The job market is very competitive nowadays with employee retention being any company’s main concern. It’s getting harder to inspire loyalty in employees. The ones that are loyal, however, need to be retained through the very best employee benefits.

As we move towards a credit-based economy, employee benefits are being preferred over salaries. This means that retaining employees can be boiled down to two things; employee engagement and employee benefits.

If you have allocated a certain amount towards giving raises, hold on to that thought. You can use that amount smartly by offering the best employee benefits rather than giving a slight bump in the salaries. The following are some of the best employee benefits you can give to your loyal employees.

Increased Work Schedule Flexibility

Most people today prefer flexibility in their work schedules. The traditional 9-5 is slowly dying, as employees start to realize the power they have. More and more employers have started to provide leeway in the work timings.

For offices that operate round the clock, employees often get to choose their own hours. Not every employee, however, can be allowed to do so because you may end up with empty shifts. That is why you should reserve this for your loyal employees.

This doesn’t mean you ignore other employees; loyal employees should just have a higher priority.

Annual Performance-Based Appraisals

Performance-based raises are already common but not as an annual system. If your employees are in the dark about appraisals, they will always be worried about their performance, which may turn out to be counterproductive. Employees may also avoid having any salary-related discussion.

That is why an annual system for performance-based appraisals should be set in place. This not only increases loyalty but maintains it. This is because every employee knows when the performance appraisal is coming and that it will depend on the quality of their work.

This is bound to motivate your employees too, and will likely boost their productivity, especially nearing the date of the annual appraisal.

Recognition and Awards

Recognition is a very strong motivator. If you recognize an employee for their hard work, a certain project, or an idea they’ve presented, it makes them feel like they’re part of the company. If you can explain to an employee how much value they provide, that alone would be enough.

However, with recognition, you should go the extra step and provide awards or mini gifts along with that recognition. A good example of this is Amazon. They give recognition gifts to their top employees. These can be simple certificates, shields, office mugs, and customized paperweights, among other things. Another example is Disney, who give free theme park admissions and other discounts to employees.

You can also choose to give bigger rewards. For example, you are a sales-based company; you can host a friendly in-house competition for top-performing loyal employees. Whoever makes the most sales in a day, wins. The rewards can be set for things like smartphones, headsets, cash rewards, etc.

Remote Working Privileges

More people now than ever have started to work from their homes, courtesy of today’s technology. Working remotely lets employees spend more time with their families at home, save time on commutes, save money on fuel/public transport, and work more flexibly.

This means that the overall productivity from remote working is usually greater and employees tend to be more motivated and happy. Loyal employees who have probably spent a good part of their lives with you deserve to be flexible with their working environments.

You should let these employees either work from home some days of the week or entirely depending on their preference.

In the end, it would save both you and your employees valuable time and resources.

More PTO and Sick Days

Most companies only give their employees 2 weeks of PTO, per year. The same companies tend to have strict sick day rules, despite the wide range of health conditions that some employees may have.

This can severely limit how employees use their PTO and sick days, and can lead to frustration, stress, and dissatisfaction. That is why the concept of unlimited PTO is gaining traction in the industry. It may sound weird at first, but the fact is that employers have actually reported increased productivity and fewer absences if unlimited PTO is provided.

Just the idea of it is enough to motivate employees. This automatically means that they don’t have to worry about their sick days, they can simply take a day off if they’re feeling under the weather. It’s a unique concept that is proven to work and is a great way of retaining loyal employees.

The Bottom Line

Providing the best employee benefits to your employees is the best way to improve employee morale. Loyal employees should obviously be compensated better so you need to come up with a benefits management strategy on how to distribute the benefits.

A good rule is to provide different levels of the same benefit, so that loyal employees can get a better level of a benefit than newer employees. This also creates a sense of purpose and goal in the minds of other employees, something they can work towards.