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Think outside the box to retain employees

October 31, 2016

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

One of the biggest concerns for most HR departments is employee retention.  According to AFLAC, 47% of employees are likely to look for a new job in the next year and an additional 31% are extremely likely.  That’s 76% of the workforce that are very likely to seek out a new position next year.  What can companies do to prevent this?

Employees spend approximately 60% of their time at work, so organizations must put in a full-time effort to help engage and retain these employees.  A survey by Bright Horizons showed that employees that work for “dream companies” are 11 times more likely to stay at their current employer than those in “dream jobs.”  They also have 41% more satisfaction and are 3.5 times as likely to say that their job inspires them.  So what makes a “dream company?”  Take a look at these five examples that might qualify along with their special workplace perks:

Evernote – Spring Cleaning
Evernote, a digital note-taking service, realizes that their employees spend many hours in the office which leaves little time for things like errands and house chores.  To pay them back, Evernote sends a cleaning service to every single one of their 250 full-time employees’ homes twice a month.  This includes executives down to administrative assistants.  

My Maid Service – Training Employees to Leave
Yes, you read that correctly.  My Maid Service invests in its employees’ career dreams even if that dream involves leaving the company.  In exchange for a two-year employment agreement My Maid Service will pay for customized career training or college courses.  They also offer internal training.  For example, if a customer service employee has an interest in marketing, they will be offered assignments to help with marketing campaigns.  As a result, their turnover rate has gone from 300% to 0%.  They might be on to something.

Gymboree – Recess
Ask any second grader what their favorite part of school is and you’ll likely hear, “recess.”  Gymboree, a children’s clothing company, is bringing recess into the workplace for adults.  Every Thursday, they have an all-employee recess where they go outside and play games such as hopscotch or foursquare in an effort to build a sense of community and friendship in the workplace.  Now they just need a set of monkey bars.

Killer Infographics and Chesapeake Energy Corporation – Bringing Exercise to Work
Instead of offering gym memberships like many employers do, both Killer Infographics and Chesapeake Energy Corporation bring the gym to their employees.  And it isn’t your everyday gym – both companies offer a rock climbing wall, and Chesapeake Energy offers a sand volleyball court and an Olympic sized swimming pool!  They even offer employees SCUBA certification.  A bonus for Killer Infographics employees….they have two kegerators where it offers employees local beers.  Doesn’t that counteract the exercise?

Motek – Paid Vacations…Not Just Time Off
Software company, Motek, wants to ensure that employees are utilizing their vacation time for more than doctor visits and running errands.  To accomplish this they offer employees one month of paid time off and give each employee an additional $5,000 to use for a vacation.  Employees must prove that the $5,000 was spent on vacation expenses such as airfare, hotel, cruises, etc.  41% of Americans did not take a vacation day in 2015.  Polices like this could drastically change that statistic.

Employees are seeking a healthy balance of life and work and employers that are striving to achieve that are ahead of the game and retain more employees.  Each organization is unique.  Think about new ways to make your organization a “dream” one.

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