Popular perks to drive retention

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Is it all about the pay cheque, or are there other steps you could take to reduce turnover? According to a recent survey, shortening the week could be the key.

While many workers say salary is their number one driver, there are all kinds of other factors that are affecting how they feel about their job, and whether they plan to stick around.

A CareerBuilder survey of 3,900 US workers found that almost two-thirds (59%) rated a flexible schedule as a key factor for job satisfaction and employee retention, with related perks like half-day Fridays getting an honourable mention (40%).

Cash was still king, with benefits a close second, with 70% saying boosting salaries was the best way to reduce turnover, followed by improving benefit plans (58%).

Asked specifically about what would improve retention, other popular answers were improving flexibility (51%), increasing employee recognition (50%), and following up on employee suggestions (48%).

When it came to the specific perks staff wished they had, the focus was on convenience and a relaxed atmosphere:

  • Half-day Fridays = 40%
  • On-site fitness centre = 20%
  • Ability to wear jeans = 18%
  • Daily catered lunches = 17%
  • Massages = 16%
  • Nap room = 12%
  • Rides to and from work = 12%
  • Snack cart that comes around the office = 8%
  • Private restroom = 7%
  • On-site day care = 6%
  • Cara on 11/02/2013 3:21:36 PM

    Half day Fridays? It baffles me why more companies don’t offer full day Fridays off work substituted with a couple of extra hours work each day from Mon – Thur. Guaranteed that would reduce staff turn over, very few people would be likely to leave a 4 day a week job for a 5 day a week job and despite the extra hours, staff would be so much more motivated knowing they have that extra day to look forward to at the weekend. Thoughts?

  • All for a 4-day work week on 11/02/2013 4:01:23 PM

    I've done a 4-day work week (full time hours though) for years and it has enabled me to effectively combine a senior management role with kids. I still do a bit of work from home, check emails, respond to phone calls etc. on Fridays, but have the flexibility to also attend to personal matters. A number of my employees do the same (men too!) and it works a treat.
    Don't think it's all too hard: your staff CAN be motivated to work when you're not around, and they will probably work harder to prove that the 4-day week will work.

  • Ellie on 11/02/2013 4:22:54 PM

    Hi Cara,
    I agree. I have been lucky enough to work 4 days a week for the last 9 years! I have not wanted to look for another job.

  • Lenore Lambert on 13/02/2013 2:11:46 PM

    Our data based on a sample of 5000 exit interviews shows that this survey has completely missed the top drivers of actual staff turnover (as opposed to the hypothetical reasons people list when they are not actually leaving a job).

    While I'm all for flexibility (less than 1% of our company is full time) lack of it is not a key reason people leave jobs. The key issues are the work itself (nature of, and amount of challenge/stretch), career advancement opportunities, and poor management. Pay is also definitely in the list of top turnover drivers but it affects men more than women.

    For more info see a recent article in The Interview Group's e-news: http://eepurl.com/vgeUb

  • Karen Simmons on 22/02/2013 11:59:09 AM

    It would be really interesting to see a comparative study done on the 8am to 6pm 4-day per week, vs the 9am to 5pm 5 days per week. I am not convinced that we are as productive over longer, continuous working hours. From the business perspective, it raises the strategic question of how to continually improve productivity whilst retaining your workforce..

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