Flexibility is key to staff attraction and retention

Mumbai, Aug 19, 2013: Staff benefits once considered a luxury are becoming a 'must-have' as India's employers try to solve high staff attrition rates.

With 80% of organizations in India experiencing problems in attracting and retaining critical-skill and high-potential employees, it's more important than ever to offer the right staff benefits. With attrition rates expected to climb in 2014, businesses are offering education allowances, flexible work options and career advancement opportunities in an effort to retain staff.

The most effective employee benefits programmes focus on flexibility, according to Mr. Sahil Verma, Chief Operating Officer – India, Regus, the world's largest provider of flexible workplaces. Rather than add more 'one size fits all' benefits, employers should allow their staff to tailor their benefits to their own circumstances. It's more cost-effective, and shows workers that the employer appreciates they have individual needs and ambitions.

Employers should also cater for people's different wants and lifestyles with flexible working practices - i.e. giving them choice over working locations and hours. With 63% of senior business people in India saying that their employer is doing more to cut commuting, according to research by Regus, businesses are clearly absorbing the message that work location is important to staff.

Mr. Verma explains, "Commuting is one of the huge negatives of modern working life and urban growth, so it's not surprising that convenience of work location is one of the top four retention drivers for employees in India. It's a relatively simple step for Indian employers to help their staff do less commuting - for example letting people work at business centres and drop-in workspaces closer to home.

"Technology means people can do their jobs just as well at alternative locations, and helping staff to juggle their work, family life and career aspirations is a great way to keep them productive and loyal."

In research for Regus, 63% of senior business people said that flexible working makes their staff more energized and motivated, and 68% said it leads to staff generating increased revenues. So offering flexible working practices as an employee benefit is not only a gain for staff, it's a gain for businesses.

Mr. Verma adds, "Employee benefits are a significant investment for businesses in India so any benefit that is popular with staff of all ages and increases revenues has to be worth serious consideration. There's much talk in India about how fun events like Bollywood screenings and theme days can help boost staff loyalty, but if you really want to make people's working lives better, then help them to cut commuting by offering them flexible working."