Did you know that four out of five employees would rather receive an upgrade in their benefits package than an increase in their pay?[1]

Thanks to globalization, the job market is wildly competitive today. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay big bucks to keep top talent or attract the best employees. Any company can make salary promises, but not every company provides employees with certain freedoms and future securities. Below are four unique benefits that are tempting your employees to leave in search of opportunities that better support their health, lifestyle, and overall well-being.

1. Flexible Working Locations[2]

The ultimate goal is no longer work-life balance; it’s work-life integration. And nothing opens up all the possibilities that life has to offer like the ability to work from home, satellite offices, vacation spots, and other destinations.

Advantages

  • Employees waste less time and money commuting, which adds value to their compensation.
  • Employers can reduce the size of their office and dramatically lower overhead costs.
  • Employees are less likely to call in sick, spread illness, or show up late to work.
  • Employees can be more productive away from the distractions of the office environment.
  • Employees are happier at work and less prone to burnout and psychological stress.[3]

Drawbacks

  • Communication can be challenging when managing remote employees. Luckily, technology creates dozens of ways to bridge the communication gap and support collaboration.
  • The lack of face-to-face interaction makes developing and maintaining a company culture difficult.
  • Consistent and thorough onboarding, orientation, and integration are hard for HR to achieve when employees aren’t always on site.

2. Flex-Scheduling[4]

According to research, almost half of all professionals have left or considered leaving a job because it lacked flexibility.[5] With Flex-scheduling, employees can choose which block of hours they’d prefer to work each day. For example, working 8:00am to 4:00pm or 10:00am to 6:00pm. Some companies even allow employees to compress the workweek. For example, working four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days.

Benefits

  • Flex-scheduling allows employees to reserve their most productive hours for work, which increases efficiency and output.
  • Employers can reduce and optimize office space and resources by taking advantage of staggered shifts.
  • Flex-scheduling reduces employee stress and contributes to work-life integration, which bolsters overall employee satisfaction and wellbeing.
  • Staggered staffing can increase your customer service availability and presence.

Drawbacks

  • Giving employees control over their schedules requires a high degree of trust between the employee and management, as some employees may be tempted to abuse the privilege.
  • Supervising a flex-scheduled team can be challenging, especially when planning meetings or mapping out project timelines.
  • Flex scheduling may create logistical problems for staffing and could contribute to rifts between employees regarding accountability and availability.

3. Profit Sharing[6]

Profit sharing is when an employer designates a percentage of annual profits as a pool of money to share with employees. Companies that offer profit sharing typically use a formula based on rank and duration of employment to decide how profits are divided amongst the workforce.

Benefits

  • Profit sharing promotes a sense of shared ownership and motivates employees to hold themselves and others accountable for reaching company goals.
  • Monetary motivation will increase productivity.
  • A sense of ownership in the company increases employee loyalty.

Drawbacks

  • Profit sharing can create too much focus on profits, which may cause things like customer service and inter-office camaraderie to suffer.
  • Employees may grow to expect a certain amount of the share. As such, a poor quarter may negatively impact employee satisfaction.

4. Paid Parental Leave

Under the Family Medical Leave Act, employees who are giving birth or adopting a child can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave but, unfortunately, most families can’t afford to go three months without a paycheck. America is one of only three countries in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid parental leave, let alone paid leave for new fathers or adoptive families. For employees who are planning their families, this benefit could make or break their decision to stay with your company.

Benefits

  • Paid parental leave is directly linked to retention rates.
  • Paid parental leave helps businesses compete with international companies that already offer this benefit as a standard.
  • Paid parental leave reinforces company culture and fosters a sense of belonging and community.
  • This benefit can also demonstrate your company’s commitment to gender equality through a neutral policy that extends to new mothers and new fathers.

Drawbacks

  • Paid leave represents a significant cost to the employer. However, it’s important to compare this expense to the cost of replacing an employee should they decide to leave.
  • Prolonged leave can influence an employee’s decision to stay home full time.
  • Employers may need to hire temporary workers to cover for the absent employee or ask that other employees take on extra work.

Consider adding one or more of these benefits to your customized benefits package to improve retention rates, foster a sense of community, and increase employee loyalty. Not all benefits will cost the business money. In fact, advantages like flex scheduling or flex working locations can dramatically reduce overhead. For business-funded benefits, it’s also important to think about the cost of turnover at your organization compared to the cost of offering a new benefit. The ends will likely justify the means.

 

Does your company offer a unique benefit that makes you want to stay? Share it in the comments section below!

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Information presented is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered specific investment advice, does not take into consideration your specific situation, and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and are not guaranteed, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. For specific tax advice on any strategy, consult with a qualified tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. BCJ FG 18-105

[1] Paychex
[2] hrcouncil.ca
[3] Forbes
[4] Paychex
[5] FlexJobs
[6] bizfluent