Eight Unique Benefits Companies Should Consider in Order to Attract and Retain Top Talent

CareerPro Inc.Forbes Coaches Counsel

Employers need to offer unique benefits to increase employee retention. But, unique doesn’t mean expensive.

The article was originally published on Forbes.com.

The best job candidates may have their pick of companies to work for, but employers don’t always have their pick of the best candidates. One reason for this is because some companies aren’t focusing on doing more to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

What unique kinds of benefits should your company consider offering in order to become a more desirable place to work? We asked eight members of Forbes Coaches Council what they thought. Here’s how they responded:

1. Benefits That Focus On The “Why” 

It’s not the perk that’s missing, it’s how to use it. Modern perks often fall flat because they provide the “what” without the “why.” Instead of “chair massage,” think “stress management;” instead of “on-site chef,” think “delegation” and “healthy eating.” The best ROI on benefits results when leaders focus on the “why” and then develop benefit programs that align with the higher purpose. – Jay RookeJay Rooke Coaching 

2. Holistic Wellness With Rewards 

Instead of offering limited wellness benefits, such as payment for a gym membership, companies should create well-rounded, holistic wellness programs. This could include giving employees rewards for all things related to health — physical and emotional — such as rewards for meditation, good sleeping habits, walking 10,000 steps, eating well, etc. These are so easily tracked on APPs and communicate that the company truly cares. – Cha TekeliChalamode, Inc. 

3. Things Employees Actually Want 

You may be surprised if you sincerely ask, read and respond to what your employees want. They may not want the onsite gym. They may want a barista area. They may want time off. They may want a family day. They may actually want things that don’t cost a lot of money. Poll them. Listen. Respond. One major company I know took away weekly, local fruit. They didn’t realize how much it would hurt morale. – John O’ConnorCareer Pro Inc. 

4. Mini-Sabbaticals 

A mini-sabbatical can be invaluable to employees and companies alike. Distinct from vacations and leaves of absence, sabbaticals can be designed in one- or two-week increments every few years to allow employees time off to focus on development or simply to refresh and regroup, away from the normal demands of the job. Companies may find that sabbaticals spark creativity and support retention. – Carolyn EspositoTalent Pathways, Inc. 

5. Development Opportunities 

The most successful companies are switching their focus from office perks like ping pong tables and climbing walls to personal growth and development — especially when it comes to recruiting millennials. They are finding that employees want to work for companies that will invest in their personal and professional development. The benefits of leadership development far outweigh ping pong tables. – Ascanio PignatelliE3 Solutions 

6. Parental Flexibility 

Both parents — mothers and fathers alike — experience a drastic life change when families expand. Yes, provide more paid time-off and ongoing support to mothers, but include fathers in that as well. Offer maternity and paternity leave, including to those who adopt children. Additionally, allow for telecommuting and flex work schedules so parents can be involved in both their work and family lives. – Emily Kapit, MS, MRW, ACRW, CPRWReFresh Your Step, LLC 

7. Personal Branding Help 

Strong personal branding complements corporate branding. When employees are encouraged to understand and share their personal brands, both the company and the employee benefit. Key to this success is employers and employees getting past the fears about being inappropriate. When employees are educated about personal branding, everyone wins. – Larry BoyerSuccess Rockets LLC 

8. A Sense Of Community 

Companies that can create a powerful sense of community tend to attract and retain talent. Humans are wired for connection and seek belonging. Companies that fulfill this need consciously and intentionally can be incredibly desirable. To start, focus on building a culture that authentically reinforces your company’s values and that will lay a strong foundation for your community. – Rey CastellanosFeed Your Wolf