New customers aren’t the only group of people you may be trying to attract to your business. It can be equally challenging – maybe even more so – to attract and retain quality employees.
In fact, 40% of business owners say they have job openings they couldn’t fill, according to an August 2023 survey by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). While some businesses may be able to counter this shortage of workers by raising salaries and wages, other businesses don’t have the financial flexibility to do this.
If you’re a business that doesn’t have the financial resources to raise pay, consider differentiating yourself by adding unique employee benefits. After all, the cost of losing a potential or existing employee to a competitor may outstrip the expense of an easy-to-implement employee perk.
Here are several unique benefits to consider offering current and prospective employees:
- Flexible schedules. By creatively managing time, you can maintain workflow and keep employees productive. For example, some firms have offered a 9/80 work schedule. Over the course of two weeks, an employee works eight 9-hour days, one 8-hour day, and gets one day off. Another common option is the 4/10 schedule where each employee works four 10-hour days and takes every Friday off.
- On-site health and wellness perks. Some examples include allowing workers to visit a mobile dental clinic or registered nurse during work hours, negotiating a group discount at the local gym to provide employee gym memberships, or making weekly massages and lunch-break yoga classes available.
- Family support. On-site childcare for busy parents, rooms for nursing mothers and generous parental leave policies are family benefit options to consider. Some companies have implemented a program of chore help where the business covers the cost of laundry or cleaning services for workers who work long hours. For some businesses, permitting employees to work from home several days a week is another great perk for workers who have families and may need location flexibility.
- Expanding voluntary benefits. Health, dental, and vision insurance are three common voluntary benefits, but there are plenty more. Here are some of the more popular options in 2023: Accident, critical illness, life, disability, hospital indemnity, and pet insurance; identity theft protection; and financial wellness programs, such as financial counseling.
- Pet-friendly office. Let dog owners bring their furry companions to work on a periodic basis. Besides decreasing stress for the pet owner, dogs often facilitate group bonding. Other pet-friendly options include free training classes or discounted veterinary services. For employees who don’t own pets, pet-friendly funds can be applied toward other perks such as gym memberships or free lunches.
- Referral bonuses. If your firm is struggling to attract qualified workers, consider paying existing employees for every person who attends an interview via an employee referral. The existing worker might be offered a lump sum payment or even an allowance for each month the new hire remains on the job.
By being flexible and listening to your employees, you can generate many ideas for unique employee benefits. And the retention that results will benefit both you and your employees. If you have any questions or if you’re interested in financial counseling, reach us at dpcpa.com/contact!