Many businesses are discovering that offering the right perks to their employees is a great way to attract and keep talent. Headlines over the past few years have been full of fun perks that include free frappés and impromptu ping pong games in the middle of the office, but just because a perk sounds fun doesn’t mean it’s what your employees actually want.
The workforce needs to adapt to employee needs and wants by offering a culture where they feel comfortable and welcome, as well as offering perks that employees actually want.
Skip the nerf guns and free smoothie Fridays and give them the perks on this list. They’ll thank you by providing you with years of hard work.
One of the biggest perks that nearly every employee will appreciate is a flexible schedule. It’s an especially good way to attract employees with families. If an employee knows they can come in late one day to take their child to the first day of school and make up the time by staying a little bit later without being punished, penalized, or having to take time off, they are more likely to stick around for a while.
That’s not the only way you can provide employees with a flexible schedule. An unlimited vacation policy can attract top talent, and contrary to popular belief, most employees don’t take advantage of such a generous vacation policy. In most cases, employees actually work harder knowing they can take some time off when they need it.
People love their pets. Leaving them at home can be difficult and costly. Most employees appreciate a pet-friendly office environment.
Not only does it make things easier for dog owners if they know they can bring their dog to work instead of sending them to the sitter, it can actually provide your employees with some serious benefits. Having a dog in the workplace can provide employees with social and emotional support. Logistically, it means employees are less likely to return to work late after lunch because they had to take the dog out.
Just make sure your pet-friendly policies are clear and firm. Not everyone likes dogs, and not all dogs behave well in an office setting. It’s important to hash out the details of what a pet-friendly environment looks like in your office.
Continuing Education Programs
Most employees want to feel engaged with their work, and they want to feel like they’re learning and evolving. Unfortunately, regular training and meetings won’t do it. Instead, 87-percent of millennials say professional development is an important job perk.
Programs can be informal. You can bring in an expert on a topic that employees are interested in learning about, but it can be more professional as well. Offer incentives and discounts for employees to take classes at a community college, or offer to pay off a portion of their student loans after they get their masters.
Free Health and Wellness Options
Health and wellness programs can be popular with employees, but they do have to be done correctly. Not all programs are popular with every office.
A few ideas for health and wellness programs you can offer in your office include:
- Free yoga classes
- Access to an on-site gym
- Weight loss challenges
- Free nicotine gum and patches
- Discounts to local fitness classes
No matter what kind of health or wellness option you choose to provide, it is important to monitor its popularity. You may find that your employees aren’t really interested in free yoga classes, but they love taking spin classes at a local gym.
Traditional Perks Still Matter
All of these new perks are coveted by employees, but that doesn’t mean they appreciate them more than traditional perks. Even if you can’t do anything else on this list, make sure that your employees have a great employee benefits package.
Not even a flexible work schedule will save you if you don’t offer quality health insurance to your employees. Most appreciate a generous retirement package too. Employees especially appreciate access to dental and vision plans, as well as life insurance plans. Discounts on car insurance, homeowners insurance, and renters insurance can be great perks too!
Not just any old perk will do if you want to attract and retain employees. If you want to make your employees happy, skip the trivial perks, and instead give them something you know everyone will like. This list is a great place to get started!
The terms benefits or employee benefits mean the same as perks.