Perks and Benefits: Flashiness or Results

Businesses feel like they’re missing out on talent because they don’t have the right perks and benefits. While perks are secondary to a benefits plan, they can’t be a passive rollout.

Choosing the right perks can either amplify or damage your company culture.

What is the perk for?

Before buying a ping pong table for the common area, ask why you’re getting it.

Sometimes management can get lost in why they’re adding new perks. It looks cool on paper, but if you’re not sure what your employees need, it can feel out of touch.

Talk to employees about their daily work and how they feel. Find our what perks or changes can help them do better work and feel happier. Is it additional benefits or opportunities for career growth?

Cupakes on a plate. Catered lunch and snacks are considered company perks.

What’s the motive?

Offering employees something for free can sometimes feel like it comes with a catch.

A common example is “unlimited” benefits. Vacation time, maternity leave, or gym memberships. When employees have to hold themselves accountable, they compare themselves to peers.

No one wants to seem like they’re taking advantage of the system. Ultimately, employees avoid taking any vacation at all.

Find ways to help employees see there’s no catch attached to the perks you offer.

Employee communicating to her team with post it notes on a whiteboard.

Communicating Value

There’s a delicate balance between providing benefits and perks to employees and hurting the bottom line.

Determine the soft ROIs (sometimes called VOIs) to see how well perks are performing. Consider the broader context of what it’s costing the business.

Perks like catered lunch every week may seem expensive, but if they’re offset by employees getting back to work faster or feeling positive about where they work, it could be a net positive.

No matter what you decide to offer, know that it can be tough to get rid of them once they’re in place. Going back on your promise of catered lunch may save a little cash, but can damage your reputation.

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