Covid has changed lots of things for us all.
The pandemic has transformed the way we do our jobs. The world shifted pace during lockdowns and restrictions, and as a result, staff are much more open to working remotely and on a more flexible basis. In many cases, employees now want flexi working written into their contracts as standard. In fact, a recent study from Workthere found that nine in ten millennials now expect to have some control over when and where they work.
The events of the last couple of years have also changed people’s priorities. Previously nonplussed employees have realised that they don’t want to work doggedly for most of their waking lives without any meaningful reward beyond their monthly salary. They’re not only interested in financial remuneration. They want support, they want the opportunity for development, and they want to feel appreciated and valued in their roles.
The challenge for you, as the creative employers of today, is to feed all of these benefits – and many more! – into an attractive employee package that will not only turn heads but keep talented team members on your turf for longer.
So, what do young employees really want from their agency employers?
To find out what younger creatives want from today’s businesses, we first need to look at what motivates this segment of the workforce.
Scope for growth
Unlike generations before them, today’s younger workers don’t necessarily consider job security as a priority. They don’t often want to tie themselves into the same role for decades on end. These dynamic multipods are highly adaptable. They thrive on change and innovation; they want work that stimulates them and challenges them.
They want to know that they can progress (if they want to), and that management will be happy to invest in their skills further if the right opportunity arises. They certainly don’t want to be boxed in by their employer or made to feel as though their voice doesn’t matter.
A helping hand
The cost of living is at an unprecedented high. A package that contains any kind of benefits that reduce outgoings for life-enhancing purchases – like good healthcare, monthly gym memberships, and even regular treats – will motivate employees, particularly younger staff whose budgets are typically squeezed the most.
Freedom (as far as possible!)
For your younger employees, there’s nothing worse than the thought of being micro-managed. These workers champion individualism, and they want as much freedom within their roles as (feasibly) possible.
Offering added flexibility as a package perk will do more than simply allow your staff to better manage their work/life balance. Given the power to choose their own working times and locations, your team members will be able to develop a routine that suits their lifestyle and their other commitments. Plus, greater independence can help to nurture creative thinking and out-of-the-box problem solving – two things that will be vital in ensuring your agency is ahead of the curve.
What do you get in return for nailing your benefits packages?
In return for motivating your employees with incredible package perks, your company will see returns on your investment in a variety of ways.
Staff who are happy with their package will be less likely to look for employment elsewhere. And, as we all know, better staff retention means less time finding new employees. The costs associated with the hiring process can really stack up, especially when you bring recruitment fees into the mix, so keeping your workers onboard for longer is much more cost-effective than seeking out new talent every few months.
Then, of course, there are the individual benefits to your staff feeling well-supported and having greater autonomy over their roles. Implementing the right package perks will improve the overall health and wellbeing of the people within your business, which will result in higher productivity and a greater sense of morale between everyone who works for and with you. Offering good benefits will also serve to reduce absenteeism through ill health and having to take time off to deal with the various challenges life brings.
To sum up, attractive package perks won’t just benefit your bottom line. They will also create a more positive working culture within your company, which in turn will lead to improved staff satisfaction. And trust us when we say that happy workers are your brand’s biggest asset!
How to choose package perks for your employees: the benefits to consider
Flexible working arrangements
Employees want to create their own schedules. They will relish the chance to pick and choose how, when, and where they work. Offering remote, hybrid, and flexitime working options is one of the easiest ways you can ensure your teams stay happy and productive, and your package remains competitive.
Investment in home office space
Remote working has become the norm for many younger staff. But where they work has a huge impact on how they work – and if they are logging on from a cluttered, ill-designed space, their productivity could suffer. Make sure their setup is safe by arranging a home risk assessment, and be prepared to invest in ergonomic chairs, wrist supports, and appropriate DSE to enhance your employees’ experience at home.
Increased – or even unlimited – holiday days
Many companies have seen great results from offering funded sabbaticals and even unlimited paid leave to their staff. This approach doesn’t work for every business, but at the very least, it’s worth considering giving employees the option to take more time off, if they want to. Doing so will motivate employees to take charge of their output and their responsibilities, plus give them the chance to get enough downtime to recharge properly.
Paid sick leave is also a big bonus for younger employees, especially in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
Private healthcare packages
With health at the forefront of everyone’s minds, having comprehensive medical cover in place for your staff is more vital than ever.
Research has shown that many younger workers would rather receive a better health insurance package than a salary increase. Even pre-pandemic, Glassdoor found that nearly 40% of workers would prefer healthcare insurance over a boost to their income.
Counselling and personal support
These days, Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) are included in many corporate healthcare plans. These schemes offer telephone counselling and other additional services to employees and their immediate families. They are a great source of support for issues that your staff don’t want to discuss in the workplace. Most companies offer advice and guidance on problems relating to gambling, addiction, debt management, and other money matters.
Gym memberships and other health incentives
Anything that supports healthier behaviours will go down well with health-conscious younger employees.
Aside from offering gym subscriptions, or even installing a gym onsite, you could explore ways of providing better food options to your staff. Taking the hassle out of finding good food throughout the day will enable your teams to focus more on the work at hand, and less on planning their next meal.
Financial planning support
Let your employees know how they can make the most of their hard-earned cash by offering more robust pensions and/or providing access to specialist retirement planning expertise. (Thinking about their financial future may not be a burning priority for younger staff, but they’ll thank you later!)
Provide stock, shares, or equity options
Boost loyalty and establish more of a connection between your employees and your business by offering your workforce the chance to actually invest in your company. You can do this by selling shares, or by granting stock to your staff as part of their compensation packages.
Discounts and rewards
Give something extra to your staff with access to exclusive discounts, offers and treats. There are plenty of staff discount and employee rewards schemes out there: Mo, Ben, Perkpal, Perks at Work and Perkbox are some of our favourites.
Employees that play together, stay together. Encourage stronger bonds between teams by treating them to lunch, taking them out for drinks, or arranging fun outings that will get your staff out of ‘work mode’ for a few hours.
Above all, make sure you find ways to recognise your employees’ hard work. And be sure to tie this recognition into the values that are important to your younger employees: creativity, accountability, teamwork, agility, and passion.
Performance bonuses and incentive programmes always go down well, but other initiatives such as regular shout-outs and ‘employee of the week’ schemes will give your staff reasons to work that little bit harder.
It doesn’t matter how big your creative agency is, or how many years you’ve been in business – you can always find ways to improve your employee packages, particularly for your younger staff.
If you haven’t reviewed your benefits and perks in a while, now’s the time to revisit what you can offer. Don’t take your eye off the ball and let your competitors steal your best creative minds from under your feet!