With unemployment at record lows and employers struggling to fill positions, the bargaining power is slowly shifting in favor of the worker. Business leaders are increasingly tasked with developing a work environment that is especially attractive to prospective employees, complete with various benefits and assurances.
For those on tight budgets, this expectation may seem like a tall order to fill, but the following are examples of reasonable perks and services to provide workers.
The healthier employees are, the more likely they are to perform better at their jobs. It’s therefore in your best interest as a small business to provide employees with discounted gym memberships. Another benefit of offering to pay for most of the cost of gym memberships for workers is that business owners can deduct the cost of these memberships from their taxes. Scout local gym locations to find an option with several locations, which allows for workers to take advantage of the membership even if they live across a relatively wide geographical area.
This is something a lot of small business owners overlook because of their shoestring budget constraints, but providing a decent work environment is key to drawing top talent. Working in a dimly lit warehouse with poor heating and cooling is a hallmark of the bootstrap startup, but the days of being able to recruit great candidates and keep your best workers while running a fly-by-night enterprise are numbered. The simple solution to this is to opt for a traditional office space. Whether located in San Francisco, New York, or Omaha, a well-maintained work environment will be worth it in terms of the workforce it attracts. The booming success of Bay Area building maintenance and similar services elsewhere is a testament to the importance of providing a clean, comfortable, and safe working environment to employees.
As far as American workplaces are concerned, access to decent coffee is considered a bare essential requirement. It may have been possible to get away without providing workers with free coffee in the depths of the Great Recession, but these days are different. What’s more, businesses ought to be providing something a bit more flavorful and strong than your generic store brand coffee. It doesn’t have to be gourmet, but decent coffee in the workplace is a small gesture that’s likely to help retain great workers.
Another holdover from the years following the economic crash of 2008 is the expectation that workers should be using their own computers and phones for business. There was a time when this was an absurd notion, and that perception is returning. It’s not as if there aren’t benefits to providing your employees with mobile tech. The most obvious perk from the business point-of-view is the ability to easily confiscate and scrutinize the devices in the event there is a security breach. This is harder to do when employees are using their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Lastly, the ability to provide employees with an attractive benefits package remains a sure way to help retain top talent. We’re talking healthcare, 401(k), paid vacation, sick leave, and the perks mentioned previously. Don’t skimp unless there is no alternative. Otherwise you risk losing out on an especially skilled workforce.
Employers are tasked with offering an increasing array of perks and other benefits in order to draw in the best talent possible. Focus on the most in-demand of these perks and you’re sure to succeed in hiring and retaining great workers for the win.