A former student worker who graduated a year ago, came to visit me and told me how much she loved her job at a mid size marketing company.
“The benefits are great! I’m so happy.”
“What are they?”
“Well, I get to work from home every other Friday. They give us a free lunch every day and it’s really good food! On my birthday, I got to choose a nice gift card. Even though I know my raise isn’t going to be too much, I make enough to pay my student loan.”
And there you go. This is just one in a long line of examples that attractive and daring benefits are (and should) become more integrated into our work cultures.
As a Comcast HR executive explained to me, “Benefits are really sexy right now. They can help you recruit and retain good employees.”
But, my former student worker also said something else. She told me she felt like she was valued and taken care of and was part of a team. The work was interesting.
And so with that in mind, I recently dared members of PEBA (Delaware Valley Employer Benefits Association) to think about creating more out of the box benefits and compensations that make work feel like a place you want to be every day and where you interact with co workers who are also friends, team members.
I’ve worked with a number of companies that make daring and play part of the benefits and compensation “package”.
It may not be in writing formally, but it’s embedded in the company culture.
Vynamic, LLC gathers their team of healthcare consultants together every Friday for community lunch and a special learning event. Once a month their full time Curator dares them to try something new as a group: pie making, wood carving, glass blowing, kayaking…anything for a new experience. And twice a year they have a full day summit of speakers and activities. Other perks include a Be Your Best Self program in which every quarter you get $100 to spend toward something to better yourself.
Pfizer has OWN IT Day, offering their employees a full day of events and unique speakers encouraging them to take ownership of their lives and careers throughout the year. The day has a fun theme, social events, and activities.
The year culminated with a special day of speakers and workshops and social event.
Knowing the power of these kinds of “benefits and compensation” in a work culture, I use them too.
I have a small team of 8 college student workers at Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University. They are my staff to help serve 3-thousand fellow students.
Every year, I take them on a surprise adventure. They never know what it’s going to be. One year it was Escape the Room. Another, it was throwing axes. One year it was a really cool restaurant experience.
We have a retreat off campus for training and team building with lots of great food and socializing. We celebrate birthdays and there’s always a graduation party in the spring. I keep favorite drinks and snacks in the office and if we are working on a major project, I bring in lunch or dinner. As their supervisor, I get to know them well.
The investment for me and for companies I’ve worked with pays off big time.
- Employees get to know each other in a different way. They play together. They build memories together.
- The relationship building carries over to work. Employees support each other and look forward to working together. They collaborate and play to each other’s strengths.
- New experiences light up the brain and remind your team members how exciting it can be to try new things. At work, that means your team members and employees are more open to change and innovation, creative thinking.
- Recruiting and retention improve.
At companies with great cultures like Vynamic, highly qualified people are begging to get in.
On a small scale, I can tell you recruiting for my career center team is easy. Student workers recruit their replacements or new team members for me and I have a select stack of resumes from students trying to get in. They have heard about some of the attractive and daring benefits they may receive.
Do you offer attractive and daring benefits as part of your compensation packages? I’d love to hear about it.
And if you aren’t, it’s time to think about it.
As my recent graduate reminded me; daring, out of the box, creative benefits and compensation make her happy. She told me “ I’m not even thinking about going anywhere else.”