15 Employee Benefits You Can Offer That Outweigh Salary
Giving your employees more trust and flexibility can create a satisfying and productive culture.
If your company can offer the highest salary in your industry you have an advantage.
But salary is not the ultimate decision point for the best employees.
People do want to make as much money as they can, but the smart employees in your industry understand that there are other benefits that can make up for salary.
Nobody wants to work for a company they hate even if the pay is good. There is no use to being well off financially if you're miserable all the time.
Part of our task at Design & Construct is to work with companies to figure out what they can offer that will be more appealing to the best employees in the industry.
During our time we've found that there are many ways companies can earn the best workers outside of just offering a higher salary.
Some of these will work better than others. Everybody is different on some level so you'll have to figure out what benefits will appeal to each ideal candidate.
But in general these are 15 of the benefits you can offer potential employees to win them over.
1. Required Vacations and Vacation Plans
Something we're noticed in the workforce, especially for office jobs, is that taking vacation is getting more difficult.
People are taking shorter vacations or they're not taking vacations at all. The reason people are foregoing vacations, even if they have the time provided by their company, is that they're afraid they'll get too far behind on their tasks.
This trend is obviously not good for employees. You can get burned out real quick if you're working all the time without being able to step away and take some time to relax and recharge the batteries.
A solution, and something you can offer to employees, is required vacations. But it won't work if you simply require employees to take time off.
You need to provide plans so they can enjoy their vacations. This means having a process in place for others to take over work while each person is out on vacation. By providing this help you can give a person peace of mind when they are gone allowing them to actually enjoy their time off.
2. Free Office Lunches and Snacks
You don't have to worry lunches all the time, but weekly lunches could be part of the deal. It's a relatively low cost way to provide more value to your offer and benefits package.
Shared lunches and snacks also work to build company culture. You get people in the same room together leading to conversation and connection. When the people in your company have a regular chance to connect it can breed inspiration and creativity. It's good for your culture.
As with any of these items you'll want to make it a regular part of the job. You can't provide free lunches and snacks only to take them away in the future.
These items become part of what you offer employees. If a new hire comes to your company in part because of something like free lunch they will be upset if you take it away.
3. Office Amenities
Great desks, chairs and computers are all things you can provide that will set you apart. It's one thing to work for a company that provides a high salary, but if you can offer a great office setting with a competitive salary you can gain and advantage.
People that work in offices are there for 40, 50 or even 80 hours each week. Make sure they're comfortable and in good settings so they can do their best work. Also make sure there is a cleaning service always on hand to clean the offices. Desks and computers get surprisingly dusty.
4. Consistent Retirement Matching and Contribution
We've talked before about the importance people place on consistency.
In terms of your business, this means being consistent and reliable in the way you conduct operations.
One aspect where you can stand out from the competition is by offering consistent retirement matching and contribution. Chart out how your business can afford matching retirement benefits even if things go a little south one year.
Being able to offer benefits even in slow years is an asset employees pay attention to and value.
5. Higher Education Funding
This is a classic benefit from employers. It's a win-win situation for employee and for you. Those that want to go on to learn more and further their education can do it for a lower cost thanks to you. And you get an employee that is learning and bringing more value to your company.
Finding these win-win situations is the real trick to finding the benefits that outweigh salary.
6. Free Conferences
Another way you can offer employees the opportunity to learn and meet new people is to allow them to attend industry conferences and events.
Conferences can get expensive, but you can get discounts depending on how many employees you send to each event.
It can go a long way to offer annual conferences paid by your company. Let's say salary is a few thousand more from a competitor, but you offer annual conferences you'll have a pretty good chance at winning that employee.
Smart people are always looking for ways to improve themselves and conferences are a great way to do that while getting out of the office.
If you have kids you probably know that daycare costs are extremely high.
More businesses today are providing onsite daycare for employees. It's a way to lower costs for employees and it can build a company culture. The kids will get to know one another and it's a real benefit for parents.
If the facility is near your current location parents will be able to visit their kids during breaks and take them to appointments with ease.
8. Community Involvement
Some people place a high importance on community involvement. If your company participates in local charity events and participates in other ways it's a real benefit to some of the best people.
People want to see that you're investing in their future including the life they lead outside of the office. A better community is a better place to work.
For a construction company this might include helping to repair damages at the local zoo or the local sporting field.
There are lots of ways to use labor instead of cash to provide benefit.
9. Flexible Hours
We've touched on this a little bit before in this post and previous posts.
The work world is changing. Those that work in offices don't necessarily need a set schedule to complete tasks. Allowing employees the flexibility to work when they are available as long as they get their tasks completed is a great benefit.
Also being flexible for appointments and other things that come up put employees at ease knowing they can take time today and make it up later in the week.
We touched on working from home with being flexible, but telecommuting is something worth mentioning entirely on its own.
With computers and the Internet, many jobs have become possible to do and do well away from the office. This is not something for every company, but if you see value in this benefit it can be something you can offer to win over job candidates.
11. Commuting Service
There are a ton of expenses associated with work. If you can offer something like a commuting service you can save employees money and you can make sure people are on time each day for the job.
It's another win-win situation for everyone on the team and a benefit because it saves employees money for commuting expenses.
12. Stress Relief Programs
There is a lot of stress on the job and in life in general today. Providing ways for your employees to relieve stress such as massage services, relaxation therapy or even therapy can be a real benefit.
This is also a win-win for you. When your employees lose stress it frees them up to perform better making your business more productive.
13. Health Programs and Education
Stress is a big part of a healthy life, but you can take things a step further with health programs and education. You can do it internally or partner with a nutritionist and someone that can help people on the team exercise.
This can be part of your company culture and many people find a healthy company that promotes employee health as a great place to work.
14. Sporting Leagues for Adults and Kids
Communities often have sporting events and leagues for adults and kids. But there is no reason your business can't participate and create these events.
You can team up with other companies in your community to have the events. It's a great way to build a culture and it can be a low cost benefit for you, but a real valuable benefit for your employees.
Finally, sponsorships are another benefit you can offer. Being involved in the community through sponsorships is great locally, but you can also sponsor events through online communities.
This gets your name out in the public and to some employees that is a real benefit. They can be proud of the company they work for and their peers will know your brand because of the sponsorships.
Salary is important for job candidates, but it's not the only thing smart people are looking for from your company. You have to offer more benefits in order to get the best candidates.
Use these benefits to redefine how your company attracts top talent. Other companies are doing this so you'll have to find unique ways to keep up and make sure the best people are coming to your firm instead of to the competition.