Having great talent on your team is essential, and in order to attract top candidates and retain your best-performing employees, a competitive benefits package is a must.
The power of employee perks can be pretty astonishing. A recent Glassdoor study found that 79 percent of workers would prefer certain additional benefits over an increase in salary. But what perks and benefits are the most important, and how do you put together a package that fits the needs of your team?
If you’re looking to increase morale, retain employees, improve productivity and draw top talent, here’s a look at some of the perks that should be at the heart of your offerings, as well as some considerations for creating a package that works for your business.
The Essential Benefits
Before you delve into some of the less-common perks, you’ll need to hone your core benefits offerings. Your package can include a variety of elements, but the key components are:
- Health insurance. Glassdoor found that health care was the most important benefit to employees, with 40 percent saying they’d prefer a comprehensive insurance plan over a raise. Since employer-sponsored coverage is generally more affordable than public or private insurance, employees place a high value on this benefit, as it lets them know that they and their dependents are covered in times of need.
- Paid time off. Allowing employees as much paid time off as they need to rejuvenate can increase productivity and help you create a balanced, well-adjusted team. The specific policy you put in place and the amount of vacation time you allow will depend on the needs of your business, but it’s always a good idea to factor in employee performance and tenure. You might even consider an ultra-flexible unlimited time-off plan, though you’ll need to manage this a bit more closely than a traditional policy.
The Additional Perks
Besides these core benefits, what other employee perks should you consider?
- Work-from-home options. For employees juggling personal obligations and professional commitments, a flexible work schedule can be a huge help. With the option to work from home a certain number of days per week, employees won’t have to compromise career over family commitments, helping improve day-to-day engagement in their jobs, as well as long-term retention.
- Company discounts. Providing discounts on your products or services can make employees feel important and included. At the same time, their feedback on these items can give you valuable insight into the experience your company is offering and help you understand where and how to improve. Check with your health insurance partner, as they often have discounts on related products and services available to their clients.
- Extra conveniences. As a recruitment and retention tool, many companies now provide out-of-the-box perks such as dry cleaning pickups and drop-offs, pet grooming, hair salon services, in-house massages or wellness activities. These added benefits make life easier on your employees, improving work-life balance by making it more convenient for them to attend to some of their weekly to-dos.
What’s Right for Your Team
What really matters to your company? Which employee perks will really work in the long run? In order to answer these questions, you’ll need firsthand feedback from your team. Spend some time with your staff after work or through informal feedback sessions during office hours to talk about the topic.
You should also factor in generational and demographic differences. Lifestyle benefits, such as gym membership reimbursements, may have huge appeal for millennial employees, while flexible hours and work-from-home options will prove especially desirable for family-oriented staff members in their 30s and up.
Talk to your team about what benefits matter to them. If your business is small enough, consider sitting down one-on-one with each employee to talk through the options. The more input you have, the better you’ll be able to offer employee perks that will keep your team satisfied and engaged.
Emmie Sahlan has a graduate degree in English and has been writing professionally for the past five years. Her niche areas are insurance, credit cards, personal finance and education.