It is typical for companies to offer a 401k plan or health insurance as part of the employee benefit package. However, there are many other perks and benefits that employees would love to have as well, all of which are very inexpensive for a company to adopt.
For instance, an employee under the age of 35 would rather have free lunch in the office each week as opposed to a pay raise. What other alternative benefits can employers use to retain their best talent?
1. A Flexible Schedule Helps Employees with Work/Life Balance
Consider allowing flextime. For example, an employee could come in at noon and work eight hours, as opposed to having to show up first thing in the morning. This strategy might be better for those who enjoy staying up late at night.
Another option is that it might be better for parents to have Wednesday and Friday off instead of the weekend. That way they can be available to their children during the week. Assuming employees can get their work done and meet customer needs, offering a flexible schedule can be an easy way to win worker loyalty without sacrificing the bottom line.
2. Help Employees with Student Loan Debt
When recent college grads get their first jobs, they do so with thousands of dollars in student loan debt. This debt might make it harder to buy a house, start a family or even keep up with basic living expenses.
You can provide several hundred dollars a month or year to help with student loan payments, instead of the standard 3-5% raise. This tactic can go a long way toward improving morale and increasing employee loyalty toward the company.
3. Let Your People Be Themselves
Another easy way to offer perks to your employees without having to spend a lot of money is to allow them to dress casually at the office. You also might want to consider letting your employees work from home, either for part of the week or as standard company policy.
The freedom to work from home benefits employees because they don’t have to be stressed about their morning commutes. They also don’t have to spend a lot of money on gas or work clothes. This option benefits employers as well because they won’t need large office buildings and the associated costs that come with them.
4. Allow Your Employees to Develop and Advance
Your employees want to learn and grow on the job. Having a boss that takes an interest in what they do and prepares them for greater success is among the top perks younger workers want in lieu of a larger salary.
Therefore, business owners should invest in employee development if they want to keep salaries in check and invest in their futures at the same time. Short classes covering useful training over a one-month period are helpful. You can also offer optional classes after work for an hour or two. Both options could go a long way toward retaining your employees.
5. Let Your Employees Literally Take Ownership of Their Work
Offering stock options or even small profit sharing motivates employees to work harder and smarter for the company. If your employees do a good job building relationships with customers and otherwise keeping costs in check, they might directly benefit through an ownership interest that grows in value.
If you want to keep your employees, there are plenty of creative workplace benefits you can offer them. Stock options, development programs, and helping with student loan debt are prized perks that employees might desire instead of a larger salary. Therefore, these items are worth looking into if you don’t want to increase salaries or are looking for a less expensive perk than the standard round of raises.
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