How to Keep Your Top-Performing Employees Engaged with Employee Benefits

Retaining top-performing employees is an essential requirement of a successful business. Traditionally, wage increases have served as effective retention techniques; however, according to recent surveys, the majority of staff would much rather be offered employee benefits in addition to healthcare packages rather than financial rewards.

According to Glassdoor, as many as sixty percent of job seekers deem the benefits package critical when considering a new role, with five percent more believing the same when it comes to their loyalty to the company, as certain benefits motivate them to resist job-hopping for a bigger paycheck.

The cost of replacing employees is relatively high, with turnover and reduced productivity playing a role in the sum total, and can be double the number of an employee’s wages. Consequently, human resource executives need to identify which advantages and incentives will have the greatest effect on their team to ensure that workers feel both adequately rewarded for their input and cared for by the company.

When we consider cutting-edge ways to keep top employees engaged through employee benefits, we often think of over-the-top perks that can be difficult or impossible to budget. Yet the new surveys have proved that most employees place value on relatively low-cost benefits for the employer after a healthcare package.

We’ve researched some of these employee perks that can help retain your top talent, increase their engagement, and boost loyalty to your company despite higher-paying offers that may come their way.

Offer most sought-out benefits 

Latest studies suggest that employees unanimously rate healthcare, flexible working hours, and the ability to work remotely as their most sought-after advantages, along with paid vacations, maternity leave, and tuition aid. Many of these can seem difficult to budget, yet several cost-effective incentives can considerably increase your employees’ satisfaction and productivity.

Flexible Working Hours

Flexible hours are not only cost-free for the company but also highly beneficial for the employees, enabling them to find a balance between their professional and personal commitments. In turn, the company can show genuine support for its top performers, benefit from high productivity levels and foster an overall welcoming work environment. It also isn’t exclusive to tech organizations and has been proven possible in industries with on-site needs. All that is required is to allow your personnel to be involved in creating their work schedules to best accommodate their personal needs and professional responsibilities.

Work-from-home options

As we discussed in our recent blog post, demand for remote work arrangements has been on the rise since the beginning of the pandemic. A fully remote workplace may take a toll on employee engagement levels; thus, most US companies stick to the concept of a hybrid workplace that allows employees to have the benefits of a remote arrangement a few days a week while still getting the chance to connect with colleagues regularly. 

This solution is the best of both worlds for employees and employers, as it allows greater flexibility while still maintaining personal connections within working teams. It better accommodates employees with parental responsibilities,  helps companies sustain their resources and save office expenses by cutting down on building costs and utility bills. It also allows companies to expand their workforce without expanding their office footprint.

Introduce unique perks

Studies show employees heavily weigh unique or rather wide-range benefits when deciding between a high-paying job and a lower-paying job with more perks. Alongside solid, universally valued benefits, one-of-a-kind perks that reflect employees’ experience and support them in situations that are often overlooked in the workplace can significantly improve your company’s image. Surprisingly enough, companies actually do not need to break the bank when offering their employees some extra benefits yet can substantially increase their chances of retaining top performers.

Unlimited Paid Vacation Time

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), only one percent of companies currently offer unlimited time off, which means that introducing this perk can be a significant advantage. Research has shown that employees with unlimited time off tend to take shorter, more frequent breaks, which can actually improve productivity and job satisfaction, and rarely exceed the amount of vacation time as those with traditional vacation policies.

By allowing the employees to take time off as needed, with clear guidelines and requirements on how to fulfill their job responsibilities, the company can give them the flexibility and support they need to be their most productive and successful selves in the workplace. In fact, every year Americans leave $224 billion in unused vacation time, which creates an unwanted liability and increases the employee retention stakes.

On-demand pay

Recent studies show that earned wage access (EWA) can be the future of employee retention. The general idea of this soon-to-be must-have benefit is that employees can access their wages for the completed work period ahead of the regular payday. Many fintech companies and emerging startups now offer this service and the companies that have implemented such a policy report up to a twenty-four percent increase in retention rates.

Though there are some downsides to EWA, like early wage withdrawal fees, offering this perk might cost less in the long run than having to recruit new talent. Giving employees the option to get paid early without a fee is more compelling for workers, and it could make sense for employers to cover the expenses if it’s not too high of a cost to bear as long as they retain their top-performing employees.

Employee training programs

LinkedIn research found 93% of workers will stay with an organization that invests in their careers. Offering employees training programs to further their skillset is another way to encourage loyalty. Partnering with online-learning platforms will enable employees to improve their skill set while at work. Employees who gain new knowledge and improve existing skills might apply the newly acquired expertise to their current workplace, which is an “on-the-spot” contribution to the business’s success.

Companies can also show dedication to their workers’ professional growth and skill development by giving tuition aid or reimbursement programs. If the company wants to keep its best performers, it should consider professional learning and development options for continued education as an additional benefit.

Giving back to the community

As younger generations like millennials and Gen Z take up their rightful spot among the workforce, companies should also consider their high appreciation for the company’s contributions to various causes aimed at sustainability. Deloitte research shows younger talents are more likely to stay with their employer for more than five years if they are satisfied with the company’s societal and environmental impact. Thus, it may be beneficial to consider offering donation matching, yearly allowances of paid volunteering time, or company-wide community service events.

Employee perk stipends

When managing a diverse workforce, it can be not easy to come up with a cohesive one-size-fits-all perk system. In that case, consider introducing perk stipends, a.k.a. employee perk allowance. With this benefit, companies can allocate monthly funds toward popular spending categories, such as health and wellness, food, and professional training, and let employees prioritize these experiences for themselves.

This approach allows employers to custom-fit their benefits packages across the entire organization. For the company, this means that you’re able to cater better to your employees’ needs for a happier workforce and, in turn, a more engaged company culture.

When it comes to employee well-being, companies need to find a balance between high-priority and cost-effective benefits that align with their employees’ needs and values. Doing so makes employees more likely to feel valued and supported in their work, leading to increased job satisfaction and productivity.

However, it’s not enough to offer inexpensive or convenient benefits for the company. It’s essential to take into consideration what employees truly value and what will contribute to a positive company culture. This process may involve gathering accurate, real-time insights and feedback from employees to develop a well-crafted benefits package that considers both the company’s needs and the well-being of its employees, which can lead to a more engaged and productive workforce.