The number of women working in American businesses is continually increasing. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. workforce was only 38 percent female in 1970. The most recent numbers show women now make up 47 percent. Whatever your company’s industry, they likely account for a sizable portion of your staff as well. And while keeping all of your employees engaged in their jobs is necessary to reduce costly turnover, retaining your female workers may require slightly different tactics.
To start, more money isn’t usually the answer. Glassdoor’s currentU.S. Employment Confidence Survey results reveal that 82 percent of female employees would prefer additional benefits or perks over a pay increase (compared to 76 percent of the male workers).When asked to rank the benefits they’d prefer to see increased, healthcare insurance, vacation/paid time off, performance bonuses, paid sick days, retirement plans and flexible schedules topped the list.
Somewhat surprisingly, childcare assistance and paid parental leave ranked much lower than the rest of the options, with only 13 percent of the surveyed employees preferring additional benefits of that type.
Of course, the Glassdoor survey isn’t the final word in what your female workforce wants. Your best bet to ensure you’re offering the benefits they find most desirable it to ask. You can then use this information to fine tune your benefits package, creating the best possible combination of offerings within your budget to both attract and retain the experienced professionals—both male and female—your business needs.
Here are a few considerations generally noted as important to women workers:
- Flexible Schedules – Today’s professionals—both male and female—value schedule flexibility. From alternative work schedules (such as four 10-hour shifts a week) and telecommuting to flextime (which allows workers to set their own hours), providing schedule flexibility is the simplest way to help your workers achieve work-life balance.Depending on your industry, if you want to remain competitive in retaining and attracting top talent, you cannot afford not to explore ways to give your workers more flexibility in their schedules. Doing so will also help you decrease absenteeism, increase productivity, reduce employee stress and build trust.
- Family-Friendly Perks – For the last 30 years, Working Mother has ranked the nation’s top 100 companies for women with families. In 2015, women made up 46 percent of the workforce at the 100 companies selected, filling 43 percent of the management jobs and accounting for 26 percent of the companies’ executives. How do these organizations attract and retain so many top-notch female workers? In part, they offer family-friendly benefits such as:
- Full paid maternity leave (100 percent)
- Paid adoption leave (93 percent)
- Paid paternity leave (90 percent)
- Childcare resource and referral service (96 percent)
- Telecommuting (100 percent)
- Flextime (100 percent)
- Elder care referral service (99 percent)
- Travel planning services (84 percent)
- Dry cleaning services (64 percent)
- On-site flu vaccinations (96 percent)
- On-site fitness center (88 percent)
- On-site massage therapy (65 percent)
Are you finding it difficult to attract qualified job candidates and retain your best employees? Your benefits package could be the problem. Contact us today for a plan review and upgrade or enhancement suggestions.