As the economy improves, and employees gain back leverage, companies looking to attract and retain top talent are forced to re-think the perks they offer. Perks that were once labeled as "employee-friendly" are now viewed by many recruits as "must-haves.”
Although shifts from employer to employee-driven economies are often cyclical, today’s employers must also consider the vast technology advancements and the introduction of a new, nuanced workforce generation since the last employee-driven market.
Here a five employee benefits that have gone from "nice perk" to "necessary" for companies who care about hiring and keeping top talent.
1.) Give me mobile capabilities
Employees use mobile technology and apps to increase productivity in their personal lives and they now expect the same when it comes to their professional lives. Back office solutions and other workflows that require technology can be viewed as limited and cumbersome if they don’t include mobile capabilities.
Conversely, solutions that offer mobile capabilities that increase productivity and visibility can be a recruiting selling point for organizations. At Concur, it’s common for customers to tell us about how offering a mobile expense solution at their workplace aids recruiting and increases employee satisfaction, an unexpected benefit. Current employees love it and potential employees want it – especially if they’ve been using a “free” expense report form.
2.) Give me balance
In my recent interview with John Boitnott, he mentioned that “flex time seems to be the most popular returning perk.” More employees are prioritizing work/life balance, meaning perks like available vacation time, the ability to take personal days and the flexibility to work from home are more scrutinized by employees.
3.) Invest in me
More candidates expect on-the-clock contributions to personal development from their employers. After experiencing a tough job market, employees realize how important it is to stay on top of their skills, which is why they want to work for companies that place a priority on continued training and self-development.
Companies like Deloitte LLP have been ahead of the curve when it comes to investing in their talent. In a Forbes article published in May of 2012, Diana O’Brien, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and managing principal, Deloitte University listed the key reasons why companies should invest in development:
- To increase performance and productivity
- To attract and retain talent
- To strengthen culture and foster diversity of thought
- To nurture innovative ideas
- To better serve customers
4.) Let me contribute to a cause
Employees want to feel like their work life is part of something bigger. In a business climate where many employees specialize in a small portion of the company’s output, allowing employees to contribute to a cause – whether it’s paid volunteer time or charitable partnerships – is a great way for employees to achieve a sense of fulfillment through work.
For example, here at Concur we have paid volunteer time every quarter. In the photo above, John and a few other Concurians are helping to repaint a children's playground.
5.) Give me more control over my retirement funds
Boitnott also shed light on the “so-called DIY 401k option or brokerage window,” an innovation to traditional retirement plans. Employees at an increasing number of companies are demanding and receiving the ability to invest their own retirement funds as they see fit.
Employees also appreciate investments in the office atmosphere, office conveniences and discounted rates. These “small things” can make a major difference in employee satisfaction, which in turn fuels recruiting. Does your office culture say, “We love our employees?”
Try the mobile expenses perk out for yourself, then offer it to your employees. Start your free Concur test drive today.