How You Can Attract Top Performers with These Unique Perks

Although a strong compensation package is important, to attract talented employees, you need to offer unique perks they can’t get elsewhere.

Attracting top performers to your organization isn’t just about providing strong compensation packages. Although it is important to make sure you compensate your workers fairly, it’s not the only factor worth considering.

Top performers tend to be ambitious. They also, to some degree, tend to know their value. That’s why an impressive paycheck isn’t the only perk they seek out when considering potential employers. You need to determine what else you can offer to attract the kind of talent that will help your organization thrive in the long run.

The following are certain examples worth keeping in mind. They don’t represent all the perks you might offer in an attempt to attract skilled employees, but they are significant examples that you may have overlooked.

hiring

Additional On-Site Amenities

In many industries, work hours are growing longer. These days, people are expected to arrive at the office earlier and leave later.

It’s important to not let this trend continue to such a degree that it has a negative impact on employee engagement. People need time away from work to feel thoroughly satisfied. However, if your employees are occasionally expected to work longer-than-average hours, you should at least strive to make the office environment a convenient and engaging place to be.

For example, major companies such as Google offer their workers amenities such as fitness centers, game rooms, barber shops, and more. While you may not have the space for these amenities at your office, you can likely think of upgrades that go beyond the basic “coffee and vending machine in the break room” offerings.

The main point to keep in mind is simple: spending too much time at the office prevents employees from participating in other important life activities or completing other important tasks. You need to make it easier for them to participate in these activities at work. For instance, Google likely offers on-site haircuts because it helps busy workers find time for what would otherwise be an inconvenient errand.

 

Unique Breaks

Remember, it’s essential that your employees are able to comfortably take breaks. Even the most dedicated will experience burnout if they are constantly working long hours with no chance to relax.

You can make your working environment even more attractive to top performers by offering unique breaks that aren’t available at most organizations.

Consider the example of Patagonia. This popular outdoor apparel brand benefits from a workforce that genuinely enjoys the lifestyle it promotes. For example, one way the company attracts talent is to allow employees at offices near the beach to take surfing breaks when the waves are too enticing to ignore.

beach surfing

Though not every office is near a beach, you can probably identify other ways to make breaks more relaxing and enjoyable for your workers. Perhaps you could set aside a yoga/meditation studio in the office. Workers can retreat to this space when they need to clear their heads and refocus.

Some companies have also begun setting aside areas of the office featuring greenery (either real or fake), as well as pictures of beautiful scenes from nature. This is because recent studies have indicated that simply looking at a picture of nature for a few minutes is often enough to promote greater relaxation in a person. So, if your office isn’t close enough to nature for employees to take breaks in, they can at least immerse themselves in a worthwhile substitute. Doing so makes breaks more relaxing and invigorating.

This doesn’t merely help you attract talented workers. It also helps you to boost productivity. Employees are more likely to stay focused and motivated when their breaks provide respite from the hustle and bustle of the office.

 

Tuition Coverage (Modified)

Starbucks is famous for offering full tuition at Arizona State University to all of its employees, highlighting a key point: today’s ambitious workers want to know they have opportunities for growth. They’re attracted to companies that provide them with chances to develop their knowledge and skills.

While you may not be able to cover full tuition for your workers, you can potentially pay for the cost of key training programs and certifications. Highlighting this benefit during the recruitment phase signals to top performers that yours is the type of company that values its employees’ potential for growth.

Of course, attitudes toward work are always changing. You need to consistently research which perks and benefits are most important to today’s workers in order to remain competitive. These are simply a few examples worth considering.

How to Engage Young Employees

Because attitudes towards work can change over the years, it’s important to brush up on tactics for engaging younger employees.

Building the strongest team possible requires finding ways to engage your employees. When employees are engaged, they’re passionate about their work. They want to contribute to the organization, and they are less likely to leave it early in pursuit of opportunities elsewhere. Engaging employees to this degree also guards against the cost of turnover.

However, it’s also important to understand that the methods which may have effectively yielded engagement in the past don’t always apply today. Attitudes toward work tend to change from generation to generation.

You need to remember this if you’re hiring younger people. Don’t assume engagement tactics that delivered results before will deliver the same results now. To engage Millennials and other young employees, keep the following essential tips in mind.

 

Provide Feedback Regularly

It’s important to provide regular, honest feedback to all team members. Employees who know where they stand typically feel more confident in their roles. If they’re living up to your expectations, they’ll work comfortably, knowing their place at the company is secure. If they’re not, they’ll want to make improvements. The only way they can do so is if they know what kind of improvements they need to make in the first place.

Consistent feedback is particularly important to younger employees, a trend that many experts credit to current parenting styles. Typically, today’s young workers were raised by parents who communicated with them in a similar manner, treating their children like team players whose strengths needed to be cultivated (and whose weaknesses needed to be addressed).

Don’t make the mistake of assuming this means young employees are “too sensitive.” On the contrary, they’re so accustomed to receiving regular feedback that they can handle critique without feeling threatened.

workplace meeting

 

Develop Company Culture

Researchers who’ve studied Millennial work attitudes have found that many younger workers don’t necessarily pursue roles solely for job security. In many instances, they believe they can rely on their talents and networks to provide a degree of security and instead look for jobs that provide them with enjoyable experiences.

This makes sense in the social media age. Social networking platforms have given young people constant opportunities to share their experiences with people all over the world. This has motivated them to pursue positive and enjoyable experiences on a regular basis.

That means they want work to be an experience in and of itself. Of course, while you could satisfy this desire to some extent by hosting company events, on a day-to-day basis, it simply isn’t feasible.

Focus instead on developing a positive company culture. While this can take time, the value of a strong culture can’t be overstated. Your younger employees (and your workforce in general) will be far more engaged on the job if they have positive feelings about the environment in which they work.

 

Consider Offering Flexibility

You won’t always be able to apply this tip. There are still instances when you may need all team members to arrive for work at the same time and leave at the same time.

However, younger workers have grown up with the kind of technology that makes remote work more practical than it used to be. They’ve also grown up in an age where employees are typically expected to put in more hours than they may have in the past.

Because of this, young employees may wish to make a trade-off of sorts. They know they’re expected to work hard. In exchange, they would like the opportunity to do their work outside of the office from time to time. Additionally, they would like to know there are at least some instances when they can work according to their own schedule. This is key to striking a healthy work/life balance. Consider offering flexible work arrangements to help your employees achieve this goal.

work from home

 

Set Goals

Don’t worry if you think engaging younger employees will be a struggle. While you do have to adjust your tactics to match their attitudes toward work, you’ll also benefit from hiring engaged young workers.

This generation of employees tends to be fairly ambitious. They don’t want to deliver mediocre results. In fact, they want to continue developing their skills in an effort to grow.

Along with offering professional development opportunities, you can cultivate this strength by periodically setting goals with your younger team members. If they know they have consistent opportunities to improve and reach new professional heights, they’ll be far more likely to feel engaged with their work.

The main point to take away from all of this is simply that work attitudes change over the years. You need to keep pace with these changes in order to better understand how you can engage your workforce.

You Need Top Employees: Here’s What You Need to Do to Find Them

While you probably already know it’s important to cultivate the talents of your top performers, you also need to know how to identify them.

Any business owner or team manager knows that in addition to attracting the best talent, you must cultivate and maintain the skills of your top performers. While all members of the workforce are essential, those who are engaged and dedicated tend to be the ones most likely to stay with the company in the long run (provided they are treated properly by their employer).

Of course, it’s not always easy to recognize top performers. There are instances during both recruiting and managing when it’s not exactly clear which employees stand out.

Whether you’re hiring new employees or simply striving to ensure your current employees are allowed to realize their full potential, the following tips will help you to determine who brings the most value to your team.

(Side note: It’s also important to understand that employees who aren’t performing above and beyond your expectations may be capable of doing so. It’s not uncommon for potential A players to deliver less than their best due to a lack of engagement.)

employees

 

Being a Team Player is Key

Obviously, a talented employee will stand out in the crowd. That doesn’t mean they are necessarily the strongest performer at your organization. In order for a business to succeed, it’s important that all team members work together effectively.

Of course, you should recognize when an employee demonstrates skill, expertise, and dedication, but if they are so obsessed with their own abilities that they fail to understand the value of working with others, they won’t deliver as much value to your company as they could.

 

Strong Employees Want More Opportunities

A top performer will likely finish their assignments on time and strive to do their best work whenever possible. Those who truly shine, though, often seek out more work and opportunities. They are ambitious people who want to continue developing their own skills.

Therefore, not only should you provide these employees with additional responsibilities when they seem willing and able to take them on, but you should also make sure these team members are provided with growth opportunities.

To start, you could offer optional training sessions. Provide them with educational resources. Let them know about upcoming seminars relevant to their work. Quite simply, if an ambitious employee doesn’t get frequent chances to develop and grow, they may eventually seek employment elsewhere. Being stuck in a role where they perform the same tasks day after day for years isn’t going to appeal to them.

Additionally, it’s worth noting that, while such ambitious performers may be proud of their accomplishments, they’re rarely content to rest on their laurels. A minor lack of satisfaction in their own growth and abilities isn’t necessarily a bad sign. It might simply indicate they consider constant growth to be essential.

employee

 

Top Performers Look for Solutions

It doesn’t matter what type of organization you run—there will be times when your employees face challenges.

This may come in many forms. Maybe a client isn’t satisfied with the quality of the work an employee has delivered. Perhaps another coworker or manager isn’t willing to work with the employee in a productive manner. Maybe, despite being generally skilled and talented, your employee is struggling to develop a particular skill necessary to take on new responsibilities.

This can and will happen. While the pressure and frustration can get in the way of some employees’ productivity, top performers will actively seek out ways to solve the problem.

That’s not to say they’ll always be immediately successful in their efforts to do so. Sometimes navigating these challenges can be more difficult than expected. Despite these difficulties, your strongest employees will look for ways to address these issues.

They understand that allowing these types of challenges to hinder their work is contrary to their personal values.

 

Your Best Employees Want More Feedback

Strong employees don’t just assume they’re living up to your expectations. They want honest feedback to determine where they need to make improvements. Of course, they also want recognition for their accomplishments, but they aren’t the type to need constant praise. Instead, they actively pursue feedback to continue growing and learning.

4 of the Best Ways to Evaluate a Job Candidate’s Character

When building a company, it’s important to hire employees with relevant skills and experience. This goes without saying. However, many successful companies such as Google have thrived because they also hire for character. This is crucial. Although you don’t necessarily want a completely homogeneous workforce, you do want a workforce where the vast majority of employees share key traits, such as creativity, dedication, and a passion for what they do.

When you’re recruiting new employees, the following tips will help you to identify candidates who possess these traits. In order to successfully hire for character, you should keep these points in mind:

 

Ask Candidates about Their Values

A strong company is typically built on strong values. A company can only truly embody its stated values if its employees also embody them.

That’s why CEOs and hiring managers often ask candidates about their personal values during job interviews. They want to find out what matters to the people whom they’re thinking about hiring. This will enable them to better understand if a candidate’s values align with those of the organization.

interview

 

Know What You Want

The character traits that you seek out in potential employees don’t need to perfectly mirror those of other businesses. It’s much more important that you prioritize character traits that match the corporate culture.

For instance, some entrepreneurs believe that employees who like to laugh tend to be those who get along well with others. If employees share a sense of humor, then they can develop the kind of rapport that will help everyone to succeed. They may also be better able to handle the stresses that inevitably accompany work, at times. Thus, business owners who care about this pay attention when interviewing candidates who appear to be willing to laugh and smile.

It is worth noting that a sense of humor is a character trait that isn’t typically associated with work ethic. Remember this when deciding which character traits you want to prioritize in candidates. You shouldn’t limit yourself by merely seeking employees who are hard-working and committed. While these are certainly important qualities, they are by no means the only ones that you should seek out.

Maybe you want employees who possess compassion. Perhaps you want people who enjoy learning. Or, maybe you’re seeking candidates who communicate in an articulate manner. The main point to keep in mind is simply this: you’re far more likely to hire candidates who possess the traits that you are looking for if you define what they are first.

 

Ask about Challenging Situations

An employee’s character should be considered for a variety of reasons. One of the more noteworthy ones is the fact that the right set of character traits can help an employee to successfully navigate difficult situations. This is key to ensuring that productivity and engagement don’t suffer during challenging times, which can strike even the most successful of companies.

That’s why it’s a good idea to ask candidates about situations in which they were forced to address such challenges. The specific nature of the questions you ask will of course depend on the traits that you’re seeking out.

If it’s important to hire employees who get along well with one another. If you believe that it’s essential to hire people who know how to innovate, ask the candidates about times when they were forced to come up with creative solutions to otherwise challenging problems. Perhaps you want employees who understand that being perfect is less important than making improvements when they fail. If so, then you might ask candidates about situations in which they overcame struggles. Asking questions during the hiring process can yield incredibly valuable insights.

job-interview-437026_1280

 

Identify the Character Traits of Your Strongest Employees

When hiring new employees, it can be difficult to know which qualities are worth prioritizing. Once you go beyond the basics, such as diligence and a sense of personal responsibility, you might struggle to determine which other traits are important to identify.

Determining what those traits are will become much easier when you study the qualities of your top performers. While they may all be separate individuals with their own personalities and goals, the odds are good that your best employees share certain key strengths. Identify what those are, and you’ll have a better understanding of which strengths you wish to seek out in the future. This will also provide you with an opportunity to consider how you can more effectively cultivate these strengths across your entire workforce.

Just keep in mind that hiring for character isn’t always simple. You need to learn from your own mistakes, as well. However, if you continue to prioritize this goal, achieving it will become easier over time.

3 Examples of Excellent Company Culture

If you run a business or manage a team at your organization, there’s a good chance that you understand the importance of cultivating and maintaining a strong company culture. When you have a great culture, attracting and retaining talented employees is much easier.

That said, understanding the value of company culture isn’t the same as understanding how to develop one. Thus, it’s a good idea to review examples of organizations that have developed their own thriving cultures. They can inspire you as you cultivate your own.

Specifically, you may want to draw inspiration from the following:

 

Google

google logoGoogle has a reputation for developing a culture that engages its workforce on a consistent basis for a simple reason: Google demonstrates how an organization can rise to success in its field while providing employees with a fantastic environment in which to work.

The tech titan has achieved this goal in several ways. Of course, Google offers its workforce a range of attractive perks, including free meals and trips. These perks certainly represent smart and simple ways that companies can ensure their workers remain happy and committed over the long term.

However, this is by no means the only reason why Google’s culture has such a strong reputation. Google is also a noteworthy example of a company with a positive culture because its leaders have been willing to adapt to changes. After all, the company has grown substantially and rapidly in a fairly short period of time. This means that its employees vary in age, location, interests, talents, experience, and more.

Attempting to maintain the culture of a business so that it always mirrors that in its initial startup phase isn’t always ideal. While it is important for a corporate culture to be rooted in core values, it’s also important for the culture to grow and evolve with the company. Google’s culture has because, along with offering perks, its leaders emphasize the company’s goals: developing and implementing creative solutions for Internet users of all kinds across the globe. This has helped the company to attract employees who, while they may be different in many ways, share a passion for innovation.

 

Apple

apple logoApple is another major tech company that has long been known for leveraging its distinctive company culture in a manner that inspires employees to perform to the best of their ability. This may come as no surprise when you consider that, since the early days of the late Steve Jobs’ tenure, Apple’s leaders have consistently sought to become the best.

This is key to the success of a business such as Apple. Apple has risen to the top because it is not satisfied with the status quo. Possessing employees who are committed to innovation, the company aims to be the best and to provide customers with high-quality products. Moreover, the company consistently seeks to improve upon products that are currently on the market.

By motivating its employees to try to be the best, Apple has developed a strong and engaged workforce. Apple’s employees are not content to deliver less than their strongest efforts. This is key to the company’s long-term relevance.

 

REI

REIMany factors contribute to a business’ success. That said, businesses thrive when their employees are passionate about their industry.

This is one of the reasons why REI has become one of the more well-known outdoor lifestyle and sports brands in the world. REI has attracted employees who love what they do in a variety of ways. For instance, REI employees often have the opportunity to win free gear from the company. This makes it easier for the company to attract the types of employees who appreciate and understand the value of the products that it sells.

Additionally, REI frequently enables employees to submit anonymous questions and suggestions to managers and to share their ideas for how the company can improve. It’s worth noting that allowing for this type of input has often been shown to have a positive impact on employee engagement. Employees are simply more engaged when they feel that their voices are being heard. This is another way in which REI attracts employees seeking to develop a stronger understanding of the industry in which they work.

None of this is to suggest you should model your culture on these examples. On the contrary, your culture should be a natural extension of your values. These examples merely demonstrate how others have succeeded in a vital way.

How to Retain Your Best Employees

If you’ve done the work of recruiting strong employees, it’s important that you also take steps to keep them engaged and satisfied over time.

Attracting talented employees to your organization is crucial to your success—your company is simply more likely to thrive with a well-rounded, engaged team.

However, that’s only half of the equation. You also need to retain your employees. After all, the cost of hiring new workers can be high. Your organization will suffer if you’re constantly replacing employees due to high turnover.

If you’re not sure how to keep your employees engaged with your company, keep the following tips in mind. When employees are invested in their work, they’re far less likely to seek employment elsewhere.

 

Recognize Top Performers

This is one of the most valuable tips a team leader can apply—partially because it’s so easy to do so.

Ambitious employees want to know their contributions are valued. At your organization, all team leaders should make sure they acknowledge an employee who achieves an important goal, completes a project in an impressive manner, or generally demonstrates their commitment to the company through hard work.

recognition

That’s not to say you should treat your workers with kid gloves. You can still provide honest feedback when an employee isn’t performing to your expectations. Workers genuinely want to know where they stand. Without proper feedback, it’s very difficult to know how to improve.

Even so, you need to prioritize giving positive feedback when it’s appropriate to do so. This has been proven to boost employee engagement substantially.

You might even want to recognize employee contributions semi-publicly. For instance, you could send an e-mail to all members of your team or organization discussing a recent project. In this e-mail, you could single out anyone who went above and beyond expectations. This demonstrates to the other team members that hard work will be rewarded with recognition, encouraging them to do their best.

 

Encourage Friendships

Surveys indicate employees are less likely to leave a job if they have friends where they work. That means it’s a good idea to encourage your workers to socialize with one another.

There are several ways you can do this. You might set aside spaces for socializing in the office, such as the kitchen or lounge area, or you could organize outside work events, such as team bowling nights. In the employee handbook, mention that socializing at the office (to a reasonable degree) is not only permitted but encouraged.

 

Provide Clear Expectations

Your top employees will almost always be ambitious. They work hard because they want to progress in their careers. That’s why it’s important to provide growth opportunities. Offering training programs and professional development seminars is an easy but effective way to retain A+ players.

office work

Your employees could also benefit from knowing exactly what is expected of them in the short and long term. Essentially, they need to know what you want them to achieve in the immediate future, as well as what you would like them to eventually accomplish in their roles. This will give them a sense of direction and something to work toward.

 

Find out What They Need

Periodically surveying your employees to learn how satisfied they are with the organization is always a smart idea. It’s easier to give employees what they want—and keep them satisfied in their work—when you know where your organization is lacking. Of course, these surveys should be anonymous. You’re more likely to get honest answers if workers don’t feel they’ll be punished somehow for negative feedback.

You can also ask employees if they feel they have the necessary tools and resources to succeed in their roles. A talented worker can grow very frustrated if a lack of resources is preventing them from realizing their true potential.

 

Listen to Their Ideas

Very often, a team’s strongest performers aren’t content just to finish their assigned tasks and clock out, ad infinitum. They tend to develop insights, observations, or new ideas that can benefit the whole company.

It’s important that you give your employees opportunities to share their ideas. Of course, it’s also essential that you act on these ideas when it makes sense to do so. An employee who feels like their voice is heard will be more engaged than one who feels ignored or dismissed. Additionally, these insights can give you an important look at your company through the lens of an employee, giving you the chance to make changes in an area where you likely would not have looked.

5 Ways to Attract Top Talent

Any entrepreneur or team leader, regardless of industry, knows you can’t succeed without a talented workforce. Attracting the strongest employees, therefore, should be a top priority.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to. The following are five of the best methods to attract the best employees in your industry.

 

Understand What They Want

Attitudes of job seekers can change over time, so before you make any recruiting efforts, it’s best to research what today’s top performers are looking for when they apply to jobs. It may not always align with your assumptions.

For example, ambitious job seekers are increasingly expressing the desire to find positions that provide them with opportunities to grow and learn. They don’t want to be stuck in dead-end jobs. They want careers that allow their talents and strengths to flourish. With that in mind, you could offer professional development and training programs and express to your team members that strong performance can lead to promotions in the future.

Of course, it’s not enough just to provide these opportunities to current employees. You also need to make sure prospective job candidates understand yours is the type of organization that will give them the chance to move up the ladder. Communicate this in job listings, interviews, and any other time it feels appropriate to do so.

interview

 

Establish Values

Engaged workers are no longer solely motivated by pay. While it is important to offer attractive compensation, more and more top performers are interested in working for organizations with clear values.

This is what sustains a strong employee’s enthusiasm, even when work can be challenging. Knowing their work contributes to achieving an important goal keeps them engaged, resulting in greater productivity and retention.

First, sit down with other key decision-makers at your company to determine what your values are. What mission are you trying to accomplish? Once you’ve defined this, communicate it to both current and prospective employees through company handbooks, marketing content, job listings, company events, and more. You’re more likely to attract talented employees if they believe working for your organization will provide them with opportunities to feel valued and important.

 

Treat Your Current Employees Right

Obviously, employees who are unhappy with their treatment will be more likely to express negative attitudes about the organization, while those who feel neutral won’t have much to say that makes any sort of lasting impression.

However, if you treat your current employees well, they may represent your company as “brand ambassadors,” meaning they may be more likely to speak positively about your organization outside of work. This results in the kind of positive reputation that makes attracting talented workers much easier.

It’s important to research what you can do to boost current employee satisfaction and engagement. Most importantly, however, you have to apply what you learn. Knowing how to boost employee engagement is only valuable if you take appropriate action.

happy employee

 

Be Flexible

The nature of work has always evolved, but the rise of digital technology in recent years has completely reshaped the workplace landscape. Keeping up with these rapid changes will allow you to attract talented job applicants.

For instance, technology has made it possible to perform many work tasks from home. Many of today’s job seekers look for positions where they will have the freedom to work remotely, at least some of the time.

Though not all positions are your company may be suitable for remote work, it’s highly likely there are many others that are. Examine which roles you would consider allowing to work remotely (even occasionally), and make sure interested applicants understand they will have these freedoms.

 

Have a Careers Website

Don’t overlook the value of this tip! If your website only represents your brand to potential customers, you’re limiting your ability to attract strong job applicants. You should also have a section of your website (or even a completely separate website) promoting job openings at your company. Make sure the site is showing off your company culture and expressing your organization’s key values whenever possible.