10 out-of-the-box ways to attract talent and keep your staff motivated.

There was once a time when all employers had to do to attract and keep staff was offer higher wages than the company down the street. Job options were extremely limited, which meant people typically worked in the same industry — or even for the same employer — their whole lives. Things are pretty much the opposite nowadays. It’s not uncommon for people to have tried three or four different jobs before their mid thirties, and online learning has made it easier than ever to explore entirely new fields with only a few weeks’ worth of education. Add to that the fact that we can exploit cloud computing and video conferencing to telecommute from nearly anywhere on the globe and you’ve got an expansive job market rife with competition to attract top talent.

Although not all job seekers can enjoy the flexibility described above, throwing money at people generally doesn’t work like it used to. It’s no longer enough to promise a “competitive salary” and “great benefits”; everyone’s doing that. In addition to income, applicants are driven by much deeper motivations. Smart employers recognize these motivations and incorporate them into their corporate culture to create an offer that’s too good to refuse.

Attract and retain amazing employees

Regardless of whether your business is collecting garbage or rating vacation resorts, there are always perks you can highlight or add to make working for your organization more compelling. If you’re looking for ways to draw in and keep the best employees, consider the following:

  1. Convenient or interesting location — Is your workplace in a bustling metropolis or located on picturesque farmland? Are you within walking distance of public transit, hiking trails, grocery stores, a pool, or a mall? Location is a huge factor that applicants consider, especially if getting to work means enduring a long commute, so be sure to mention any of these advantages in your job postings if they apply.
  2. Attractive work environment — Our Toronto office is located in a beautiful and historic building with enormous windows to let in plenty of natural light and character oozing from its exposed brick walls. It’s fun for our staff to work in a famous building and enjoy its idiosyncrasies, like the kitchen that was converted from an old bank vault. If you don’t think there’s anything special about your offices, make them special! Start a wall garden or bring in a huge aquarium. Let your staff bring in their pets or their kids. There are endless creative ways to spice up a clinic, factory, or room full of cubicles.
  3. Cool culture — Ping pong tournaments, outdoor meetings, and free treats aren’t just for startups anymore. In a bid to attract star applicants, more and more companies are upping their cool factor by incorporating play into their routines. Employees whose values and interests align with the company culture tend to be far more satisfied in their roles and more loyal to their organizations. Making time for play also has numerous health benefits. Still not convinced? Check this out.
  4. On-site services and amenities — This ties in with location, environment, and culture. Do you have a cafeteria, or is there a gym in the same building? What else could you provide to enhance your staff’s experience? Maybe they’d appreciate on-site childcare, dry cleaning, or monthly massages. Find out what they need and make it happen.
  5. Modern benefits — Besides vision, dental, and emergency coverage, what else is in your corporate benefits package? These days organizations are going above and beyond to provide their employees with incredible benefits like free gym memberships and pet insurance. If there are useful services and amenities in your area, look into striking a deal with those businesses. It’ll go a long way toward increasing employee morale and well-being.
  6. Flexible work hours and telecommuting — This is becoming the standard in a growing number of industries. The notion that employees must be in the office working from 9–5 is just plain archaic. Think about the type of work your staff does and ask yourself if it absolutely needs to be done at a particular time in a particular place. Unless you’re in an environment like a hospital or airport, chances are the answer is no, so give your staff some flexibility. This demonstration of trust in them will go a long way, both in terms of their commitment and loyalty.
  7. Relaxed rules around time off — If you’re still capping sick days and vacation time, you’re falling behind. Removing restrictions on sick days is unmistakably beneficial for both employers and workers. It boosts productivity and reduces absenteeism while allowing staff to attend to their health needs whenever necessary.
  8. Creative freedom — Another way to show trust is to encourage your employees to take the lead on certain assignments, attend hackathons and other ideation events, or pursue their own side projects. Many forward-thinking companies, including Google, 3M, and Intuit, have experimented with this and reaped some truly innovative results. What’s even better, though, is that employees who are given space to tinker are more motivated to come to work and feel more passionate about their jobs.
  9. Equity — Organizations that can’t afford to pay competitive salaries typically give their staff partial ownership to compensate. This is very common in the startup community, but is growing in popularity among established companies because it lets employees feel more accountable and motivated toward the success of the organization. It can also have a massive payoff, as many a venture capitalist knows.
  10. Personal and professional development opportunities — One of the most effective ways to ensure your employees grow and thrive is to provide them with a variety of learning opportunities. Lots of organizations now pay for continuing education classes and courses that will help their employees excel in their roles. But it doesn’t all have to be job-related. Personal development is also key, so consider bringing in dance or cooking instructors, financial advisors, nutritionists, etc.

More ways to show you care about your staff

Adding LifeSpeak to your benefits package is another powerful way to support your employees. Our online library contains over 1500 videos, podcasts, and tip sheets led by experts in a variety of fields, including fitness, finance, and psychology. Whenever your employees have tricky questions about topics like managing stress, caring for aging parents, figuring out their careers, and a host of other life challenges, LifeSpeak is here to help. For more information, don’t hesitate to book a demo today.


Originally published at LifeSpeak.