This article was originally posted on February 25, 2022 on WorldwideERC.com. Click here to read the original post.
The Great Resignation has forced companies to reconsider how they compensate and manage workers. In addition to increased pay, non-traditional benefits can aid in employee retention and attracting new talent.
In November, a record 4.5 million people quit their jobs. Some of these workers are leaving the workforce entirely, but millions of people are finding new jobs to improve their pay and lifestyles.
To keep workers from heading for the exit and attract new hires, employers are rethinking their work policies and management styles. Developing new strategies can be challenging because of the wide variety of reasons why workers quit.
Some burned-out workers are demanding more flexible work schedules, and other workers are left questioning their self-worth while working from home. To further complicate the challenging working environments, managers have been forced to adapt their leadership styles to remote work and the shrinking pool of working-age labor is compounding worker shortages.
The issues may seem impossible but expanding the benefits available to workers is a good place for employers to start. After the pandemic, people returning to the workforce expect more from their employers, pushing companies to raise pay, give bonuses, and improve health care and tuition plans.
Google has long been a leader in employee benefits, but remote work has diluted the impact of the tech giant’s in-office perks — such as free food, fitness classes, and massages — and forced the company to search for other ways to retain talent and prevent burnout.
Last year’s annual employee survey showed that Google employees reported a decline in well-being. In response, the company rolled out new benefits, including companywide days off and employee bonuses.
As part of its employee benefits overhaul, Google recently announced that it would increase vacation time to a minimum of 20 days a year and increase parental leave. Leave for all parents has been expanded to 18 weeks, and parents who give birth now have 24 weeks. The newly expanded benefits also let employees take up to eight weeks of caregiver leave, doubling its previous allowance.
“We want to support our employees at every stage of their lives, and that means providing extraordinary benefits, so they can spend more time with their new baby, look after a sick loved one or take care of their wellbeing,” said Fiona Cicconi, Google’s chief people officer.
Companies should consider non-traditional benefits to boost employee retention
To create a competitive and fulfilling workplace, companies need to rethink how they invest in their employees and offer new benefits. According to the Labor Department, paychecks are getting more significant with wages rising 4% from last year. But workers can find higher pay and the proper healthcare and retirement plans at any job. Instead, they’re looking for flexibility, work-life balance, and bonus perks like gym memberships and student loan repayments.
According to Citrix’s Work 2035 project study, 88% of knowledge workers say that when searching for a new position, they will look for one that offers complete flexibility in their hours and location. Workers also want diverse teams, new productivity metrics, and growth opportunities. The best benefits a company can provide to its workers are the ones that impact an employee at a personal level.
Good managers can make the difference between an employee staying and leaving Marketing Consultant Dorie Clark. says that companies need to identify managers that prioritize company culture and successfully make employees feel like an essential part of the team., a marketing consultant The difference between a good and bad manager can have dramatic consequences on morale and employee retention.
Clark recommends that companies promote emotionally intelligent managers and train transactional managers who may have coasted by in the past. This training should include developing effective communication protocols and coaching on “soft skills” to help managers think strategically about employees’ individual needs.
The rise of remote work has created new roles and opportunities for workers and companies to grow together. Upskilling and reskilling will be critical factors in capitalizing on this growth. According to a Citrix study, 82% of employees and 62% of HR directors believe that workers will need to hone their current skills or acquire new ones to maintain a competitive advantage in a global job market.
Organizations will need to prioritize reskilling and upskilling to attract and retain the talent they need to make their businesses grow. Which employees are the focus of job growth opportunities is also vital to success.
The US labor force is aging rapidly, so while it is tempting to focus on Gen Z and Millennials workers, doing so misses important opportunities amongst workers over 54 years old. Laurie Ruettimann, an HR consultant and author of “Betting on You,” recommends that companies take advantage of their highly experienced and skilled mature workers by adding new skills to the older workers’ toolbelt.
With its recently expanded vacation and parental leave policies, Google has demonstrated that workers want more time off. Laszlo Bock, the co-founder of human-resources startup Humu, agrees but thinks companies should take it a step further and give employees more structured time off.
Block recommends that companies give everyone time off simultaneously each week. He claims that predictable, structured, and midweek days off give workers more freedom than traditional vacation days where workers still send and receive work-related emails.
Despite an increase in remote work, company culture still plays a significant role in workers’ happiness and overall job satisfaction. For companies using a hybrid work model, Donald Sull, senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management, recommends that they use in-office workdays to build community.
Before the pandemic, company-sponsored events are good predictors of satisfaction with the workplace. Companies that organized meaningful events for their employees had lower attrition during the first six months. Sull suggests that the few days spent together in person should be used to build a sense of camaraderie.