happy employees

To obtain quality employees, businesses have come up with some exciting perks. Google offers its employees biweekly chair massages, and lunches made by professional chefs. SAS offers scholarship programs for children of employees, and Twitter offers catered meals and acupuncture treatments.

Although these businesses have gone to extreme lengths to retain employees, they set a precedent for other companies, and their practices aren’t far off base. Glassdoor’s Employment Confidence Survey of 2015 found that approximately 60 percent of people said benefits are a significant factor in their decision to accept a job offer. Additionally, 80 percent would opt for additional benefits over a pay raise.

Most businesses, however, don’t have the budget to hire professional chefs or on-call acupuncturists. When it comes to benefits, it’s essential to invest in perks that employees want. This way, your hard-earned money can be beneficially reinvested in your business.

Healthcare and Retirement

The most traditional form of benefits – healthcare and retirement benefits – have become staples that most employees expect to receive. As these become more common, many employees won’t consider employment without them. Luckily for small businesses, there is a way to offer these benefits without breaking the bank.

According to Layne Dalvin, founder of NetPEO, “Not only can professional employer organizations (PEOs) partner with small businesses to offer payroll and HR support, but they can also provide employees improved benefits at a lower cost”.

Flexible and Remote Work Options

Although this perk might not come to mind at first, it is one of the top desired benefits by employees. As technology becomes more reliable and businesses change their platforms and functioning style, these types of options will become more and more common.

Paid Family Leave

One of the most important benefits to employees is paid family leave. Paid leave for new parents, foster parents, adoption, and surrogacy have all increased among businesses nationwide.

Professional Development

Many individuals have a desire to better themselves, and this includes their careers. In a survey done by the insurance company Unum, over a third of employees put professional development in their top five wishlist. Offering professional development not only improves employee morale, but it helps increase retention rates and efficiency.

Gym Membership

Providing fitness options to employees via a free gym membership or on-site fitness facilities is a perk that many employees value. Not only will it help employee morale, but it will promote their health reducing sick leave and health insurance costs.

Health Coaching

Health coaching has become a standard offer among businesses, often alongside a typical health insurance plan. From 2016 to 2017, the percentage of employers offering health coaching increased from 63 percent to 72 percent.

Fitness Incentives

Almost 20 percent of employees desire incentives for achieving their fitness goals. Incentives can range from qualifying employees being entered into a drawing, to reductions in health insurance.

On-site Healthy Snacks

It is common to find high-calorie foods in most businesses across the nation. However, many employees state they would value convenient, healthy snacks as an option throughout the day. High-sugar, low-nutrient foods can help employees for a short while, but will later result in a sugar crash that leaves them foggy and irritable. Healthy options help control blood sugar and sustain energy levels.

Sabbatical Leave

Only 5 percent of businesses offer sabbatical leave even though over 30 percent of employees say they’d like access to extended leave time.

Student Loan Repayment

As more and more entry-level employees have college degrees, there is an increased desire for student loan repayment options. Many businesses still do not offer a program to help pay off student debt, but this will likely continue to be a desire among employees as college degrees become more commonplace.

Financial Planning

Financial planning resources can include a variety of areas including debt reduction, asset management, and savings accounts. Approximately 25 percent of businesses offer services in this area.

Identity Theft Protection

Identity theft is becoming a common issue in today’s world. Although few businesses offer this kind of protection to employees, many say that it is something they would value should their employer provide such benefits.

Public Transit Assistance

In cities where public transit is standard, many employees state that they would value assistance in this area. Often, public transportation can be costly, and assistance with the costs would be a huge benefit to those relying on those resources. Additionally, it could encourage more employees to use public transit helping to reduce pollution in the environment.

Pet-Friendly Offices

Many employees express a desire to work in a pet-friendly work environment. Although not practical in all business situations, employees state that they feel a stronger connection to employers that offer pet-friendly environments.

Pet Insurance

As many individuals are waiting until later in their lives to have children, they often turn to pets in the meantime. Additionally, many individuals with grown children have opted to bring in a furry friend for company. These employees have stated a desire for pet insurance to help take care of their extended families.

Dedicated Volunteer Hours

Many employees express a desire for paid time off in which to volunteer at local charity organizations. Some businesses already offer this benefit, and many are expected to add it in the future. Currently, approximately 22 percent of companies offer paid time off for employees to volunteer, 20 percent offer paid time off to serve on the board of a community group, and 42 percent take part in community volunteer programs.


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