“Money talks” is a common phrase used when discussing hiring employees and how to attract the top people to join your business. Besides salary, what other benefits do employees want the most? Abraham Maslow, a renowned psychologist, describes a hierarchy of needs that applies to every human. At the very least, everyone wants to survive but at the absolute most people want to feel that they are contributing members of a larger cause. This is commonly known as self-actualization: the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone. More money does not necessarily increase self-worth and people want to feel as if they have influence and control. So once a company offers the basic amount of money needed to survive, what benefits allow employees to feel self-actualized?

One way companies have attempted to do this is by offering employees a share of the stocks, so they feel like they have some control over the direction that the company moves. While this helps with feeling in control of the company, many workers struggle with controlling and balancing their work and families. For many years, people have wrestled with dedicating time to their jobs and devoting time to their families without letting either suffer. Employees want their employers to acknowledge the time commitment that a family takes and to recognize that is equally important. Flexibility in scheduling is a huge benefit because it allows a father to drop his kids off at school in the morning and stay an hour later in the evening to make up for that time or it gives a single mother the chance to work all of her hours Monday through Thursday so she can devote Friday to taking care of her children. Control over how one balances their personal life and their career is an invaluable benefit that employees desire. These family employees also want their companies to recognize their families through extra activities everyone can attend such as a company day at the aquarium, tickets to a sporting event, or anything that allows employees to see that their company cares about the relationships they have with their spouses and children.

As for singles and younger employees, they value the experiences that a company can provide. These are the people who would benefit from travel to conferences, access to extra certifications and training courses, new projects, and anything that helps them to grow as a person and as a worker. Their desires for company benefits can be summed up as learning something new, doing something new, and seeing something new. These employees want self-actualization through the new experiences that will help them learn more about their own skills and desires. Companies grow with their employees and that can happen when they show interest in helping each person learn through taking on new challenges.

Every employee wants to know that their employer values the same things as them and is willing to help them achieve their goals in life. The best benefits that companies can give is investing in the growth, education, and happiness of their employees.

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