[aa_subtitle_display]There is an assumption that employees want raises. Sure, no one would mind a raise, but studies have shown that there are other things that employees want more than a raise. Companies need happy employees – happy employees stay with the company, contribute to great corporate culture, are more productive, and can help build the company’s reputation as a great employer. The perks you offer can entice employees to stay with the company and may be the deciding factor for top talent who are thinking of joining the team. So before you go throwing raises around, think about what your employees really want.

Glassdoor conducted a Q3 Employee Confidence Survey and found that a whopping 79 percent of employees preferred an increase in benefits rather than an increase in pay. The numbers are even higher among younger workers: 89 percent of employees aged 18 to 34 preferred greater benefits, compared to 70 percent of employees aged 45 to 54. TalentCulture reports that 57 percent of participants in one survey would take a job with better benefits over a job with higher pay. Health insurance was the top requested insurance among employees, but many employees also wanted dental and vision insurance. So not only will great benefits help to keep your current employees happy, but it will also help to recruit new talent. It’s important to note that great benefits are so valued by younger workers, because it is less expensive to recruit staff earlier in their careers. Benefits can make a huge difference to current and prospective employees, so it is important to offer the best ones that the company can afford. For many small companies, great benefits can seem far too expensive, but partnering with a PEO can make great benefits affordable and attainable.

Employees also crave a great corporate culture. In fact, some employees would even give up salary just to have a happier, healthier workplace. A Randstand Employee Engagement Survey found that 28 percent of employees would rather have a better boss than a $5000 raise and 36 percent would take a $5000 pay cut just to feel happier at work. This kind of workplace happiness can be attained by developing great corporate culture, which starts with great hiring, training, and values, and an employee handbook. If your company doesn’t yet have one, consider working with a lawyer or a PEO to develop a customized, legally-sound handbook.

It’s never too early to start thinking about the future, and employees are looking for retirement plans. 72 percent of employees want their employers to match their contributions to a 401 k plan. Not only are retirement plans a great way to attract employees, but they can also help keep your staff; 45 percent of employees said that their retirement plan is one of the reasons they stay with a company.

Raises are great and all, but these other perks can make a much bigger difference when it comes to attracting and keeping top employees. If you are worried about whether your company can afford to offer these benefits, contact a PEO advisor to explore your options.

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