Imagine you have two job offers on the table. One offers a high salary, and the other offers a slightly lower salary but comes with an array of attractive company benefits and perks like flexible work hours, comprehensive health coverage, and paid parental leave. Which one would you choose? Chances are, you'd consider the second offer more attractive, right?
That's because company perks and benefits aren't just frills. They play a crucial role in attracting and retaining top talent. As competition for skilled workers intensifies, perks and benefits have become a strategic tool to win the war for talent. In this article, we'll explore what these perks and benefits are, why they matter, and how you can leverage them to retain your best people.
Investing in benefits and perks for employees is not just about being a "nice" company—it's a strategic business move. Besides helping attract and retain top talent, a comprehensive benefits and perks package can:
Company perks and benefits play a significant role in an employee's decision to stay with a company. They feel valued and recognized, which enhances their loyalty. According to a Gallup study, a high employee turnover rate can cost businesses thousands, if not millions, of dollars every year. Thus, retaining a top performer is often cheaper than recruiting and training a new one.
Offering competitive company benefits and perks can boost your reputation as an employer. This can make your company more attractive to top talent, helping you stand out in the competitive job market. Job perks and benefits are no longer an added bonus but a must-have. Companies offering attractive benefits stand a better chance of attracting the best talent to their ranks.
Happy, well-cared-for employees tend to be more productive. For instance, employees who make use of wellness benefits might enjoy better health, leading to fewer sick days and better performance at work. When employees feel their company cares for their well-being, they tend to work harder, producing higher quality work. A well-designed benefits program can boost morale and motivation, leading to increased productivity.
The right mix of company perks and benefits can create a positive, supportive, and inclusive company culture. These offerings often facilitate team bonding and improve work-life balance, which fosters a happier, more productive workplace.
Benefits like health insurance, mental health support, or gym memberships demonstrate your company’s commitment to employee well-being, fostering a more positive work environment. Company perks for employees that promote health and work-life balance can lead to happier, healthier employees, which is beneficial for both the individual and the company.
Before we delve deeper, let's clarify the difference between benefits and perks.
Benefits are non-wage compensation that supplement salaries. Examples include health insurance, pension plans, paid time off, employee discounts, and childcare assistance. Benefits are typically substantial and often required by law.
Perks or perquisites, on the other hand, are extras that can set a company apart. They're not mandated by law and vary from company to company. Examples of employer perks for employees include free snacks at work, gym memberships, work-from-home options, professional development courses, employee recognition programs, and team outings.
Benefits are the backbone of an employee's compensation package. When it comes to benefits, consider a mix of traditional and innovative options to meet various employee needs. Here are some benefits your company should consider:
This is a staple benefit. But going beyond the basics could make your organization stand out. To stand out, consider covering a wide range of services, including dental, vision, mental health, and alternative therapies. Telehealth and wellness programs are also increasingly popular additions.
Helping employees secure their future can go a long way in building loyalty. Offering a competitive 401(k) match or other retirement plans show you are invested in their long-term financial health.
Everyone needs time away from work to rest and recharge. By offering generous PTO, including vacation, sick leave, and personal days, you are encouraging work-life balance and valuing your employees' personal time.
Parental leave policies are evolving. In addition to maternity leave, offering paternity leave, adoption leave, or even fertility assistance can be a game-changer for many employees. You could also offer child are assistance or flexible scheduling for parents.
Benefits aren't just about the present. They can also help your employees build a better future. Tuition reimbursement, professional training, workshops, or even in-house mentorship programs can show your investment in employees' growth, boost employee morale, and enhance skill sets.
In addition to typical health insurance, offering wellness benefits can help your employees feel and perform their best, and protect them from falling ill—as this study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology reports. These benefits can encompass a wide variety of initiatives, like gym memberships, mindfulness apps, or health coaching.
Perks can make your company unique and fun to work for. Here are some perks you might want to consider:
Flexibility is highly valued by many employees today. Allowing flexible start and finish times, compressed workweeks, or job sharing can greatly improve work-life balance. Even post-pandemic, many employees prefer the option to work from home at least some of the time. As work-life balance becomes increasingly important, offering flexible work schedules or remote work options can be a powerful perk and increase job satisfaction—as Monica Parker-James found in her study.
Recognizing and celebrating your employees' hard work can make them feel valued. This could be as simple as an "Employee of the Month" program or more elaborate annual awards. Employee rewards software like Bucketlist Rewards can make it easy for your company to reward employees.
Think beyond the typical gym membership—consider things like in-office yoga classes, mental health days, or subsidized fitness equipment for home offices. Promoting physical health can boost morale and even reduce health insurance costs.
A well-stocked kitchen or weekly catered lunches can make the workplace more comfortable and collaborative. It's a small perk that can go a long way in employee satisfaction. You could also offer food delivery or restaurant gift cards for remote workers.
For animal lovers, being able to bring their pet to work can make a huge difference. It adds a fun element to the workplace and helps reduce stress and improve internal communication, as this Nova School of Business and Economics study found.
Regular team outings, company retreats, or holiday parties can help build a strong sense of community and make work more enjoyable.
Remember, it's not about offering every perk in the book, but finding the right perks that resonate with your employees. Regularly surveying your employees to understand what they value most can help shape your perks and benefits strategy.
Just having great company perks and benefits isn't enough. It's crucial to have a strategy that aligns with your organization's mission, culture, and budget. Here are a few tips for crafting a successful strategy:
Every workforce is unique. Survey your employees regularly to understand what company perks and benefits they value the most. Personalization is key here—the more targeted your offerings, the more impact they will have.
Ensure that employees fully understand the perks and benefits you offer. Clear and regular communication is crucial. Use newsletters, company intranet, or benefits portals to get the word out. We’ll explore more of this below.
The job market and employees' needs change over time. Regularly review your strategy to ensure it stays competitive and relevant. Don't be afraid to remove perks that aren't working and add new ones based on employee feedback.
Increasingly, companies are focusing on the holistic well-being of their employees. This can be physical (gym memberships, health screenings), mental (counselling services, meditation classes), or financial (retirement planning, financial counselling).
Recognizing employees’ work anniversaries, birthdays, or significant achievements creates a positive work environment. This can be as simple as a company-wide email or as elaborate as a party or personalized gift.
Your perks and benefits should reflect your company's culture and values. For instance, if you pride yourself on being a family-friendly workplace, having generous parental leave policies reinforces that message.
A defined strategy can help manage costs and ensure that your perks and benefits are sustainable in the long run.
You'll want to ensure your offerings comply with all relevant laws and regulations. This is particularly important for benefits like health insurance or retirement plans.
Regularly reviewing your strategy helps you stay competitive as the job market and employee expectations evolve.
Understanding generational differences in the workplace can help tailor your perks and benefits package. Here's a brief look at what different generations typically value:
As they approach retirement, this generation values perks like retirement planning assistance and healthcare benefits. They also appreciate recognition for loyalty and long service.
Often juggling family and career, Gen Xers value work-life balance. Flexible working hours, remote work options, and generous family leave policies resonate with them.
Millennials typically value experiences, purpose, and personal growth. They appreciate perks like continuous learning opportunities, travel benefits, and wellness initiatives. They might also appreciate benefits that support their values, like company-sponsored volunteer opportunities or sustainability initiatives.
This generation grew up in the digital age. The youngest generation in the workforce, Gen Z values technology, diversity, and social responsibility. Perks like up-to-date tech tools, diversity programs, and corporate social responsibility initiatives appeal to them.
Understanding these generational preferences can guide your perks and benefits strategy, ensuring it appeals to a diverse workforce.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are more than just buzzwords—they're vital to creating a balanced, innovative, and effective workplace. According to a study by Cynthia Calderon, a diverse workforce leads to diverse thinking, and more well-rounded business solutions.
A well-rounded perks and benefits package can play a significant role in fostering DEI. Here's how:
Benefits that are accessible to all employees, regardless of their background or personal circumstances, promote a sense of fairness and inclusivity.
Offering a wide range of company perks and benefits can help attract a diverse pool of candidates.
Perks and benefits like childcare assistance, eldercare support, or religious leave can help meet the needs of a diverse workforce.
An inclusive benefits package shows that your company values diversity and is committed to supporting all employees.
By offering inclusive parental leave policies—for maternity, paternity, and adoption—you demonstrate support for all types of families.
A comprehensive health insurance plan that covers services like mental health, gender reassignment, and disability-related needs underscores your commitment to employees' well-being, irrespective of their background or personal circumstances.
Remote work, flexible hours, or job-sharing can cater to employees with different needs, such as those with caring responsibilities or disabilities.
Offering training on topics like unconscious bias, cross-cultural competence, or inclusive leadership can foster a more inclusive company culture.
A strong DEI-focused company perks and benefits package can help attract a diverse talent pool, foster a more inclusive culture, and boost your company’s reputation.
A stellar perks and benefits package won't attract top talent if candidates don't know about it. Here's how to effectively communicate your offerings:
Include a brief summary of your perks and benefits in job descriptions. This can make your postings stand out and attract potential candidates.
Have hiring managers or HR representatives discuss the company perks and benefits during interviews. This gives candidates a chance to ask questions and understand the full value of your package.
Dedicate a section of your website to your perks and benefits. Include testimonials from current employees about how they've utilized and enjoyed the offerings.
Incorporate perks and benefits information into recruitment brochures, videos, or social media campaigns. You can use infographics or other visual aids to showcase your perks and benefits as well. These can be more engaging and digestible than long lists or paragraphs.
When you make an offer, provide detailed information about your perks and benefits. Ensure the candidate fully understands the total compensation package, not just the salary.
Share testimonials from current employees about how they've benefited from your perks. This can make the benefits feel more tangible and relatable.
Effective communication ensures candidates see the full picture of what it's like to work for your company, helping you to secure top talent.
The world of work is evolving, and so are employee expectations for perks and benefits. Here are some trends to keep an eye on:
As the stigma around mental health decreases, more companies are offering company perks and benefits that support mental well-being, such as counselling services or mental health days. With increased focus on holistic well-being, expect a rise in comprehensive wellness programs that address physical, mental, and financial health.
Companies are going beyond maternity leave to offer benefits like paternity leave, adoption assistance, or childcare subsidies.
As technology advances, we're likely to see more companies offering personalized benefits packages, where employees can choose the company perks and benefits that best meet their individual needs. Take this example where Mike, an engineer at Bucketlist Rewards, fulfilled one of his dad’s lifelong dreams—thanks to Bucketlist Rewards’ personalized rewards and recognition program.
With financial stress being a major concern for many employees, financial wellness programs (like financial counselling or student loan repayment assistance) are likely to become more popular.
As remote work continues to be popular, look for perks designed for remote employees, like home office setup allowances, co-working space memberships, or virtual team-building activities.
One size does not fit all when it comes to benefits. The future may see a rise in flexible or personalized benefits, where employees can choose the benefits that best suit their needs.
As companies become more environmentally conscious, expect to see perks like carbon offset programs, electric vehicle charging stations, or incentives for using public transportation.
As technology evolves, so does the need for new skills. Companies will likely invest more in training programs, tuition reimbursement, or learning stipends to help employees stay current.
Staying abreast of these trends can help your company remain competitive in attracting and retaining top talent. As always, keep listening to your employees’ needs and be ready to adapt your company perks and benefits package accordingly.
With this in mind, companies need to regularly review and adapt their perks and benefits strategy to stay competitive and meet the changing needs and expectations of their workforce.
Offering an attractive array of company perks and benefits is no longer optional—it's a must. These offerings are crucial for attracting, motivating, and retaining top talent. But remember, one size doesn't fit all. Regularly soliciting feedback and adapting your strategy to your employees' evolving needs is key. After all, a happy, healthy, and engaged workforce is one of the biggest assets a company can have.