To successfully compete in today’s tight labor market, it’s time to get creative with your non-cash benefits. Workers today expect company policies and perks that deliver value to their lives by supporting greater health, wellness, and work-life balance.
If you’re leading a growing business, here are some non-cash benefits that can help you successfully attract and retain talent—without busting your payroll budget.
Top 5 most competitive non-cash benefits
1. Flexible work arrangements
Compensation may still be the top consideration for workers today, but flexibility is a close second. In a recent study, 80% of respondents said they would choose a job with flexible working arrangements over one without. In addition, McKinsey reports that, of those who left the workforce during the pandemic, 44% listed workplace flexibility as their top reason for returning. But flexibility isn’t just a perk for workers—it can also help boost employee engagement and productivity, making it good for business results too.
Carefully consider the pros and cons of each before choosing the best fit for your business. Workplace flexibility can be broken down into two categories:
This can include fully dispersed teams, remote work options, or hybrid arrangements that allow employees to work from home (or anywhere) either full-time or part-time. Experts say hybrid work is here to stay, and that a company forcing team members to return fully in person could lose up to 39% of workers.
“Flextime” enables employees to choose when their workday begins and ends, even taking breaks during the day to attend to personal matters. In addition, many organizations are moving to a compressed four-day work week or other non-traditional schedules.
2. Bonus time off
Whether paid or unpaid, extra time off for special occasions, high performance, or other activities is a cost-effective, high-value perk to boost your overall benefits package. Add special holidays to the company calendar or allowing individual time off for:
Recognition of employee performance
Continuing education or career development activities
Giving employees extra time to devote to the things they enjoy or value will go a long way to supporting greater wellbeing, motivation, and achievement.
3. Professional development opportunities
In a survey by The Harris Poll for the American Staffing Association, 80% of respondents said professional development and training was a top consideration for choosing a new job. Upskilling and re-skilling your workforce is not only an ideal way to compete for talent, but also to bridge any skills gaps that might be holding your company back.
Conduct staff surveys to determine what areas your team members might be interested in developing and use employee assessments to identify what skills need improvement. In addition to technical skills, these can include other “soft” skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, team collaboration, customer service ability, etc.
Then, devise a plan that’s right for each individual, as well as your organization, which might include:
Peer mentorship - Pair junior team members with senior-level top performers who can act as a positive influence
Job shadowing - Offer employees the ability to witness a day in the life of high performers firsthand (especially beneficial for new hires their first few days on the job)
Training and leadership development workshops - Create a culture of learning and innovation while helping employees learn, grow, and achieve their full potential
4. Employee recognition
The stats don’t lie: regular, ongoing employee recognition increases engagement and retention. Partner with your HR representative or hire an outside HR consultant to devise a formal employee recognition program so this critical aspect of organizational culture doesn’t get overlooked in the day-to-day of running your business.
Offer these simple non-monetary perks to reward employee achievement:
Giving high performers a shout out in your company-wide meeting
Providing special one-on-one time with company leadership
Mentioning recent successes in your company newsletter or on social media
Offering extra time off, longer lunches, etc.
Passing along positive feedback from customers or clients
Employee recognition doesn’t have to cost a dime, as long as it’s public and authentic.
5. Casual dress code
Another result of the pandemic has been a relaxing of corporate dress codes. If your organization usually requires more formal office attire, think about loosening it up—at least a few days a week.
Another option is to add casual dress days to the company calendar to celebrate special occasions, such as ugly sweater day for the winter holidays, or a sports-themed day where employees can rep their favorite teams. If you do alter your company dress code as an added perk, don’t forget to update your employee handbook to reflect the changes.
Offering non-cash benefits isn’t just a smart strategy to attract and retain workers, it’s become table stakes for employers in today’s business environment. By including a few extra perks in your benefit package, you’ll be one step ahead of the competition for talent.
Ready to upgrade your employee benefits? We can help!
As part of our Benefits Administration Services, we'll design effective non-cash benefits that are right for your business, help you develop corresponding company policies for leave, incorporate new benefits policies into your employee handbook, and more. Our team of expert HR Advisors have the knowledge and experience you need to set your business up for success.