Many companies are struggling to attract the talent that could fuel their development, only because they aren’t offering enough. The reflection is not on a single benefit that a company provides, but on the extra perks that an employee can look forward to when getting hired.
The competitive nature of industries, coupled with the needs and wants of this generation of workers, means that businesses need to be more creative in the perks they offer to potential employees. To help HR departments grasp what companies should be offering in this day and age, but fall short in doing so, we asked 13 members of Forbes Human Resources Council about the perks that they consider overlooked by current employment remuneration schemes.
1. Wellness And Health
Each organization is different. I think the perk I find most valuable is a payment toward gym memberships or health memberships, which is not always mandatory. Organizations are great in paying toward medical insurance, which is not preventative. If the focus was more on wellness instead of sickness, we would see a great improvement in productivity and overall engagement and happiness. – Tasniem Titus, Dentsply Sirona
2. Unlimited Vacation Time
We started offering unlimited vacation time (subject to manager review and approval) several years ago. Believe it or not, the difference in the average worker’s time off increased by fewer than three days on average. As a result of this change, people enjoy more flexibility and work-life balance. Results have never been better and it’s a powerful benefit for attraction and retention. – Joyce Maroney, Kronos Incorporated
3. Paid Parental Leave
Some women feel they must choose between working and staying at home. A company that desires to attract the very best employees would provide paid maternity leave, up to and including paternal leave for new fathers as well. In 2018, only 40% of companies have paid paternal leave. As we enter the year 2020, let all HR professionals advocate to increase that percentage to 80%. – Tish McFadden, DoubleTree McLean Tysons & B. F. Saul Company Hospitality GroupForbes Human Resources Council is an invitation-only organization for HR executives across all industries. Do I qualify?
4. Financial Education
Workplace wellness usually focuses on the physical aspects. More than half of working Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck. Offering financial education services from licensed professionals at little or no charge on how to manage money at different stages in your career is vital. Understanding credit, homebuying, savings for emergencies and retirement is an important part of overall wellness. – Regina Romeo, CPS HR Consulting
5. Student Debt Payment Matching
If you want to be ahead of the curve on perks to attract talent, then look into student debt payment matching. This is a newer benefit that impacts employees’ bottom line and showcases employers’ value in their education. Being able to match a percentage of payment is not only a benefit, but also a huge perk that will put you, as an employer, ahead of the competition for talent. – Kelly Loudermilk, BuildHR, Inc.
6. Flexible Work Schedule
Many people have competing priorities and want to balance home life with work life. Where possible in the business, companies should offer the opportunity to work remotely or have flexible schedules to help employees be more productive and achieve their best work. – Sherry Martin, OmniTRAX
7. Solid Development Programs
Modern employees value purpose, growth and impact. Instead of investing in perks — free lunches, ping pong tables, unlimited vacation — companies should seek to develop their employees and help them find meaning in their work. A strong employee development program leads to more engaged, motivated employees and a company where people want to work and stay. – Jeff Weber, Instructure
8. Car Service On-Site
Employees spend a significant time at work and oftentimes have personal things that they need to take care of either during working hours or their free days. I think offering basic on-site car services keeps employees at work and also gives them the opportunity to be able to enjoy their free time on the weekends. – RaQuel Hopkins, DHI Telecom Group
9. Coaching For All
Few companies offer coaching as a benefit, allowing people beyond executives access to coaches. Coaching helps people reduce stress, find purpose and increase effectiveness. Even a single coaching session can be life-changing. Imagine if you could help your team members improve their executive presence, or transition smoothly back from parental leave — how grateful would they be? – Mikaela Kiner, Reverb
10. Guided Mindfulness
There has been a push for yoga, massage and other wellness benefits in the workplace, but business owners would do well to encourage meditation with options like company-sponsored retreats, paid access to apps like Calm or Headspace, or even on-site or virtual group meditation sessions. There is enough data out there showing that meditation improves productivity to make it a worthwhile investment. – Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.
12. Corporate Volunteer Opportunities
Today’s job seekers are increasingly socially-conscious and want to work for brands that share their values. Companies can improve recruitment and attrition by organizing corporate volunteer opportunities and offering paid time off to volunteer at charities of employees’ choice. Matching charitable donations is another way to tangibly demonstrate support for the causes they are passionate about. – Marilyn Tyfting, SVP & Chief Corporate Officer at TELUS International
13. Industry-Specific Benefits
Offer perks that are unique to the company’s values and mission. Aligning your benefits to complement values allows you to build on company culture while encouraging your employees to take the same journey as the customers. In the mortgage industry offering perks like a mortgage and down payment assistance program provides staff with the ability to achieve the same dream of homeownership as customers. – Kelly Ann Doherty, Mr. Cooper Group