By Gemma Morris
16th April 2014

An attractive employee rewards programme is the currency that can attract the highest calibre candidates and boost employee happiness and productivity. Are you doing enough? As profoundly simple as it may be, businesses willing to invest in the everyday comfort and well-being of their workers are reaping the rewards of easier recruitment, higher productivity and vastly improved employee retention.

Attracting and retaining the best available talent is absolutely vital to your business. The ongoing success of any company will rely on innovative, effective recruitment in the face of the ever-growing demand for skilled professionals. But the defining factor is often retention – what are you able to do to engage and inspire the people you already have? Finding the right candidates is one battle, but keeping them in this competitive market is entirely another.

It’s not just about the money – employees want to genuinely enjoy where they work

Most workers spend a significant portion of their lives at the workplace. Indeed, most of us must feel at times that we spend more time at work than with family or friends. Benefits packages are changing dramatically in response to this reality, with diverse and innovative ways of promoting a feeling of value amongst employees forming the core of a new wave of strategies. Where in the past, traditional pay, profit and bonus schemes were the mainstay of most policies, we’re now seeing lifestyle enrichment and environment enhancement becoming equally important. Some high profile examples include:

This demonstrates that besides the traditional methods, additional fringe benefits also rate highly when it comes to overall job satisfaction. Ensuring that employees are feeling secure and valued is instrumental; cutting edge companies now consider that flexible working arrangements, childcare, training and development, or well-being incentives such as gym memberships, can all form part of a package to impress and retain workers.

Enhancing your brand as an employer

Employer branding has never been so important, with leading businesses spending as much time and effort in creating a genuine and tangible brand for the people working within it, as they once solely did for their customers. Developing a reputation as a great place to work not only helps your brand externally, it can help you attract – and keep – quality employees, which in turn strengthens your business. Careers websites help massively here, with video testimonials from existing staff, explanations of company values and lists of the rewards and perks employees can expect.

Letting your employees know you’re invested in them is simple, relatively easy and can even cost much less than you may think ­– consider low-budget but high-impact ways to enhance the atmosphere at work, such as getting in lunch and stocking a beer fridge for Friday afternoons. At least two companies local to KDR allow employees to bring their dogs to work. Even the smallest company can make sure that vital employees receive those small, but highly valued, perks that make all the difference to their experience of the workplace. 

We would be extremely interested to hear what you think. What employee rewards does your company offer in the way of non-traditional benefits? What other creative perks have you heard about, especially for SMEs without Google’s budgets?

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