Creative perks for retaining employees

By Jaya Shewaramani, Senior Recruitment Consultant, Jade Consultants

In this hyper-connected world, there are multiple channels through which companies can attract talent. However, that’s just the easy part. The biggest challenge employer’s face today is retaining talent!

According to a study conducted by Hays, 57% of working professionals in UAE is looking to switch employers at some point this year. That’s 1 in 2 people!!! Cost per hire is through the roof so if an employee stays for only 2 years and the company has to keep finding replacements, soon it eats away into bottom-line profits and hinders growth.

As a recruiter, we are trained to question a candidate for their reasons to leave. Most times, we hear the well-rehearsed “seeking better opportunity” or “better salary package” but the underlying truth is most of them would’ve probably stayed longer if they felt a sense of belonging and some extra perks along with regular salaries.

What if UAE companies could do better to promote employee loyalty? that goes beyond a paycheck.

Here are some of the creative and simple ideas, I could think of:

  • Laundry – Yes, you read it right! What if employers tied up with laundry providers and got special company discount for each load? Wouldn’t be great if employees would bring their dirty laundry each morning to work and only paid AED10/- per load for freshly laundered/pressed clothes!
  • Birthdays/Occasions – These days almost all the offices across UAE celebrate birthdays, X-mas, Diwali etc. But what if employers went one step ahead and created a savings scheme like National bonds? and every year the employer adds funds towards it. I know it’s not as fun as tickets to Ferrari world but it’s a genuinely caring gesture and urges employees to save.
  • Sleeping pods/Meditation break – I bet most readers here know about Google and its perks! One of the perks that won’t cost a lot to employers are sleeping pods/meditation room. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean 3 to 4 hours of sleep to recover from a hangover. What if employees could take a 20 min nap post lunch or say a 20-minute meditation break anytime during the day to increase productivity and focus?
  • Fitness at work – We all know the positive effects of exercising. Simply doing 30 minute each day increases wellness and boosts our health. But most UAE employees don’t have time after a long commute or simply get tired to hit a gym. What if employers gave a 30-minute work-out break? Or better yet, if they tied-up with a personal trainer who visits the office every day for group training. Wouldn’t that be great?
  • Carwash – Yet another creative idea would be to offer carwash to employees. Obviously, this would depend if your office tower has employee carpark for all.
  • Allowing pets at work – I’m not sure how many commercial buildings would allow this but imagine once a month if employees could take their pets to work? What a great way to reduce stress at a workplace and enjoy the companionship of a pet.

These are just a few ideas, of course, there are plenty more cost-effective ways offices in UAE can make their workplace more attractive. If these ‘small yet thoughtful’ ideas are implemented, I bet, we will see fewer switches.

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