It’s a difficult topic — tech companies are famous for employee perks such as free onsite daycare, company parties with celebrities in attendance and custom gourmet coffee bars. How can your company keep up with such attention-grabbing perks — and can you even afford them?
The truth is you don’t have to pay for an appearance by Justin Timberlake at your company Christmas party to attract and retain employees. There are many creative and innovative employee benefits you could offer to generate buzz among the top talent in your industry and position your company as one worth working for.
1. Company cars
Depending on the type of industry your company is in, providing employees with a company vehicle has many benefits for both the employee and the company. An employee can save on wear and tear on their personal vehicle and present a more professional appearance on behalf of the business. Your company could write off the company car expense for tax purposes, and if you place signage on the vehicle you’ll get the benefit of free advertising.
There are drawbacks — if the vehicle is involved in an accident, your company could be liable for the actions of the employee. Additionally, maintaining a fleet of company cars adds capital expenses. You’ll need to evaluate whether your company can afford the cars, along with any maintenance and insurance costs.
2. In-office wellness program
Creating a healthy workplace can improve your employees’ productivity. An in-office wellness program doesn’t have to be expensive to implement — there are many simple ways to reduce stress and improve employee wellbeing. Some ideas to improve the workplace environment include:
- Adding living plants throughout the workspace: Plants can improve the air quality in a room, reducing staff sickness and boosting productivity.
- Allowing well-behaved dogs to come to work with employees once per week: Dogs create a relaxed atmosphere in the workplace and can help with stress relief.
- Adding a large fish tank in the common area or breakroom: If bringing your pets to work isn’t feasible, aquarium-gazing is an excellent way to relieve stress.
- Implement a desk stretching regimen: Creating a short, guided program of stretches that can easily be performed by team members from their desks can help reduce injuries from long periods of sitting.
- Add a weekly guided yoga class: Pay for a yoga instructor to come to the office once or twice per week at lunchtime or before work hours to lead a guided yoga class for interested employees.
- Switch out the vending machine: If you have soda or snack vending machines, consider swapping the options with healthier alternatives, such as green juices, organic snacks and gluten-free or vegan offerings.
3. Alternative healthcare options
Most employees expect medical insurance as part of their employee benefits package. Having access to a GP isn’t enough these days, especially if you plan on retaining high-achieving employees.
There are other essential doctors’ appointments your staff may be interested in besides the basic annual checkup. You can add value to your company’s healthcare plan by including extras such as acupuncture, dermatology, dental care, marriage counseling, therapy and more.
4. Home office design stipend
Many employees are now working from home and aren’t expecting to return to the office. Roughly 43% of U.S. employees would like to continue working from home after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. If you have a remote worker program established for your company, consider adding a home office design stipend as part of your employee benefits package.
Giving your employee an allowance to create a productive home workspace could improve the quality and output of your employees’ work. Provide a checklist of suggestions they can use the funds for, such as:
- A desk
- An ergonomic chair
- Faster-speed internet
- A file system
5. Don’t overlook the employee benefits package
Offering new hires and existing employees a variety of perks can go a long way towards higher morale and improved productivity. They don’t have to be large or dramatic but should improve your team’s quality of life. It doesn’t take a sizeable investment to provide good benefits your staff appreciate. In many cases, the benefits you provide your team can be leveraged for tax deductions to help your company reduce your tax liability.
Don’t be afraid to review and revisit your perks over time. You may find that your team isn’t making use of the benefits you implemented as you’d hope. You can always adjust or adapt your offerings as you go to tailor-make a benefits package worth its weight in gold.