Many businesses are finding it harder to attract and retain talent. It’s even more challenging for small businesses with limited budgets and less capacity to increase wages. But for many employees, it’s not just about the pay check, but rather the benefits. And businesses of all sizes can take advantage of offering some of the most coveted perks for a relatively modest investment. Here are eight additional fringe benefits to explore in 2019.
Maybe younger workers want to leave early to go to the gym, while parents might want to come in late after dropping their kids at school. Depending on the type of business you run, most companies can allow for at least some flexibility. It’s well worth the effort to figure out how to make it work. You may even find employees would choose a relatively lower-paying job with flexible hours or working arrangements compared to one that didn’t offer any schedule variances.
Training and development
Many employees rank continuing education as the most important benefit after salary when considering jobs. Encouraging your employees to upskill can be a win-win: After all whatever they learn can likely benefit your business as well. Find out what your staff might be interested in and how you can support and ultimately leverage it. For example, you might pay for an online training course for an employee who wishes to develop their digital media skills—and then have them put their newfound knowledge to work sprucing up your website and social media.
Businesses are increasingly helping their employees be healthier both on and off the job. Some ideas for low-cost wellness initiatives include offering a pedometer to each employee and holding a step tracking contest (this can be particularly motivating if your employees move a lot on the job because they can start to see their job doubling as exercise); entering a team in a local 5km race and training together; having a lunchtime cook-off of healthy recipes; or seeing if a local gym or fitness studio would offer a discounted membership.
These days most people consider financial wellness to be as important as physical wellness. Offering this type of fringe benefit could be as easy as finding a local financial consultant or bank representative willing to hold a series of workshops for employees on topics like budgeting, saving, building credit and other important financial priorities. You could also look into salary sacrificing opportunities for your staff.
Can doing good be good for your employees and retention? You bet. Many employees believe that companies which sponsor volunteer activities offer a better working environment. Helping others can also create a positive sentiment and increase job satisfaction in the workplace.
This perk is virtually free for you, and much appreciated by employees, who can save on wardrobe costs and dry-cleaning bills. Why not start introducing casual dress Fridays?
Commuting or parking assistance
Your employees might resent having to pay to get to work; and the costs can really add up. Small businesses often have the edge by offering free parking in a suburban or on-street location so make sure to articulate the value of that location to your employees if applicable. And if any of your team relies on transit, offering a subsidised bus or train pass might be a welcomed perk.
Increasingly companies are deciding that Fido and Fluffy make a welcome addition to the workplace and can led to improved morale. Before you open up the doggie door, just make sure that everyone in the office is pet-tolerant and set down some ground rules regarding behaviour.