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Benefits - Give Em What They Want

By Faith Driscoll, Esq.

Employee benefits and perks play a major role in decisions employees make.  Glassdoor, a jobs, recruiting and employer review website reports that around 80 % of employees would prefer new perks over a pay raise.  Whether it’s considering a new potential employer or even how much effort to put into working for you today, employers can have a great impact on attracting and retaining good employees by evaluating what they can offer employees. 

Some of the most common employee benefits are health care insurance, vacation or other paid time off, performance bonuses, paid sick days and 401(k) plans or other retirement plans.  However, employers have become creative in their offerings in an effort to provide perks that increase morale and keep employees committed to the organization. 

Among some of the unusual benefits Glassdoor compiled from information employees shared on its site are the following:

  • Access to executive and life-coaching services outside of the company.
  • Up to $4,000 in “Baby Cash” for employees with a newborn.
  • Parental leave policy that includes three paid months off, one month of part-time hours and two counseling sessions to create a plan to re-enter the workplace.
  • Entire company shuts down for one week in December and one week over the summer.
  • Annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in any Airbnb listing worldwide.  (This perk is for Airbnb employees)
  • Surviving spouse or partner of a deceased employee receives 50 percent of the deceased employee’s salary for the next 10 years.
  • Up to six days of paid volunteer time off a year.  Employees who use all six days also receive a $1,000 grant to donate to a charity of their choice.
  • Every other Friday off, known as “Panda Fridays.”
  • Company pays for employees who are traveling to ship their breast milk.

Even if your organization does not have pockets deep enough to implement any of the above pricy perks, there are ways to spoil employees without a huge budget.  The following perks cost very little to implement but show your hard-working employees they are appreciated.

  • Work with local retailers to arrange for employee discounts.  This can be a win-win for small businesses, especially if a reciprocal agreement is used.
  • Celebrate with employees.  Recognizing special life events throughout the year shows employees you care.  This can be done once a month to recognize all events in that month to reduce costs.
  • Offer employee awards.  Award plaques, certificates and trophies are a way to publicly acknowledge a job well done builds a base of loyal employees who feel appreciated.
  • Smile more.  This one is free!  Workplaces where CEOs and members of management are able to talk, joke, and interact, informally, with employees have happier employees all around.
  • Encourage competition with incentives.  Businesses can choose what types of rewards to provide and whether the competition should be individual or team-based.
  • Criticize less.  Use care to focus on motivation through words of inspiration, encouragement and praise.
  • Ask employees what they want.  Last, but not least, go straight to the horse’s mouth.  You may be surprised by what would be an effective way to attract employees and keep current employees happy.

Did any of these ideas get your creative juices flowing?  Consider brainstorming with members of SHRM Tulare/Kings in our new Member Forum!  To access the page, log in, then select the Member Forum page from the Members menu.

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