11 Nov Create Office Cheer: Here are 5 of the Best Company Perks
For decades, many companies have provided employees with benefits like pensions, medical insurance and vacation. But in recent years, employers are getting more creative in what they offer. Useful perks – things really perceived as having value – can increase morale and encourage loyalty. And not all ideas have to be a huge investment.
Here are five of the best company perks that can really matter:
Health club discounts – Everyone is trying to get fit, stay fit or at least thinking about it. Whether you can actually cover the initial membership fee or subsidize monthly dues, gym benefits are increasingly popular. Another (possible) option – creating a gym onsite. Depending on the number of employees and the cost of gym memberships, it might be more cost effective to have a place to work out right in the office.
Free beverages – It’s so simple but overlooked more often than you might think. Just offering a kitchen with a refrigerator stocked with cold drinks (ideally more water and sports drinks than soda), really can make a difference.
[bctt tweet=”Provide coffee also – and spring for the good stuff – having quality caffeine is a big bonus at work.”]
For extra points, offer free food as well. It can be as simple as healthy snacks like energy bars and raw nuts, or the occasional Monday morning bagels.
Child care – On-site child care is not cheap or as easy as some of these other company perks, but it also will be valued much more significantly. Not only will it be a boon to current employees, it can even make the difference for new hires who have to take into account costs of nannies and day care. Only about 7% of employers currently offer such services, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be ahead of the curve.
Summer Fridays – Half-day Fridays, especially during the summer months, have become more popular and employees relish the chance to beat the evening traffic and head out of town for the weekend. And from an accounting perspective, it’s totally free to implement.
Depending on the business you are in, summer might be a slower season, when it is reasonable to do five days work in four and a half. If you set basic guidelines (check email and voicemail, don’t leave early when the workload doesn’t allow for it), most people will be responsible and use the extra time without abusing the policy.
Massage services – Everyone gets at least occasional work-related stress, and even a ten minute chair massage can go a long way. Having on-site therapists means employees don’t have to take time to travel to an appointment, and could even mean they are more relaxed and productive if they take the time to de-stress. Depending on the size of the company, this could be a permanent perk or something offered once a month.
These company perks can make a big difference.
These kinds of benefits are a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts – in other words, they may seem small, but the more of them that you can introduce to your workplace, the greater overall benefit. There are countless studies about employee happiness and overall productivity, general health and retention. For the time and energy it can cost to repair low morale or replace headcount, it is so much easier and more positive to take active steps to improve the culture of your company. Ultimately, which are the best company perks depends on your organization and its particular needs. As always, if you can surprise and delight your employees, they are likely to return the favor.