Employees seek valuable benefits when looking for their forever home. Find out how you can attract and retain top talent at your company by implementing these creative benefits.

In today’s global workplace, companies are no longer “one size fits all.” As businesses seek less and less to fit inside prescribed lines, the pressure is on to make your company a place where people want to stay. How do you attract and retain the right employees? The quick answer is…with a little creativity.

Businesses often start with an idea at the individual level and then become great through collective teamwork. It’s wise to take a similar approach to employee benefits if you want to retain those who think outside the box. Start with the needs of your individual employees and work up to the business level. Here are some examples of employee benefits that retain quality team members.

Flexibility in the workplace

The notion of flexibility brings to mind the question: are you working to live or living to work? Business owners can sometimes become so focused on their company goals that they forget the personal side of the team which is, of course, the most important. With modern families balancing full workloads alongside childcare and school schedules, flexibility is a must.

Flexibility might come in different forms, including remote work opportunities or adjustments in work schedule. Although there is a seemingly invincible idea that flexible work options breed employee dissent and kill productivity, studies have shown that flexibility actually improves job satisfaction and boosts productivity.

Deloitte reports that a lack of flexibility is the most likely reason for Millennials to leave their job. Complementing that point, Zenefits asserts that, “73% of employees said flexible work arrangements increased their satisfaction at work.” In fact, flexible working offers a whole mountain of positive benefits beyond our work output. Forbes says that, “Research…shows that employees are healthier, experience less stress, and are more productive and engaged when they effectively make choices about how, where and when they work.”

Despite the ongoing perception that workplace flexibility is an invitation for distraction, people are happier and do better work when it’s flexible. It’s important to remember that when you exhibit understanding for what matters to your team on a personal level, you encourage loyalty on a professional one.

Doing good through the company

For the most part, we all want to make the world a better place, but contemporary families have a lot on their plates. The modern family looks largely different now than it did 50 years ago. People are inundated with work tasks and family obligations, leaving little time for a good cause. But, doing good has many benefits.

Studies have shown that employee productivity and overall well-being improves when people are given an opportunity to support a cause they care about. To help strengthen the bonds of your team, you can even encourage them (and provide them with the opportunity) to contribute together.

According to a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, altruism at work makes employees happier and less likely to quit their jobs.

Forward-thinking company culture

You may hear stories about air hockey tables found in the corner of the office or coffee-house quality espresso machines at the ready. But, truth be told, that isn’t what defines a company culture.

A company culture consists of the core values which drives all that you do as an organization. Even though ping pong tables and private workstations equipped with massage chairs don’t make your company’s culture, you can use those options or similar amenities to illustrate the primary values in your own company. If you are trying to encourage comradery, then you might opt for a puzzle-building station, but most importantly, inject your core values into everything that you offer your employees.

Structure events and opportunities to illustrate meaningful opportunities to those that power your company. Build your company culture so that it clearly communicates that you value your employees. Employees thrive in environments when they know they are appreciated.

Student debt assistance

Student debt has quickly become a major financial burden for graduates. Forbes reported that, 2017 graduates owe an average of $40,000 in student loans and even identified student assistance as the hottest employee perk in 2018. Such a huge financial burden creates stress in new employees and may motivate them to seek a high-paying job, even when they prefer their current company. Offering student loan assistance will instill loyalty and reduce stress.

Healthy lifestyle options

It’s no secret that we have become largely sedentary, spending hours in cubicles and neglecting our physical health. Modern employees want to be fit and healthy, but often work commitments and family obligations make exercise difficult, if not largely impossible. Consider making exercise a part of work life and you may find the benefits outweigh the cost.

According to Harvard Medical School, exercise does not only solve many physical health problems, but it also has a positive effect on the brain. Exercise has actually been proven to improve thinking skills, memory, and mental acuity. As an added bonus, exercise also puts you in a better mood and helps you sleep. These benefits translate into a more attentive, focused employee, who is happier with their employer for offering the opportunity to focus on physical (and mental) health.

Sense of purpose

It’s often thought that money drives us to take various turns in our career path. But, what employees really want is to be happy in their job. While financial security is a factor, mostly employees want to feel as though they are making a difference.

For example, if you want to have a great company culture and encourage a sense of purpose, ask employees what they want and then give them control of the project. If they want better exercise options, have them submit a proposal for a new exercise program. They will feel that their input is valued, all while working towards a positive employee program.

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