1. Business

Retaining talent is hard. Here's how Top Workplaces do it

One way Robbins Property Associates keeps its employees happy outside of regular pay and benefits is an anniversary program. Employees get a first-class trip and spending money when they hit their 10-, 15- and 20-year anniversaries with the company. Pictured are the WatersPointe apartments, one of the companies Robins manages. [SCOTT KEELER | Times (2018)]
Published Apr. 5

With an increasingly tight labor market, hiring and retaining top talent isn't always easy for businesses. And as wages have been largely sluggish during the recovery thus far, many employers are turning to either non-monetary benefits or bonuses to draw new talent and retain their current employees. Here's what some Top Workplaces are doing.

Paid parental leave

At USAA, which ranked No. 14 among large businesses, new parents get 12 weeks of paid time off. Maternity and paternity leave, including for adoption, typically fall under the Family Medical Leave Act, which requires employers to give workers who have been at a company for at least a year that amount of leave. But it doesn't require the company to pay for that time off.

"Our culture is designed to put pressure on you to take it," said Kay Schwartz, executive director for regional human relations. "There is every expectation that you will take this."

Top Workplaces: Check out all of the Top Workplaces winners in the small, midsize and large categories.

Paid time to volunteer

Several employers offer paid time off for employees to give back to their communities. Bouchard Insurance for example, which ranked No. 3 among midsize businesses, offers one day of paid time off annually to employees who volunteer as part of its "Be Involved" effort.

"We recognize that we are more than just a business. We are part of our communities," Bouchard said. "Encouraging and supporting our team to 'Be Involved' demonstrates a core value that Bouchard Insurance is built upon."


Tampa's Optimal Performance and Physical Therapies, which ranked. No. 37 among small companies, incentivizes employees with bonuses based on how they perform each quarter. The metrics that employees are measured against for the bonuses are designed to promote better customer service.

"(Optimal Performance and Physical Therapies) believes that patients have a choice when it comes to health care, specifically physical therapy," the company said. "Our goal is to provide the customer service that we would expect from any business while at the same time cutting through the complications associated with health care in general."

Top Workplaces: At the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay the stakes are high, but the job rewarding

Anniversary rewards

Robbins Property Associates, which came in No. 15 among small businesses, rewards employees who hit anniversary milestones with the company. At 10, 15 and 20 years, employees get a first-class travel package anywhere in the world and $3,000 in spending money.

"We feel our outstanding benefits package sets us apart from other companies, both in and outside our industry," Robbins Property said.

Contact Malena Carollo at or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo.


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