What would happen to your company if your top talent in each department left tomorrow? If you don’t think it could happen, think again.

Three million Americans quit their job each month.

Read that again.

I know what you’re thinking, “Well, that would never happen because we offer a competitive benefits package with health, dental, and vision coverage.”

The truth is, so does everyone else. Your employees can find a dozen different jobs with similar health insurance benefits.

“But we give our employees the option to work from home.”

It is 2020. That is no longer a unique company benefit.

“Oh, well I think everyone loved the $200 Bluetooth Speakers we bought for Christmas last year.”

No, no they didn’t.

Not all companies are the same and not all benefits are created equal. According to Glassdoor’s 2015 Employment Confidence Survey, “about 60 percent of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering whether to accept a job offer. The survey also found that 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay raise.”

Understanding Your Workplace

Going into 2020, chances are, you can find Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Zers all in the same office. This is a unique breed of four different generations in one workplace, all of whom are motivated slightly differently.

“Each of them really needs to be catered to in a different way,” said Rhiannon Staples, the Chief Marketing Executive at Hibob. For example, most Millennials want to know they are working for a good cause. Gen Xers value flexibility in the workplace while Gen Zers tend to have a strong emphasis on opportunities for growth and development.

Creating Two-Way Loyalty

Forty years ago, if you had the opportunity to work for the same company for 10+ years, you were a success. Gaining tenure at a company meant that you had a place in corporate America. You were chosen. You were valued. You had stability. Today, that is no longer the case.

Ambitious employees are not looking for a company that will just give them a paycheck for 10 years. They want to build something more. They want a company to earn their attention before they will even consider giving a company valuable years of their talents and skill.

Tom Rath, author, and researcher of workplace issues has noticed an evolution in what employees expect out of their organizations. “Organizations really have to prove that what they’re doing is good for society.” Rath has seen that employees increasingly want to work for organizations that are working to better society. “Organizations will need to prove they’re good for the environment, they’re good for their customers, and they’re good for the communities they reside in.”

Providing the right incentives

Good benefits and incentive programs are one way you can provide a company culture that will keep employees invested. Google is famous for its over-the-top perks, like office lunches made by a professional chef, chair massages, yoga classes, and haircuts at work. Twitter employees enjoy three catered meals per day and on-site spa treatments. SAS has a college scholarship program for the children of employees.

However, you don’t have to have a checkbook like Google’s to afford unique benefits your employees will value.  While there is not one magic solution to a systemic employee retention, we think this is a great place to start. Small perks like these can help remind employees that they work for a company that cares about them.

We recommend offering valuable benefits in three areas: ease financial stress, make someone smile, and show appreciation.

#1: Ease Financial Stress

According to MetLife’s 17th annual study about employee benefit trends, employees state that their number-one source of stress is personal finances. In their research, this statistic remained true regardless of age or life-stage. Finance always tops the list as a huge concern employees have day to day. You can ease this burden by offering options to relieve financial stress such as:

  • Gift cards to help with everyday expenses
  • Cash incentives
  • A “utility bill” reward
  • Tuition or student loan help for employees and their children
  • keeping in mind things like birthdays, holidays, school supplies, and other expensive seasons for your employees.

#2: Make Someone Smile

It’s been said, time and again, that a happy worker is a productive worker. The MetLife study about employee benefit trends study found that one of the TOP sources for happiness at work was benefits that customized to meet the employee’s needs. This may include things like:

  • Options for a gym membership
  • Car detailing services
  • Coupons to an amusement park
  • A massage or spa package
  • Vacation gift cards or reimbursement
  • Ski or summer passes for outdoor activities

#3: Show Your Appreciation

More than anything, employees want to feel appreciated. They want to know they are valued and important. Employers can do many different things to make employees feel respected and valued such as:

  • Recognizing achievements and hard work throughout the week/month/year
  • Soliciting feedback on a regular basis
  • Investing in employees through additional education, training and leadership opportunities
  • Providing opportunities to work on projects that are meaningful to employees
  • Additional time off, benefits, and compensation to reward good work

For small and growing companies finding the balance between lavish employee benefits and penny pinching for profits is tricky. You want to provide great benefits, but you cannot afford to waste money on benefits that do nothing. We encourage you to ask. Pause, take a step back, and then ask employees what they value in benefits and compensation. The answer might surprise you.