With the inability to find new hires these days, coworker retention is more important than ever. Companies have been evaluating their pay and benefits structures to figure out how to hold onto the people they have. We think we have found the secret.
Prior to the lack of applicants being a real threat, PlastiCert had already started assessing our benefit package. After our management buyout some ten years ago, we started aggressively increasing pay at a rate greater than the regional average. It was acknowledged by our people, albeit it reservedly.
We went beyond pay to look at our benefits. Seven years ago, we decided to add 3 PTO days to our paid time off package. Coworkers would still accrue their “vacation pay” in relation to their hours worked, but each coworker would be given 3 PTO days each year to be used during that year for unplanned/unscheduled last-minute days off. Again, a few “oh nice” comments.
That same year we expanded the holiday schedule from the six national holidays and two floating days to nine established holidays and one floater, (went from an 8-holiday schedule to a 10-holiday schedule). Again, not a lot of feedback but general positive sentiment.
About four years ago we decided to add dental coverage to our offerings at no cost to our coworkers. This one went relatively unspoken after the announcement, and we still struggle to get all coworkers to take advantage of it.
A few years ago, we started grilling out lunch during the summer months. Hamburgers, brats, hotdogs, and the tradition sides. This addition was met with a large vocal recognition of thanks, the likes of which we had never seen.
Last week, in addition to the grill fare and sides we have traditionally offered, we added ice cream sandwiches to the menu. You would think we had just thrown signed blank checks onto the break table. The number of positive and “thank you” comments outnumbered the times we increased pay, added PTO days, and added dental coverage COMBINED.
So hey, keep trying to find the magic bullet for happy employees, but my advice, go down the frozen treat aisle at the grocery store!