Reports are encouraging. Employers are emerging from the trenches of the recession as the economy slowly improves; some are rehiring laid-off workers or considering the judicious hiring of new staff. And never far from business leaders' minds is the importance of retaining the key, burned-out resources. 

How to rebuild value in the employment relationship post-recession

Reports are encouraging. Employers are emerging from the trenches of the recession as the economy slowly improves; some are rehiring laid-off workers or considering the judicious hiring of new staff. And never far from business leaders' minds is the importance of retaining the key, burned-out resources.

From free coffee and 401(k) matches to flexible work schedules and tuition reimbursement, employee perks make a difference. Many companies are rewarding the employees who helped them through tough times and are well aware that improvement in the economy could bring recruiters to lure away these valuable assets.

Ceridian has identified two trends that could help your organization make well-considered decisions as the economy improves and the job market tightens.

 

Offer positive perks while managing costs

"Certainly employees are interested in seeing a pay raise," says Kevin Maring, Ceridian Human Resources and Payroll Services account executive. "But be aware that the most important perks for your employees might not be the most expensive. Pay attention to what has a real, positive impact on the lives of the people who work for you." 

Gail Hartmann, account executive, Ceridian Human Resources and Payroll Services, concurs. "Get the biggest bang for your buck. Even the restoration of free coffee or reinstatement of team events can be an enormously positive perk for employees. Something as simple as Ceridian pay stubs online can delight employees who haven't been able to go online to change their direct deposit or set up different bank accounts."

Training, flexible work schedules and mentoring -- all relatively inexpensive -- are examples of perks that employees particularly desire. A survey of 1,400 CFOs released in January 2011 by staffing services provider Accountemps reveals that employers offer these rewards to please employees and to keep costs manageable.

 

Communicate value with a clear Employee Value Proposition

"Companies are positioning themselves for better economic conditions," says John Higgins, vice president of Ceridian Talent Acquisition. "That means talent will start moving around. This presents your company with a huge opportunity to position itself for the growth it needs. You must find a way to communicate the compelling organizational culture you deliver, which not only attracts precisely the kind of people you want, but also serves to engage your existing talent pool around that culture."

At Ceridian, Higgins adds, "one of our highest priorities is to hire results-oriented professionals who possess the right combination of skills to realize a successful career with our company. That's why we created an Employee Value Proposition. It explains our corporate vision and helps people know what to expect when they join our team."

Higgins encourages organizations of every size to create an Employee Value Proposition. "It is an interesting exercise to determine how you are different and better as an employer," he says. "Many organizations are trying to elevate corporate performance right now, so be one of the companies that knows specifically why and how it succeeds. Clearly communicate your organization's worth in the marketplace -- to the recruits and to your existing workforce."