With current talent shortages and the high cost and lost productivity of employee turnover—businesses need to find ways to persuade their team members to stay. To that end, it’s time to make employee satisfaction a priority.
One creative way to show appreciation and entice top talent is with perks.
Company perks are a huge part of branding and culture. They’re one of the things that will entice the best employees to choose your organization over others.
Based on the 2022 Global Trends Survey, employees want perks that focus on their well-being. These care packages make them happier at work and 3.7 times more likely to promote the company to others. However, when perks become repetitive, they lose the employees’ interest. Ideally, perks should be fun and unique so employees will look forward to them.
Unique Perks to Offer Your Employee
Here are some interesting perks you might not have considered:
Casual Dress Code
Most employees are expected to dress for success, especially if they’re working in white-collar industries like legal services and financial institutions. More recently, however, some companies have been more flexible about adopting a relaxed atmosphere.
Allowing employees to dress casually has several advantages. Not only does it make employees happier because they’re more comfortable with what they’re wearing, but it also makes them 47% more productive, according to one survey.
Casual dressing means they no longer have to take special measures to purchase and care for formal work clothes—and they can focus on more meaningful pursuits.
A casual dress code also improves morale and employee confidence by creating a more accessible culture and work environment.
Bring Your Dog to Work
Working environments can be stressful—and pets are excellent stress-busters. Research has found that petting a dog lowers levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and continuous interaction between a human and a dog promotes the release of oxytocin—the feel-good hormone.
Where the environment is suitable, allowing pets at work can be enjoyable for many people, including employees who find it hard to leave their pets at home over long periods. With return-to-office orders already in place in some organizations, some employees will be concerned about their pets. When they can bring their furry friends to the office, they’re less likely to take time off from work.
Remote Days and Summer Fridays
For companies that can’t offer fully remote work arrangements, designated work-from-home days can be welcome. A survey showed that 74% of employees would be less likely to leave their current employers if they were allowed to work remotely. This perk can help reduce employee turnover and improve operations while reducing costs. This flexibility will earn companies bonus points among employees.
Summer Fridays, a company policy that allows flexible work schedules during summer, is another unique perk with positive results. The details can vary, but it has one goal: to help employees prevent burnout. Employees who can take some time off often feel recharged and motivated to work when they return. Ultimately, it benefits employers with increased creativity and productivity.
This practice is also great for attracting new employees—and it’s a good way to elevate employer branding. Job posts mentioning flexibility have more reach and engagement.
Certain expenses, such as work meals and corporate clothes, are work-related, and yet fall under the employee's responsibility. One unusual perk that most employees won’t expect but would value is freebies. These items should not be work-related but should help people perform their jobs better.
Free meals are one idea, and companies can also offer health and wellness services such as massages and yoga classes. Rotate the offers regularly to increase interest and employee participation—and ensure people know about it so they can take advantage.
Working from home during the pandemic, many employees came to realize just how inconvenient and expensive commuting can be. With most organizations requiring employees to return to the office, commuting to work is a barrier. For some employees, it’s reason enough to quit their jobs and find work closer to home.
Companies that implement full onsite or hybrid work models should consider offering commuter benefits to their employees. This financial incentive allows employees to put away pretax deductions to cover qualified expenses related to workplace travel. It’s a win-win for both employees and employers as it can help reduce taxable income and payroll taxes, respectively.
Organizations can also offer carpooling and shuttles to ease the challenges of daily commutes to work. On top of the monetary benefit of slashing travel expenses, commuting assistance also helps your company contribute to increased environmental awareness.
Paid Volunteer Days
Paid volunteer days or volunteer time off (VTO) is a rising trend that gives your business the opportunity to contribute to society in meaningful ways while also appealing to socially-conscious young workers. VTOs can be a powerful initiative for increasing employee satisfaction.
Integrating this offering with existing systems like a time-clock app will make it easier for employees to take advantage of the perk. HR teams can also find it easier to manage their schedules and salaries.
Employee Perks Like No Other
With so many workers leaving their jobs in search of more satisfying experiences, employers must consider how they can protect the future of their business—and the investment they’ve made in their staff. Employee experience matters, so collect feedback from team members and invest in offerings that will make them feel valued. A relaxed and productive work culture, including creative perks, will help attract and retain the top talent you need.
Dean Mathews is the founder and CEO of OnTheClock, an employee time tracking app that helps over 15,000 companies all around the world track time.
Dean has over 20 years of experience designing and developing business apps. He views software development as a form of art. If the artist creates a masterpiece, many people’s lives are touched and changed for the better. When he is not perfecting time tracking, Dean enjoys expanding his faith, spending time with family and friends, and finding ways to make the world just a little better.