As Traffic Manager for a recruitment marketing and communications agency, I see an awful lot of job ads go in and out of our creative studio every week. One thing that I've noticed more and more is that templates are becoming increasingly popular. Things like benefits are becoming standard issue and therefore boring and unimpactful.
Benefits should be just that – beneficial to the candidate. A little bonus. A treat. Something that your company can offer that’s above and beyond the norm of ‘competitive salary, pension, possible bonus, etc.’ Boring, uninspired and uninventive! Benefits are a way you can make your company stand out and that little bit more exciting and interesting for a candidate.
In an increasingly competitive marketplace for talent, standard benefits are no longer effective recruiting tools. A decent catalogue of benefits can help to attract and retain top quality candidates.
69% of staff say they'd be more likely to stay with an employer that offered good benefits. (unum.co.uk)
Here’s a list of possible benefits that can have a real impact:
All companies have to offer holiday time to employees. But some are going further than that to ensure their staff have a good work/life balance, and have time to recharge their batteries.
Some are offering way beyond the 20 days minimum requirement. Going further than this (based on the popular Netflix model) some businesses entrust their employees and their managers with unlimited holiday, trusting that the job gets done without being policed.
Some also offer employees their birthday off as standard or even a sabbatical after so many years of service.
Some people are morning people, and others are, well, not. Some people have families that they’d like to get home to as early as possible. Or maybe they need to drop off/pick up kids from school. Flexitime is a simple benefit that means that employees still work their contracted hours but are allowed that little bit more freedom.
As well as flexitime, working from home is a popular benefit. For some, working from home isn’t an option, for others it’s a regular occurrence. Some businesses also offer to help employees kit out their home office to help make working from home as easy as possible.
One of our clients also allows staff a day off per month to do with whatever they wish. Whether it be sports training, a yoga class, learning a new skill, etc. They’re very proud of it and we think it’s a great idea too!
For employees, it can be difficult and expensive to get to a gym. So offering free membership to local gyms is a great way to improve work/life balance and morale.
Studies show that healthy employees will take less sick days, work harder, cost you less and are happier at work. Also, showing employees that you care about their health and wellbeing is an easy way to get them to stay with you.
Bring your dog/pet to work days
Various studies have shown that bringing dogs to the office helps to reduce stress, boost morale and relax your office environment. Some people love their pets so much that leaving them for 8+ hours per day can be difficult. Even more so, having to pay someone to walk/look after your pets while yore at work can be a strain too. So, being free and able I bring pets to work could be of real benefit to some.
Free food & drinks
Regularly topping up the office kitchen with basics like tea, coffee, milk etc. is an easy way to make for a comfortable office atmosphere.
Beyond this, offering free fruit to employees is a great way to show you care about the health of your employees. On a slightly less healthy note, things like free breakfast for early risers and a beer fridge for Friday afternoons can be a big draw for potential employees.
Relaxed dress code
Depending on the nature of the business it may not always be possible or appropriate, but for some, a uniform or dress code can feel a little restrictive and off-putting. Not wearing a shirt and tie can have a large appeal to many workers.
Relaxation areas/games rooms
This is one that you have to be careful with, as you don’t want to infantilise or patronise your employees. However, a quiet place that staff can go to relax or let off a little steam every so often, can be seriously beneficial for morale and productivity. Particularly if yours is a creative business, a bit of space and comfort can really help to get those ideas flowing.
Not everyone drives to work in a big, fancy company car and has the luxury of a parking spot right outside the office. Some of us have to rely on public transport to get us in and out. Providing an allowance for transportation shows your employees that you want to help get to work as safely and easily as possible. It will also encourage those that live further away to consider taking up a role at your company.
As we’ve discussed, besides pretty standard perks like a pension, medical and dental benefits etc. employees want a work environment that encourages fun and helps them to be more productive. They’re looking for companies that care about work/life balance, think outside the box, offer a little extra and create an atmosphere that makes employees want to spend time there. And, in the long run, stay there.