Finding quality talent is hard. That’s why once you’ve found it, it’s important to retain the quality employees you have invested in and build a talent pipeline for your business. One way to do that is through the value of employee benefits and rewards.
“Benefits are more important and visible than ever,” says Matt Harmon, Vice President of Benefits and Compensation at AutoZone.
If shop owners want to attract the best of the best, they need to find ways to stand out to applicants and keep them happy once they’re hired. With the technician shortage at an all-time high, employers need to do whatever possible to catch the attention of top-notch candidates. It’s no longer enough to offer the standard benefits package—shops need to get creative.
AutoZone values its team, which is why it offers a competitive benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, life insurance, 401(k), discounts as well as a number of other voluntary benefits. Beyond that, AutoZone has also found a number of unique offerings that have made it a desired company for which to work and has allowed it to continue to feed its pipeline of talent. A business that establishes itself as a top place to work will never find itself in the difficult position of being short-handed. Offering a solid benefits package is a great way to create a pool of quality candidates to choose from.
Harmon, who has been with AutoZone since 2014, outlines a few ways shops—regardless of size—can take a page from AutoZone’s book and offer a standout employee benefits package.
Find out what matters to your employees.
Medical. Dental. 401(k). Core benefits are still important and at the top of many employee’s list for what is required to go to work for a company. The problem is that many smaller companies struggle to compete with larger corporations. Harmon says it doesn’t matter. “Everyone has something to offer, owners just need to figure out what’s valuable to his or her employees.”
“Everyone places importance on time off and a work-life balance,” Harmon says.
Instead of having dental coverage, shops might appeal to people that need a more flexible work schedule. Offering more vacation time is another option. Doing this may make your company a more attractive place to work.
Help your employees get the most out of your offerings.
Benefits packages can be overwhelming and difficult to understand. That’s why AutoZone provides resources to help its employees figure out what the best options are for them and their families and also find programs that they may or may not have known about. For example, AutoZone’s Surgery Plus helps connect its employees with the best doctors and surgeons. Its Grand Rounds program offers free expert medical second opinions. Having access to programs like this can be extremely beneficial to someone going through a health scare and unsure of what to do.
Again, a smaller business may not be able to provide this, but Harmon says there are a lot of resources out there that can be offered to your employees for free. For employees that are trying to quit smoking, the Quitter's Circle is a free app that can help with this. HealthSherpa can be used to see whether or not someone is eligible for a government subsidy and get them enrolled. “These are just two examples of free programs that can be offered to your staff,” says Harmon.
Show your employees you care.
The AutoZoner Assistance Fund is a non-profit organization supported by AutoZoners through an employee-giving campaign. The fund provides immediate short-term financial assistance to AcutoZoners who have experienced a tragedy of some sort.
A program of this scale isn’t realistic for everyone, but there are smaller ways to show employees that you care. A sympathy card or showing up with a warm meal in time of need are great ways to show your employees that you are there for them.
Make benefits easily accessible.
Harmon says that part of the onboarding process should be an introduction to all of the benefits that are available. It should be easy for employees to get what they need and find information. If it’s not, they may not take advantage or appreciate what you have to offer.
Another thing that shops need to think about is how important technology is today.
AutoZone offers all of its benefits on mobile devices, giving them access to all the information they need.
So whether you are attracting or retaining talent, a good place to start is assessing your own benefits program.