Skip to main content
RBC
Paying competitive compensation is one way to lure the best and brightest, but organizations also need to offer great benefits — and a few perks, too — to keep employees.

Here are five ways employers can attract and retain workers:

Create a Workspace That Fits the Culture

Most employees spend 40 or more hours a week at work, so why not make it a place they would be proud to show off if a friend popped by. Ping pong tables, free snacks and secret rooms are all things that companies are providing right here in Canada. You can also use the workspace as a tool to emphasize and strengthen your company’s culture. For example, yoga wear retailer Lululemon pays for staff workouts at area fitness studios, which also allows their employees to test their products. Organic snack company Clif Bar offers stipends to cover marathon registration fees, which fits in with their active culture. Other perks include concierge services, such as grocery delivery or dry cleaning pick up and drop off, to save staff time from having to run those errands later in the day.

Don’t Be a Scrooge With Hours

Not all perks need to be over the top or similar to the likes of Google. One of the most valued perks is flexible hours. Many companies already offer flexible schedules for working parents, which they greatly appreciate. Why not give the same perk to all employees, where possible. Maybe you have employees who prefer to work out in the morning and want to come to work a little later, or maybe they’re more productive in the afternoon or evening hours. Be flexible if you can. As long as employees aren’t missing key meetings or deadlines, they should be encouraged to work when they’re at their best. Allowing employees to work from home from time-to-time is another much-appreciated perk. While there’s an ongoing debate about how productive people are working from home, and some companies have reversed their telecommuting policies, organizations should weigh the decision on what’s right for their culture and employees.

Help Them, Help You Take Your Business Further

Most employees want to improve their skills and look to their employers to offer ongoing training and development. A PwC study, “Millennials at Work: Reshaping the Workplace,” shows millennials, who make up about half of the global workforce, don’t just want more training and development where they work, they expect it. In fact, training and development ranked higher than flexible working opportunities and cash bonuses, the report shows.

Career progression is also a top priority, with 52 percent of millennials listing it as the main attraction in an employer, ahead of competitive salaries, in second place.

“The particular characteristics of millennials – such as their ambition and desire to keep learning and move quickly upwards through an organization, as well as their willingness to move on quickly if their expectations are not being met — requires a focused response from employers,” PwC says.

Work on Wellness

Health and dental benefits are the foundations of employee benefit plans, but today’s workers are looking for more. They’re seeking out companies that help to support the full spectrum of wellness including mental, emotional and physical health. That includes companies that offer employee assistance programs that include various types of counselling, as well as workout facilities or, maybe even a place for them to shower if they bike to work or go for a run at lunch time. Employees also expect healthy food options in the workplace cafeteria and vending machines. It’s about overall well-being.

Help Employees Get More Financially Fit

Employees want to be financially fit, as well as physically, and are attracted to employers that help them achieve those goals. Potential employees seek out employers that offer programs that help them save and invest for the future, even when they’re no longer working. Options include different types of pension plans, profit-sharing plans and stock options (where available), as well as saving and investing programs that help workers set aside money in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan or Tax-Free Saving Account. Companies can also help by bringing in professionals to provide money management tools and advice to help put employees on a path to financial wellness.

Given the current competitive market for talent, one top priority for many businesses today is retaining employees.

Offering them a better work environment, with good benefits and a few perks, can go a long way to keeping talent happy, productive and loyal.