Small businesses can compete for talent without breaking the bank. Yes, you still need to pay competitive wages to get people in the door, but it's the perks that will help you retain them. Here are 30 low cost ways small businesses can show employees they are highly valued.
Flex time–Some organizations require employees to be at work during core hours and the employee can set their schedule around this. Others allow employees to put in their hours at their own discretion. Most require employees to have a set schedule so their managers can plan for coverage. The schedule may be adjusted to accommodate the need to attend to personal matters.
Innovation time–Some companies set aside several days a year to allow employees time to step away from their usual responsibilities to tackle projects related to the way they work and the spaces they work in. Results are shared in a company meeting the following morning.
Monthly commuter benefit–Monthly stipend ($100) paid to those who commute by public transportation.
Fully stocked kitchen–Coffee, soft drinks, and snacks. Employees are free to help themselves. Want to bump this up a notch? Keep organic milk in stock and add fresh fruit and healthy snacks to the shopping list.
Wellness benefits–Employees can receive reimbursement for purchases related to fitness (up to $300/year). Typical items reimbursed include, running shoes, yoga pants, bicycles, gym reimbursement, etc.
Free lunch once a week–The company brings in lunch weekly for all employees.
Canine colleagues–House trained visitors are invited to join the team.
Parental leave–All employees are eligible for paid time off after the birth or adoption of a child.
No dress code–Ties are optional in this work environment.
Summer hours–Employees kick back early on Fridays during the summer months. This allows employees to beat the heat as well as the traffic.
Free weekly chair massages–Employees are invited to stretch out for a 15-minute chair massage.
Telecommuting–Employees can work from the comfort of their homes.
Technically neutral–Employees can choose to work on a PC or a Mac. Their choice!
PTO–Employees can choose how to use their paid time off bank (vacation, sick, and personal time) to best meet the needs of their individual situations.
Work life balance–Working at a place where it really is okay to leave the office before 8PM.
Perks for part-time employees–Many organizations treat part-time workers like they were temps. Provide part-time workers with perks and they'll be acting like full-time workers in no time.
Concert tickets, movie outings, sporting events–Keep the workplace exciting by mixing these rewards up. Don't forget to throw some cash your employee's way to cover the babysitter.
Sabbaticals–Month long sabbaticals after five years of service. Two months after ten years of service.
Laundry service–Employees are encouraged to air their dirty laundry at work. A service picks up their clothes and drops them back at work, clean and folded.
An oil change at work–Who has time to take their car in for an oil change? Companies have arranged for a service to come to the office and take care of this messy task while employees are working.
Gift matching program–The company matches the donation's of their employees. The cap on the match is based on what the company can afford.
Adoption assistance–The company offers a set amount of financial assistance towards the adoption of a child. This money can be used towards legal expenses, adoption agencies or other adoption professional fees.
Take-Out Benefit–To help make things easier, new moms and dads are able to expense up to $300 for take-out meals during the first 3 months that they are home with their new baby.
Employee Referral Program–Good people know other good people. The best employees are usually hired through referrals. Those who refer candidates that are hired receive a cash bonus award.
Going green–preferred parking and/or employee subsidies for those who purchase and drive hybrid vehicles.
Paid time off to volunteer–Employees are given a specific amount of paid time off to volunteer in their communities.
Sweep employees off their feet–Hire professional cleaners to tidy up employees' homes every two weeks.
Tuition forgiveness programs–Offer to pay off a percentage of tuition owed, per year of employment, for hard to fill positions that are usually filled by recent grads.
Taking care of the people who matter–Enlist a vendor to deliver ready-to-eat healthy dinners, that employees can elect to purchase and take home to their families.
Flowers and gift cards for the spouse–The people who really pick up the slack are the spouses who are forced to work double duty when their partner is working late hours. Acknowledge their contribution by sending flowers or gift cards, along with a personal note to acknowledge their contribution.
Incorporating perks like these into your organization will help you attract top talent, increase employee satisfaction and reduce costly employee turnover, which in the end is far more profitable than scaling back on your benefit expenses to save a few bucks.
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