When it comes to employment, employees are rarely staying at a job long enough to consider it their career end game, according to recent research.
A survey of over seven million people by Workopolis found that 51 per cent of employees stayed in the same job for less than two years, while only 30 per cent said they held the same job for more than four years.
It seems that job hopping has become the new norm, according to Workopolis.
So what exactly is keeping employees from staying with a company long term today? Is there a reason why employee retention is so tricky today?
While many factors may be at play, one in particular stands out for Paul Wolfe, senior vice-president of human resources at Indeed.com: employee perks and benefits.
According to Wolfe, if companies want to limit turnover and entice employees to stay longer, they’ll have to offer up some solid bonuses that’ll make employees feel that their time at the job is worthwhile and appreciated.
It’s a sentiment that’s been echoed by Glassdoor’s 2015 Employment Confidence Survey, which found that 60 per cent of people say that benefits and perks are a major factor in considering job offers. The survey also found that employees would actually choose additional benefits over a pay raise.
What employees want
When it comes to the types of perks and benefits employees want, Wolfe believes it all comes down to the individual worker and where they are from a life perspective.
“I think it all comes down to what’s important to them, what’s not important to them, what function they’re in and not in,” Wolfe says. “I think one benefit everyone is interested in, no matter where you are from a career perspective, is career development – being able to learn and develop new skill sets.”
Wolfe also says that competitive salaries are also important to employees, as well as a supportive corporate culture and recognition in achievement, which can be done with regular promotions and salary increases.
The Harvard Business Review conducted its own study earlier this year to find out which types of benefits are most valued by employees and job seekers.
From their findings, they concluded that the top benefits and perks employees look for are better health, dental and vision insurance (88 per cent), and more flexible hours (88 per cent). This is followed by more vacation time (80 per cent), work-from-home options (80 per cent) and unlimited vacation (68 per cent).
The least desirable five perks were found to be free coffee (30 per cent), company-wide retreats (26 per cent), weekly free employee outings (24 per cent), on-site gyms (22 per cent) and team bonding events (20 per cent).
Companies that go above and beyond
While some of us may just be happy with a free gym membership or free snacks every so often, some companies really take the perks and benefits things to a whole new level.
Last year, bulk grocery delivery company, Boxed, surprised employees by announcing it would be paying for employees’ weddings and their kids’ college tuition, CNBC reported.
Since 2008, Goldman Sachs has offered a unique benefit as well: the company will pay for gender reassignment surgery should an employee want it, according to Glassdoor.
Other companies to offer some wicked perks and benefits include:
- Google: Free gourmet meals, in-house massages, dry cleaning on campus, haircuts and salons on-site and nap pods. Surviving spouses or partners of deceased employees also receive 50 per cent of their salary for 10 years, Glassdoor and Business Insider say.
- Twitter: Three catered meals a day, on-site acupuncture, improv classes, in-office yoga and Pilates classes, laundry and dry cleaning services, Glassdoor and Business Insider report.
- Airbnb: Employees receive a $2,000 stipend to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world, according to Glassdoor.
- Facebook: Parents of newborns get $4,000 in “Baby Cash,” as well as four months maternity and paternity leave. Employees also get internal professional development classes and free meals, Forbes says.
- Apple: Discounts on Apple products and stocks, commuting reimbursement, tuition assistance and donation matching. The company sometimes hosts concerts and “beer bashes,” and has a wellness centre with dietitians, chiropractors and other medical professionals on site. Women can also receive fertility aid and have the opportunity to freeze their eggs, Forbes and Business Insider report.
- Ask: The website company offers an open vacation policy. This means employees are able to take as much time off as they wish, according to Business Insider.
- Dreamworks Animation: Employees are treated to regular movie screenings and short movie festivals to reduce stress and inspire creativity, Business Insider says.
- CIBC: Offers alternative work arrangements to promote a work-life balance among employees. Employees are able to design their own work schedules so that it suits their needs, according to Eluta.
- Canadian National Railway Company/CN: Long-term career development with “generous” tuition subsidies for courses related to an employees’ current position (up to $4,000), Eluta says.
- Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited: Tuition subsidies of up to $6,400, in-house apprenticeships and skilled trades programs, as well as an on-site fitness facility, Eluta reports.