Title - Perks you can give your employees without breaking the bank - i

Employer brand is defined as the company’s reputation and popularity from a potential employee’s perspective. It describes the values the company gives to its employees[1]. Leaders quite often overlook their employer brand or devote few resources to develop and grow it. A strong employer brand attracts and retains workers while turning them into advocates for the company. Harvard Business Review estimates that a bad reputation costs companies at least 10% more per hire[2]. And according to Gallup, 51% of employees are actively looking for different jobs or watching for opportunities[3]. Organisations that ignore the need for employer branding will miss their chance to keep talented staff onboard.

In addition to the standard benefit packages (Health insurance, retirement fund contribution etc.), here are a few more suggestions to strengthen your employer brand:

  1. Experiences, Employee discounts, rewards and freebies

Your employees deserve some time-out after a particularly demanding week. Think movie tickets, meals or gift cards. Companies will commonly offer a monthly ‘rotating’ gift card to a local spa or restaurant wherein a different employee benefits each month.

  1. Flexible schedule

According to Gallup, a job that allows a greater work-life balance is “very important” to 53% of employees[4]. Allowing your employees some leeway to dictate their hours heightens their engagement with no cost to the employer. Depending on how you adopt the model, some companies set minimum working hours for their employees, while letting them arrange how to fit it into their day. For example, if I had an 8 hour work day, I might prefer to begin at 10 am and end it at 6pm. Whereas another employee might prefer to start at 7am and end 3pm.

  1. Wellness programmes

Employee health should be as big a concern for employers as it is to their subordinates. Unhealthy employees don’t perform – and if they do, they don’t fulfil their potential. Cost, time and responsibilities are the most common barriers inhibiting the pursuit of wellness. Companies can implement a range of measures to tackle this issue. Subsidising gym memberships, organising regularly scheduled walks after lunch and offering healthy snack options are a number of ways to achieve employee wellness. Our personal favourite is hiring a personal trainer for a group session, which is very cost effective while benefiting a larger number of employees.

  1. Generous paid time off

No doubt the topic of time off makes managers and employers very anxious. If that sounds like you, consider focusing on results, not output. If employees deliver on performance goals, does it make a difference how much time they spend at their desks? You’ll find when you trust employees to decide how much time to take off, they work harder to meet deadlines thus increasing productivity and efficiency.

  1. Improve the office environment

While we’re not urging you to invest in expensive extra curricular options, making an office more receptive to the people who spend ALL their time there will boost your bottom line. Consider adding free snacks, Apple Music/Spotify memberships or a comfortable break room to your office. Better yet, all three!

  1. Peer Recognition

While we may not like to admit it, acknowledgement of what we contribute is important to us. So why should it not be the same for our employees? Try having your employees offer a reward to a fellow employee of their choosing. Recognition goes a long way in fostering employee confidence and loyalty

  1. Career Development Opportunities

45% of millennials and 31% of Generation Xers say a job that accelerates their professional development is very important to them[5]. With the world literally at our fingertips, knowledge has been made readily accessible. It’s easier than ever before to learn new skills with platforms like Udemy and Edx. Encouraging employees to pursue the subsidised courses will likely increase their value to your organisation.

  1. Mental health days

Burnout is a reality for a lot of people. While your employees’ mental health should be incentive enough to provide mental health days, here’s more: Organisations with highly engaged employees outperform low engagement organisations financially by 202%[7]. It’s good business to provide space and time for your employees to reset when they ask for it.

  1. Commuter benefits

Unfortunately the rates at which cost of living is rising isn’t proportional to the rate at which salaries increase. This means people continue to earn less while their bills go up. Offering to help employees manage their costs in getting to work is a major perk they’d be interested in. Consider fuel allowances, public transportation budgets or even a company bus.

This list isn’t in any way exhaustive. There’s a lot more action organisations can take to build their employer brand. A great employer brand costs businesses 50% less per hire and results in 50% more qualified applicants[6]. No business wants to pay a premium in higher salaries because of a bad or non-existent reputation. Like any other aspect of your company, you must invest the required time and resources to reap the benefits.

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[1] https://www.talentlyft.com/en/resources/what-is-employer-brand

[2] https://hbr.org/2016/03/a-bad-reputation-costs-company-at-least-10-more-per-hire

[3] State of the American Workplace, Gallup, 2017.

[4] State of the American Workplace, Gallup, 2017

[5] State of the American Workplace, Gallup, 2017

[6] https://business.linkedin.com/content/dam/business/talent-solutions/global/en_us/c/pdfs/ultimate-list-of-employer-brand-stats.pdf

[7] State of the American Workplace, Gallup, 2017

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