Employees care about benefits, and the package you offer can make the difference between maintaining a top-notch staff and losing your best workers to the competition. While federal law mandates some perks, including time off to vote and serve jury duty, others are purely voluntary offerings intended to improve the health, happiness and productivity of your workforce.
Of course, you should be aware that a rock-solid benefits program requires more than a health plan and some sort of time off. In fact, surveys have repeatedly shown that there are many other types of benefits employers can offer that are attractive to workers and pack a positive psychological punch to boot. They don’t even have to cost a bundle. Consider the following low to no-cost benefits that really add up.
Heartfelt Appreciation – Taking the time to thank employees for a job well done has never really gone out of style. When workers feel appreciated and know their contributions are valued, you build employee loyalty and longevity. That’s not just good for company culture; it will also benefit your bottom line.
Employee Ownership – Workers who feel like stakeholders in your business will be more committed to and satisfied by the work they do. Ownership can be creative—it doesn’t have to involve stock grants. While bonuses tied to organizational performance can play a part in an employee ownership program, allowing your staff to play a direct role in decision-making processes may provide an even greater incentive.
Professional Development – Your best workers likely have a vision for their future. You can help them get there by paying for additional training and providing mentoring opportunities. Not only will you increase your company’s core competitiveness by bettering your workforce, you’ll also build employee loyalty.
Flexible Schedules – If you want to improve productivity, allow workers to create schedules that best fit their lives. Top-notch performers who are capable of self-management will find a flexible schedule particularly appealing—maybe even more so than a raise or promotion.
Telecommuting – While Yahoo may have cut telecommuting as an employee benefit, it’s still growing in popularity at many other companies. If your business will allow employees to work from just about anywhere, telecommuting can be a very attractive option. It may even reduce your staff’s usage of sick days.
Guilt-Free Vacations – Our modern-day corporate culture often makes employees feel guilty for taking the vacation time they’ve rightfully earned. Unfortunately, discouraging time away from the office only leads to a burned out, uninspired workforce. Require your employees to use their vacation time and they’ll come back rested, recharged and full of renewed enthusiasm.
Wellness Programs – From an onsite gym to the occasional yoga class or visit from a nutritionist, there are many ways you can incorporate wellness into your employee benefits package. A healthier workforce means improved productivity and fewer absences. When employees work out together, a wellness program can also build camaraderie and morale.
Talk with your benefits provider about other ways you can economically expand the benefits you offer to your employees. You may be surprised at the difference a few low or no-cost additions can make in employee retention, productivity and your bottom line.