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Perks to Offer Employees

Xiaofan Gao
By: Xiaofan Gao
Oct 25, 2020 • 6 min read

Perks to Offer Employees

As an employer, the top three things you should take care of are yourself, the place you work for, and those who work for you. That doesn’t mean you have to establish personal connections with every individual who reports to you. If that were the case, you wouldn’t have the time and energy to get your daily tasks done! Offering additional perks to your employees, aside from the traditional health insurance benefits and free parking space can mean more than you think. Let’s take a look at why you should be doing this and, since I’m rather generous, some ideas on what perks to offer to them!

group of people doing jump shot photography

Why Give More? 

Giving more means receiving more in return. If your workers are given more perks, they will be more pleased with their jobs, ensuring higher retention and lower employee turnover rate. Also, several studies have shown that offering perks, even inexpensive ones, can boost productivity. Having a more effective and efficient workflow will reflect well on your performance. It will encourage other managers to implement their own “perks” system from a company-wide perspective, allowing every employee to benefit. 

Be Reasonable

With that being said, don’t overdo it! Giving employees too many perks may lead to the opposite of what you intended. This Forbes article mentions how companies offering many perks, like in-building hair salons and daycares, cause workers to be stuck there after the 8-hour workday, unwilling to leave the workplace and go home. In other words, they become so attached to the company that they don’t want to go, which is not healthy either. 

two woman jumping on the street during daytime

Balance

The key is to find a good balance between too little and too many perks. Another crucial factor to keep in mind is your budget and how much you’ll have left if you choose to give another perk to employees. With all this in mind, here are some perks that I think employees would love. 

assorted pendant lights hanging on ceiling

Flexibility

Hopefully, when the world goes back to normal, employers will still consider the option of working from home and not just order everyone back to the office. Aside from lingering COVID-19 concerns, there are plenty of reasons you should offer employees flexibility. Some of them have a long commute due to the distance, traffic conditions, or a mix of both. Others have special family circumstances that require them to be at home for a few days. All in all, by keeping telecommuting on the table, you’re doing your workers a huge service by saving them time and hassle. 

Paid Volunteering

Pay employees for the time they spend volunteering. First, determine how many hours are eligible for compensation. Most employers set the time to be 8 hours-40 hours, but feel free to increase it, so the average employee is motivated to volunteer more than 40 hours, and, for those that love community service, they will be pleased to see that all their time is being valued by the company. Next, specify which organizations and nonprofits can count toward VoluntaryTime Off (VTO). For instance, if employees can only be paid for working with food banks, then let them know at the beginning, so they don’t think you’re cheating them when they turn up with many hours from an org that’s not affiliated with this program.

four people sitting near road

Tuition Reimbursement

Let’s face it. College is expensive. In fact, an in-state, loan-funded, scholarship funded tuition is still thousands of dollars every year. Combine that with the housing, meal, and school supply costs, and you’re looking at a whopping amount. You can’t possibly pay off every employee’s college expenses, but you can help alleviate the burden by enrolling them in a tuition reimbursement program. Depending on what the guidelines are, your employees can receive a portion of their tuition, along with their wages, back. This goes for any workers attending college or getting their master’s degree. 

Parental Leave and Childcare

The Federal Employee Paid Leave Act gives workers up to 12 weeks of paid time off for childbirth. Be more generous and offer more than the federal maximum amount for pregnant mothers. While you’re at it, throw in some paid time off for any husbands whose resting spouse and newborn baby/babies need by their sides. If there is some way you can cover childcare costs for employees, that will sweeten the pot. Families with one infant can spend about 20% of their income on their only child! Imagine how much it would cost to raise two, no, three, children! 

Childcare Benefits

An alternative is providing employees’ children with a daycare space of their own. Several companies have this feature, including Home Depot, IBM, Nike, and Goldman Sachs. The most well-known example is probably the Kinderplex, Google’s daycare facility, where workers can drop their kids off in the morning before heading in to work. Note that the cost of building such a place might outweigh the benefits, as there is no guarantee that every employee will have children and that they will bring them to the daycare. 

Office Treats

When in doubt, stick with good, old fashioned office treats! Y’know, fully stocked snacks in the kitchen cabinets—a videogame room for when employees want to wind down and relax. Fun Fridays. Holiday parties. Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that make us happier. 

doughnuts on box

Summary 

There are so many perks you can offer employees. You might even think of some on your own! If you have any great ideas, be sure to let us know on our social media pages. Remember, even if it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s bad!

More to Explore: 

Understanding Your Employee Benefits – Here 

Benefits of Vocational High Schools – Here 

Employee Compensation and Benefits – Here 

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