6 Fun & Innovative Perks to Offer Your Employees
Updated: Nov 22, 2019
September 25, 2019
You may have noticed that simply offering 401(k) matching and a decent health insurance package is no longer enough to attract new recruits, especially those in the millennial age group, or even to retain existing staff members. Why? The answer is simple: people’s standards are higher.
People are flocking to new and innovative firms that offer perks like craft beer on tap, unlimited PTO, telecommuting, and pet-friendly work spaces just to name a few. Even though these things may seem out of the ordinary, expensive, or even distracting, it’s beginning to become the norm; and when comparing two employers, people are far more likely to take a job from a company that allows their dog to sit on their lap during staff meetings.
The executive team at Pure has recently been revamping our company benefit offerings in order to remain fresh and competitive as an employer in 2019. As we were brainstorming ways to make Pure a more exciting and rewarding place to work, we realized that other people might need a reminder to revisit their perks, too.
We also realized that not every company is able to offer some of the more robust and expensive perks like unlimited PTO or beer on tap, especially when you are a small operation or when a perk like this isn’t realistic for your company culture.
So, for this post we decided to share some ideas to get you thinking of easy and relatively inexpensive perks that are both attractive to job seekers and realistic to implement. Here are 6 ideas that will incorporate nicely into your already awesome benefits package.
1. Go green
People these days, especially Millennials, expect corporations to be proactive in minimizing their carbon footprints. Therefore, one of the best ways to remain competitive and attract new talent is to be a green workplace. Here are some basic yet effective ways to reduce your workplace’s waste and energy usage:
Provide easy-to-access recycle bins
Limit single-use plastic utensils and paper plates in your breakroom and provide reusable dishes for employees to use instead
Encourage employees to turn off lights when not in a room (bathrooms, conference rooms, etc.)
Provide each employee a reusable water bottle to help eliminate single-use water bottles
Place a limit on the number of pages each employee can print and encourage recycling/reuse of throw-away paper
Encourage biking to work or carpooling if realistic for employees
Coordinate team volunteer community clean-up days
Taking even the smallest steps towards being a more eco-friendly workplace will convey to current employees and interested recruits that your company cares about the health and wellness of our planet.
2. Offer telecommuting and remote work options
In today’s ultra-digitized world, telecommuting and remote working is almost unavoidable. If your company culture and workflow allow, offering the freedom to work from home or other remote location is a great way to make your company more attractive to new talent and increases the pool of available recruits. You’re no longer limited to the talent available within a 20-mile radius of your office building; instead, you open your company up to all the talent in a reasonable time zone who have a laptop and a reliable Wi-Fi signal. Here’s a great article by Forbes about the benefits of offering telecommuting.
Of course, we understand that this isn’t logistically possible for every company, but if it is possible for yours, you should consider it.
3. Prioritize health and wellness
Similar to going green in the workplace, more and more companies are recognizing the mass societal shift towards healthy living. Not only do employees want to be healthy, you should want your employees to be healthy, too.
There are several easy and low-maintenance ways to begin prioritizing the health and wellness of your team, such as encouraging walking meetings around your office complex instead of simply sitting in the conference room, opting for healthier food options when catering staff events, stocking your break room fridge with fruit juices and sparkling water instead of soda, providing standing desks to employees who want them, and reminding your team to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
This article suggests some other great ways to start incorporating a health & wellness program into your company benefits. It also lists some of the benefits of promoting healthy lifestyles for your employees, which include reduced absenteeism, greater productivity, and higher employee satisfaction and retention.
4. Welcome pets
We realize this perk isn't realistic for every workplace, especially those in the food industry or those that rely on cleanliness and sanitation in general. It also won’t be successful if anyone on your team has pet allergies, so before making the leap to a pet-friendly workplace, be sure to evaluate whether this perk is right for you and your team.
If you decide this is something you’d like to incorporate into your perks package, you’ll need to consider employee responsibilities and potential liabilities when welcoming pets into the office. Is the pet up to date on their vaccinations? Are they house-trained? Are they good with other people/animals? How much time should employees devote to keeping their pets entertained, or taking them on bathroom breaks?
We’re not trying to talk you out welcoming pets, but this is arguably the most logistically complex perk on this list. We encourage you to really think this one through before committing to it.
Additionally, don’t feel obligated to commit to having dogs and cats roaming around the office every day. An easy compromise is to have a set ‘Bring Your Cat/Dog to Work Day’ a few times a year. This way employees still feel the freedom to enjoy their fur babies at work, just not every day.
With all that being said, this perk is definitely worth looking into. Not only does it make you more attractive to job seekers, becoming a pet friendly workplace can also provide a sharp boost in team morale and overall employee happiness at work, which is a win for everyone!
5. Encourage growth
This is probably the most expensive update to your company benefits package on the list, but it will surely keep you competitive with other employers. To encourage employee growth and development, many companies offer tuition assistance for employees who are seeking continued education, degrees, certifications, etc. To remain competitive as an employer, you may want to consider ways to incentivize your team to grow and develop their skills.
Investing in your people is a great way to show you want them to stick around, thereby improving employee satisfaction and retention. In addition, encouraging your team to seek growth and development opportunities will benefit you too because doing so increases the quality and knowledge base of your workforce.
6. Have fun!
The last ‘perk’ on the list isn’t really a perk; instead it is a reminder to make your company a fun place to work. Celebrate your staff for their accomplishments, sing happy birthday to them, sign everyone up for fun team building activities, encourage funny t-shirts on casual Friday, slip jokes into memos, and try to make them laugh as often as possible. At the end of the day, this is the best perk you can offer. Even though we all come to work to get things done, that doesn’t mean we can’t do it with a smile on our face!
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