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Compensation Corner: Want to Boost Employee Attraction and Retention? Offer Unique Employee Benefits.

Unique Employee Benefits |Total Reward Solutions

As a strategic partner for Total Reward Solutions, we think it is important for you to know that if you want to stand apart from your competition as you seek to attract and retain top-quality employees, consider offering truly unique employee benefits. By customizing (and personalizing) your employee benefits mix, you can more responsively meet the needs of your workers while also generating buzz that can attract new recruits who seek modern total rewards! Here are some of the creative benefit offerings progressive companies use to attract and retain employees today:

Free Food

Think of it as a “craft services” approach borrowed from Hollywood. In the “real world”, making breakfast, lunch and snacks available to all employees can have the effect of encouraging earlier arrivals, reducing time lost commuting to and from lunch, and nurturing a sense of community around food. And by making the food selections healthy, you could even reduce time off due to nutrition-related illness.

Home Purchase and Relocation Assistance

While just 3 percent of companies offer help to employees with down payments on home purchases, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), nearly one in three offer lump sum cash benefits for relocations. Reuters reports that Facebook offers workers $10,000 or more to relocate close to its headquarters.

Student Loan Repayment

Tuition assistance has been a nice benefit offered by many companies for decades. But to the employee who already has a degree or two and just can’t fathom tacking on additional student loan debt to pursue even more education, tuition assistance has no real value. But now, according to the Boston Globe, many companies, including financial firms, nonprofits and tech firms, are adding student loan repayment assistance as a perk. SHRM found that only 3 percent of companies offer this currently, but it is gaining steam and is expected to soon become commonplace.

Financial Wellness Programs

Health, wellness and fitness programs have long been a staple in the benefits mix for companies of all sizes and in all industries. But since one of the key causes of stress (and therefore, illness and absenteeism) is personal financial difficulty, it was only a matter of time before financial wellness programs gained critical mass as a benefit, too. Today, according to NPR.com, about half of employers in the U.S. offer these programs to employees.

Bonuses for Maternity Clothes

USA Today recently reported on Domo, a Utah-based business data enterprise that offers pregnant employees $2,000 in gift certificates to certain clothing retailers. Domo’s Vice President of HR, Cathy Donahoe, was quoted as saying, “The goal is to help (these women) feel good…” and have less to worry about. Because completely changing your wardrobe while pregnant can be so costly, this can be a valuable benefit to many women.

Pet Bereavement Leave

While most companies offer paid time off when an employee’s close family member passes away, some companies are now acknowledging that the loss of a household pet can be just as traumatic and worthy of time off to grieve. Typically, workers have either had to take vacation or personal time, or have felt forced to be in the office even though they are not emotionally capable of working to their full capacity. The Wall Street Journal reports, however, that Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and certain units of Mars, Inc. are among employers offering time off or work-from-home flexibility when a pet passes.

The Bottom Line:

As the economy continues to expand and the employee market opens up again, offering unique employee benefits can signal current and potential workers that your company listens and responds to employee needs. And when you gain that reputation as a standout in your industry, you can attract and retain top talent and reduce costs associated with employee turnover. Is your company up to that challenge? Do you know your industry and the talent pool well enough to make the right moves when designing and implementing your employee benefit programs? If you’re not sure, contact Total Reward Solutions today at 317.589.8529.

Cassandra Faurote

About Total Reward Solutions:

Have a referral for us? Total Reward Solutions is the outsourced compensation services provider dedicated to innovating total rewards that drive people and business excellence. Total Reward Solutions offers a broad range of compensation, benefits, performance management, and reward/recognition consulting services to help organizations attract top talent, motivate employees and retain top performers. Call us today at 317.589.8529 to discuss how we can help your referred organization develop and implement competitive and effective compensation and total reward programs.