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5/16/2013 - Three perks that can help retain employees

Providing employees with deals to local gyms is one perk bosses across the U.S. are offering their workers.

As recently described by a poll conducted by staffing services firm Robert Half, one of the biggest concerns among business owners these days is retaining valuable staff members. While the job itself has the biggest influence on whether someone will ultimately stay or go, perks of the job go a long way toward keeping employees where they are, as some of the benefits offered they likely won't get with another company.

Writing for Inc. Magazine, human resources expert Suzanne Lucas offers up some business perquisites that can help business owners maintain their workforce.

Camaraderie is crucial to the overall function of a company and one of the ways in which that's fostered is during the lunch hour, when many employees may go out to eat at a nearby restaurant. Lucas recommends business owners provide catered lunches every now and then, which may encourage workers to stay around and mingle so that a sense of team spirit can be fostered.

Bring fitness to the office
A healthy workforce is a happy workforce, which is why businesses will frequently work out deals with fitness clubs so that employees can become a member of a gym for an inexpensive price. Lucas notes that companies like software firm Bigcommerce takes this a step further through so-called "fitness boot camps."

"[We] offer employees a weekly hard-core boot camp workout with a certified trainer," said Bigcommerce co-CEO Eddie Machaalani. "The class gives employees a guaranteed stress-free hour and is offered to build team camaraderie."

Business owners may also want to make their offices dog-friendly. Many people consider their canines as though they were their very own children. Lucas notes that making an office one that's hospitable to dogs can help ease people's stress levels.

Human resource authorities point out that all of these perks carry with them some pluses and minuses that business owners will have to determine on their own as to whether they're worth it. But whatever they decide to do, there are liability concerns to address. Entrepreneurs should be sure to review their businessowners insurance policy or speak to their insurer directly about how these employee bonuses may affect their plans in the short and long term.

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