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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results
HR MATTERS Vol 9, Issue 3 - March 2012

Employers are beginning to see an increase in the number of workers giving notice. It's seems we are playing the "blame game" again. Companies are making excuses for this movement, the most common being that workers are leaving for minuscule raises. Do you believe this is really the case? I don't. People don't change jobs for minuscule raises. Big raises maybe, but certainly not for tiny pay increases that will be shared by Uncle Sam. They leave because they are unhappy or they feel disconnected.

In this month's newsletter, I'm sharing with you 30 low cost ways to provide highly valued benefits to your employees. Some of these perks are found in some of America's best places to work. Note that you don't have to have unlimited funds or a full-time camp director on staff to create a workplace where employees feel connected to both the organization and the customer.

I hope you'll find this list helpful and that you will use it to start a discussion among your people regarding ways you can increase employee retention and commitment in your organization.

New! Free Special Report:

The Magnetic Organization: How to Attract Top Talent to Your Company

The headlines aren't lying. Companies are hiring again. Even those in the crippled automobile industry are back in hiring mode. Just today, Chrysler announced that they will be hiring more than 1,600 workers at an Illinois assembly plant. More hiring will be announced shortly. Still not convinced? On a daily basis, I'm receiving e-mails or calls from businesses asking me if I know someone interested in a position they've been unsuccessful in filling.

Those in healthcare and IT already know what it's like to compete for top talent. Others are about to soon find out.  In this complimentary special report, you'll learn what you can do today to create an organization that brings people into your orbit. Read this report, even if you are not hiring today, to ensure you have a pool of talented people ready to come work for you when you decide the time is right to hire...

Download the Report!

Thirty Low Cost Ways to Show Employees They are Highly Valued

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Small businesses can compete for talent without breaking the bank. Yes, you still need to pay competitive wages to get people in the door, but it's the perks that will help you retain them. Here are 30 low cost ways small businesses can show employees they are highly valued.

Flex time–Some organizations require employees to be at work during core hours and the employee can set their schedule around this. Others allow employees to put in their hours at their own discretion. Most require employees to have a set schedule so their managers can plan for coverage. The schedule may be adjusted to accommodate the need to attend to personal matters.

Innovation time–Some companies set aside several days a year to allow employees time to step away from their usual responsibilities to tackle projects related to the way they work and the spaces they work in. Results are shared in a company meeting the following morning.

Monthly commuter benefit–Monthly stipend ($100) paid to those who commute by public transportation.

Fully stocked kitchen–Coffee, soft drinks, and snacks. Employees are free to help themselves. Want to bump this up a notch? Keep organic milk in stock and add fresh fruit and healthy snacks to the shopping list.

Wellness benefits–Employees can receive reimbursement for purchases related to fitness (up to $300/year). Typical items reimbursed include, running shoes, yoga pants, bicycles, gym reimbursement, etc.

Free lunch once a week–The company brings in lunch weekly for all employees.

Canine colleagues–House trained visitors are invited to join the team.

Parental leave–All employees are eligible for paid time off after the birth or adoption of a child.

No dress code–Ties are optional in this work environment.

Summer hours–Employees kick back early on Fridays during the summer months. This allows employees to beat the heat as well as the traffic.

Free weekly chair massages–Employees are invited to stretch out for a 15-minute chair massage.

Telecommuting–Employees can work from the comfort of their homes.

Technically neutral–Employees can choose to work on a PC or a Mac. Their choice!

PTO–Employees can choose how to use their paid time off bank (vacation, sick, and personal time) to best meet the needs of their individual situations.

Work life balance–Working at a place where it really is okay to leave the office before 8PM.

Perks for part-time employees–Many organizations treat part-time workers like they were temps. Provide part-time workers with perks and they'll be acting like full-time workers in no time.

Concert tickets, movie outings, sporting events–Keep the workplace exciting by mixing these rewards up. Don't forget to throw some cash your employee's way to cover the babysitter.

Sabbaticals–Month long sabbaticals after five years of service. Two months after ten years of service.

Laundry service–Employees are encouraged to air their dirty laundry at work. A service picks up their clothes and drops them back at work, clean and folded.

An oil change at work–Who has time to take their car in for an oil change? Companies have arranged for a service to come to the office and take care of this messy task while employees are working.

Gift matching program–The company matches the donation's of their employees. The cap on the match is based on what the company can afford.

Adoption assistance–The company offers a set amount of financial assistance towards the adoption of a child. This money can be used towards legal expenses, adoption agencies or other adoption professional fees.

Take-Out Benefit–To help make things easier, new moms and dads are able to expense up to $300 for take-out meals during the first 3 months that they are home with their new baby.

Employee Referral Program–Good people know other good people. The best employees are usually hired through referrals. Those who refer candidates that are hired receive a cash bonus award.

Going green–preferred parking and/or employee subsidies for those who purchase and drive hybrid vehicles.

Paid time off to volunteer–Employees are given a specific amount of paid time off to volunteer in their communities.

Sweep employees off their feet–Hire professional cleaners to tidy up employees' homes every two weeks.

Tuition forgiveness programs–Offer to pay off a percentage of tuition owed, per year of employment, for hard to fill positions that are usually filled by recent grads.

Taking care of the people who matter–Enlist a vendor to deliver ready-to-eat healthy dinners, that employees can elect to purchase and take home to their families.

Flowers and gift cards for the spouse–The people who really pick up the slack are the spouses who are forced to work double duty when their partner is working late hours. Acknowledge their contribution by sending flowers or gift cards, along with a personal note to acknowledge their contribution.

Incorporating perks like these into your organization will help you attract top talent, increase employee satisfaction and reduce costly employee turnover, which in the end is far more profitable than scaling back on your benefit expenses to save a few bucks.

© 2012 Matuson Consulting. All rights reserved.

Upcoming Profitability Accelerator Teleconference:
Mar. 13 - Selecting for Success: Acquiring Top Talent in Any Economy

When: March 13, 2012 @ 12:00pm ET
Length: 45 Minutes
Investment: Free!

If you've had the pleasure of trying to hire top talent these days then you know how overwhelming the process can be. One job posting can result in hundreds of responses or if you are recruiting for one of the many hard to fill positions, you may be wondering why your efforts are yielding little in the way of results. In this jam packed session, we'll discuss the steps you can take to dramatically reduce the amount of time it is taking you to hire top talent and ways to ensure that the person you thought you were hiring is the person who actually shows up. We'll talk about ways you can dramatically fill your pipeline with the right people. You'll leave this session with tools you can use to immediately begin hiring the talent you will need to fuel business growth.

All registrants will receive a free MP3 download of the session. Additionally, during the month of March - Selecting for Success: The Complete System for Hiring Top Talent (both the eBook and hard copy book) is being offered at a 25% discount.

Ready to Accelerate Your Profit?

Register Today

Upcoming Speaking Events

  • Grand Rounds - Boston Children's Hospital - Brookline, MA,
    March 7, 2012
  • The Commonwealth Institute CEO Forum - Boston, MA,
    April 18, 2012
  • HRMA - Western, MA - Chicopee, MA,
    April 23, 2012
  • SHRM Talent Management Conference - Washington, DC,
    May 2, 2012
  • American Craft Brewers Association - San Diego, CA,
    May 5, 2012

We're booking speaking engagements into 2013. Contact Roberta today to ensure you get your first choice of dates. Click here to download Roberta's speaker sheet.

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About Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies and small to medium-size businesses create exceptional workplaces leading to extraordinary results. As a seasoned consultant, Roberta is considered a leading authority on leadership and the skills and strategies required to earn employee commitment and client loyalty.

She is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around and is a highly sought after speaker, consultant and executive coach.

Learn More

Read an Excerpt of Suddenly in Charge

Buy Suddenly in Charge

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Selecting for Success

25% Off!Selecting For Success: The Complete System for Hiring Top Talent is a comprehensive program for executives, business owners, HR executives and hiring managers interested in dramatically improving the quality of their hires, significantly improving productivity and slashing costly employee turnover.

With this system, organizations like Boston Beer, Winston Flowers and Eastern Connection have consistently improved their quality of hires, while reducing expensive employee turnover. One of our clients recently reported they had slashed turnover by 50% and estimated they were saving over a million dollars annually, as a result of this program.

Selecting for Success



Visit Roberta Online:

Email: Roberta@YourHRExperts.com
Tel: 413.582.1840 | Tel: 617.566.8978
Fax: 413.582.7111

© 2012 Matuson Consulting. All Rights Reserved.