What would you say if a prospective employer offered you perks like free catered meals, free fitness classes, tuition reimbursement, unlimited vacation days, and-- for the expectant parents out there-- four months of paid parental leave?
You might be tempted to rip the contract out of his or her hand and sign it on the spot—right?
Well, we didn’t make those up. Practical benefits like these are real, and some are being implemented at companies that constantly rank at the top of employee satisfaction lists.
So what does this mean for you as an employer?
In order to attract and retain the best employees, you should offer competitive compensation, medical benefits, and 401K options that are consistent with your industry and location. Prospective employees will take these more practical benefits into consideration.
We know most companies won’t be able to afford perks like the big tech giants in California, but here are four ways you could make life a little easier and more enjoyable for your employees.
Four Affordable Perks for your Small Business to Attract & Maintain the Best Employees
1. Flexible work schedules
More and more, work and life seem to be connected outside of the working environment. Establish guidelines that allow employees to work from home or in the evening if they have something to go to, like a parent teacher conference.
Or, consider flexible work hours. If getting to work earlier and leaving earlier makes sense for the family schedule, commuting, or other reasons and doesn’t conflict with business operations, then maybe this is something for you to consider.
Showing flexibility and empathy for employees by allowing flexible schedule will help build a stronger bond, making your company more attractive as a potential employer. It also helps promote a healthy work-life balance, and help make employees’ lives a little easier knowing they have this flexibility. Who wouldn’t want to work for a company that is trying to make life a little easier?
2. Pet-Friendly Workspace
This one is not for everyone. But if it fits with your company, try allowing pets on specific days (maybe once a month, or once a year to start) to make employees feel more comfortable. Take Your Dog to Work Day is a national event and they talk about building codes, liability issues, and employees’ allergies or phobias to consider before adopting this perk.
There are many other articles about how to make a workplace pet friendly and tips on creating a dog-friendly workplace.
Boss need convincing? Share these three benefits of pets in the workplace from PetMD:
Pets in the workspace:
- Help reduce stress
- Encourage longer work hours
- Increase camaraderie
3. Free snacks
While most companies won’t be able to cater every meal like some of the big tech giants, providing coffee & tea, healthy snacks to share, and maybe breakfast every once in a while will help boost morale and keep your employees focused.
4. Lunch-time yoga & Running groups
Investing in employee preventative health efforts could help lower healthcare premiums down the road. Depending on your workspace, you could look into hiring in a lunch-time yoga instructor, or massage therapist to help reduce employee stress levels. Or, for the more active employee, look into hosting a running group, training for a charity race, or getting your company involved in a sports league. These activities get people active and also encourage team building outside the workplace.
Practical benefits like these can help give you the edge when a prospective employee compares job offers in a similar market, and they show you care about the well-being of your employees.
What other affordable perks would attract new employees? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Photo Credit: "Office Dog” by seanhagen is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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