Retain Skilled Workers by Being a Top Employer

26 January 2022 by National Bank
A woman working from home takes her coffee while smiling at her computer.

Organizations in nearly every field are struggling to find skilled workers. Although effective recruitment strategies can make a short-term difference, great talent management, benefits, and culture are key components to being a top employer and retaining workers over the long term. Curious? Read on.

Provide better employee benefits

Today’s top employers understand that their impact extends beyond the workplace. Workers are looking for conditions that enhance their lives. It’s in your company’s interest to offer generous benefits. In highly competitive industries, those little extras can make the difference between you and the competition.

Group retirement plans and RRSPs

It’s common practice for companies to help their employees save for retirement. Some companies have retirement savings plans with defined benefits or group RRSPs, for example, to help their employees achieve long-term financial security. It’s a great way to stand out as an employer.

Benefit packages

Most organizations have benefit packages designed to foster employee health and well-being. Such programs offer refunds for dental care, massage therapy, psychotherapy, and other health-related services.

Competitive time-off programs

Provincial labour legislation sets the minimum amount of vacation due to employees. However, there’s no reason you can’t offer more. Extra vacation time can be a powerful incentive.

You can also provide time off in the form of personal days that employees can take at their discretion, wellness days sprinkled throughout the year for extra long weekends, or a time bank for sick leave. Some organizations close shop for the holidays but pay their employees regardless.

Discounts and refunds

Other benefits that you can offer your teams include discounts on specific products and services, or reimbursements for certain expenses. You could negotiate discounts on things like meal boxes, online workout sessions, or ergonomic home office equipment. 

You could also pay for their cell phones or public transit passes. Be creative and offer benefits that will appeal to people in your field, like subscriptions to streaming services or free afternoon snacks at the office.

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Besides the benefits, think about employee wellness

Vacation time, retirement savings plans, and other financial benefits can definitely help you attract talent, but there are other ways to foster employee wellness and build your employer brand.


More and more employees are asking for flexibility in the way they organize their workdays. Flextime helps them achieve a healthy work-life balance—a major consideration for many, especially those with children.

If it’s an option in your line of business, consider revisiting your remote work policy. Some companies also allow employees to spread their hours out over the course of the day.

Maintain a dialogue

One of the best ways to show your employees you care is to keep the conversation going. You could send out surveys about various aspects of the company and commit to making certain adjustments based on employee feedback. By giving your employees the opportunity to express themselves in a safe space, you’ll increase their sense of belonging.

Invest in your company culture

Take time to think about your values and the values you stand for as a business and find projects aligned with your priorities. One way to do that is to embrace your corporate social responsibility. Organizations that run community events are always looking for sponsors.

Any company culture worth its salt also involves some measure of socializing outside of work. Organize activities that give your employees the chance to bond. And since we’ve entered a hybrid era that has people working in the office and from home, be inclusive and considerate of individual situations. 

Become the best employer you can be

As you can see, there are many ways to become a dream employer, both for your current employees and for those you’re aiming to attract in the future. Some measures can be put in place fairly quickly, while others require more thought and discussion. One thing is for sure, your efforts will not only make it easier for you to recruit workers, but also help you keep talented and dedicated employees motivated for years to come. 

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