Show Me the Money: 5 Tips to Negotiate a Raise


Asking for a raise can be a bit tricky. There’s that sentiment akin to asking your parents to tack on a few extra bucks to your allowance; and then there’s the walking-on-eggshells feeling you get in trying not to overstep your boundaries with your boss. But asking for a raise is OK, and it’s a two-way conversation that you can navigate tactfully if you keep a few things in mind:

Do Your Time

Although rightly deserved in some cases, a raise is not going to present itself on Day 2, no matter how convincing you are in presenting your case to your boss. The fact is, in order to rationalize paying you more money for the same work, an employer must see that you have made progress and remained loyal to the company. A company can find any old schmo off the street to do the work for a starting level salary. But go above and beyond, and they may be inclined to attach a few more dollar signs to your value.

Determine Your Reasons

In order to present a convincing case to your boss, it helps to understand why you are asking for a raise in the first place. Is it because your living expenses have gone up? Are you expecting a new addition to the family? Don’t misunderstand; simply desiring a higher salary for your excellent work is a completely valid point. But if you can present these motivations to your employer, you may find that they’re more likely to side with you on this one.

Be Reasonable

Of course you’re going to sound like a child when you put forth the whole “I want a million dollars” offer. That, and you’re going to get shut down very quickly. In order to be taken seriously, present a sensible figure to your boss, one that is on par with the work that you complete. This will get you much farther in negotiating with you boss.

Practice Savvy Negotiating Tactics

Alright, that said, you may want to present a number to your employer that is a bit higher than the actual raise you wish to receive. The boss didn’t get to where they are by being a pushover. They’ll likely try to bargain you down, trying to take you at your bottom limit. Before you propose anything, then, figure out what your bottom limit is. Give your boss a number that is higher than this – but not too high – and once negotiating begins, don’t allow yourself to go below this bottom line. Hopefully, the two of you will settle on something in the middle.

Understand Your Value

Logically, a company wishes to pay as little as they can while still employing reliable employees who complete great work. At the same time, their great wish is to keep their workers happy, which is equally – if not more – important to business. You may view a large corporation powerful and yourself lucky, in that they decided to give you a job in the first place. But it’s crucial to realize that you are equally as vital to them as they are to you. You are valuable and they know it. If you’re doing a great job, bring this up in a negotiation. Present numbers, graphs, or work samples when you go in to speak to your boss. Tell them that you’re worth it and show them why. Make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Keep these 5 things in mind when negotiating with your employer and you’ll be more likely to get your point across, make a favorable impression, and walk away with what you deserve.

10 Skills that Baby Boomers can Learn from Gen Y


While Generation Y is sometimes criticized for having a sense of entitlement and a less than stellar work ethic, this generation may bring more to their careers than you think. If you are part of the Baby Boomer generation, you might want to pay attention and take notes. Here are 10 skills that you could learn from Gen Y:

    1. Multi-tasking. Though you may be irked when you see a Gen Y-er downing her lunch while discussing social media trends via FaceTime[i] on her smartphone and simultaneously tapping away on her iPad, you should admire her ability to accomplish multiple tasks at the same time. As a baby boomer, you could try and do the same for a day. See if you are able to boost productivity and save time.
    2. Speaking of productivity . . . Gen Y doesn’t seem to experience ‘information overload’ since they don’t appear to feel it. They were typically brought up tapping away on a computer and using the Internet so it’s no big deal for them to crowdsource while making the most of social media sites, too. Combined with multi-tasking and working anywhere—like in coffee shops, home offices, or planes—productivity could make them vital team players.
    3. Connectivity. Gen Y is connected—whether on LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook or Twitter. They often take social media to the next level and make the most of it by networking professionally. For example, they might send an invite to connect on LinkedIn right after introducing themselves to a new employee at a meeting.
    4. Reaching out. Gen Yers don’t seem to be intimidated when connecting with top executives in their company. While Baby Boomers might see these moves as brazen, Gen Y workers may view it as effective networking which could help their careers down the road.
    5. Job mobility. Baby Boomers may not feel comfortable with Gen Y and their job hopping. However, Gen Y doesn’t seem to view moving to the next employer negatively. Instead, they recognize that many people could be laid off without any forewarning and they take whatever opportunities present themselves to enhance their career skills.
    6. Smartphone love. Gen Y apparently loves smartphones. This tool is one which allows them them to multi-task while waiting at the doctor’s office or when they are standing in line to be seated at a restaurant. Multi-tasking may mean increased productivity since Gen Yers don’t seem to mind accessing the Internet at all hours or when they have a few spare minutes.
    7. Communication. Since Gen Y appears to have grown up on the Internet and is comfortable writing online, their communication skills may be more effective in reaching larger audiences. Baby Boomers could get more involved with online communication by beginning a blog and publishing their articles to their readers. This way, they may gain more practice writing for groups and become more comfortable receiving feedback in the form of comments on the blog site.
    8. Job resilience. Gen Y often makes the most of entrepreneurship to provide themselves with a job safety net. They might start a new business in their parents’ garages or their childhood bedrooms. They might view their careers as more than just paychecks and, by coming up with Plan Bs, they could be creating safety nets in case they get laid off unexpectedly.
    9. The environment. Gen Y seems more concerned about the environment. They could find it more important than a Baby Boomer to work in a green setting and in an office that incorporates green energy use.
    10. Diversity. Gen Y-ers appear to be more comfortable working with other people from different cultures and backgrounds than Baby Boomers. They do not appear as phased by fellow employees or clients with diverse ethnicities.

If you are a Baby Boomer, maybe it’s time to stop and take a hard look at how you could benefit from incorporating some of Gen Y’s helpful work practices into your own career. You may be surprised by positive results.

About the Author: Written by Mandy Fricke and edited by Laura Morrison. To learn more about online programs, click here.

How to Keep the Great Candidate You Just Hired


It’s a problem you may have faced at one point or another: You hire a great candidate, only to have them cut and run months into the position. On paper, and subsequently in person, they may have seemed like a good fit. However, the feeling was apparently not mutual.

The loss of a great employee shortly after they’re hired goes beyond face value. In fact, it may affect your bottom line: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports employee turnover can cost anywhere from 30 to 200 percent of a worker’s annual salary. Overall, turnover costs the U.S. economy an estimated $5 trillion annually. How’s that for a wakeup call?

While quick turnover does happen, it can be prevented — especially if you onboard your new employees in the right way. Here’s how to keep them on your side:

Have an onboarding strategy

You need to have an onboarding plan in place long before your new employee’s first day. This plan should have a few important factors like company mission and goals, organizational culture, team dynamics, descriptions of individual roles, vital HR policies, and points of contact.

Another strategy to consider is to pair your new employee up with a seasoned veteran. This person can show the new team member the ropes of the organization, as well as how they can succeed in the position once they are settled. Your new employee will appreciate having an open door for any questions they may have.

Be transparent

Want to engage your employees while they transition into a new workplace? Be transparent. Don’t keep anything from them, like important policies or more efficient ways to perform tasks. Failure to do so not only makes their job harder, it can also make them feel unwanted or unwelcomed.

An easy way to be transparent is have regular meetings with your new hire, especially during the first few months. These meetings will allow you to talk about their progress, what they are doing right, and what they can improve upon. This may also make the employee feel more connected to their role because they get feedback on how they’re doing in real-time.

Help them grow

If you want to retain employees, you have to keep them in-tune with industry happenings. Professional development opportunities are a great way to help your workers to grow, because they provide employees with key knowledge that they may not have been aware of otherwise. Plus, it’s what employees want: A SHRM report found that, above all, candidates look for opportunities for growth and professional development when applying for jobs.

Professional development doesn’t have to mean sending your employees to expensive conferences across the country (though this is a great option if you can afford it!) You can hone their skills closer to home by enrolling them in industry classes, providing reading material, allowing them to use new software, or setting up a mentor program. While many of these options require a financial investment, professional development opportunities will help new workers to feel knowledgeable and grow in their roles, which directly contributes to the success of your organization.

Keep your promises

During the hiring process, you may have spoken to the candidate about a typical day for someone in the role. Maybe you also noted perks, promotional opportunities, bonuses, or even the advantages of working for your company instead of the competition. But come onboarding time, these promises actually need to be kept.

Think of it this way: If a client or your boss said they’d do something, but then continuously pulled the rug from under you, you’d be disappointed, right? Eventually, you’d probably check out and find something that has more follow-through, especially when it comes to improving yourself professionally. The same goes for a new hire. Keeping organizational promises gives employees the assurance that you care about them because you’re able to take the necessary steps for engagement and retention.

Retaining great candidates doesn’t have to be a chore. In the end, having an onboarding strategy, being transparent, providing development opportunities, and keeping your promises will help you to retain key players and maintain a thriving organization.

What do you think? How do you retain great candidates you’ve just hired?

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.


Why are Millennials Prone to Job Hopping?


Millennials Breaking the Mold

In a recent survey by, statistics show how costly it is to retain and fire a Millennial employee. This has become an issue for employers because more and more Millennials are focusing on dream careers, rather than the opportunities they currently have.

The mold created by Millennials is causing them to have a hard time committing to a single job. Generation Y is all over the place with regard to their careers because they continue to search for opportunities to get one step closer to their dream job. However, it’s time for Generation Y to break the mold and start focusing on what’s truly important in their careers.

Search for jobs that aren’t necessarily your dream job. 

Hopefully, this doesn’t sound crazy to you GenY professionals. A lot of Millennials are anxious to begin their careers, hoping they’ll land their dream job after college. However, it’s important to remember you can’t find your dream job overnight. This is why you need to search for jobs based on what you want to gain from your career, not the type of company or position that would feel like a dream come true. Sure, everyone wants the opportunity to work for Google or Apple; however, when you build up your dream job in your mind, it’s easy to overlook amazing opportunities that come your way each day.

Find companies that fit your career path.

If you’re looking to advance in your career, then you should definitely look for jobs with companies that allow room for growth. You don’t want to find yourself switching jobs every other year because you’re working for companies where you cannot advance your career. It’s very important to be thoughtful when accepting job offers. You want to make sure you find a position where you can develop your career and continue to learn new skills. Generation Y often falls into the trap of searching for the next best thing, often overlooking opportunities with great companies. However, when you focus more on your career goals rather than your dream career, you can find a company that offers you a very rewarding experience.

Be flexible and open to new opportunities. 

You never know when a door will open for you to advance in your career. This is why it’s very important for you to have a flexible attitude with your current job. Generation Y tends to focus heavily on their path to a dream job, which causes them to miss out on opportunities that fall into their hands. If you happen to be offered to take on a new project or even move to a new department in your company, have an open mind. Try to embrace this type of change because you never know where the opportunity could take you down the road in your career.

Know your value before you act quickly. 

Generation Y often gets a bad reputation because some Millennials have the tendency to think highly of themselves and their talents. Whether you are fresh out of college or you’ve been in the workforce for five years, it’s important to know your value as a professional. Your value depends greatly on the experience you have and the strength of your skills. So, before you jump the gun by thinking you deserve an amazing position at any company, make sure you have the credentials to support your expertise.

Employers definitely benefit from the knowledge and experience of Generation Y. However, as a Millennial, it’s important for you to not feel overly-confident because of this. Break the Millennial mold by being open-minded and flexible in your career path. It’s okay to not always have a strong emphasis on finding your dream job. If you are currently employed, see what opportunities are available within your company before moving on. Sometimes, all you need is a positive attitude and an open mind to lead you down a successful career path.

What ways do you think Millennials are breaking the mold in their careers? 

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Come Recommended.


How To Make A Job Offer They Can’t Refuse


You might not be The Godfather, but you still need to make your best job candidates an offer they can’t refuse. Still, many companies drop the ball during the job offer stage and lose out on the talent they need.

You can’t afford to lose the war for talent because you couldn’t seal the deal. The best and brightest will have plenty of employment options, so don’t make the mistake of thinking a candidate will accept your offer just because you put it on the table. Instead, you need to dedicate the same time and care in the offer stage as you did when finding and interviewing talent.

Here are six tips on how to turn a job offer to your top candidate into a great new employee for your company:

Don’t Hesitate

The hiring process itself often takes way too long, and deciding to make the job offer is part of this never-ending process. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, hiring someone for a new position can take anywhere from an average of 29 to 43 days. You know what your competitors are doing while you drag your feet for over a month? They’re hiring all the best people out from under your company.

If you’ve found a great candidate, it’s time to streamline your approval process. Get everyone who needs to sign off on the same page and do it as quickly as possible. Making a quick offer to a candidate not only undercuts your competitors, it also shows how excited the company is about the candidate. Everyone wants to be wanted, and making a quick offer is likely to make a big impression on the best and brightest.

Connect Personally…

Before you hit send on your email offering the job, stop and think for a minute. What will leave a bigger impression on a great candidate: an email or a phone call? If you’re offering a job to a top-notch candidate, it’s important to do so in a personal manner.

Candidates don’t want to feel like just another cog in the machine, so picking up the phone shows you care enough to deliver the good news on a more personal basis. It also allows you to gauge the interest level of your candidate and answer some important questions they may have about the position.

…But Then Put It In Writing

Now that you’ve placed a phone call with your offer, it’s time to send out the formal job offer in writing. Make sure you include everything the candidate will need to know about the position, such as salary, time off, office attire and perks.

The letter should be formal and legal, yet it should also give the candidate another glance into the company culture and how their work will contribute to your corporate goals. You should also include a deadline for how long you’re willing to wait for the candidate’s answer — around three days is a typical wait time.

Be Excited

When you’re speaking to a candidate about the position and the future at your company, don’t try to be so professional that you skimp on the excitement factor. Allow your natural excitement about the candidate and position to shine through, and don’t be afraid to express why your company is a great place to work.

You’ve been selling your company all along, from the job description to the interview, so now is not the time to stop telling the story of why your company is the best place to work. If you’re passionate, you’ll showcase a positive company culture and some of your enthusiasm will rub off on the candidate.

Put Benefits On The Table

Candidates want to know their salary and what tasks they’ll be completing on a day-to-day basis. But they also want to know what kind of perks they can expect at your organization. Don’t be afraid to get into the nitty gritty of specific benefits and company perks.

If your company offers a great healthcare plan, let the candidate know. If your company offers a flexible work schedule, now is the time to detail how this program operates. Get specific about your company’s benefits and put them in writing so candidates can see exactly what they’ll get when they sign on the dotted line.

Get Real

Every company has its pros and cons, and your company is no different. Candidates are going to have some tough, specific questions for you to answer before they accept your job offer. Don’t soft pedal the answers, even if the reality is less than rosy. You need someone who is willing to jump in and hit the ground running.

This means taking the good with the bad and knowing what to expect. If your company has long hours and overtime because it’s a small organization, don’t hide this information. You want to be passionate and excited but also realistic and transparent so you end up with employees who will stick around for the long haul.

You’ve almost made it to the finish line with your top candidate, so now is no time to take a breather. If you make your best candidates an offer they can’t refuse in a timely and personal manner, you’ll likely end up with the top talent your company desperately needs.

What do you think? How do you make a great job offer? Share in the comments!

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.



How to Boost Employee Morale


How to Boost Employee Morale….Without Breaking the Bank

Engagement is important, yet your employees might already have one foot out the door mentally. According to the “State of the American Workplace” study by Gallup, 70 percent of the workforce isn’t engaged in their current position. This explains why a 2012 study found 74 percent of employees are actively looking for a new job or are open to new opportunities.

If you can’t engage employees, those talented workers will be out the door the first chance they get. The cost of employee turnover averages about double an employee’s salary, so it’s not exactly a cost you can afford to keep shelling out each time a disengaged worker leaves for greener pastures.

One of the problems is too many companies assume you need the budget of Google or Facebook in order to keep the best people. If you can’t afford an organic juice bar or nap pods, why even try, right? You couldn’t be more wrong — and the success of your business hinges on getting back in touch with your employees.

So how do you boost morale on a budget? Here are a few ways to get your employees engaged again:

A Stitch in Time Saves Rehiring

The old saying, “A stitch in time saves nine” is just as important to hiring as it is to making a really nice scarf. If you hire the right people with sincere passion, you’ll have to worry less about a lack of engagement. The ugly truth is that 46 percent of small business new hires fail within the first 18 months, and in 89 percent of cases, this is because of a company culture mismatch.

So before you hire the great candidate with the stellar resume, take a second to ensure this person would actually enjoy coming into the office every morning. Skills are important, but you can always train for specific abilities. The ability to fit into the company and the passion to care about your mission statement are intangibles you just can’t teach.

Never Stop Challenging

Employees don’t like to be complacent and they certainly don’t feel any accomplishment from doing the same old boring tasks day in and day out. This explains why a global study of employee engagement by AON found access to increased career opportunities was the number one driver of employee engagement.

Employees want a challenge and they want to keep learning. This doesn’t mean piling work on top of employees, since this only leads to more stress and health issues. Instead, a new challenge could be anything from offering an interesting project to promoting professional development training initiatives. Spending a bit of your budget on training your employees is a smart way to save in the long run, as your employees gain more high-quality skills and bring more ROI to your organization.

Don’t Make Your Goals A Secret

How are employees supposed to be engaged by the company’s mission statement if they don’t even know what it is? This might seem extreme, but numbers back up the fact many employees don’t even know what they’re working toward. One study found only 40 percent of the employees surveyed knew the corporation’s goals, strategies, and tactics. It’s hard to be engaged if you have no idea what broader goals your hard work is achieving.

The fix for this engagement problem is simple communication. Make sure to make communicating goals and strategies a big priority when dealing with your workforce. Don’t just tell employees what they need to do, tell them why they need to do it. This will show employees in a more concrete fashion how their parts fit into the whole of the company. It will help them pinpoint how their individual contributions help the company to succeed.

Recognize and Reward

Speaking of individual contributions — recognizing and rewarding hard work costs zero dollars and can really pay off with more engaged and positive employees. In fact, 43 percent of highly engaged employees received feedback at least once a week, according to a Towers Watson study.

Giving employees feedback ties into clearly communicating goals and strategies. If an employee is working hard and coming up with great innovative ideas for your company, you need to recognize these contributions. It could be something as simple as a “well done” at a meeting to something more substantial like added perks.

Feedback is important not only to your superstar employees, but to your workers who find themselves floundering a bit on the job. If given in a helpful and nonjudgmental fashion, feedback will allow them to focus on the aspects of their job performance that need improvement.

Have Fun

Engagement doesn’t have to be a drag! Get employees involved in fun activities both in and outside the office. This could be anything your workforce is interested in, from after-work drinks to in-office parties, or even healthy initiatives like a daily walk or yoga break. Find out what would make work a little more fun for your employees and implement these cheap, easy fixes into your company culture.

Employee engagement can mean the difference between success and failure for your company. Even without a big budget, however, you can still implement little changes through clear communication and smarter hiring decisions, which will lead to higher morale and increased engagement.

What do you think? What are some ways you improve employee engagement on the cheap? Share in the comments!

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

What Should I Expect During an Exit Interview?


When an employee leaves your company, whether it was on your terms or theirs, it’s important to understand exactly what went wrong. Enter the exit interview. This is your opportunity to find out what’s working in your company and what isn’t. Exiting employees can tell you exactly which issues need your attention.

Here are five best practices for conducting exit interviews:

1. Determine goals before the interview.

Before you do anything else, you need to decide what you want to get out of the interview. There are a number of reasons to conduct exit interviews.

Some of these include: to end on good terms with the employee; to better manage future employees; to improve recruitment; training, and on-boarding practices; to pass information on to successors and replacements; to increase employee retention; or even to retain the exiting employee.

Before every interview, make a list of the specific goals you want to achieve.

2. Be tailored, but consistent.

Obviously, every exit interview will be different. They need to be tailored to the employee who is exiting. These employees will come from all different departments and seniority levels within your company, so these factors definitely affect the process. That being said, it’s also important to have a consistent system for conducting these interviews.

It’s a good idea to have an employee pretty high up in the chain of command conduct these interviews. Choose someone who has a hand in many departments and oversees a majority of your employees. This allows for the process to be efficient and consistent. If one person handles all exit interviews, they can make better decisions about the feedback and areas to improve. Additionally, all exit interviews should have the same format before tailoring them to the interviewee.

Once you decide the goals of the interviews, who will conduct them, and how they will be formatted, this policy should be documented.

3. Make it a conversation, rather than an interview.

Exit interviews aim to uncover honest feedback from exiting employees. The best way to achieve this kind of feedback is to make the interview less formal and more conversational. The conversation should focus on the exiting employee’s contributions to your company in addition to the feedback you require. An exit interview will be more beneficial when your employee feels appreciated. This will give them more motivation to offer you advice for the future of your company.

4. Ask for valuable feedback.

Going back to those goals you established, it is important to ask exiting employees for valuable feedback. This could involve recruitment, on-boarding, training, benefits, culture, work load, and many more things. Cover all of these areas in order to see the full picture. Look for the good and the bad. Find out exactly why your employee decided to leave (it may be different than you thought). There might be problems you didn’t even know existed. Ask the interviewee to be honest and constructive for the benefit of future employees. Hopefully they can provide you with valuable insight.

5. Finish on a good note.

At the end of the exit interview, it’s important to say thank you and wish them luck in future. Hopefully, you can end on good terms with the employee. It’s important for both parties to avoid burning bridges.

Record all the feedback you receive and compare it to other exit interviews. If you notice a prominent issue, take steps to make immediate changes. It’s important not to put off these changes because they could end up following though the cracks.

Hopefully, with increased changes as a result from exit interviews, you can increase retention in the future.

What are some other best practices you recommend for the exit interview?

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Come Recommended.

How Can I Find the Best Candidates?


4 Crazy Perks To Nab You The Best Candidates

In the war for talent, the victor is often the company with the best perks. Great company culture perks attract great candidates, especially for high-demand industries and positions. Talented candidates often find themselves with their pick of potential workplaces, which is why a few great perks can make all the difference.

It’s not enough, however, to offer a great benefits package. Some companies are going above and beyond offering normal, everyday company benefits. They’re offering crazy, wacky, and outside-the-box company culture perks to attract and retain the best people.

Beyond just attracting the right candidates, the right company culture perks can actually help you reduce employee turnover and improve productivity. How? Many of the craziest company culture perks are aimed at reducing stress for workers.

According to a study by Com-Psych, at least half of employees said it was harder to focus when under the gun. Another 20 percent said stress made them more likely to make errors and miss deadlines, while 15 percent blamed stress for interpersonal problems in the office.

So what are some outside-the-box company culture perks to fight stress and help you attract the best candidates? Let’s take a look at four perks companies are using to win the war for talent:

Bring Your Furry Friend To Work

Dogs might be man’s best friend, but they can also be your company’s best bet for a happier workplace. Allowing workers to take their pets to work, like Google does, can keep spirits up and fight stressful emotions. Even the Centers for Disease Control agree, claiming pets can help decrease your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Pets can also lower your blood pressure. A study of highly-stressed New York stockbrokers showed those who got dogs and cats had lower blood pressure and heart rates than the control group. After the study finished, most of the participants in the non-pet group went out and got pets.

Pets can keep us focused and help manage stress. Studies have shown simply petting an animal can work as effective stress relief. Other studies have shown that when completing a stressful task, animals are actually more effective stress relievers than friends and family.

Tired? Take a Nap

Do you get enough sleep? Probably not, since the CDC considers insufficient sleep a public health epidemic. When the organization surveyed American adults, it was shocked to discover over 35 percent were getting less than seven hours of sleep a night.

When workers don’t get enough shuteye, productivity decreases and workers make more mistakes. This is probably why more companies are allowing employees to sleep on the job. In fact, a 2011 Society of Human Resources study found 6 percent of companies had a dedicated nap room, while a National Sleep Foundation survey found 34 percent of employers allowed workers to nap in the office.

Offering nap pods or other sleeping arrangements for workers can help them catch the z’s they need, so they can come back to their work refreshed and reinvigorated.

Namaste: Offer Yoga and Focus On Wellness

Even if you can’t allow pets in the office, you should definitely consider the benefits of giving employees time to get into downward facing dog. Offering yoga and other physical fitness programs is a great way to keep employees healthy and happy.

Not every organization will have the funds to install a gym in the building, but you don’t need a fat wallet to help employees get slim. Yoga, aerobics, and most cardio can be done without spending money on expensive exercise equipment. Start a group walk on lunch breaks or even consider offering discounts to the nearest gym.

When it comes to yoga, the meditation and mindfulness aspect of the exercise can help workers let go of stress and refocus. More active employees usually means healthier employees, which translates to less productivity loss from sick leave. Studies have shown employees who exercise earn 9 percent or more on average, most likely because they’re more focused and productive.

Get A Life…Coach

Most people are better workers when their life is in order and they have clear-cut goals. But life can get messy, and sometimes career goals are the last thing on the mind of your star employee.

This is why online shoe retailer Zappos, known for having great outside-the-box perks, began offering free life coaching to employees. This perk landed Zappos on CNNMoney’s 100 Top Companies to Work For list.

But the real benefit of offering your employees a life coach is the renewed energy and focus workers will bring back to the organization. By helping your star employees set goals and push through personal and professional problems, life coaching can result in a more motivated and productive workforce.

Offering “crazy” perks can help you establish a fun, positive, and productive company culture. This culture will allow you to not only attract but retain the talent your organization needs to continue moving forward, innovating, and chasing success.

What do you think? What are some crazy perks you offer employees? Share in the comments!

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.


Doostang Employer Spotlight: Thornburg Investment Management


What sets Thornburg Investment Management apart from other financial services employers?

One of our values is that “we are committed to employees.”  This is our mandate, and we take it seriously.  The fact that we are a privately owned firm – unlike many other financial services companies – means that we can offer our employees growth and opportunity without interference from a third party who may only be concerned about our bottom line.

What is the work culture like at Thornburg Investment Management?

We are a collegial firm that is fairly flat in organizational structure.  This means that anyone in the company has access to upper management. We pride ourselves on our professionalism, but are also able to maintain a friendly work environment.  That “family” atmosphere is a core part of our culture.

What are the common attributes of your top performers?

Beyond their individual talents, the common attributes of Thornburg’s top performers are those that embody the company’s shared cultural norms and values.

We do the right thing
We act with integrity and put our clients first.

We think for the long term
We engage in thoughtful decision making and believe that investment excellence should drive our decisions.

We work together to achieve common goals
We show respect and humility towards each other and our clients.
We believe in creating a supportive work environment that fosters teamwork, collegiality, and effective communication.

We strive for excellence
We make the extra effort, practice continuous improvement, and stay flexible to adapt to changing circumstances.

We are committed to employees
We foster an environment that provides flexibility and opportunity for growth, while also requiring accountability.

We are independent
We will remain a privately owned, independent firm to ensure that we act in the best interest of our clients and employees.

We are community minded
We support philanthropic giving and encourage employee volunteerism.
What are you looking for in a new hire?

We are looking for people who are naturally collaborative, creative, and driven. We want employees who are never satisfied with the status quo.

Three Reasons to work here:

1. Room for advancement: Thornburg is committed to the development of employees and is a great place to build a career. Additionally, an educational reimbursement program is available for eligible employees who seek further education.  Training and educational advancements are also integrated into the employee annual review process.

2. Retention programs: We offer a competitive base salary, discretionary annual bonus, company-wide profit sharing, and the potential for employee ownership.

3. Culture: Thornburg Investment Management’s collegial work environment creates a great place to work.

Any advice for job seekers interested in Thornburg Investment Management?

One open position can garner hundreds of applicants. We receive many qualified applicants so highlight your uniqueness through a cover letter. A resume is more of a list of facts about you, while the cover letter gives us insight into your personality. We hire people, not resumes.

Interested in learning more about Thornburg Invesment Management? Visit their website and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.