Employee engagement has literally become a full-time job in some organizations. You have companies such as Google and Twitter, who offer their employees free meals, massages, haircuts, and so on, which isn’t attainable for most small to medium sized businesses. There is good news, though! You don’t have to offer all of those perks to attract and retain talent; actually, there are quite a few things you can do in order to keep your employees happy at little to no cost to you.
As the workforce continues to introduce more and more millennials, we’re starting to see a shift in how companies operate. Suddenly, pay raises aren’t the only thing you can do to keep your employees; offering attractive benefits is, in some cases, much more effective. A study conducted by Fractl sought out 2,000 people to see what is important to job seekers: more money or more benefits.
The results came in to show that health, dental, and vision insurance were the most influential piece when looking at job benefits, with 88% of respondents saying they would consider taking lower-paying jobs if these benefits were better. This should come as no surprise when you look at the cost of health insurance. However, not too far behind there is the desire for more flexibility and vacation time. More and more, we are seeing the need for more of a balance between work and life. What does this mean exactly? Your employees want to have the option to work from home, take more vacation time, and even choose their own hours to a certain extent. This is exactly why remote positions are booming, as are those ever-so-shocking unlimited time off policies.
As the workforce changes, employers are forced to change with it if they want to win the war on talent. Benefits such as flexible hours and the option to work from home are extremely low-cost for employers, but certainly, pay dividends to their employee retainment. Even unlimited time off will help you save money by cutting down on admin costs and paperwork. Plus, the benefits include a better work-life balance for the employee, loyalty to the company, and a feeling of being trusted by your employer. It’s easy to see why these benefits go a long way in retaining your talent.
Fractl also looked at the monetary value of offering such benefits. When you look at an employee who has a base salary of $60,000, the cost to provide health benefits at 100% coverage is over $11,000. We know that employees desire health benefits more than anything else, but with costs so high, it can be very hard for employers to offer fully paid health benefits. However, looking at that same employee making $60,000 per year, it would only cost a business $3,234 to offer unlimited vacation days. This is much more affordable than health care and not too far off from the normal ‘2 weeks paid vacation’ we typically see. If this same company were to offer 2 weeks of paid time off they would spend $2,310 on an employee making $60,000. Spending the extra $1,000 to retain your talent will pay for itself over the years. Studies show that companies who offer paid time off only see employees take 14 days off per year, on average. Want to come off as more competitive to job seekers? Bump that 2 weeks of paid time off to unlimited paid off.
Another study conducted by Flexjobs shows that parents are more concerned with work flexibility and work-life balance than they are with their salary. It’s not just parents that want flexibility, however. It is a changing shift in our workforce that expect a better balance with their work and life. Work flexibility gives the option to work from home when necessarily, but also to be able to pop into the office and work there when possible. If you’re looking for another low-cost benefit to offer your employees, a flexible work schedule should definitely be one of them. This piece also ties back to the trust factor with your employees; giving your workforce the option to have a flexible work schedule instills your trust in them and their ability to get their work done effectively, even outside of the office.
Aside from time off and flexibility, there are other really great benefits you can offer to your employees. Perks such as free snacks and coffee can be a low-cost way to show your employees you care. While job seekers do care about these perks, they tend to have less impact than the aforementioned perks of time off and flexibility.
If you’re looking for more ways to retain your employees without spending top dollar, you might try surveying them. If you have a mixed-generational workforce, find out what they want and need from you and act accordingly. Employee benefits are not ‘one-size fits all’. You will have those who seek flexible hours as well as those who value free food and drinks. By surveying your employees, you can see what matters most and do your best to implement a benefits program that will include all the ‘must-haves’ for your company culture.
Interested in learning more about how you can retain your employees? Find out how our benefits administration software puts your employees in control. Watch a demo below.