Benefits, Flexibility Key to Retention

A new survey finds that the right benefits can make the difference in this tight job market.
By: | April 16, 2018 • 2 min read

A new survey of American workers reaffirms what most HR leaders have recognized in recent years: Lifestyle fit is key to attracting and retaining employees.


When money was not a consideration, better healthcare and other traditional benefits, along with the option to work from home, were the leading factors that would cause those polled to jump ship at their current companies. The Harris Poll of 800 employed adults was conducted in March on behalf of talent and outsourcing company Yoh.

About half of those surveyed would leave their job for a position with benefits that fit their needs, including more paid time off, enhanced healthcare coverage and a more generous 401(k) plan. Forty-two percent of participants said they would quit if another job offered a more flexible work environment, including options for remote work. The flexibility finding goes hand in hand with other recent research, including a Randstad study that found about 43 percent of U.S. workplaces are shifting from a traditional on-site, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. format to a more agile approach, with the opportunity to work from multiple locations and during non-standard hours. Of those employees who already work in agile environments, 82 percent said that approach has allowed them to maintain a good work/life balance and 81 percent said it has improved productivity, creativity and job satisfaction.

Apart from revamping workplace benefits and instituting remote-work options, companies should also ensure messaging about such policies is included in conversations with applicants, says Emmett McGrath, president of Yoh.

“Those with top skills have choices, and these findings indicate that benefits and workplace-flexibility offerings should be clear and compelling when speaking with a prospective candidate about a position,” McGrath says. “It is absolutely critical that recruiters identify early in the process each job seeker’s desires when considering a new role, and pair them with opportunities that fit their specific career and lifestyle needs.”