Employee Perks: What Employees Really Want While Navigating The Future Of Work
Importance of employee perks
In the modern workplace, perks have become as much about attracting and retaining talent as they are about engaging employees and appreciating their contributions. In fact, a massive 70% of employees would value perks over a pay raise. Perks can also improve employee well-being and productivity, help you build a unique company culture, and set you apart from competitors.
Employees have come to expect more from their employer than just a paycheck. A 2018 report from Glassdoor found that 82% of employees said they would prefer new or additional benefits over a pay raise, and 59% said they would choose benefits over a promotion.
Yet all too often, the benefits offered by employers are out of touch with what employees really need and want. That's particularly true now as we continue to navigate our way through the future of work.
How to find employee perks that keep them engaged?
The process of selecting the right perks is not that much different from what you probably do when shopping for a new pair of shoes. You have to find if your employees like and see if they fit you properly.
However, before you start testing the waters with new perks, take some extra time to evaluate whether each option aligns with the culture you want to build in your organization. This will help ensure that no matter how exciting an offering may seem at first glance, it has long-term value for both employees and the business itself.
Here are a few ways to do it.
- The best way to do this is by asking your employees what they want.
- If your company has a portal where employees can make comments and share ideas, use it!
- It could be as simple as using survey software to conduct a quick poll, or you can really dive deep into their preferences that helps identify what makes your people tick.
- Make getting employee input part of the perks selection process by asking for suggestions before you implement anything new.
- It's helpful to get feedback from employees at different levels and in various departments so you can offer something that's truly inclusive. Once you have their input, it's time to decide how to implement the new employee perk(s) into your organizational structure.
5 Employee perks that your employees actually want in 2022
1. Flexible Work Schedules
Studies show that flexible work schedules are one of the most popular perks for job seekers and existing employees.
Employees everywhere want to be able to work how they want, where they want and when they want. Why? Because it offers them more control over their lives and for many people, office life just isn’t cutting it anymore and that means limiting productivity, happiness and overall success.
Offering flexible work schedules is another way to show your employees that you trust them and want them to have a healthy work-life balance. Whether that means allowing someone who's a morning person to come in later or allowing employees who live in a city with heavy traffic to avoid the rush hour, flexible hours can help your people feel valued. Some companies even allow their employees to work remotely full time, which is another great option that can give people more control over their time and their output.
2. Health and wellness Initiatives
Wellness programs aren't new, but they're evolving quickly as more organizations embrace them. In fact, 80% of companies now offer some type of wellness program. It's becoming increasingly important for employers to get creative with their benefits offerings.
A traditional health plan just isn't enough anymore; organizations need to think about what else they can do to help increase employee engagement and productivity. Whether it's offering gym memberships or providing healthy lunches at work, there are tons of ways you can encourage your people to make healthier choices while at work.
3. Education and Development Programs
An organization's learning and development programs are a key factor in ensuring employees feel valued.
There's a pretty strong correlation between the education and development programs that organizations offer as part of their overall benefits package and employee satisfaction. This is particularly true for younger generations, but also applies to older workers who are concerned they may lose their job due to the changing nature of work.
You can also include offering mentoring programs in employee perks you offer. They help people grow professionally, boost employee morale, and increase retention rates. Additionally, they encourage your employees to learn new skills, develop their talents, and achieve their career goals.
4. Career Advancement Opportunities
Career development is an area where many businesses fall short. But this is one perk that employees really want: the opportunity to learn and grow. They don't just want a job; they want a career. Through professional development opportunities such as coaching, mentoring and career advancement opportunities, organizations can be able to help their employees reach their full potential, both personally and professionally.
This will become increasingly important as we navigate the future of work. Providing employees with opportunities for personal development will help them feel confident in their skillset, while simultaneously improving their job performance.
5. Paid Time Off
The pandemic has upended work/life balance for many employees. Surveys show that when asked employees what perks they most wanted, PTO was their number one response.
Paid time off allows employees to take time out of the office and come back rejuvenated, energized and ready to contribute at full capacity. When an employee has access to enough PTO, he or she can take regular vacations to recharge and spend time with family.
You may have noticed that paid time off is also a great way for companies to attract talent — especially Millennials, who value work-life balance over salary more than previous generations.
6. Family-friendly Perks
A full half of all employees say they’d switch jobs to get better family-friendly perks — including paid leave, company-paid babysitting and flexible schedules. Make sure you're offering perks (and benefits) that help employees get the family care they need, whether it's by providing them with a day off to take their kid to the doctor or on-site childcare.
Additionally, consider perks like parental leave, which is associated with higher retention rates and better performance because it reduces the stress of new parents worried about how they're going to balance work and home life.
But remember, "family" isn't limited to blood relatives or kids. For example, some people might have elderly parents who require more support than before, so you might consider offering eldercare services or other types of family leave for your employees who need it.
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Takeaway: It's important to know what your employees appreciate in order to attract and retain the best talent. Make sure your employee benefits reflect those desires! Employee perks are a major factor in attracting and retaining talent. But companies that focus solely on perks without a holistic approach to employee engagement will have a difficult time developing strong, committed employees who are motivated to drive business results. As workplaces continue to evolve, the employee experience has become a competitive differentiator for many companies.
Bonus: Looking to improve your employee engagement? We have a wide range of team building activities designed to help your employees build relationships, solve problems, generate new ideas and ultimately increase employee engagement through the power of fun experiences.