When Google announced its big Alphabet news recently, some pundits said talent retention was a big factor in Larry Page’s big shakeup. The war for talent among tech startups has been fierce in recent years as companies offer a raft of perks such as concierge service, company vacations or an on-site music studio.
We don’t offer outlandish perks at my company, Onehub, but there’s one benefit I’m happy to pony up for because it provides the biggest return — a CrossFit or traditional gym membership. CrossFit classes are freely available to every employee, and three times a week the office empties out as almost everyone walks across the street for an hour-long workout.
Encouraging our employees to step away from their desks to exercise isn’t a cost as much as it is an investment in our continued success. When our employees work out, Onehub benefits. In exchange for those hours, the company gets:
Healthier employees – Exercise helps combat a wide range of health issues such as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
Sharper employees – Studies show that a regular exercise routine can improve concentration, augment memory and decrease stress.
Employee camaraderie – There are natural bonds that form between employees who endure grueling workouts together, and some lighthearted competition pushes people to achieve more.
On a more personal level, as Co-Founder and CEO, it’s important to me that we are good stewards of the money our investors have given us. By focusing on a few perks that matter — such as free access to exercise — we don’t have to wage war for talent. The employees we have are healthy and happy to be here.