-service onsite spas. Smaller and mid-sized businesses that want to remain competitive have to be able to attract a strong talent pool, but they don’t have endless funds to do so.
So what options are available? How can employers get good talent even if they don’t have a massive budget? It’s often about being creative with benefits packages. The following are some ideas that can be good to put in place.
Unlimited Vacation Policies
Since we’re a leave tracker and automated attendance management software company, we obviously like to stay ahead of trends happening in this area. One big trend is unlimited vacation. An unlimited vacation policy lets employees take the time they need, and they aren’t restricted or limited. It’s something that can sound crazy when you first hear it, but it’s actually pretty appealing to employees.
It’s not necessarily because every employee is going to jump in and abuse the system. Instead, it’s a good way for businesses to convey the fact that they feel like their employees are responsible, autonomous and can make their own decisions when it comes to the time they take off.
Of course, there have to be policies in place regarding how employees will request time off, and what the guidelines are, but it is a creative way to attract new employees. This is especially true of Millennial employees, who tend to value companies that emphasize work-life balance and flexibility.
If you can’t do unlimited time off, another option is a paid time off bank. This means employees still have freedom and flexibility, and they don’t have their time off micromanaged. They don’t have to tell their employer if they need time off to go to their kids’ sporting event or take a long weekend. As long as they have the time in the bank, they can take it.
While you’re at it, it can be appealing to employees if you offer them an automated leave tracker or attendance management system. This can save money for your business that you can put toward offering more benefits to employees. At the same time, it gives employees the opportunity to log in and see their available time off and request time off as well. It’s a time saver and a convenience for employees that they’re likely to appreciate.
Group Exercise Classes
Employee health and wellness initiatives are important for several different reasons. First, employers have a financial stake in helping their employees be as healthy as possible. Chronic illnesses and health-related issues can cost businesses and the economy as a whole significant amounts of money every year, mostly because of lost productivity.
Showing employees that you care about health and wellness can also be an important recruiting tool. It’s something employees find interesting, and it can also be something that shows them you care about their well-being.
OF course, not all businesses have onsite gyms or high-tech wellness programs, and they don’t necessarily have the budget to make these things happen.
A lower-cost option can be having opportunities for employees to participate in group fitness classes. Rather than just reimbursing employees for the cost of a class they attend, employers can think about having someone come onsite to teach the employees as a group, or the employees can go to an offsite class together. It’s good for team-building as well as for the physical element.
Another way to provide a desirable low-cost employee benefit is to offer a flexible scheduling program.
Something a lot of employers do is offer employees the opportunity to take a half day on Fridays every week, or to work remotely on Fridays.
You can plan it in a way that makes sense for your business, but even something small regarding flexible scheduling can go a long way in the eyes of employees.
Offering employees discounts on products and services is an option made easier by platforms like Fond. Fond provides the opportunity to deliver corporate discount programs to employees. The perks program offered by Fond is a platform where employees receive access to best-rate guaranteed discounts on a variety of products and services. The categories include entertainment, fitness, travel, home services, and professional development, among others.
Employers can add employees to the platform, and they can favorite the perks most appealing to them.
Employee Volunteer Time
Another way to creatively offer benefits to employees is to let them take a certain amount of time off to participate in volunteer or community activities. There can be group volunteering initiatives that everyone participates in together, or you can opt to let employees make their own decisions about how they’ll spend this time.
It’s a good way not just to add to a benefits package, but also to show employees that you want them to be able to participate in their community and that you have values such as giving back that are an important part of your culture.
Meals and Snacks
Is the way to employees’ hearts through their stomachs? Quite possibly. If you can provide a monthly lunch to employees, or regularly offer them snacks, it’s a good low-cost way to increase retention.
You could have the monthly meal catered, or you could pick up food at a local restaurant. Depending on your budget and the number of employees you have, you could also bring your employees to a restaurant once a month.
Finally, don’t forget the importance of gratitude and recognition. Employees want to be recognized for the work they’re doing, and that can be something that’s completely free but improves engagement and reduces turnover.