Cash: Not Always King
In our earlier blogs, we wrote about how today’s employers compete for talent by offering compensation packages that go beyond the traditional base salary. Group retirement plans, health benefits and performance bonuses are some of the most common ways for organizations to compete for, and compensate, workers.
Cash, however, is not the only tool in the employer’s toolbox, as many other perks can help enhance corporate culture, reward performance and improve employee retention.
While financial rewards are the primary consideration for employees when deciding to stay with or join a company, there are a multitude of ways that organizations can offer employees rewards and incentives that help to retain and engage them.
Here are just a few ideas:
Working remotely - Flexibility in where an employee can do their work, on either a regular or casual basis, is one of the most popular and most appreciated non-cash reward options for many employees.
Flexible start times - Offer employees the opportunity to start their work day on a schedule that is better geared for their home life or their personal preference. Morning people or employees with a lengthy commute may appreciate the opportunity to start early and leave early; night owls or employees with school-aged kids may appreciate the ability to start later in the day.
Job sharing - Two or more people sharing one position with each person on a pre-determined schedule offers businesses the benefit of having two people familiar with one role. This is a great way to attract or keep talent who may need or prefer a part-time work schedule.
Compressed work weeks - Add hours to workdays to make a shorter workweek and a longer weekend.
Extra time off - Say thanks for long hours or a well-executed project by offering employees extra time away from the office.
Casual dress - Adopt a casual dress day for charity or implement a casual dress workplace policy – whether one day a week or full time – to help boost employee satisfaction.
For any strategy to offer greater work-life balance by adjusting work schedules or locations, be sure to document clear policies that comply with employment law and avoid any confusion.
There are many other low-cost and easy ways of saying thank you or showing your appreciation to your employees, including:
- Wellness credits – annual or monthly amount for use on sport, fitness memberships or other activities to help employees unwind;
- Tickets to a movie, entertainment event (theatre or music), movie or hockey/basketball/soccer game;
- Gift certificates to a restaurant or spa;
- Commuter benefits – monthly transit or parking passes;
- Offering housekeeping service for a few hours or providing a take-home dinner can help ease employees’ stress about chores at home and could be a nice perk after busy work days.
The only limit to how organizations reward their employees is their own creativity. Thinking beyond cash compensation as a way of rewarding employees can be a real boost to morale, and help organizations attract and keep the talent they need in competitive job markets. No matter how you decide to reward your employees, always remember to check with tax, legal and compliance experts to fully understand the potential impact of any reward you provide.