4 Ways to Incorporate Alternative BenefitsNovember 20, 2014 - By: Matt Thomas
Employee benefits can be a difficult area for managers to navigate. While offering a great benefit package can help attract top talent to your company, it can also get very expensive very fast. And with healthcare costs skyrocketing for many in recent years, businesses have less money to put toward additional benefits. However, some unique benefits, if implemented correctly, can actually help your bottom line. Here are four ways to incorporate alternative benefits into your business:
1. Let employees work remotely
Simply put, employees would rather work remotely—79 percent wish they could work from home and 36 percent would choose it over a pay raise, according to Global Workplace Analytics. Allowing your employees to work from home, at least for a portion of the typical work week, will keep current employees happy and help attract new talent.
Work-from-home options can also have a positive impact on your bottom line. If employees in work-at-home compatible jobs were able to use that opportunity half of the time, companies could increase their bottom lines by $10,400 to $13,200 per employee, per year as a result of savings in real estate, absenteeism, turnover, and increased productivity.
2. Consider flexible hours and more vacation time
Offering flexible work hours and more vacation time is obviously a very attractive benefit to potential employees. There is very little effort involved in offering flexible hours on the employer’s part, and letting employees organize their day to suit them best can help maximize productivity.
While some may worry that increased vacation time could have a negative impact on the company, a 2011 Intuit study found that 82 percent of vacationers saw an increase in job performance when they returned. This increase in performance, coupled with the personal health benefits of taking time off to relax, will benefit both employees and the business long-term.
3. Provide healthy snacks and lunch
While top tech companies like Google and Apple can certainly afford to let employees have their fill of unending snacks and buffet lunches, many smaller businesses may see this as an unnecessary expense. However, in the long run having easily accessible healthy food can lead to benefits any company would be happy with. Snacks can help keep workers energized and focused between meals, and eating lunch in the office takes less time than going out for food, both of which will increase productivity. Further, offering plenty of healthy options will improve overall employee health, which means less sick days and reduced medical expenses for the company.
4. Encourage fitness classes
Not only can gym memberships and fitness classes be expensive, but many professionals—especially parents—simply don’t have time to attend them. Paying for memberships or classes for your employees is a great perk and will also improve overall employee health, especially coupled with tip #3. Some gyms may even offer group discounts for employers, reducing the financial burden.
Larger companies can go a step further and provide classes and exercise equipment right in the office, offering busy employees a convenient way to work out on a time crunch. While providing these perks may be more expensive than other benefits, the increase in employee well-being and the talent your company will attract will easily seem worthwhile.
While it’s seemingly getting harder and harder to offer competitive employee benefits, these alternative benefits will not only satisfy your current employees and attract top talent, but will also help your company’s bottom line.