Employee perks, aka fringe benefits, are crucial in keeping the workplace buzzing. Employees consider the workplace environment and benefit a more significant factor than the number of zeroes on their paycheck because mental exhaustion only gets worse if they can’t love what they do.
We are going to cover the nitty-gritty of employee perks in the near future, but let’s lay the foundation by highlighting 25 must-have employee perks that every organization must try to inculcate in their fringe benefits list. Read away!
1. Reward and Recognition Programs
When it comes to perks that pay dividends implicitly and straight up, reward and recognition is a tool that can win half the battle to keep your workforce happy. The extra compensation provided to your employees to keep them motivated is a perk that would surely do wonders if it exists, but there’s a lot of harm in not having a reward and recognition program in place.
Organizations like Anca Machine Tools have improved their employee engagement scores by 100% after switching to transparent rewards and recognition programs by Xoxoday. This employee perk works wonders on organizations of every size.
From bonuses to verbal praise, first days to work anniversaries, and a gala at the end of each quarter, these reward and recognition programs change the game by simply being there. Reward and recognition as a perk don’t really cost too much money but delivers a plethora of psychological and behavioral returns in your employees’ work ethic.
2. Work-life Integration
Hold on; your first thought might be “Work-life balance as a perk? Isn’t that a bare necessity? Since we are talking about amenities that can simply be packed and sold as employee perks, integration of work-life to a personal one is a great perk in the eyes of the employees. Your workforce doesn’t have different sets of personalities for office and outside-of-office (well, most of them don’t) and to cope with that; an environment is needed at work that allows their original personalities to exist.
Work-life integration works for this very cause. Make your office an enjoyable place to be where people can broadcast their true selves and make the most of it. This implicit perk comes at a metaphorical cost to HR, as it involves people acting out their presentable personalities, coming forth with their sexual orientation (a policy that Netflix aces in), and matching the vibe with other people.
Work-life integration doesn’t simply mean stocking enough food in the pantry to last for four weeks (even though it’s a crucial thing, according to Harvard Business Review). The concept of work-life integration is to give your employees a workspace where they can be themselves and get the job done at the same time-- be it physically, psychologically, or simply when the stomach growls for a snack.
3. Employee Discounts
Nothing gives employees a boost in self-esteem more than telling their friends how they copped a neat deal through their employer. Employee discounts make up for a crucial perk, and they are the organization’s personal branding in front of the world. With plentiful rewards platforms available, employers can get formidable deals for their team as perks-- be it on medicines, merchandise, apparel, groceries, or anything.
BusinessOne, a major player in technology and pharma, used rewarding and discounts to reduce attrition and improve productivity. These discounts turn out to be a real head-turner and give your workforce an added advantage for working with you-- which exemplifies what proper perks should do.
4. Performance Bonus
In most cases, monthly salaries are enough to get the job done, but great things happen when a performance bonus is in the books. Monetary rewards have a direct relation with the rise in efforts and ultimately, results. To keep the workforce motivated, it is key to link their emotions with monetary rewards and engage them in accomplishing the task in hand.
The deal with performance bonus, however, is that it’s the first one to be scratched off in tumultuous times. This mistake, which is often made to cut costs, cuts down the workforce’s efforts and the organization ends up suffering more than what it saved by cutting those costs. This case study from Harvard Business Review signifies the importance of performance bonuses in bad times.
With performance bonuses, rewards are tied to results, which makes it a terrific perk to give out. The IRF states that team incentives can increase productivity by as much as 44 percent. Performance bonuses and incentives can easily be gamified with platforms.
5. Unlimited Paid Sick Days
Sure, anyone’s initial thought would be that an employee can lie n number of times and get their sick leaves approved, but it shouldn’t be the case if your organization is built on the cornerstone of integrity and trust. On the flip side, however, unpaid sick days carry a huge threat to the organization as well as the allegedly sick employee.
The American Psychological Association has conducted research to find that workers without paid sick leaves are depressed and suffer higher odds of anxiety, stress, and even episodes of schizophrenia.
A separate study by National Partnership for Women & Families states that paid sick days improve public health with reduced risk of disease spread through contamination of commonly used workspace. This evidence states that even though it might take some precautions, unlimited sick days are pivotal for the common good.
6. Retirement Plan
Personal finance is a topic about which the person worries about the most and procrastinates the most. Every working-class employee wants to have a formidable plan for the future in case of uncertainty that looms over every one of us, and that is why the employer’s contribution to retirement plans, 401k, or provident fund is the real deal-breaker.
31% of employees are ready to jump ship if not offered retirement benefits.
According to the World Economic Forum, saving 10-15% of an average annual salary is required to support a reasonable level of retirement income. However, individual savings rates in most countries are far lower. Hence, the employer has to pitch in.
Every employee believes that without the employer’s contribution, they won’t be able to hang up their boots in the foreseeable future, and this perk really makes an organization look benevolent in the stakeholders’ eyes. A study by Fora Financial states (apart from the above facts) that employees are happy to stay on for long if their retirement plan needs are met voraciously.
7. Reimbursement on Tuition
Your workforce and its brains would only skyrocket when they gain theoretical experience along with working on the job. Almost every progressive organization encourages its members to grow intellectually through education, and many employees find this as an added incentive to learn while they work. That is why tuition reimbursement is a crucial perk for employees irrespective of age group.
Google employees get $12,000 in reimbursable funds every year as a part of their tuition reimbursement policy. This money can be used to make the most of any course, higher education, or upskilling of an individual. Not only goes this give Googlers a reason to stay, but a reason to grow as they work with the tech giant.
As student loan debt is a trillion-dollar black hole in America alone, tuition reimbursement would give employees just the right push to go for higher studies while they earn by working with you. From the employees’ perspective, they save up on the opportunity cost of earning while learning; while for the employer, a new resource unleashes with greater intellectual prowess.
8. Gym Membership
A gym membership is to employee perks what a box of chocolate is to Christmas—it’s so common that it’d be criminal to take it off the list. Many say that gym memberships are adored by many and used by none, but research by DataHub proved that gym memberships are one of the most widespread perks.
This goes to show that even though people sign up for corporate gym memberships when offered as employee perks, they still might not go. The same study shows that 63% of these corporate gym memberships are taken up by women, which sheds light on which gender prioritizes health when gift wrapped as a perk.
9. Assistance in Commute
It’s obvious why commute assistance is a valued perk. The US Census Bureau found that an average daily worker committed to a five-day-a-week full-time job spends over 200 hours in commute.
A person in the United States spends almost NINE DAYS every year stuck in commute!
Not only is commute time consuming and unrelenting, but it’s costly as well. Employees often switch jobs over commute times and for those who do commute from beyond the seven seas, lose all their energy while making it to work. This makes aiding in a commute a perk that pays off. Be it sharing rides with colleagues, boarding a shuttle designated to the workplace, or a company cab—it’ll make your team’s life easier.
10. Unlimited Vacation Leaves
This is one of those innovative employee perks that unlock with the hustle. By gamifying targets and project sprints throughout the year in quarters, HR can provide employees with the benefit of unlimited vacation time. The vacation isn’t capped, but it generally comes with an asterisk of paid and unpaid vacation time. This is a great attention-grabber from the employees’ perspective and really charges them up.
Airbnb gives their employees $2,000 every year to travel anywhere around the globe. This turns out to be a real attention grabber for the young millennials and Gen-Z who are suckers for and gather all their vacation hours to get a week off.
Ask.com doesn’t even have a vacation policy. All they want from their employees is to get their work done after which they can take n number of vacation days to cherish their personal time. These perks really drive employees to go the extra mile.
11. Snack Bars & Vending Machines
The first thing that comes in an employee’s mind when someone mentions ‘perks’ is food. And to paint a lucid picture, it’s more about aesthetically appealing salad bars are the clunk sounds from the vending machine.
57% of people with high health risk reached low-risk status by completing a worksite wellness program. Harvard Business Review
Giving your workforce access to healthy meals, snacks, and beverages automatically boost their morale, and the wellbeing factor is taken care of. Sign up with a vendor to deliver a daily dose of healthy snacks and watch those faces get sharp and perky with this perk!
12. Learn at Work
There’s something about practical learning that can’t be learned in books. To aid employees in accomplishing their personal and professional goals, the best perk is to create an atmosphere of learning. Prominent employee perks include online courses from various prominent institutes that really upskill individuals with talents that stay with them for life.
13. Lounge Rooms to Relax
Sleeping pods, nap rooms, recliner chairs are the latest Instagram-able piece of office corners that fit well in unused office space. These perks can be gamified like on completion of Quarter I & II targets; the game room would get a new ping-pong table. Also, you can offer wellness experiences and vouchers as perks to employees.
Dropbox calls itself a pretty sweet place to work because they offer a fully stuffed along with nap rooms, recliners, gaming consoles, and the like of it for their squad to blow off some steam.
14. Supplemental Insurance
Let’s make something clear—employee’s health insurance is not supplemental insurance—but plans other than that are. For instance, spousal life insurance, insurance for electronics, pets, family, and extra coverage for employees with special needs would constitute as perks under supplemental insurance.
15. Banking at Work
With the onset of internet banking, a bank window setup is a great low-cost investment to give free access to your employees. These employee perks make banking services easy as employees can check on mortgages, savings, checking accounts, and plan their finances at lunchtime. Many banks even offer cash withdrawal services in the in-house window or through ATM fixed up in the cafeteria.
16. Work from Home Amenities
It’s the decade of remote work and the demand for work-life balance calls for working from home in cases when the parent has to take care of their child, or their parents, or any other case in point. Every organization is shifting to remote work flexibility for its employees so as to help them juggle their worldly and personal responsibilities.
76% of remote workers said that there are fewer distractions when working from home, which increases productivity.
Work from home is still considered to be a substantial employee perk as its absence is more inconvenient than its presence. Remote working conditions prove to be crucial in times when employees want to transcend back from maternity and paternity leaves but can’t visit the workplace altogether.
17. Parental and Caregiver Leaves
As a caregiver, it’s not easy to manage taking care of older adults and to work at the same time. For employees facing these tests in the walk of life, perks offering monthly caregiver leaves, and in case of kids, parental leaves would really sway them away. Employees would be dedicated to not let their productivity level get hampered in case they are provided with relaxations in the form of employee perks like these.
18. Exchange Volunteer Hours for Paid Leaves
Giving back to the community is a responsibility that goes beyond CSR events. To strengthen your organization’s societal blueprint, the best employee perk is exchanging peoples’ volunteer hours with paid vacation leaves. This would encourage employees to get involved in CSR events, and the HR can capitalize on it with schemes like payroll deductions towards a cause of their choice; giving them a chance to get in the field.
19. Team Bonding Events and Face-offs
Nothing beats a tightly knit team of individuals turned co-workers turned friends. This is best achieved by regular team bonding events like paintball sessions, cricket games on the weekends, and monthly team lunches. Many prospects join organizations because of their chemistry.
20 Flash Fitness Sessions
Everyone loves this one—call up a fitness coach, yoga instructor, or a sports mentor and host a fitness session. This perk is served best when it’s added up to the wellness program and done regularly. As for the participants, you can arrange for special offers and discounts for regular ones.
Google’s office in California is no less than a vacation spot, with the tech giant offering tours for as much as $5,000 per person (the proceeds go to charity) and the emphasis on daily Zumba and Yoga sessions is alarming. Did we tell you that they have an organic farm too, and a slide?
21 Quarterly Picnics
Gather those big lunchboxes, prep up your signature dish, and get ready for the quarterly potluck retreat! Events like these are perfect for heading out into vacation homes, hill stations, and amusement parks. These employee perks actually upscale the engagement levels as no extrinsic motivation can.
22. In-Office Baby-care Perks
Let’s call this a kid-friendly block—a small, cozy room for pre-natal mums and breast-feeding mommies to kindle their children’s needs. A baby and her mother are inseparable for emotional and physical reasons for at least eight months after it’s born, and baby-care perks for new-borns would make their lives a whole lot simpler.
Facebook offers $4,000 as baby cash for your new arrival in the house along with four months paid parental leave (which Mark Zuckerberg has used himself), reimbursement for daycare, and adoption fees if that’s the case.
23. One-on-One Mentorship Program
Mentorship is more than just a superior-subordinate relationship. This dance between the sorcerer and their apprentice goes beyond the canvas of organization and personal goals as a mentor inculcates all their wisdom into the mentee’s thought process.
Get the senior peeps in your organization to sign up for the mentorship program and encourage the employees to sign up for it. You’ll be flabbergasted to see the growth curve of the mentees.
24. Four-day Workweeks
This perk is indeed a performance-based one, wherein every month, a team of the month title would be presented, and the winning team will be given the next four weeks as a four-week workday—only if they can keep up the results and productivity. Light up the competitive flair and watch the results speak for themselves!
This concept came into light when Microsoft Japan increased their workforce’s productivity by 40% after giving FIVE consecutive Fridays off! Many organizations have adopted the four-day workweek and in most cases, it has done pretty well with an asterisk of a dedicated workforce.
25. Employee Stock Options
Nothing gives the feeling of ownership more than owning a part of company stocks that you work with. Most employee stock options are distributed after employees complete a certain tenure at the organization and reach a given designation. There are options to change the remuneration to salary + stock options.
The organization can offer employee stock ownership plans or employee stock purchase plans-- the difference being that stock ownership is given to the employees while in case of latter, employees can purchase stocks at discounted prices.
This was the list of 25 best employee perks to offer to your workforce. Perks are crucial in keeping your employees motivated and charged up for what lies ahead, and also to make them feel at home. The correct implementation will definitely deliver astronomical results. Happy engagement!