4 Ways to Prepare Your Employees for the Future

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(Newswire.net — December 8, 2017) — If you want to attract the best talent (and retain the talent you’ve already developed), you’ll need to work to help them improve their future. Most of your employees are worried about more than their next paycheck—they want to make sure they have enough money for the indefinite future, working their way toward retirement, and they want to hedge their bets against unexpected developments.

Giving them that security, and that peace of mind, will make them more loyal to your company. When they start gaining and realizing those benefits in the future, they’ll be even more likely to stick with your business.

So what can you do to help your employees prepare for the future—without destroying your budget in the process?

Preparing for the Future

These are some of your best assets for helping employees prepare for the future:

  1. Financial and retirement plans. The ultimate “future” for most full-time employees is retirement, but not all businesses are able to offer a formal retirement plan. Instead, you can offer investment opportunities and vehicles, such as 401(k) plans, IRA plans, or even just information on how to invest and plan for retirement. Basic trading strategies for futures, stocks, bonds, and other assets, working in conjunction with a small employer match (1-3 percent of an employee’s salary) can be a significant tool for securing employee retention.
  2. Education. Educating your employees in new skills and new concepts is a twofold investment. Your employees will be more likely to stay with your company (partially out of gratitude and partially to earn even more education opportunities), and they’ll become more valuable to you and your business. Even basic classes, such as those that teach computer literacy skills, can be beneficial in helping your workers become more efficient—and possibly earn a higher salary in the future.
  3. Health and wellness programs. Health and wellness programs will help your employees live long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Giving them the resources and information necessary to live a healthier lifestyle, and the assistance they need to recover from ailments and injuries, is vital if you want to improve employee retention. Plus, healthy employees end up taking fewer sick days, and cost you less in terms of health insurance.
  4. Career guidance. Though it may seem counterintuitive, offering career guidance to your employees could be just what they need to improve their morale. If your employees feel underutilized or dissatisfied with their jobs, career guidance is the perfect opportunity to help them figure out the root causes of their distress, and potential ways to address those root causes. You may even inspire your employees to transfer to departments that are better fits for their skills and interests, improving your overall productivity.

Tips on Remaining Cost Efficient

Obviously, if these programs were free, you’d offer them without hesitation, but the unfortunate reality is that the strength of these programs is often based on how much money you’re willing to invest in them.

Keep these tips in mind if cost efficiency is one of your biggest concerns:

  • Utilize resources you already have. Instead of pouring your money into new resources, focus on what you already have. If you have a retirement plan set up, encourage more employees to take advantage of it. If you have a knowledgeable staff member on a given topic, incentivize them to lead a course for the rest of your employees.
  • Provide external resources. Rather than providing all these new resources on the company’s dime, invest in awareness by directing your employees to external resources. For example, you could make them aware of free classes happening at a local community college, or point them to a helpful website that offers free content for retirement planning.
  • Remember your ROI. When deciding which programs to invest in, keep your return on investment (ROI) in mind. For example, health and wellness programs often end up saving you more money (in terms of recovered sick days and lower health insurance costs) than they cost. This makes them consistently worth the extra money.
  • Gauge employee interest to prioritize offers. Don’t spend money on any new programs until you’re sure they’re something your employees actually want (and will take advantage of). Conduct in-house surveys to gauge employee interest, and invest in the opportunities most likely to boost morale.

You don’t have to invest a crazy amount of money to create a future-focused program for your employees that attracts and retains better talent. All you need to do is help your employees with education, direction and resources they need to grow. Do that, and you’ll instantly become a more valuable employer —and morale will undoubtedly rise.