Want to Keep Competitors from Taking Top Talent?

"employee benefits" "employee perks" "company benefits" "company perks" "retaining top talent"

Subsidized yoga classes, flexible hours, tuition reimbursement, oh my! How important perks are like these? In a word: very. It’s no secret that top talent is your company’s most valuable asset. The question is how do you retain it? Simply offering employer-paid health insurance and paid time off no longer does the trick when it comes to staying competitive and retaining high-quality workers. Benefits are not only valuable for companies to hire and retain top talent, but they also boost company morale and assure that employees to produce their highest-quality work.

A study by Canadian Life suggests that more than 50 percent of employees would take a job with a new employer, without a salary increase, if it offered better perks and benefits. So which perks hold the most sway with employees? Of course, it’s important not to ignore the basics. Competitive pay, generous medical benefits, paid vacation and holidays, pension plans, and sabbatical options are necessary but no longer sufficient to keep hire and retain top employees. Companies need to take it a step further.

People want to work for companies that offer a variety of benefits to keep employees motivated, healthy, and engaged. According to a survey from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., perks deemed highly-effective for retention include:

  • vacation/personal time (49%)
  • wellness-related benefits (43%)
  • flexible schedules (40%)
  • tuition reimbursement (27%)
  • telecommuting (25%)

Employees are becoming more and more interested in shaping their compensation packages to include a better work/life balance according to a survey conducted by WorldatWork, Loyola University Chicago, and the Hay Group. They are looking for companies that offer family-friendly policies, such as discounted childcare, generous maternity leave, and the option of a compressed workweek. Companies such as Dell are known to go so far as to provide college coaches for their employees’ kids!

While some perks, such as a comfortable and trendy work place, free language courses, company-sponsored community service activities, mentoring and coaching, or commuter benefits, may seem superfluous to some, they really do make a difference to employees. Happy and healthy employees are more engaged with their companies and produce higher-quality work. Furthermore, many potential employees are looking for extensive training and development programs that foster employee growth and mentoring and coaching systems.

While many companies had to cut perks during the recent recession, the situation is definitely looking up as more and more companies are recognizing the need to stay competitive to keep top talent. In fact, many companies are going beyond simply reinstating perks and are exceeding what was previously offered according to a study by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The study shows that:

  • 83 percent of companies interviewed have reinstated at least some of their perks
  • 42 percent have at least returned to pre-recession levels
  • 24 percent are exceeding the perks that were previously offered

According to Gallup data, the companies excelling at these perk offerings will maintain their edge in the marketplace. Assuming perks equate to engagement, those companies can expect 49 percent higher employee-retention, 18 percent higher productivity, and 16 percent higher profits compared to the bottom 25 percent.

All too often, small businesses and startups with smaller benefit budgets struggle to attract employees with incentives. However, all is not for loss when it comes to company perks for small businesses without Google-size benefit budgets. You don’t need to have a rock-climbing wall or a movie theater in your office to keep employees satisfied. There are benefits small companies can provide that hold significant weight with potential employees. Across the board, there is one perk that is valuable to companies looking to hire top talent: flexibility. Adidas’ motto for its employees is “as few rules as necessary, as much flexibility as possible.”

While this seems to break the norm of the typical businesses structure, it is a great way to retain top talent, encourage innovation, and allow employees produce their highest quality work. Most importantly, being flexible is free. Trust your employees to know when they are most productive and allow them to work around this schedule.

What does your company do to stand out amongst its competitors when it comes to benefits and perks? This is an important question to keep in mind when it comes to building your company’s team. Be prepared to sell the position when the right candidates come along by having your benefits “bag of tricks” packed with variety and flexibility to meet your employees’ needs.

Post written by Donna Hanrahan, Marketing Intern at Whiting Consulting.

Why You Need to Read the “The Thank You Economy”

Gary Vaynerchuk has done it again; he wrote another social media masterpiece!

Gary Vaynerchuk, Thank You EconomyOur company loved his last hit, Crush It!, about developing a strong personal brand in life and in the office, and Vaynerchuk’s new book, The Thank You Economy, targets points of why every business should incorporate and adapt to today’s expanding changes on the Internet into their company’s traditional organizational strategies.

One of Gary’s quotes that really hit my core about company culture is…

 

“I care more about my employees than I do about my customers, and I care more about my customers than I do about breathing.”

It is vital for every business leader to realize that in today’s market, customers and companies are experiencing equivalency due to the power of online media and competing for authenticity.

According to Gary, some of the main company culture building blocks that should be incorporated to create success are:

1.      Innovate today- Old fashioned business techniques are now unreliable, and innovation and creativity are the keys to moving ahead.

2.      Transparency- We love Gary’s enthusiasm about the importance of transparency and honesty. This is something we practice on a daily basis, because it builds our brand’s exposure and supports engagement with our audience. As stated by Gary, “Good intentions pull people towards you…”

3.    Do it the Zappos way- Tony Hsieh has empowered Zappos employees to care about their customers and go farther than expected. By performing small tasks that the company doesn’t ask employees to do, they have created ‘shock and awe’ moments. Even a hand written thank you note in today’s digital empire is considered a pleasant surprise; this is something we enjoy doing here at Whiting Consulting, as well!

4.     Empower the influential- Empowering your employees to care for your audience will boost your of community interactions and value online. Word of mouth will take charge, and all the effort put in will come back by continuously building-up your brand.  Empowerment within the company is a definite must.

Those are just a few of the key points Gary crosses in the Thank You Economy, and there are many more valuable tips and stories regarding how to survive today’s economic expectations online.

We highly recommend reading Gary’s book. Businesses should take every opportunity they have to create a unique experience for their customers in today’s ever-changing society.

 

Post written by Julie Skowronek, Marketing Coordinator at Whiting Consulting.

Photo credit: thinkvitamin.com

Taking the Fear Out of the Question: “What is Your Weakness?”

Fear, Negativity, Confidence Surrounded by Fear, Finding Confidence

In a recent #jobhuntchat, the topic of the night was on interviewing. A question came up of “Which questions scare you the most?” Many of the tweets were focusing on the “What is your weakness?” question. There are so many ways to answer this question.

Some vote that there shouldn’t be a weakness question at all, because no one is perfect. Others worry about if they will be judged personally by what kind of answer they give. With so many points of view to this sticky question, everyone’s fear has been bottled up.

Well, let’s take the fear out of this question. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: