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The company benefits you really want

19 June 2014
3 minute read

the company benefits you want

91% of millennials (born between 1977 and 1997) don’t expect to stay at any one job for more than three years. Unlike their parents, most of whom have only worked at one or two companies during their entire working careers, job-hopping is the name of the game for these young go-getters. This behaviour isn’t restricted to millennials though. The career game has changed over the last 20 years and you are now expected to change jobs at least five to seven times during your working career.

Before you jump into the next appealing job, stop to consider what work benefits you could be getting. The Top Employer Institute's 2014 certification programme recently ranked Old Mutual and Flight Centre as the top companies to work for in South Africa. Why?

Well, the companies were ranked on the benefits they offered employees and also their employee retention statistics. Here’s what the employees of these top companies enjoy:

Flexible working hoursA survey earlier this year by Regus showed that 82 per cent of South African business employees considered flexible working hours a make or break condition of employment. The research also found that:

  • 74 per cent of respondents say offering flexible working makes employees more loyal.
  • 59% of workers would actually turn down a job that ruled out flexible working.
  • 62% say they would have stayed longer in their last position had flexible working been an option.

Recruitment companies canvassed in the survey said that flexible working was a benefit that tended to attract top talent. In this day and age of laptops, wifi, tablets, Skype and smartphones – there is little reason for companies to protest this benefit.

Learning and developmentPeople want to work for companies that are prepared to invest in them. Old Mutual invests almost R200-million a year in its own people. Flight Centre offers one-on-one career coaching to help you in your current job and to help you identify future opportunities within the company. This is backed by the fact that 95% of promotions are internal!

Look for a company that is keen to develop you. The programme does not have to be internal. If you can identify a field of study or a course that will help you do your job better, most companies will offer you an interest-free or low-interest loan to pay for it. Some companies will pay all the costs provided you work x number of years so that they can see a return on their investment.

Travel opportunitiesMost young people today want to travel and see other parts of the world. Getting paid to travel is a double bonus. Flight Centre offers staff both paid holidays and discounted travel with a travel agent card. An added benefit is that this is considered part of the company’s training – after all, you are better positioned to sell a destination when you have seen and experienced it yourself.

Travel opportunities are not restricted to companies in the travel industry. If you work for a large, multinational company, you have the opportunity to grow within the company and travel to other destinations. You might be a manager who needs to oversee divisions in other countries or a consultant that gets flown in to make sure that new processes are implemented correctly. With an international employer, the sky is the limit.

Daycare or crèche Over the last decade, single-parent households have fast become the norm. This means that more and more employees are finding that they need a daycare facility for their kids. Even two-parent families are dealing with the pressure of finding reliable care for their children. Working mothers are now negotiating salaries that will include the cost of an au-pair.

An employer that offers a day-care facility that caters for young children and after-school care shows employees that their needs and their family is important. If you have the peace of mind of knowing that your young child is being taken care of at your work premises and you can check on them during your lunch break, you are going to be a happier parent…and a more productive employee.

Other benefitsAlthough not common at most companies, large companies have the means and the muscle to offer you attractive benefits including a shopping mall, a number of restaurants, a post office, a medical suite and a hair dresser. You might also be lucky enough have access to a gym, which includes a heated training pool, personal trainers, nutritionists and sports therapists. Other sports facilities may include squash courts, hockey fields, tennis courts and soccer fields.
When you are scouting a potential employer, make sure it’s the right fit for you. Exceptional employee benefits won’t hurt either!

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