Attracting and maintaining the best talent is not always an easy task in 2019 and yet, as any manager knows it is key to growth and success of any company. Knowing what perks employees want – and then finding a way to offer them – is a proven way however to attract the best candidates and then help ensure that, once on board they stay.
Defining Perks for the 21st Century
When trying to determine what perks employees want some get things a little mixed up with basic benefits that an employer can offer. There is, however, a significant difference between the definitions of the two;
Benefits — as in employee benefits — are a type of non-wage compensation. If they are not offered by the employer, employees have to fund them on their own.
Perks — as in perquisites or corporate perks — are would be nice -to-have additions to an employee’s salary and benefits package. You can define perks as extra, value add offerings that may sway an employee to opt for, or to value, one employer over another. They are the 'icing on the cake'.
A great employee benefits package is still something employees value and that they will actively look for when looking for a new position or considering making a career change. Perks tend to come into play when an individual is faced with a choice between positions that are both offering an employee benefits package that is appealing.
What Perks Employees Want Now
We've all heard stories about some companies – especially in New York and Silicon Valley – that offer what might seem to some as some very over the top employee perks. Dog sitting. Dry cleaning services. Slides and playgrounds in the office. These, however, are not what most employees actually expect they will be able to find or even go looking for.
What numerous surveys and studies have found however is that the perks employees want are more practical, and therefore, fortunately, easier and more affordable for employers anywhere to implement and offer. Here's a look at the top three.
Work From Anywhere
By work from anywhere we do not mean work from home all the time. But according to some studies employees, especially Millennials and Gen Z'ers, do look for the opportunity to work outside the office at least part time. In fact, according to a 2018 Fundera study it's the perk employees want more than any other on this list.
Workplace Wellness Programs
Workplace wellness programs are things that are increasingly valued by by employees across all age demographics and career levels. No, they are not necessarily looking for a full onsite gym, but things like gym membership discounts, onsite yoga classes, access to free in office basic health checks and similar 'perks' are all popular and attractive to employees.
The good news for employers is that major health insurance companies are making it easier for them to offer these things and the fact that healthier employees are happier, more productive employees is a perk for employers as well.
Free Food – And Good Coffee
When it comes to perks employees want free food is up there, as is GOOD coffee (not the terrible instant kind, the single serve Keurig style stuff) Few expect that they will find the kind of full service gourmet cafe options offered by the likes of Pixar and Google but providing healthy snacks and beverages saves employees time and money and again, there's a benefit for employers in that they can use this employee perk to encourage healthier eating for everyone.