Employee Retention During the Great Resignation: Benefits You Can't Omit

June 30, 2022 Jordan Lyle

There are lot of office buzz words trending following the pandemic, and the workplace looks much different than it did in 2019. So, what formerly optional benefits should you make an essential part of your organization to promote employee retention and give you a competitive edge for recruiting? These are just a few of the benefits that have gone from optional perks to core expectations for competitive workplaces. We’ll break down each one and explain why they benefit employees AND their employer.

Flexible or Remote Workspace

 Time is money and this holds true both in and outside of work. Employees have started doing the math and realizing being able to use those 5–10 minute workday breaks to throw in a load of laundry or do the dishes is invaluable time back to their day, and more intentional time with their family in the evenings.

Then consider the dreaded commute. The U.S. Census Bureau released a report claiming that in 2019 the average one-way commute time was 27.6 minutes. Adding on a couple minutes, we could average a daily commute of about one hour based off the results of this report. With 250 workdays each year, employees total a little over 31 full workdays of drive time alone. Yikes. 

But the benefits of remote or flex workspaces can also benefit the employer. You now can expand your talent search to individuals around the world to ensure you have the best of the best. Additionally, with remote and flex schedules, you now can have less square footage in your office and avoid unnecessary overhead. Plus, you can expect better employee retention and improved productivity.

Unlimited / Competitive PTO

If you’re still claiming to have “competitive PTO” only to announce that you offer a max of two weeks PTO, it’s time to make some changes. Today, you’re offering the average amount of PTO, not competitive PTO. Three or more weeks of PTO or even unlimited PTO is what candidates are looking for from companies. Employees want to feel trusted to manage their time and responsibilities while having the flexibility to take the time needed to rest and recharge with family and friends. While this may make you a bit uneasy as a business owner, rest assured there are benefits for you as well. Numerous studies show that generous and unlimited PTO boosts employee productivity and retention. More so, unlimited PTO avoids employees accruing a large bank of vacation time that some states require to be paid out when they leave the company, so you’re saving money as well. Make sure you don’t have any hidden limitations on this policy and truly trust your team. However, it’s still important to ensure people are requesting their time off to ensure there isn’t employee overlap leaving certain areas of your company high and dry.

Workplace Culture

Why put effort into creating a workplace culture? Well, because culture happens regardless. If you don’t create and nurture a culture that aligns with your company’s core beliefs, culture will happen anyways- and you may not be pleased with the outcome. Put in the initial effort to outline your company’s values, determine ways to provide clear and open communication, create an inclusive environment for all employees, clearly outline opportunities for raises and promotions, and offer opportunities for social events via team breakfasts, happy hours, and weekend retreats. Then, ensure your leadership team regularly reviews your culture plan, supports it, and monitors it within their department.

At SMART, we recommend finding ways to measure the success of your company’s culture via a pulse score and weekly employee check-ins via software like 15five. These weekly check-ins allow your leadership team to get an overall look at employee satisfaction, fostering transparency, accountability, and quality feedback so you can eradicate issues before they grow any bigger. This will drastically improve employee retention and cultivate a healthy and positive workplace culture with increased productivity and optimism.

Other Benefit-ial Thoughts

Most importantly, be sure to look at your team and determine what benefits would best suit them. You could even ask for their input via a company-wide survey. Lot of dog lovers? Consider being a dog-friendly office or a “bring your dog to work” day once a week. Need more time for summer fun? Boost morale with “Summer Fridays” and work half-days on Fridays throughout the summer. Want to support better health and wellness? Offer gym memberships or discounted rates to team members.

Whatever changes you decided to implement, make sure to introduce them with enthusiasm to your team and encourage them to take advantage of the new perks and benefits. Then, offer them a resource to submit new ideas for benefits that are important to them and be sure to regularly review them with leadership.

Already impacted by the Great Resignation? We can help! Reach out to talk about our recruiting services.

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