Employee Retention Ideas

By Mark Smiciklas

What can your small business do to help build a positive culture and create a workplace that attracts and retains employees?  Here are a few cool ideas from a company I work with…

  • Health Days – in addition to regular time off, employees get 3 extra paid days off to unwind. Half of the staff takes a Friday and the other half a Monday – that way the office stays open and there is no service interruption
  • Volunteer Days – 1 paid day per quarter per employee to volunteer at a non-profit of their choice
  • Employees that want to commute (and help the company reach their 15% annual GHG emission reduction goal) receive a complimentary transit pass every month
  • Paid fitness centre membership
  • Organic food delivery to the office
  • Subsidized (50%) organic home food delivery for each employee
  • Flex hours and a casual work environment
  • Social Fridays – the office shuts down an hour early; employees hang out and play foozball; Sony Wii; etc.

In a competitive labour market where employees have a lot of choice, your small business needs to excel in the "culture" department. As demographics change and the baby boomers exit the job market, Gen X’ers and the new Facebook Generation are demanding more from their work environments. If your small business embraces work/life balance as part of your culture, you will have a better chance of attracting and retaining great employees.

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