Fifty-seven percent of people report benefits and perks as one the most important considerations before accepting a job, according to a 2015 Harris Poll conducted for Glassdoor. Employee perks also benefit organizations by helping to create employee satisfation, productivity, and loyalty. In light of this, should businesses do more to re-evaluate employee perks?
What's Being Offered in the Marketplace
In 2015, several employers amped up their perks, becoming more attractive to prospective employees. Las Vegas-based online retailer Zappos is intentional about offering perks. Bhawna Provenzano, Zappos' senior manager of benefits and wellness, said Zappos offers a variety of perks for employees such as nap rooms, a fitness center with scheduled classes, game areas and free breakfast, snacks and drinks. The organization also reimburses 100 percent for Weight Watchers and pays 5K and half marathon entry fees. They also offer more traditional perks like flexible scheduling and a 40 percent employee discount with the option of having purchases delivered to their desks.
Many perks are employee-driven and based on need, according to Provenzano. "Flexible scheduling came about because we moved to a more self-organized type of workplace, so the stringent schedule that we once had might not have made sense," she said.
Also, new programs give rise to other perks. For example, fitness perks can come about when an organization develops a wellness program. Many organizations offer perks that simply align with who they are. For example, Patagonia provides scooters and on-site yoga for employees, according to the Washington Post. Airbnb gives employees an annual travel stipend, according to Business Insider. These perks are not only effective because they help their employees live the mission of the organization, but they are also benefits that the employees actually want.
When to Re-Evaluate Employee Perks
Organizations should be continually evaluating perks, but that doesn't necessarily have to lead to change. First, determine if utilization is decreasing for certain perks. If that's the case, then it might be time for a change. If your business offers a lot of perks but hasn't produced anything new in a while, there might be stagnation. Listen to employee needs and let feedback drive change. "Ask them what would help their day go by a little easier," Provenzano said. "All those things combined would be something a leader would recognize that it's time for a change."
Why Have Perks
Employee satisfaction and engagement are key reasons to have perks and keep them current. For Zappos, perks contribute to the culture. This can be a deciding factor on whether someone joins — and stays — with a business. Perks can also lead to increased productivity. "The happier and less stressed your workers are, the more work they're going to do for your company, making the salaries you pay them yield a higher ROI for your business," notes AllBusiness.
Perks work both ways. When employees don't have to worry about little things and are encouraged to be engaged and healthy, their minds are freed up to take care of business in every sense of the phrase.
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