Go Beyond Compensation: 10 Employee Benefits for Developers
This article was written by Travis Gravette, CEO of Abenity—an employee perks program
In today’s modern world, the benefits package of old that our grandparents and even parents (depending on the age) raved about is no longer enough for today’s workforce.
As a business owner or HR manager, keeping up with the perks that engage and motivate today’s developers is an ever-evolving task. Developers are in higher demand than ever, so there’s a lot of competition for the good ones.
Losing top talent to a competing company is a huge concern and a major financial hit to any company. The cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a new employee can be well over $60,000!
So, providing employee perks that really speak to today’s recruits and current developers is no longer just an additional benefit, it’s imperative to the overall prosperity of the business.
These days, it goes a long way with people to exceed the traditional benefits we’re all accustomed to and add additional perks that speak to the type of employee you would typically hire.
So, here are some additional perks that will really speak to your developers. Showing that you care, you’re innovative and you listen to your developers can be one of the most profitable things to your company if it keeps your best people around indefinitely.
Employee benefits to attract and retain developers outside of compensation
Fact: Compensation is not the *only* component that attracts best people to your company and work with you. Here are 10 benefits beyond a paycheck that drive developers to work with your company:
1. Personal growth potential: Providing the path to more money, mentorship programs, and ultimately a higher role in your company
If you are hiring motivated employees (which is always the goal), you’re going to want to provide them with opportunities to grow.
Finding developers in today’s world that care about your product and/or company can be similar to catching lightning in a bottle – not the easiest task. And when you do catch that lightning, you want to give them every reason to believe they can grow. Why? Because talented people want to grow.
Use this as an opportunity to mentor them yourself or, provide a mentorship program where they can learn, grow, and ultimately become a bigger asset to you and your company.
Mentorship programs are a powerful way to pay it forward. Not only that, statistics show that ALL Fortune 50 companies provide mentorship programs, and 97% participating in those programs say it is a valuable experience.
Almost 90% of individuals who have been mentored say they will pay it forward by mentoring others coming up in their industry. Sadly, only 37% of working professionals today actually have a mentor.
Professional development programs fall into this category as well. Typically, a professional development program offers the opportunity for developers to attend extracurricular training like management and leadership courses or technical skills training.
It can also include additional professional certifications and even team building and interpersonal development-related conferences.
These employee assistance programs can help to expand the knowledge base and abilities of your developers while also promoting teamwork and overall positive culture in the office.
Also read: How to Assess Programming Skills Before Hiring
2. Making an impact
According to a recent study, approximately three-fourths of the entire U.S. population donates to a charity or non-profit on a regular basis.
People want to be a part of giving back and helping those in need. If an employee knows their company also shares and supports this passion, they develop a deeper loyalty and respect for the organization.
In fact, this same study shows that 84% of millennials give to a charity on a monthly basis and 64% volunteer in their community at a local level.
As a company, showing a strong commitment to a certain non-profit organization that aligns with your organization’s beliefs, convictions, and values will not only encourage and motivate the members of your organization, it will also speak volumes to new prospective hires who want to join your team.
3. Technology stipend
A technology stipend is a huge perk for today’s developers. There really aren’t many jobs in 2023 that do not require some form of technology to run the day-to-day.
And in a post-COVID world, most developers work from home. So, providing a stipend for things like computers, phones, and internet access can go a long way.
If you don’t have a physical office, providing an opportunity for developers in the same area to meet together and work as a team can be a great added benefit. It can even be considered a crucial part of mental health as we saw the depression and overall loneliness statistics during COVID.
4. Above and beyond: Providing unique health benefits
Providing additional health benefits over and above the typical health benefits the average company makes provisions for will really speak volumes to prospective top talent.
You may be wondering what those additional benefits could be, so let’s talk about them.
There is a considerably large portion of the working population that are single mothers and single fathers.
And childcare is expensive!
Providing financial support to parents (even those that are not single) goes a long way. And can even be a key determining factor in whether a prospect will move forward with a position in your company.
Financial assistance and flexibility in working from home when children are sick provide relief and security for the working parent.
On the flip side, there is another large portion of the population that cannot have children for one reason or another.
Providing care and financial support throughout the process of adoption is a huge deal for those that want children but cannot have them naturally. Being able to have a family can be a huge stress point and financial concern for many. A company that shows support through that process is a considerable employee benefit.
5. Wellness benefits
Today’s average American is very concerned and educated on overall mental and physical wellness.
More and more people are seeking non-traditional forms of treatment including chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, and other forms of treatment. Providing an opportunity for your developers to seek alternative forms of healthcare that would otherwise not be covered in a traditional healthcare plan shows that you care about their values. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in the healthcare industry.
On a separate note, providing mental health care has also become a more outspoken need and an additional benefit that many companies are offering today. In a post-pandemic world, this need has become recognized. People are encouraged to seek counseling and other mental health care provisions.
Shedding light on this issue and providing a solution can set you apart in the hiring process.
If a staff member is going through a divorce – for example – providing counseling is not only a benefit to the employee but also a benefit to the employer.
If a developer is (rightly so) focused on a personal issue like a divorce, and doesn’t have an outlet to seek counsel, advice, and grief support, it will carry into the workplace and affect their ability to focus and truly be a connected part of the team.
Providing support and showing that you are invested in an employee’s overall mental health is not only a ‘benefit’, it’s a goodwill service that shows you truly care and want to celebrate the ‘ups’ and support the ‘downs’ in life.
Also read: 7 Ways to Reduce Burnout in Your Tech Teams
6. Gym memberships and company workout programs
When creating your up-to-date employee benefits package, providing a discount for gym memberships or an on-site personal trainer can ultimately be extremely beneficial to the health of your company.
The sedentary lifestyle of an employee behind a computer all day can decrease overall motivation. Providing an opportunity for developers to join a gym where they can exercise before or after work or even having a trainer come into the building to offer private and group training sessions can exponentially increase productivity.
Exercise increases endorphins in the body. When this particular “happy hormone” is activated, employee efficiency kicks into overdrive. This increase can positively affect your company’s bottom line, quotas, and overall attitude in the workplace
7. Educational assistance
Educational assistance can actually be two-fold. There’s the educational assistance that benefits the employee themselves and then there’s educational assistance that benefits the children of the employee.
As we mentioned earlier, finding top talent that wants to grow in their careers is the ultimate goal for every company. So, providing ways for those people within your company to be promoted is a great way to ensure your developers stick around.
One of the ways to show that you are invested in your developers is by providing educational assistance so that they can further their education and career possibilities.
Whether it’s a discount or scholarship to a local community college or university, it goes a long way in showing developers you want to invest in them, and this attitude from the top makes people ultimately want to join your team.
Another opportunity that some employers and larger companies provide is education assistance to the children of an employee, once they are eligible to apply for college. This is a huge way to retain your developers for the long haul!
If an employee has middle school-aged children, you can guarantee they are already starting to think about college funds and how to support that child when the time comes to go to school.
If the company they are working for provides financial support and scholarships to their children, they’re more than likely not going anywhere.
8. Lunch stipends
Everyone gets excited about lunch at the office and a free lunch is even better! Whether you decide to offer lunch stipends or lunch catered to the office, it’s still a great addition to your employee benefits package.
If lunches are catered, that provides instant community in the office. Developing a “team” culture can be challenging but it is critical to the health of your company. People build relationships and community over food, and this is a great way to do that in your office.
9. Employee recognition programs
When your developers feel appreciated and recognized for their contributions to the workplace, it creates a desire and drive to continue to go above and beyond.
Any company, no matter the size and budget, can quickly and easily implement this. It provides a great way to affordably let your developers know you recognize their hard work and you consider them a valued asset to your team.
Also read: 7 Employee Engagement Strategies For WFH Tech Teams
10. Work-Life balance
Another easy and cost-effective way to show your developers that you care is to encourage, implement and respect the boundaries of a healthy work-life balance.
Show them you respect their time away from work and with their family and loved ones.
Encouraging them to turn their phones off and enjoy their vacation time or time away from work is not only ideal but continues to prove that your organization is a company worth staying with.
Take care of your developers and they’ll take care of you
Ultimately, taking care of your developers is essential to the health and longevity of your company.
There are so many ways to create an attractive employee benefits package that speaks to the type of developer you want on your team.
Maybe you’re like Mars Pet Company, the culture of your community is 100% pet friendly, so you allow them to bring their furry friends to work.
Or, you’re a company like Lululemon with a passion and pursuit for mind//body health so you provide free workout opportunities.
The bottom line is to listen to your current developers, find out what matters to them and then provide a package that speaks to the person you want to hire in the future.
Unique life benefits like discounts on insurance, subscriptions, and other discounts where your developers are going to shop on a regular basis are also great ways to provide further financial assistance.
Give your developers real discounts and financial assistance on everything from pizza, to family fun activities and even discounts on CPAs, home security systems, and other real-life, hard expenses.
Adding perks and discounts on typical day-to-day purchased items not only provides an attractive benefits package but also makes you a highly sought-after company to work for.
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