There is a lot to consider before accepting a job. Salary and benefits are arguably the most important consideration for job seekers. Depending on how large your business is, you may not be required to provide benefits. However, if you don’t you could be missing out on an opportunity to appeal to more job seekers and attract top talent.
Benefits are typically thought of as healthcare coverage and a 401(k) account. But they can be so much more than that. Benefits include everything you provide your employees above and beyond their wages.
While it can be expensive to provide traditional forms of benefits, there are some low-cost perks you can add to your benefits offering that are easy and effective ways to attract and retain employees.
Add These Perks to Your Benefits
Perks are additional rewards, incentives, discounts, or activities that provide value for employees on top of their salary. They’re often non-wage compensation but can highlight that you care about your employees and their well-being just as much as traditional benefits. Here are some of the most common perks you can offer your employees:
- Remote or Flexible Schedules: The value of a remote or hybrid work model can’t be stressed enough when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. But even if you can’t offer remote options, provide your employees with more flexibility by letting them determine their working hours within a set time frame. Letting them come in earlier or later makes commuting, handling childcare, appointments, or urgent matters stress-free — and is a big part of work-life balance.
- Office Drinks and Snacks: For a low monthly budget, incorporating office drinks and snacks is a great way to fuel your employees. Having food and drinks available also promotes breaks. As research shows, breaks can increase employee productivity, memory, creativity, health, and reduce stress.
- Awards and Celebrations: Recognition improves job satisfaction and employee engagement. While providing bonuses is nice, they can be expensive. Have monthly all-staff meetings where employees receive culture or performance awards in front of their peers. Or host company get-togethers from BBQs, holiday parties, or happy hours. Both are relatively low-cost ways to show recognition and appreciation for your employees.
- Discounts: Depending on the size of your company, you can receive discounts on a variety of perks. Travel, gym memberships, events, or child care are all areas where you can work with businesses to pool your employee’s buying power and provide discounts on those services.
- Career Guidance or Mentorship: Though every manager should work with their employee to develop growth plans, providing a mentor or guidance outside an employee’s supervisor can be impactful. Assign a mentor or friend to show new employees around or to actively participate in their career development. A designated mentor provides a sounding board for employees and makes it easier for them to adjust to workplace conflict, changes, or growth.
- Commuting Assistance: Providing monthly stipends towards commuter benefits such as a parking pass or public transportation makes it easier to accept a role. In many urban areas this can even be an expectation.
- Tuition, Learning Credit, or Student Loan Assistance: To promote ongoing learning and career advancement, consider setting aside a set amount for each employee to pursue learning opportunities. Or offer to pay part of their tuition or loan up to a set amount each month or year. Not every team member will take advantage of this, but those who truly value learning will appreciate the benefit.
- Wellness Sponsorships: On-site fitness classes, flu shot clinics, health assessments, and financial wellness courses are all ways to get your employees on the right track mentally, physically, and financially. You can work with local businesses or your healthcare provider to coordinate a variety of these wellness programs.
- Unique Paid Time Off: Offer a couple designated days your employees can take off such as their birthday, a floating holiday, or a volunteer day. They can be a fun way for your team to recharge and add to your employees’ total time off balance.
How to Incorporate Perks Into Your Benefits
Not all of these perks need to be a part of your benefits offering. But incorporating 2-3 of them can go a long way in rounding out your benefits package. To determine which ones make the most sense, ask your employees!
Send out an employee survey to see which types of perks would appeal to them most. The preference for different perks can vary depending on the type of culture you have. And though these perks are low-cost, you’ll have to set aside a small budget. Based on the number of employees you have, do some math to determine what amount you’ll have per employee. Your budget, combined with your employee’s preferences, will help determine which perks you’ll be able to provide.
Your benefits package and perks can be powerful for attracting and retaining talent. Glassdoor has found that 4 out of 5 employees would prefer better benefits and perks over a pay raise. So choose your perks wisely and find other ways to improve your benefits with this guide.