That’s an easy one! It’s my employees.
As a business leader, it’s really all about people that counts. Business is business, but people are precious and valuable as human beings. I believe that what you put out, you receive back. I strive to show employees how much I value them, and I’m humbled to say that I receive so much more from them than I give.
Whether you’re looking to hire new talent, improve your employee retention, or demonstrate to your current employees your appreciation, consider the advantages of working for your company that you offer to them. Ask yourself what you can add that they would greatly value.
In the current job market, employees know they’re more likely to improve their compensation by changing jobs every few years than staying with the same company. This doesn’t have to be the case if you offer competitive compensation packages. After all, you’ve invested a significant amount of time, money, and training in each of your team members, and the cost to replace an employee can average six to nine months of their salary. There’s value in retaining your talent and showing them you appreciate them through benefits that may be more unique than what another company might provide.
When it comes to compensation, there are certain benefits that most employees expect, and if you don’t provide them, it can be a deal-breaker for many talented individuals. Providing paid vacation days, holidays, and insurance are a must for most full-time employees. But if you really want to attract and retain high-quality team members, it’s worth offering other highly desired benefits as well. It’s all about having the stronger talent magnet than your competitors.
- Remote work options
One benefit that’s become increasingly popular and that many employees desire is the option for remote work, whether it’s full-time or just a few days of the week. Since the 2020 coronavirus lockdowns, when many employers switched to remote workforces, a large portion of the workforce became accustomed to work-from-home jobs. Some people made major life adjustments around it, adopting new pets or even moving into the countryside, outside of a reasonable commuting distance to their work. And when offices began to open again, many workers determined they’d rather change jobs than return to their previous commute for the sake of working in-office.
While there are still plenty of employees who don’t prefer remote work, even a few optional days from home can be a great benefit for everyone, making it easier to fit in doctor’s appointments, home repair, or taking care of sick kids when needed. Allowing team members to work from home, at least on occasion, shows that you understand they are busy people and care about their lives outside of work. And by offering full-time remote positions, you widen your candidate pool significantly, allowing you to find talented individuals who aren’t geographically near your workplace but can provide great value to your company.
- Flexible work schedule
Flexible working schedules are becoming more common and are something many employees greatly appreciate. The great thing is you don’t have to jump through too many hoops to make it work, either. It can be as simple as allowing an hour of flex time on each end of the day. Say if your regular work day is from eight until five, allow employees to arrive as early as seven or as late as nine and work their full eight hours.
As long as everyone is present online between 9am and 2pm, there should be little problem organizing meetings and schedules around people’s availability. This allows employees to wake up at their preferred time and leave the office earlier if needed, meaning that they may need less time off for appointments and can potentially skip some of the rush hour traffic. It also allows you to hire globally. There’s so much talent outside of the U.S. And, it’s an easy benefit to add because it costs you nothing, and it can be a major perk.
- Unlimited or More Than Average PTO
This might sound crazy, but a fairly large number of businesses have begun to implement it, and guess what? It works! These businesses allow their employees to take off as much time as they want, as long as they’re still accomplishing what they need to get done. This type of PTO policy can be a benefit to both employees and employers when implemented correctly. It can make team members more efficient in their work as they focus on time management to ensure they’re able to take their vacation time.
Most workers know that two or even a more generous three weeks of vacation time in a year is never enough when you have to use it for things like medical needs, taking care of sick kids, family obligations, and other things that arise. It’s also important to ensure that your team members actually take vacation days. Without a set number of vacation days, some workers may simply never get around to requesting time off, especially if they have a heavy workload.
- Wellness benefits
In addition to health insurance, there are a number of things you can do to keep your employees in good physical and mental condition. Some options in addition to insurance are to offer gym membership reimbursements, pay for mental health services, or have a chiropractor visit the office on a regular basis. Ultimately, helping your employees take good care of themselves is an investment in your workforce, as they’ll likely have to take fewer sick days in the long run and will be in better condition to perform well.
As a fully remote company, we continually seek ways to foster wellness for our employees. Each week, we share wellness tips and resources on our #health-and-wellness Slack channel.
- Paid parental leave
While it’s certainly one of the more expensive benefits to offer, paid maternity and paternity leave are a major factor that can help you win over new talent and retain employees. The reality is that many parents are forced to make major life changes when they have a child, sometimes resulting in one parent leaving the workforce. Offering parental leave not only helps you attract and retain employees as a major part of their benefits package, but it also shows that you care about your employees on a personal level and recognize the importance of their families. Investing in your team members in this way creates a greater sense of loyalty—they know you have their back even during some of the most important moments of their lives.
- Meaningful Work
While it’s not technically a benefit, one of the most important factors in retaining team members and attracting new talent is offering meaningful work. Everyone wants to feel that what they invest their time and effort in matters, and there’s nothing you invest more time in than your work. A full-time job takes up the majority of your day, and if what you’re doing feels pointless or meaningless, you’re not likely to stick with it for long.
There are a number of ways you can offer your team meaningful work. First, ensure that every team member understands the importance of their role and how it fits into the larger picture of the business. Focus on what you do for your clients and the difference it makes for them. If your employees believe in what they’re doing, they’ll have better motivation and will be more satisfied in their work. What is the purpose of your business, and does everyone on your team understand that vision and their role in it?
- Paid personal development
One of the best ways you can invest in your team members is to pay for training beyond their everyday work, and give them the time during the workday to pursue development. That could take the form of continuing education classes to enhance their skills or learn more about the industry. Professional development allows your team to feel that they are continuing to grow and not stagnating in their jobs. Additionally, by providing opportunities for them to enhance their skill set, you get a return on your investment in the new value they’re able to bring to the team.
- Community service
As a leader, I want to ensure that the actions we’re taking are consistent with our values. We value people. I want my employees to value people. We offer one week paid leave for employees to volunteer their time in a form of community service that’s important to them. It’s a tangible way to demonstrate our values, not just talk about them.
Providing benefits beyond the expected insurance and time off standards is an important factor in attracting and retaining top talent. While not every benefit you offer will appeal to everyone who works for you, the options you give represent a major part of someone’s decision to work with your company or stay with your company when there are other options available. The benefits you provide are an investment in your team, which will ultimately return to you in the form of happier, more productive, and loyal employees and contractors who want to work for you and love their jobs.