Many companies have found that attracting and retaining talent is more than having a competitive salary offer. Offering job benefits and perks to employees that are above and beyond their monetary compensation can make your company stand out from a great candidate’s other offers, without costing you a fortune. They can make your workplace a better place for your existing talent, too, which helps you retain more of your most valuable resource – your employees. And as the saying goes, one way to win someone’s heart is through his or her stomach.
Ways to Make Your Company Stand Out from a Great Candidate’s Other Offers, Without Spending a Fortune!
1. On-premise kitchen or available food options
Many people these days are trying to follow special diets or eat more nutritiously. Whether it’s a matter of time, money, or ability, however, eating nutritious meals cooked from scratch during the workday is frequently impossible for many people. Depending on the number of your employees working at your location, you might consider having an onsite cafeteria service. Options to make it feasible for your business’s needs and resources can include:
offering only some or all meals
having meals available every day or once or more each week
priced at no cost, reduced price, or market cost
cooked fresh or available to reheat on demand
at all hours or just during certain times
You could also consider making available help-yourself snacks or meals like a cereal, breakfast burrito, or continental breakfast bar; fruit bowl or veggie platters; salad, sandwich or sushi bar; espresso machine or juice bar.
In addition to being convenient and delicious for your employees, making an effort to improve your employees' health and welfare by providing your employees with healthy onsite options benefits your business in many ways:
employees eating together can foster camaraderie and improve staff morale
employees can be more productive when they eat nutritious food
less time lost for employees leaving to acquire off-premises meals
improved general employee health can reduce sick time and absenteeism.
2. Sponsored fun events
Regular lunches or events, especially in conjunction with clients, can be both a perk and a networking opportunity. Hosting regular catered events at your facility or meals off-site can be a cost-effective way to strengthen your client and employee relations.
Don’t forget to capture the moment! Snapshots taken at these kind of informal events are great for social media and inclusion on your website to showcase your company culture.
3. Special treats
There’s a time and a place for special treats, too. A tradition of something celebratory can be fun and morale-boosting. Some suggestions are:
Monthly birthday celebrations for all employees born that month feel festive and cut down on both the endless stream of goodies in the break room and the social conflicts that can surround individual office celebrations.
One office has an employee who loves to bake professional-quality cupcakes as a hobby. The company recruited her to bake a batch once a month, available to staff on a rotating schedule (she kept a list of whose turn it was, with priority to that month’s birthdays). Being visited by the “cupcake fairy” was certainly a celebration!
Hosting Wednesday doughnuts & coffee, a weekly pizza lunch, or Friday happy hour snacks can be a cost-effective way to treat employees and foster morale
Another office had a Friday TGIF in the break room, with beer hosted by a subgroup or team from the office and sometimes a theme. These ranged from “Belgian beers, hosted by the insurance services group” to more elaborate costumed celebrations of holidays and events.
Many companies report that their return on investment (ROI) from these relatively simple and cheap perks is incredibly high. Happy employees are more productive employees, and small appreciative gestures can contribute many times over to successful, happy employees, improved employee retention, and increased company loyalty.
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