These days, it’s not enough to pass a paycheck to your employees and leave it at that. Employees are looking for a company that values them as an individual rather than a worker drone.
Perks are a great way of showing your employees that you care about their wellbeing, but the line between a valuable perk and an empty gesture is a difficult one to walk. You also need to consider that some of the traditional perks are now seen as essential offerings. And that’s made it more difficult to stand out from the crowd.
That’s why, in this article, we’re going to give you a quick run-down on the perks you should be offering — and how a PEO can help you offer more rewarding work perks than your competitors.
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Employee perks: understanding what’s required
First thing first, let’s cover the perks that most employees expect to receive. Not offering the below may put off potential applicants, placing you at a disadvantage when looking for new talent.
Meanwhile, existing employees are more likely to consider leaving your company to find a position that does offer these perks.
This isn’t an extensive list, of course, but the following work perks are the first thought for most of today’s workforce:
Paid time off (PTO)
It simply isn’t healthy to work without a break. And yet if a company doesn’t offer PTO, that may be the only option for their employees. After all, not everyone can afford unpaid time off.
Across the pond in the UK, some companies are taking PTO benefits to the next level by offering unlimited PTO. Financial transfer company Wise even offers its London employees 6-weeks paid sabbatical with a £1000 bonus for those working with the company for 4 years or more.
The US is a little behind the curve on PTO, with a staggering 32 million workers not even getting paid sick days. These are mostly low-paid workers who have to juggle sickness with financial stress as they can’t afford to be absent.
If your SMB wants to attract the best talent, PTO is non-negotiable.
Retirement is supposed to be a pleasant, relaxing prospect — something to look forward to after years of toil! Yet the US is still deep into a pension crisis that shows little sign of recovery.
Because of the poor state of pensions right now, businesses can stand out from the crowd by offering 401(k) plans with matched contributions. This will show that you are invested in your employees with a view for long-term collaboration.
Mental health is a major part of the employee satisfaction conversation, leading to a lot of companies preaching mental health acceptance… but with very little to back it up.
Wellness programs can promote both physical and mental health by allowing your employees time to be active and step away from their desks! A wellness program can act as an outlet for the general day-to-day frustrations that, left unchecked, can spiral into worse issues across your whole team.
We won’t dive too deep into this work perk, as it’s something we’ve written about previously. But offering your employees some form of health coverage — like a group health plan — will give your employees peace of mind for those “just in case” situations.
The best bit about this work perk is that it’s absolutely free.
It costs nothing to give your employees a little recognition from time to time. They work hard to make sure the business stays afloat and they deserve to feel valued for their contributions.
Simply recognizing your employees’ contributions can boost morale, as they will feel valued rather than a cog in the machine. ‘Employee of the month’ walls are a little outdated now, but the ethos is still the same!
Get the edge on your competitors with these extra perks
Some companies are lacking in the above, so you can quickly step ahead by getting the fundamentals right. But why stop there? Here’s some work perks inspiration to push your business ahead of the pack and ensure you attract the talent you need.
“The five-day work-week is dead!” That’s what the majority of headlines are saying as we emerge from the pandemic with a fresh outlook on work/life balance. Employees are looking for companies that allow them to work on their own schedule — helping them to avoid burnout and participate in more extra-curricular activities.
As well as flexible work hours, employees are increasingly looking for flexibility when it comes to where they work. After a taste of working from home, a large percentage of the workforce are looking to cut out the office for good.
Offering flexibility when it comes to where and when your employees work will help in talent acquisition as well as staff retention.
Cutting back on the commute is most people’s favorite part about working from home. No one likes to travel during rush hour, no matter if it’s in private or public transportation. So for companies looking to get their workers back into the office, offering assistance with travel can be the key.
Rideshares, subsidies for those using public transport, or even company-run shuttle services can take the stress out of the daily commute — boosting morale and productivity.
Development and education
A company culture that promotes leadership development can create a 682% revenue growth according to one long-term study. Not only that, but 80% of people looking to switch careers say lack of professional advancement contributed to their decision.
This makes investing in your employees absolutely essential if you want to keep them on board.
Investing in company-run advancement programs and/or subsidizing college classes can build a connection with your employees — resulting in long-term benefits for both parties.
Opportunities to volunteer
Giving back to the local community is a great way to bolster your company’s reputation, internally and externally. Many employees will be happy to swap the workplace for a chance to volunteer for local charities — especially if they feel like they’re really making a difference where it matters most.
Of course, you’ll always have people who question why they would work for free when they can just stay in the workplace and get paid. If that’s the case with your employees, you can offer incentives such as paid time off, so they can be paid for any volunteering events.
Implement and manage work perks easier with a PEO
Remember how we said this wasn’t an exhaustive list? Well, it’s not. And managing your work perk portfolio can take a lot of time. Fortunately — for you and your SMB — a PEO can help implement and manage employee perks so you don’t have to.
At MartinoWest, we specialize in finding the right PEO for your company. We understand how hectic it can be to grow an SMB, but our HR and PEO bundles are designed to free up your headspace for business-critical tasks.
Start saving time and money by contacting us today!