What were the best job perks you ever received from a company? After working in the corporate world long enough, you get really familiar with the standard benefits companies offer. We’re used to competitive salaries, two weeks of PTO, and 401k matching. But which perks surprised you? Which benefits meant the most?
These are the questions CEOs need to be asking in order to figure out which new benefits to budget for in the coming year. Rolling out meaningful job perks can attract new hires and be an important motivating factor for existing employees on your team. The top 10 employee benefits listed below do more than just sound great on a job listing—they help maintain and motivate your teams toward greater long-term success.
1. Health Insurance
This perk is number one for a reason. Employees absolutely need comprehensive health coverage provided by their employer. Health insurance could cost upwards of $28,000 per year for a family purchasing coverage on the open market, and that makes healthcare worth literally thousands more than a pay raise. If you’re already offering solid health insurance, adding dental and vision coverage (or even pet insurance) can provide a huge financial benefit to your employees and help offset the need for a raise.
2. Flexible Hours
Do you still require your team members to be in their cubicles from 8-to-5 every single day? If so, it’s probably time to start examining alternatives. Offer your employees the opportunity to work early, take a long lunch, or stay late, flexing their hours over the course of the week as needed. This perk is being offered by more and more big names in business and is highly attractive to new hires. You’re likely to see increased productivity due to the stress-lowering effects of this benefit.
3. Unlimited PTO
This perk is likely to please your existing employees and impact your employee retention rates the most. Don’t just say you have unlimited PTO—stop tracking entirely and start trusting your employees to take days off when they need to. Be sure to encourage your team members to use this time, and give your managers a break from approving all those PTO requests. If an employee is missing too much work, they’ll know to step in.
4. Generous Parental Leave
If you’re looking to hold onto your Gen X and Y employees, make sure you’re offering a generous plan for parental leave. Both mothers and fathers need months free to welcome a new member of the family. We know this. Yet, offering parental leave is still seen as a bit of a new and exciting step. Go even further by taking inspiration from some of the biggest companies in business—Spotify offers six months of paid parental leave for both parents, Netflix offers a full year, and many companies offer flexible return-to-work options.
5. Charitable Benefits
Corporate social responsibility is a big new buzzword that CEOs need to pay attention to. Especially if your company has an easy link to the nonprofit or civil service sectors, consider adding philanthropy to your competitive benefits package. Offer employees paid volunteer hours at the rate of one full workday per quarter. Try donation matching up to $1,000 for any single charitable contributions your employees wish to make. This perk raises employees’ opinion of your company while doing a whole lot of good in the world.
6. Retirement Savings Plans
Many companies offer 401k plans to their employees, but few really go the extra mile to ensure this benefit is doing the most good. Encourage your employees to take advantage of 401k matching and offer financial guidance internally or through employee assistance programs. You’ll really impress people by offering a higher-than-average match percentage—even 8% might catch the attention of your best employees and encourage them to stick around.
7. Higher Education Support
Starbucks is famous for offering all 20+ hour employees the opportunity to earn an online degree through Arizona State University. Take inspiration from this initiative and offer your own employees some form of higher education support. Consider offering a $1,000 tuition reimbursement each semester or giving your employees a student loan assistance plan. These are the kind of high-level perks that motivate your employees to seek personal development opportunities and grow their skills.
8. Fitness Stipends
As an employer, it’s important to show you care about your team’s health and well-being. One tangible way to do this is to offer fitness stipends to your team. Microsoft, for example, gives employees the option to choose between subsidized gym memberships or a fitness reimbursement up to $800. If you don’t have access to an on-site gym facility, consider doing the same and offering memberships to local gyms at reduced prices.
9. Travel Incentives
Sales organizations commonly host kick-off events each year in locations across the United States, and these events are always highly anticipated by all employees on the floor. Offer a similar perk for your own team by scheduling a yearly conference or retreat. Alternatively, you could take inspiration from Airbnb and provide a yearly travel stipend to each employee. These travel benefits keep employees coming back year after year and inspire individuals to work even harder to earn their spot.
10. Employee Rewards Programs
According to an American workplace survey, only 18% of employees receive abundant recognition for the hard work they do. However, recognizing and rewarding your employees is one of the most important things you can do as a leader. Frequent verbal and written recognition is fantastic, and you can take that a step further by offering an employee rewards program that rewards your team with custom uniforms, company store items, or gifts from big name brands they love. It’s the best way to actively reward employees for their wins, big and small.
The top 10 employee benefits listed above are the foundation for a solid line of perks you can offer in your company. Not all companies may have the bandwidth to offer all of these perks, but depending on the size of your company, you can certainly pick a few perks and go from there. With these benefits, you don’t necessarily need the in-office dog park or the break room Xbox—instead, you’re spending your money on perks that make employees feel respected, understood, and empowered long after they’ve completed the onboarding process. If you’re looking for a new benefit to roll out to the team, or you’re worried about needing to offer pay raises to keep employees satisfied, try these strategies instead.
At Inproma, we’re experts at putting together employee perks that actually motivate your team toward success. We’ve created hundreds of custom rewards and recognition programs that result in higher employee engagement, productivity, and revenue, and we’re happy to share that experience with you and your employees. Let’s talk.