Join and Share

Know What You Can Provide

Small to medium sized employers sometimes feel as though they are at a disadvantage when it comes to their ability to provide benefits and rewards to their employees. In fact, they often have more flexibility to provide non-monetary rewards that show employees that they are recognized and appreciated. These efforts go a long way in keeping employees.

To assess what you, as an employer, can offer your workers, ask yourself these questions:

  • How much flexibility do you have?
    This will determine many of the options that are realistic for you.
  • How large is your company?
    If your company is larger, you may be able to offer more learning and career growth opportunities. If your company is smaller, there may be more opportunities for in-house development and training opportunities.
  • Is the work that you do seasonal or unpredictable?
    Depending on the schedule of your work you may be able to change the hours of work or provide bonuses during peak work periods.
  • Are you able to provide work and personal life balance?
    You may be able to create a more attractive work schedule for employees.
  • Are your workers unionized?
    Workers who are unionized receive the benefits of the union position. If workers are not unionized you have the flexibility to adjust wages or working conditions.

Creative Worksite Practices

Here are some creative workplace practices that other businesses use to keep employees. Consider your budget, along with your answers to the questions listed above, and determine if any of them would work for you.


  • Flexible hours
  • Extra vacation days
  • Flexible vacation time
  • Paid days off
  • Time off to volunteer in the community
  • Family days
  • Compressed time- working extra time each day to have one day off a month, for example.


  • Gift certificates/cards
  • Scholarships for children of employees
  • Childcare assistance
  • Eldercare assistance
  • Tuition reimbursements
  • Personal computer loans
  • Access to software downloads for home computer use
  • Corporate discounts


  • Counseling services
  • Financial planning services
  • Wellness subsidies for weight loss, smoking cessation, etc.

Work Environment

  • Casual dress days
  • Staff functions such as barbeques, parties and social events
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Free or subsidized parking
  • Free coffee, tea or snacks
  • Fun office environment
  • Ability to work from home if needed
  • Transportation arrangements

Consult with your employees and ask them what they value and how you might implement their suggestions. Realize that although there may be initial upfront costs, the costs that you save in having less staff turnover will be well worth it.