The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically shifted the way many people think about work. No one knows the long-term effects of the pandemic on the workplace, but it’s safe to assume that we’ll be feeling the repercussions for the foreseeable future.
One thing that’s already noticeable is that many employees are considering flexible workplaces. And to attract the best and brightest, many businesses are scrambling to come with interesting perks.
While some of these benefits fall flat and don’t have the intended result, others are extremely effective, drawing in the best talent and positively impacting their lives.
Here are seven examples of how you can change the way you attract and retain employees:
1. Invest in your employees and your business.
If you run a small firm, consider treating your employees to a custom suit or tailoring. Not only will they look great, but they’ll feel confident and appreciated, which can only help your business. Plus, employees will feel more loyal when you invest in them in this very tangible way.
2. Stay on-brand.
If you’re a tech company, go all-in on remote work. Instead of just letting people have the option to work from home, offer a monthly stipend for food, supplies, and internet services. Own an outdoorsy company? Try offering an annual stipend for adventure trips, like survival hikes or athletic competitions, or covering cycling equipment and maintenance. If fitness, tech, entertainment, or healthcare are built into the DNA of your company, your benefits should reflect it.
3. Think long-term.
Caring for your employees when they’re in or out of the office is the key to long-term retention. One great way to support your team long-term is to offer fertility coverage and family leave. Infertility affects many couples, but it’s not something many people are comfortable talking about. By offering to cover a portion of fertility treatments and medication, employees will be supported in a way they might never have been with another employer.
Consider putting family planning at the forefront of your business by offering paid parental leave, giving new parents time to bond with their new addition, and women who have just given birth time to focus on their mental health to combat postpartum depression.
4. Encourage vacations… by paying for them.
Most companies offer paid time off to go on vacation, but what about paying for the vacation? Consider offering a yearly subsidy to encourage people to take a domestic trip, with the caveat that the employee has to tell the team something they learned when they get back. You never know what kind of insights they might come up with, and it’s a fun way to bring the team together.
5. Incentivize depending on current events.
The most obvious current example of this is the COVID vaccine. Whether you’re trying to head back to the office or are fine letting everyone continue working from home, everyone on your team is valuable and their health is paramount.
One way to encourage everyone to get a vaccine is to incentivize it properly. An hour or two of PTO is great, but what about $500 stipends to everyone who gets vaccinated? You may not be able to force employees to get the shot, but you can make it worth their while.
6. Ask your team what they want.
Many companies don’t give their employees a say in shaping the business, but if you’re willing to listen, you can learn a lot. Send out an employee survey a few times a year to gauge how everyone is feeling. Ask real questions and pay attention to the answers, taking action when needed to ensure that your employees are getting the things that actually benefit them. If your team trusts you, they’ll give you honest answers.
7. Get people talking.
Offering benefits like these is a surefire way to attract people to your business. If you offer benefits like unlimited PTO, generous retirement contributions, bonuses, or tailored suits, your employees are going to proudly share these things with their peers. When other people in your industry hear about how well you treat your employees, you’ll be the company that everyone wants to work for. Aim to be so good that your employees brag to their friends.