Tag Archives: benefits

Question of the Month: What Perks—Other Than Pay Raises and Traditional Benefits—Could Your Company Offer to Keep You Around?

We’re living in a job seekers market; that means there are more jobs available than qualified individuals to fill them. That’s great for those job searching, but less than great for companies. Companies need to be incredibly competitive to attract and retain top talent.

One of the ways they accomplish this is by offering beneficial perks. Pay raises and other traditional benefits like a good insurance plan are typically expected, but things like a relaxed dress code or flextime can really tip the scales when job seekers are choosing a place to work.

But which perks are the most important? We want to know, and you can help by voting in our poll—what perks are most important to you?

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Poll Results: What Benefits Do Employees Crave?

Last month we asked readers what benefits, not including health, they valued most from employers.

The Results

Having a flexible work schedule led the pack with 17.57% of the vote, while generous/unlimited vacation time and opportunities to work from home/remotely followed in second and third, with 12.83% and 11.85%, respectively. The rest of the results were as follows:

  • Access to Training/Certification Classes:10.18%
  • Casual Dress Code:9.76%
  • Profit Sharing/Stock Options:8.23%
  • College Tuition Reimbursement:6.56%
  • Opportunities to Travel:5.02%
  • Company Gym/Membership Discount at Local Gym:4.74%
  • Other:3.07%
  • Cafeteria Programs:2.79%
  • Community Service/Volunteer Opportunities:2.79%
  • Professional Organization Memberships:2.51%
  • Child Care:2.09%

Employees may love their jobs and what they do, but they aren’t just workers. Each one has family and obligations outside of work. Having the ability to attend to those responsibilities is incredibly helpful, and employees appreciate employers that provide that flexibility.

Poll: What Is the Key Factor That Contributes to Your Job Satisfaction?

Job Seeking and Career Advice PollThe beginning of a new year is a great time to renew your focus on important goals, whether they are personal or professional. From losing weight to saving money, many people will create resolutions and develop plans to stick with them this year. Now that 2016 has begun, your job search efforts may be a renewed priority and you may find yourself applying to more jobs and landing more interviews.

If you plan to focus on your job search this year, it’s important to recognize and understand the factors that contribute to your job satisfaction so you know the job you’re trying to get is the right one for you. We want to know what those key factors are in your life.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

The Results Are In: How Do You Wish Your Company Showed Appreciation to Employees?

results_show_appreciation_webThe holiday season is quickly approaching, and many companies are deciding how they’ll show appreciation to their employees this year. In a recent poll, we asked Movin’ On Up readers how they wish their employers, or future employers, showed appreciation this time of year.

According to the results, 29% of respondents would most appreciate a cash bonus, while 23% reported pay raises would be better incentives. Aside from monetary gifts like gift cards (6%), 16% of respondents picked days off or shortened holiday hours as their top choice.

Holiday parties received 6% of the vote, followed by non-monetary gift items at 1%. An additional 15% of respondents reported that a combination of items would be best received.

Participants also selected “Other” and respond with their own thoughts, including:

  • “Work-life balance”
  • “Incentive vacation time for employees with no sick days”
  • “Well-developed systems”
  • “Better benefits”
  • “Company profit sharing”
  • “A turkey or ham at Christmas to take home”

An overwhelming majority of people requested one thing in particular – appreciation. Responses included:

  • “Praise and acknowledgement”
  • “Just to hear someone from management say, ‘Thank you for doing a great job’”
  • “Respect”
  • “A thank you would go a long way”
  • “I’ve never heard a thank you”
  • “Saying thank you or I appreciate you”
  • “Email or verbal appreciation on a regular basis”
  • “Recognition”

These results are not far from last year’s, which revealed that 27% of respondents would most appreciate a cash bonus, followed by 13% who selected pay raises, and 9% who chose days off. Last year’s results also revealed that appreciation would go a long way with today’s workforce. In 2014, 31% of those who selected the “Other” option wrote that they wanted appreciation from their supervisors. This year, that number rose to 42%.

The results of the Movin’ On Up poll reveal some of the most powerful gifts are the easiest to give. From a turkey at Christmas to a thank-you email, sincerity is the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Be Thankful: How to Appreciate Your Job

be_thankful_for_job_webThe holiday season is fast approaching, and it’s a time of year when many people consider all they are thankful for, like family, shelter, and friends. When you count up your blessings, do you include your job? Even if your current job isn’t perfect, it is something for which you should be thankful. If you’re struggling to appreciate your job, take a look at these tips to help alter your thinking.

Appreciate your perspective.
Remember, you control your perspective. That means your attitude – and yours alone – shapes the way you think about the situation you’re in. It also means you’re the only one who can make yourself enjoy your job. So, take a few moments every morning to remember the things you enjoy about your job and start your day off with the right attitude.

Appreciate your contributions.
You contribute a lot to your employer. If you’re struggling to find meaning in your work or are having trouble enjoying your job, take a moment to consider what you bring to your workplace. Take an inventory of your talents, skills, and personality, and remind yourself that you are a valuable employee. Then, shift your focus and contribute even more. Make an extra effort to voice great ideas, and put in a little extra participation when you can. Chances are your increased efforts and positive attitude will be noticed and maybe even rewarded.

Appreciate what you receive.
Even though it may not always seem like it, your job gives back to you in many ways. Your income isn’t the only thing you get from your work. Take a moment to make a list of the things you receive from your workplace, like health insurance, benefits, time off, or teambuilding opportunities. Does your workplace offer a gym for employees, or bonuses during the holidays? Do you have flexible work hours? Does your employer provide coffee in the mornings? Even that is a benefit you may not have noticed.

Appreciate your alone time.
Taking breaks during the work day can really help you unwind and let go of stress. If your workplace allows, take advantage of your break time every day. Even getting away from your desk for five minutes to step outside, make a phone call, or grab a snack can be enough of a mental break to get your head back in the game. Don’t forget to leave all of your emails and work behind for those few minutes. Your time away from your desk or work station may help you relax and remind you to appreciate a few moments of quiet time during a busy work day.

Appreciate your co-workers.
When you contribute toward a pleasant work environment, you also help your co-workers appreciate their job. Don’t participate in gossip, as it only spreads negativity. Instead, minimize your time with those whose personalities clash with your own and spend time with people you can help and befriend. Have fun at work by inviting your co-workers to lunch or keeping up with their life outside the workplace. When you get along with your co-workers, it not only makes for a more enjoyable work environment but can also help the team’s overall morale.

Appreciate work-life balance.
When your work day ends, make sure you don’t take it home with you. Mentally check out of your job before heading home for the day. A recent study from Good Technology revealed that 80% of people continue working after they leave the office, and checking emails is the biggest culprit. It’s okay to enjoy your work, but you need to find a balance between your job and your personal life to ensure happiness.

Appreciate the experience.
Even if your current job isn’t the one you want for the rest of your life, you can appreciate the experience you’re getting. Your job may not be part of your overall career plan, but it can add valuable skills and experience to your resume that will help you land the job of your dreams later. Not to mention, supervisors, managers, and co-workers are important people to have in your network. You never know who they may know, or where a better job connection may turn up down the road.

According to Business Insider, “the luckiest employees reap rewards from multiple areas: financial, emotional, and professional. They see their daily work as a chance to learn, better themselves, and understand the lessons hurled at them.”

At the end of the day, remember that you’re lucky to have a job. That doesn’t mean you should stay in a job that isn’t right for you. If your work is stressing you out or making you feel unappreciated, it may be time to look for something new. While you consider a career change or take up a new hobby, use these tips to help you appreciate the job you have right now.

Why are you thankful for your job? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How to Counter a Job Offer

how_to_counter_a_job_offer_webIf you’re searching for a job, it may be tempting to take any offer a company gives you when it comes to pay, but always be prepared to counter their offer.

In fact, experts suggest that an employer’s first offer has some wiggle room, and if you’re savvy enough, a counter offer could score an even bigger salary or more job flexibility.

So how do you prepare a counter offer without blowing your opportunity? We’ve got five easy steps:

  1. When a hiring manager calls with a job offer, tell her or him that you need time to consider the offer. Be sure to let him know that you are excited about the position, but just need to study the salary and benefits.
  2. Study the offer. Really educate yourself on the benefits, vacation packages, and salary. By knowing the full offer, you are better positioned to negotiate. For instance, if the salary is lower than you wanted, maybe you can negotiate for better insurance or extra days of vacation.
  3. When offered the job, study up on the typical salary for that position and for the region where you live. For instance, if you know the starting salary for a particular job is $40,000, then use that as your starting point. If you have multiple years of experience, you could negotiate a higher range based on your knowledge.
  4. Make the counter offer. Many job seekers may find negotiations to be intimidating, but speaking confidently about your counter offer is important. The position has already been offered to you, so the company wants to hire you. You do have a right to go for the benefits or salary you believe you deserve.
  5. Re-negotiate. If the employer feels the salary or perks you counter with are too much, be prepared to negotiate for an amount you’re both happy with. Don’t go into a counter offer with an “all or nothing” approach. Find middle ground that makes you and your future employer comfortable.

While it is always worth a try to improve a job offer, be realistic. Know your market worth, but don’t push the envelope too much. You may not have much wiggle room if the employer is set on the salary offered.

Above all else, make sure you are in a position to walk away when making a counter offer. If you are in a desperate situation, be aware that a counter offer may not be accepted.

Have you ever made a counter to a job offer and had it accepted? Share your story with us in the comments below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How Important Is Your Education?

how_important_is_your_education_web

In today’s world, education is often the best tool for getting ahead. It can help you grow in a variety of ways—you can pursue a passion, increase your long-term income, and have the experience of a lifetime. In fact, college graduates earn more than twice as much as high school graduates. Some studies have found that college graduates with a bachelor’s degree earn 80% more per year than those with only a high school degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the more education you have, the more your average salary increases.

Although college can be expensive, and the overall student debt has increased to roughly $1 trillion, the pay gap between those with a college degree and those without is increasing yearly. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Americans with four-year college degrees made 98% more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree—that’s a number that has consistently increased since the early 1980s when it was at 64%.

Educational & Social Benefits
Making more money in your lifetime isn’t the only benefit to a college degree. There are other educational and social benefits that can be drawn from a college education.  These include:

  • Quality of Life – Individuals who attend college make informed decisions, which can also lead to having more money. Studies have shown that college grads save and make more money and have more assets, including homes, cars, and investments. People who attend college tend to work in white collar jobs, in office buildings, or other facilities with air-conditioning, heating, and conveniences that improve the quality of life. Additionally, the Council on Contemporary Families reported that college graduates are less likely to divorce.
  • Work Productivity & Opportunity – If job satisfaction is important to you, then consider pursuing a college degree. Studies have shown that people who attend college have greater work opportunities, are more satisfied at work, and tend to have skills that can be easily applied in different work settings and different geographic locations. Additionally, those who attend some college are employed at three times a higher rate than those who have not.
  • Longer & Healthier Lifespan – In addition to the income boost that comes with higher education, college grads are healthier and have longer lifespans as well. A survey by the Center for Disease Control indicates that between 1990 and 2008, the life expectancy gap between the most and least educated Americans grew from 13 to 14 years among males and from 8 to 10 years among females. Unfortunately, studies have also shown that those with less education are more likely to have risk factors that predict disease—such as smoking and obesity. Having a higher socioeconomic status (measured by total family income, level of education attained and professional career status) is directly correlated with better physical health and life expectancy.
  • Self-Esteem & Psychological Well-being – When you walk across that stage with a diploma in hand, there is a sense of pride and confidence that no one can take away from you. Not only is it a rite of passage, but you’ve accomplished something that can never be taken away. Additionally, studies conducted by the College Board have found that those who have completed some college are not only more well-equipped to handle mental challenges, but also report a higher level of satisfaction when doing so.
  • Building a Legacy – One of the best parts of a college education is passing the benefits on to your kids. Children of college-educated parents are smarter, more likely to graduate from high school, more likely to attend college, and have a better quality of life.

Diverse Opportunities
Whether it’s a bachelor’s degree from a traditional four-year college or a Career Technical School, higher education has benefits far outside of knowledge and books. Whether or not education plays the most important role in your likelihood of getting hired, there’s no doubt that taking opportunities to learn and grow in your career is a beneficial piece of the puzzle. And, you don’t necessarily have to follow a typical four-year degree path. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14 of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in America require an associate’s degree or less. If you’re hoping to further your education without following a four-year plan, check out this article for more information.

 

What other benefits have you seen from attending college? Let us know in the comments section below.