Are Your Benefits Outdated?

If you’ve ever managed or owned a business, you know that the workforce is one of any company’s biggest expenses. But your workforce can also be one of the biggest opportunities. Satisfied employees work longer and harder, and great employees are great for business. But how do you keep employees happy while maintaining a healthy bottom line?

Pay a competitive salary. Money talks. Salary doesn’t have to be the be-all and end-all, but it’s important to offer one competitive with other companies. Also consider merit raises. A study by the Center for American Progress found that for jobs paying less than $50,000 (or about 40 percent of jobs in the United States), the average cost of replacing an employee is 20 percent of the person’s annual salary. That makes it much less expensive to offer a small merit raise than to look for a replacement!

Salary is one of the first things prospective employees see. And until you build your company’s reputation as a great place to work, it’s how you’ll attract great employees in the first place.

Offer flexible scheduling. The rise of the internet spurred an interesting perk that doesn’t cost much – telecommuting. Depending on how your company operates, it may also save money on office space if everyone isn’t there at the same time. This perk is also attractive to employees. Many candidates ask about it up-front, as flex time can reduce stress by eliminating peak-traffic commutes or providing peace of mind to working parents.

Develop employee recognition programs. People like to be recognized for good work. This could also motivate other employees to earn recognition. One local company, for example, has an employee of the month. To celebrate, they have a small monthly party. They bring in food trucks and provide an opportunity for employees to take a break, celebrate someone’s accomplishments and mingle.

Create a great work environment. A trend we see in many companies is the transition from traditional “cube farms” to open environments and stand-up or treadmill desks. One company even has a modern room with long tables. To find out what works best, ask your employees! In addition to the space itself, consider a more relaxed dress code, if your industry accommodates it. This doesn’t mean pajamas at work, but it may mean not requiring a tie every day, which will go a long way with employees.

Consider “out of the box” benefits. Some companies do things like an annual chili cook-off; installing a dartboard and badminton net for employee breaks; ice cream socials; or even live music in the afternoon.

An inexpensive but valuable benefit may be to start employees with more vacation time. Two weeks off is typical, but some companies now offer three or more. Even more out of the box, some even offer unlimited time off, so long as it’s used wisely.

At the end of the day, the ultimate goal is happy employees. Because happy employees make happy customers, and happy customers are great for business!


Bob Burditt is a senior technical recruiter at Vaco Memphis.


Bruditt, Bob. Tues, 13 Sept 2016. “Aligning Synergies in Mergers and Acquisitions” Retrieved from: