Work perks are rewards and privileges that organizations provide employees in addition to their usual pay. These benefits are intended to increase employee engagement and productivity.
Work perks can vary greatly depending on the organization and sector. However, some typical examples include flexible work schedules, remote work choices, opportunities for professional growth, health and wellness initiatives, childcare aid, retirement plans, and bonuses.
Why are work perks important?
Work perks can boost and support better levels of employee satisfaction. Ye (2015) discovered that high-tech companies provide employee benefits to entice and retain IT professionals who quickly adjust to technological change. According to Mottaz (1985), extrinsic social rewards come in second to intrinsic rewards as significant predictors of pleasure across all occupational categories.
15 work perks that employees need
Employers must put their work perks first in a competitive employment market to attract top talent. The 15 work perks listed below will help you increase employee employee engagement.
1. Employee Recognition
A little gratitude goes a long way. One of the most sought-after strategies for boosting workplace satisfaction is employee recognition. 80% of workers would put in more effort if they were more valued. Incorporate regular feedback, send messages of gratitude, and little but thoughtful gifts to your staff to recognize their efforts.
2. Paid Parental Leave
Paid parental leave is one of the best benefits for workers. They may enjoy time with their child and not worry about losing wages or dealing with other concerns thanks to planned maternity and paternity leaves. A 2016 EY research covering 1,500 businesses discovered that over 80% of those who provide paid family leave reported higher employee morale and over 70% higher productivity.
3. Vacation / Paid Time Off
Paid vacation days and other paid time off are necessary to make this happen. Include paid time off in your leave policy. It's also one of the inexpensive employee benefits for small businesses that reward you greatly with a more productive workforce.
4. Wellness Program
Every effective wellness program's key selling point is its capacity to trigger lasting behavior change. The definition of "wellness" has changed over the last few years to encompass much more. Wellness was once viewed as requiring gym subscriptions and the construction of on-site exercise facilities. But nowadays, wellness is applied uniquely. It now stands for a balanced diet and routine exercises, a commitment to mental health support, mindfulness, rest, stress reduction, financial well-being, organizational culture, and leadership behaviors.
Related: 11 Employee Wellness Program Ideas to Enhance Workplaces
Businesses adopting workplace wellness initiatives claim increased productivity 66%, increased employee satisfaction by 67%, increased financial stability and growth of 63%, and decreased absenteeism by 50%.
5. Work Perks: Childcare facilities
Employees with kids frequently worry about their infants' security at daycare centers. They may also find it difficult to afford the added cost of child care. Companies may consider offering on-site nurseries and childcare services to assist them. Of course, it's a special employee benefit, but it's also helpful.
6. Work Perks: Professional Development
Providing opportunities for learning and development is one of the efficient and practical work perks. Employees are now much more interested in learning about new technology and developing their abilities to advance their careers. Research by SHRM states that 68 percent of workers would stay with their employer throughout their career if the employer tried to upskill them. Companies are 17% more productive and generate 218% more profit per employee when people obtain the training they require. The more motivated people are to be productive if they can advance their expertise while employed.
7. Flexible Hours
This work perk aligns with the trend toward greater flexibility in the workforce. According to recent research, 95% of workers prefer schedule flexibility, and 78% want location flexibility. When it comes to the requirement for employees to provide their best work, it is crucial. Additionally, giving workers control over their schedules positively impacts their mental health.
Some firms allow their employees to work from home and offer flexible work hours. This is possible for jobs that rely on computer technology and internet access but do not call for an employee's physical presence.
8. Retirement Plan
According to Voya Financial Research's November data in 2022, 60% of workers are more likely to stay with their present company if they offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
Casual Dress Code
Casual dress codes are among the work perks companies have in the workplace more frequently. Employers see the advantages of allowing their staff to dress casually and comfortably.
In addition to being practical and convenient, a more lenient dress code can greatly impact productivity and employee happiness. Companies can foster a more upbeat and inclusive workplace where staff members feel appreciated and respected by allowing them to wear however they feel most comfortable. Studies show that 61% of employees are more productive when the clothing code is relaxed.
9. Free food and drinks
According to ILO research, appropriate nutrition can increase national production by 20%.
Fortunately, you can take advantage of these culinary benefits without spending a fortune. Longer meal breaks, food discounts, paying employees to eat out, or serving some or all of their meals throughout the workday are all options.
10. Paid Sick Days
Employees can take time off work to recover from illnesses thanks to paid sick days. Most businesses permit employees to take a predetermined number of paid sick days without being penalized. Paid sick days lower the percentage of workers who show up to work sick. Additionally, studies show that regions with paid sick days laws experience an average 1.9 percent boost in employment.
11. Performance Bonus
Although they have their limits, financial incentives nevertheless matter to employees. Employees or teams who perform at a level that meets or exceeds expectations are paid performance bonuses.
12. Work Perks: Scholarships for children
A creative work perk to inspire employees is to award scholarships to their offspring. Employees with children who receive scholarships are likelier to be at the company longer.
13. Financial Planning
Some workers might require assistance managing their finances, including paying off school loans, financing mortgages, and setting money aside for future needs. Some employers provide this kind of help.
14. Discounts on company products and services
Depending on the sector, providing employees access to reduced corporate goods and services is an excellent approach to assist them financially. Employee discount programs can enhance loyalty and pride in the organization by providing employees with exclusive discounts and privileges. This may result in more worker engagement, greater job satisfaction, and, ultimately, a more devoted and effective workforce.
Related: Top 10 Employee benefits
Work perks are crucial for any company since they aid in attracting and retaining employees. Companies can improve their employees' overall job satisfaction and increase productivity by offering competitive benefit packages to their staff.
Nolwazi Mlala is a Business Analytics Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm.
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