As any business person knows, the success of their company is wholly dependent on the staff they employ. Ensuring you have the right skills in your team is a priority but recruiting and retaining them can be hard in a competitive market. There are more opportunities with improved communications, social media and greater commuter options, all businesses have to work harder to attract the perfect team. Thinking out of the box you will find there are many benefits you can offer apart from the usual monetary ones.

The usual package

Most employees will expect the typical package of benefits such as pensions, holiday and medical insurance. Certain roles also include the addition of a car or cash alternative. Organisations can shop around for the best deals and with the advent of car supermarkets there are even more options for staff or businesses to get good deals on company cars. Whilst these benefits are usually offered by the larger organisations, smaller businesses may find it difficult to match them and have to think out of the box to attract and retain their workforce. They often go for the feel good and motivational type of benefit that will help their teams keep a healthy work-life balance and encourage their connection with their company.

Be flexible

Flexibility in the work place is becoming an integral part of the employee contract and is certainly a benefit that most would be attracted to. Flexibility can mean many things from the way we work to the attitude and culture within the business. Employees need to feel they can share their ideas and opinions and feel that they will be listened to and understood.

Flexi-time is and will continue to be a valued benefit. Employers know that a good work-life balance is necessary to maintain happy and healthy staff and flexi-time can also help reduce absences from work. It allows staff to blend work and family life reducing stress levels. When workloads overwhelm your team, flexible working can also allow staff to work at a time when they are more productive. It also enables companies to close early on a Friday to reward their teams after meeting a deadline.

The digital evolution means there are many other ways of adding flexibility to employees’ working week such as working from home or telecommuting. This of course depends on the nature of your business and the job they do but it means they can use often wasted commuter hours as part of their working week. They can also use the travel hours they would have normally have used when working at home therefore becoming even more productive than normal.

Allowing staff to work to their own schedule, as long as it’s one that fits in with your business, can really make a difference to people’s lives and in turn create a happier, healthier and more loyal workforce.

Team work and recognition

Inclusion, acknowledgement and recognition helps maintain and retain a happy work force. If employees feel they are part of the team and that their opinion is important to the business, they will feel they belong. This in turn makes individuals more responsible for the success of the organisation as well as their own success within it. Appreciation of the work you do is often higher on the list of employees’ priorities than monetary recognition and can motivate a team to work harder.

For those team members that go the extra mile, starting an Employee of the Month award can have a motivating effect on the team. Buying breakfast or lunch for the team in celebration is a good way of getting everyone involved and perhaps a certificate or photo is another way to recognise their achievements.

Communication is vital to keep employees informed and connected to the organisation. This can be done by holding regular meetings or via the staff newsletter or for larger organisations via their intranet.

So whether you make allowances for those with children, allow dogs in the office or ensure you have regular office parties and events so you can get to know your people, there are many ways to ensure you have a happy team of people that feel they have connection and loyalty to your business. After all, the success of your business depends on it.