In order to be a competitive figure on the hiring scene, your organization needs a few things. First, you must have a company culture that people want to be a part of. Second, you’ll need to offer competitive wages. After all, the vast majority of your prospective employees need to work for a living! Last but certainly not least, a good benefits package will tip the scales in your favor.
Many benefits are universally offered, but companies are getting increasingly creative to attract new employees and retain the best ones. Are you ready to join the fray? Here are a few employee benefits you might not have considered that could help you land the top talent in your market:
Nearly one-third of women in the U.S. workforce today are mothers of children under the age of 18. Working parents require childcare for their young children or to cover the hours when their school-age kids aren’t in school. (As the Covid-19 pandemic persists, that may be “all of them” in some areas.) Childcare services thus add a huge expense that eats away at the extra income parents take home. Providing on-site childcare to your employees extends two major benefits.
First of all, the lofty cost of daycare services can be done away with or at least reduced to a manageable level. Working parents will feel less stress about bills when childcare doesn’t claim so much of their paychecks. Second of all, having an on-site childcare facility enables parents to stay more connected with their children, helping foster a better work-life balance.
2. Transportation Assistance
Commuting can be a big bummer. Traffic jams induce frustration, and public transportation can be unreliable at times. Furthermore, gas prices are burdensome for daily commuters without access to alternative transportation. To help out your employees, lend them a hand with transportation. Your company can provide prepaid gas cards, or bus passes to make the daily commute more affordable for your workers.
If you want to boost employee health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the bargain, buy some company bikes for employees to use. An electric cruiser bike makes even long distances and hills feasible, helps save the planet, and provides needed daily exercise and fresh air.
3. Unlimited Vacation
For anything other than a lunch buffet, the word “unlimited” can be scary for employers. Unlimited vacation time, in particular, seems like a slippery slope. At first glance, it looks like a policy that employees can easily exploit, creating several staffing headaches along the way. However, implementing this benefit isn’t as crazy as it sounds.
A successful unlimited vacation program is based on setting clear expectations. Employees can take off all the time they want, provided they’re getting their work done on time and with high quality. If the work is getting done and looking good, a vacation is never out of the picture.
Many employers have found that employees actually take fewer days off with an unlimited plan after adopting this approach than they did before. Without a set number of days off, employees do what will ensure their job security and advancement — namely, come to work.
In fact, you might have employees that take off too few days. Companies that prioritize employee wellness have add-ons to their programs to address this issue. Evernote, for example, incentivizes self-care by giving a $1,000 stipend to anyone who takes a week-long vacation.
4. A More Generous Health Insurance Plan
Your company probably has a health insurance plan in place already, but how well does it treat employees? Before you start trying to match the kookiest of Silicon Valley’s employee benefits, fine-tune what you already provide.
Health insurance is a top concern of American families, so enhancing your current plan will likely be more appreciated than any new perk you could offer. Take a look at the budget you have set aside for new employee benefits.
How much of that can be put toward increasing coverage and/or lower premiums and deductibles? Run the calculations and survey your employees before making changes, so you’ll know what factors are most important to them. If they express a strong desire for more comprehensive health insurance, it will be worth every penny. Save the bean bag chairs for another day.
5. Mental Health Benefits
Your employees’ mental health is just as serious a concern as their physical health. There are so many things that can get your employees down, from cranky customers to current events to struggles at home. Helping them maintain their mental health will keep them happy, which should be your first goal. But it will also enable them to perform their jobs to the highest level possible.
Providing access to mental health professionals is a good first step. The company can pay for therapy provided in person, over the phone, or even in the office. Stress management training, meditation workshops, and other wellness programs will also benefit the whole team.
6. Tuition And Student Loan Assistance
Great companies look for ways to lift their employees higher. One way they can do this is by helping employees with their tuition or student loans. Assisting employees in their pursuit of higher education gives them more career opportunities and takes some of the stress out of school.
Unless you have many entry-level employees or returning students at your company, the number of those enrolled in college classes will probably be small. On the other hand, student loans abound, and several members of your team may be struggling with student debt. They will be forever grateful for any assistance you can offer them in that area.
7. Paid Time For Volunteering
Paid time off, or PTO, is a common benefit across employers in all industries. You can take this a step further by providing additional PTO for volunteer opportunities. There is always volunteer work to be done, not least during the ongoing pandemic, which has increased demand at food pantries and shelters. Providing PTO for volunteer work will appeal to employees who want to give back to the community. You can also sponsor team volunteer projects as a bonding experience.
Before extending any of these benefits, make sure the numbers line up in your company budget. Any benefit you offer should be around for the long haul; you don’t want funds to dry up because you got overexcited. Find the right formula, and your employees will thrive thanks to the additional TLC your organization provides.
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