Gritty Guide to Meaningful Work Perks
As People & Culture experts, one of the questions we get asked most frequently is “What perks should we offer to our employees?” In this competitive landscape, where unemployment is at an all-time low, businesses want to know how to get the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to designing offerings that attract, retain, and motivate their employees.
Today, we’re diving into the perks and benefits employees expect and want from their employers, which according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace, are those that offer them greater flexibility, autonomy and the ability to lead a better life. To help leaders understand how their offerings stack up, we’ll be talking about perks and benefits in four distinct categories: basics, important to some, differentiating, and added value.
These are the must-have items employers commonly offer. These won’t set your company apart, but are essential in attracting and retaining employees. Benefits and perks in this category include:
Retirement plans with an employer match
Paid leave and vacation: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 68% of American workers receive between 5-14 days of paid time off per year. Offering any less than that can signal to employees that the company doesn’t value personal well-being
Insurance coverage other than health insurance (life, worksite, etc.)
Important to Some
These items are important to some employees: between 29% and 54% of employees say they’re willing to change jobs to get these perks and benefits. These are not as common because not all companies can offer or realistically implement these:
Flexible work location
Paid time to work independently on a project of the employee’s choosing
The main perk in this category is flextime, which allows employees the flexibility to choose the time of day they work (i.e. allowing employees to arrive to work between 7-9 am instead of a strict 8 am call time). 51% of employees say they would change jobs for this benefit, while 44% say their company already offers it. Employees who receive flextime benefits have higher levels of engagement and well-being than other employees.
These benefits fall outside of the three prior categories, but still correlate to higher levels of engagement or well-being. It is important to note, however, that these are less of a differentiator than flextime because fewer employees say they would switch jobs for them. These benefits and perks include:
Reimbursement of fees to attend professional conferences
Sponsorship of local organizations or events that are important to the employee
Flextime during regular office hours to volunteer
Hardware or software reimbursement
Financial planning or coaching
Professional development programs
At the end of the day, your perks and benefits package should send a message to employees and candidates that as a company, you value their contribution and care about their personal well-being. How do your perks stand up against your competitors? If you want more help on designing an attractive employee offering for any budget, reach out to our team of experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.