With more and more employers jumping on the fun perk train to stand out from the crowd, it can sometimes be a challenge to figure out which perks employees will truly appreciate and which are just gimmicks. We’ve all seen those nap rooms that never get used or the flashy rock-climbing walls that only fit some people’s lifestyles.
But fear not! Let’s delve into some of the unique work perks that larger companies are implementing to attract and retain top talent. These perks can be a game-changer when it comes to boosting employee engagement and loyalty.
1. Volunteer Time Off
Whether you’re a multinational corporation or a small family-run business, we can all lend a helping hand to our communities. Not only does volunteering help reduce stress and make us feel good, but it can also benefit your company. According to Fortune, two-thirds of millennials prefer working for a company that values activism. Moreover, those participating in company volunteering programs are four times more likely to share their volunteer experiences. So, offering a Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program can attract younger talent and increase word-of-mouth referrals.
2. Pet-Friendly Office
We all find it hard to resist those adorable puppy dog eyes when leaving for work each morning. And it turns out we’re not alone! Studies show that two out of three employees believe pets should be allowed in the workplace, and many are willing to spearhead the effort to make it happen. Creating a pet-friendly office environment can bring real benefits, such as reducing stress and improving well-being. Not to mention the potential cost-savings for employees who would otherwise spend on pet daycare or walking services, you don’t have to go to the extreme like Amazon’s Seattle HQ with its 10,000 dogs; start by slowly introducing pets to the workspace for short durations.
3. Paid Birthday Off
Birthdays are special for everyone, and who doesn’t love a day off? Offering employees a paid day off on their birthday is a meaningful way to acknowledge their special day, going beyond the usual cupcakes and cards. Companies like Texas A&M, Redsquid, and even Richard Branson’s Virgin Media have already implemented this simple yet highly appreciated perk. If you’re concerned about employees not wanting their birthdays celebrated, you can twist this perk and honour their work anniversary instead. It’s all about making your team feel seen and valued.
4. Free Food
We all know that everyone needs to eat, but the demands of today’s work culture often lead employees to skip meals. A study by Tork revealed that a significant percentage of employees feel they need to be encouraged to take proper lunch breaks, fearing it may reflect poorly on them. However, those who take consistent breaks want to be more engaged in the company. You can lead by example by stocking the break room with healthy snacks or providing catered lunches once a month. When you take care of your employees’ hunger, you show appreciation and boost productivity and save them time by eliminating the need to go off-site.
5. Gym Membership
Why not offer free or discounted gym memberships instead of an on-site gym that employees may need help finding time for? This gives them the freedom to choose when and where to work out. By investing in your employees’ well-being, you’re displaying genuine care about their health. And when employees feel valued, they are more likely to stay with your company, reducing turnover. Plus, offering gym memberships can also help improve fitness and reduce sick leave costs in the long run.
Remember, while these fun perks can be the icing on the cake when it comes to attracting employees, the most critical factors are still compensation, benefits, and flexibility. So, choose perks that align with your company’s mission and culture and actually meet your employees’ needs. Keep them inclusive, and communicate openly with your team about what’s available and how to participate.
With thoughtful consideration, perks can make your employees feel appreciated and understood while acting as a cost-effective way to enhance your employer brand.