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Companies Bring Back The Perks To Retain Top Talent

June 29, 2011

Businessman holding giftLife Inc. reported that employers are starting to bring back perks to ensure that their employees do not jump ship as the economy starts to pick up.

At least, that is what global outplacement and executive coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. found after conducting a survey with nearly 100 human resources executives. According to a press release, 42 percent of respondents reported that they were increasingly concerned that their top talent would be poached by other companies as the economy improves. Nearly 49 percent said that poaching of top talent is always a concern, even during a recession.

John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, explained, "Even in a downturn with widespread layoffs, companies still need talent. In fact, this may be the most important time for employers to hold on tight to their highest skilled workers." However, he also added that as the economy improves, poaching is not the only concern--top talent may start actively looking for new and better opportunities.

As a result, 18 percent of respondents said their companies have restored all pre-recession benefits. Forty one percent have brought back some of the benefits that had been cut and 23.5 percent introduced entirely new perks.

Challenger noted that perks, big or small, can have a huge impact.

"Whether it's something simple, like free bagels in the lunch room every morning, or something more substantial, such as tuition reimbursement or flexible scheduling, these perks can be an essential part of worker morale and job satisfaction," he said.

The Wall Street Journal noted that small businesses are particularly vulnerable because they are typically unable to compete with big companies when it comes to benefits. Challenger, however, pointed out that although monetary benefits are most popular, there are other ways to instill loyalty.

"In companies where perks are an extension of a corporate culture that views its workers as partners or team members and not cogs in the machinery, employees are more likely to feel valued, engaged and happy," he said in the press release.

For example, perks such as casual dress codes, early dismissal on Fridays during the summer or pet-friendly offices are examples of benefits that keep workers happy but add little or no cost to the bottom line.

Still, 80 percent of respondents said the most effective perk in keeping top talent is the performance-based bonus. Roughly 70 percent said 401(k) with employer contributions; 49 percent said vacation/personal time; 43 percent said wellness-related benefits; 40 percent said flexible schedules and 27 percent said tuition reimbursement.


Compiled by CityTownInfo.com Staff

Sources:

"Bonuses may make a comeback (for some)," lifeinc.today.com, June 28, 2011, Allison Linn

"Employee Perks Return Amid Fears of Poaching," blogs.wsj.com, June 28, 2011, Sarah E. Needleman

"Employee Perks Survey: Companies Concerned About Retention," challengergray.com, June 28, 2011

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