We are in a time of unprecedented low unemployment rates and high competition for talent. So, for companies wanting to disproportionately attract and retain top talent, they are increasingly having to offer innovative employee benefits.
Offering robust and diverse benefits can set a company apart and make them more attractive to candidates who are being pursued by multiple career opportunities. This can create an employer brand that people aspire to join and where employees will want to work in a happy, productive and healthy environment.
Every employee has different needs and wants. Whilst the most popular benefits still include high wages, medical and super; businesses are striving to become much more innovative in this area. Over and above the usual suspects, here are the 10 benefits that you should be considering to stand out from your competitors.
Giving staff a few extra days for special occasions can make them appreciate the company all the more. The idea of personal days isn’t a new one, and in that same vein employers are starting to look at:
- Personal leave, for; birthdays or family commitments; special events; etc
- Professional leave, such as; study leave; attending exams; networking; etc
- Health-related, including; mental health days; caring for their family; etc
- Donating time to charity through staff volunteering
- Or even a company-wide day off when large business targets are achieved.
Construction and engineering projects can be long and intense, so, where appropriate, giving staff more flexible hours could lead to less stress whilst giving them time back to tend to other responsibilities.
Some companies even go so far as condensing their standard hours into a four-day week.
Working from home
This isn’t a new concept but increasingly companies are embracing it as a way to not only attract employees from a larger geographic pool, as cities become more expensive to live in, but also to reduce their own office footprints.
Letting your employees work from home, may improve results and productivity by cutting commuting times, making people more comfortable and being able to be flexible for other responsibilities. Whilst this is largely a discretionary activity right now, analysts suggest it will become the norm as more and more Australians live further from work and the cost of office space increases.
No…seriously! Most people love their pets and treat them as members of the family. As such, companies make efforts to accommodate their employees' "fur-babies" in their benefit plans. This can involve bringing pets to work, animal volunteering and even providing pet insurance/care products.
Health and wellbeing
Sponsored gym memberships, in-house yoga, team sports, healthy eating etc can all contribute to your employees' productivity. For some of us, there’s nothing like a workout, surf or run before work to set us up for the day. Naturally, this can also lead to fewer sick days.
It can also be a great team building exercise with teams training together and hitting key personal or group goals.
Perhaps one of the best ways to engage employees is to provide a stake in the company, effectively linking their efforts to the company's success.
Whilst in the past this may have been restricted to the likes of Partners or senior management teams, it is becoming more common as a long-term retention strategy at large employers, such as Apple and Google.
Learning and development
Nobody wants to stagnate, whether it's a sponsored training seminar or some kind of tuition assistance based on professional development, your staff will appreciate support in this area.
It can also go beyond their specific roles with access to knowledge databases or online training, helping teams grow beyond their roles. This is a strategy, not unsurprisingly, that Universities and further education institutes are using to attract and retain top talent.
Discounts and freebies
Companies often partner with other businesses to provide their employees' preferred rates or special financing. From clothing stores to restaurants and cafes, and cars to tech products, your employees could enjoy special deals.
These are often widely available, especially through large businesses such as Apple, and just need to be implemented.
Engaging office environments
Climbing walls, office slides, Fussball tables, ping-pong, stocked fridges etc, are no longer the domain of the “crazy” creatives or tech businesses. And whilst flexible working, collaborative spaces, and professional development may drive business discussions around recruitment and retention; these creative outlets give employees something to look forward to, a way to bond with colleagues they rarely see and provide a chance to decompress.
For example, an employee dealing with a complex or highly stressful situation may benefit from walking away from their desks and doing something completely different for 5-15 minutes. Not only does this give them space, but it can also help them to look at things differently when they return to their desks.
Think about what your staff deal with: do they work late; are they involved with complex tasks; do they need to bond more, etc. and provide a perk that makes their working lives a little easier/happier.
Staff are becoming increasingly socially and environmentally conscious, and want to work for companies that share similar beliefs. This could include:
- Championing specific charities
- Matching staff contribution
- Giving staff time off to work with charities
- Working with the local community
- Carbon offsetting
- Environmental policies
- Responding to disasters, like the 2019/2020 Australian bushfires
- And many more options.
Businesses may have a better chance of attracting socially aware candidates if they offer volunteering and a sense of idealism as part of their core mission and daily work experience. Not only does it provide team building around shared beliefs, but it also provides individual satisfaction far beyond achieving just work-based goals.
In addition to being good corporate citizens, there are also wider brand and financial benefits to these activities.
There are many more benefits out there but these are by far the most innovative yet achievable that we have come across. Be creative with how you can take care of your people and you'll be surprised at how much they will be willing to give to the company in return.
CGC Recruitment is a specialist recruitment consultancy with offices in Sydney and Brisbane, specialising in the construction, infrastructure, engineering, and architecture sectors at all levels. As a leading industry specialist, we are small enough to be agile and flexible, yet large enough to deliver consistently for our clients and candidates alike.
We work with some of Australia’s largest construction, engineering and infrastructure brands through specialist SMEs and consultants; across permanent, contract and retained recruitment solutions.
If you have an active role you’d like to discuss or just want to talk to a specialist consultant, please contact us. Alternatively, you can complete our online client form and a member of our team will contact you.