You Don’t Need to Be Outrageous, Just Creative, With Your Benefits

Job seekers care about the benefits you offer. In fact, 4 out of 5 say that the benefits offered are the deciding factor in taking a new job, according to data from The Guardian 2014 Workplace Benefits Study.

But what does this mean for your company? How can you compete with the outrageous benefits that companies like Google or Facebook are offering?

The answers are simple: get creative and offer candidates what they need, in order to secure the top talent your company needs.

Companies need to stand out in order to draw in the best talent, and creative workplace benefits can help. Today, job seekers are much more concerned with company culture and how they will “fit in” than ever before. Consider getting creative with your benefits and branching out from the typical offerings.

Employees love free food

Instead of simply stocking the snack fridge in your office or offering a “team lunch” once a month, offer more creative snack options like a yogurt bar or ice cream machine. If your office is too far from restaurants to walk, consider offering your employees a free shuttle to and from the local lunch spots.

If you know the people in your office like to cook, hold a quarterly cooking contest where you supply the food and your team cooks it for prizes. In the end everyone gets to eat, so everyone wins.

Work relationships build stronger company ties

According to an August 2014 Globoforce report, employees with work friends are more highly engaged and at least 60 percent less likely to leave if offered another job. For employers and hiring managers, this means focusing your efforts on building strong employee relationships.

Employee outings are a great way to build lasting employee-employer relationships. Many companies offer the typical yearly BBQ or retreat, so you need to get creative to attract real talent.

For example, if your office is in an area where sports tickets are cheap, have a bi-monthly “game night” where you take your employees out to the ball game. If your office is surrounded by great restaurants, hold an office survey and find out where employees would like to go, then take them there.

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Another great option is a monthly themed office happy hour. Put a different person in charge each month and let your employees blow off a little steam.

Your benefits should echo your corporate culture. So, as you think of creative ways to boost your benefits package, think about how you want job seekers to see themselves fitting in at your company, and go from there.

Give employees what they need

Employees value a company that thinks about their well-being. Another great way to attract top talent is to focus your workplace benefits on what your employees need.

  • If you have an organization full of parents, health nuts or employees looking for education, provide them with day care options, reduced-rate gym memberships and tuition reimbursement programs. These may seem like “typical” benefits offerings, but they can make all the difference in the world to your employees.
  • Work-life balance is becoming more and more important to job seekers, especially those who have children. If your office does not offer it now, think about finding a way to offer telework options and flexible scheduling for your employees.
  • Healthy employees are happy employees. Many companies today are going further than just offering gym memberships. They are bringing healthy habits into the workplace. Consider holding a morning yoga class or weekly walking competition to bring your employees together and shake things up a bit. If your office is brimming with fitness fanatics, organize group workouts or provide an on-site trainer so your employees can get their gym time in at work. Healthy employees are happy employees, and happy employees are more focused.

Giving your employees what they need does not have to be boring. Just like with your company’s food options or social outings, you can get creative.

Good benefits don’t need to be outrageous

As you consider how to ramp up your benefits, remember that it is not always the outrageous benefits that attract top talent. Provide benefits that build a strong company culture and show that you care about your employees, and top talent will want to sign the dotted line.

What creative workplace benefits does your company offer?

Val Matta is the vice president of business development at CareerShift, a comprehensive job hunting and career management solution for companies, outplacement firms, job seekers and university career centers. Connect with Val and CareerShift on LinkedIn.

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