Most importantly it sends an important message to employees and prospective employees about the company culture and values. We think Patrick Colvin’s take sums it up best: The fact of the matter is, after health insurance, the most desirable perks and benefits are those that offer flexibility while improving work-life balance. Like a stocked library and monthly book club, where 97th Floor purchases the books for participants. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, though. We adopted an unlimited time-off policy at Fractl about a year ago and haven’t seen a negative impact on productivity. It’s nice for the employees, good for health, but it also brings groups to the break rooms, where they can mingle and get to know people outside their own departments. Encouraging employees to stay home, if possible, not only reduces the stress of their day but shows them that we value their safety. There are a number of options for insurance providers, depending on where your business is located. Contrary to what employers might expect, unlimited time off doesn’t necessarily equal less productive employees and more time out of the office. After all, benefits are only going to pay off for the company when employees use them.”. If you are required to do so, you must register with your state’s workforce agency or department of revenue. Let them unplug!”, Another great way to increase engagement is through prizes, bonuses, awards, and other incentives. The downside of introducing new perks is seeing them be taken away because they cost more than expected or just weren’t sustainable.”. Company tax payments are a business expense. Just remember, it all depends on what kind of talent you’re trying to attract. “We hold ‘Pizza and Presentations’ twice a month, where we treat our employees to a catered lunch in one of our conference rooms. Employers may allow workers to accrue vacation time and sick days based on the number of hours they have worked throughout the year, combined with the number of years of service. How to Decide What Employee Benefits and Perks to Offer, Additional Ideas for Engaging and Retaining Your Team, your organization will become more attractive. Many workers have children who may also have a canceled school day when bad weather hits. This is very popular!” — Amanda J. Ponzar, “Snow days! These horror stories might not have ghosts, masked intruders, or scream queens, but they do have something that’s probably even scarier to HR professionals: huge fines, angry employees, and payroll errors! It’s our firm belief that as you use benefits and perks to show your workforce that their contributions are appreciated and that they are valued as individuals, you will see engagement levels increase, retention rates improve, and your organization will become more attractive to prospective employees. It’s a philosophy that’s not necessarily new—the idea that employees who are treated better perform better—but it’s starting to gain momentum in the professional world. And the other, one company offers shipping costs of breast milk for moms, and more companies are incorporating this benefit for new moms who have to travel.” — Mary Pharris, “Today, even companies with conservative workplace cultures are trying to reduce the stress of ‘real-life’ by offering valet car parking, dry-cleaning, and in-house massages…Other benefit trends include student-debt repayment, benefits for significant others and even wedding expense reimbursement for couples.” — Jody Ordioni, “[Enhancv Talks are events] we organize internally. If you funds early, you’ll pay income taxes and a penalty. Here, we share with you their insights, experiences, and advice. So if your work doesn’t physically require the team’s presence in order to be completed, strongly consider offering them the flexibility to do the work on their own terms. According to Lee Fisher, HR manager at Blinds Direct,  “For us, these perks are tremendously important, from the moment an applicant sees a job ad and applies for a job here. There are four common types of Flexible Spending Accounts: Most employers offer their employees some type of paid leave, often in the form of vacation, personal days and national holidays. Unemployment insurance pays a benefit to workers who are laid off. Many organizations offer a retirement savings plan “match” to their employees. Half-hearted commitment can be just as detrimental as outright opposition. Many employers only pay a percentage of the premium charged per worker, passing the rest of that cost to the employee via his or her paycheck. Lisa Oyler put it this way: “Give employees plenty of time off to reboot and spend quality time with their families – but also set clear expectations that [they] don’t need to have their phones out or be ready to take a work call. Is There a Downside to Benefits and Perks? A close second to flexible work schedules is loosening the reins on PTO. If you are located in a major city with a terrific public transportation system, or if your location does not have access to complementary employee parking, you might consider offering employees parking or public transportation reimbursement. It’s a simple perk, but a seriously important one.”. A certain subset of the employee population values high-quality health coverage. Here are some of the more common employee benefits: Medical insurance (health and dental coverage) is one of the more expensive benefits, but it’s also one of the most important to your employees. Before you can start building your aspirational list of employee benefits, first you must meet certain federal and state requirements. One of the most influential factors in keeping employees happy on the job is of..., Guide to employee benefits for small business, Ken Boyd is a co-founder of and owns St. Louis Test Preparation ( That’s why we encourage offering the best employee benefits and perks and why we have created a culture of appreciation within our own company. It’s a great start of the week, we come to work and chat about how the weekend went, and start the day and week on a positive note.”  — Tatiana of Enhancv, “Because people loved being recognized and people love food, ordering catered lunches can be a great way to bring employees together at the office. In the race to keep employees happy, employers have gone to great lengths, providing things like in-office dry cleaning pickup and drop-off to weekly masseuse visits and bring your dog to work day. To help convince naysayers that pampering employees promotes productivity, we asked industry professionals about their experiences with offering benefits and perks. When winter weather causes hazardous travel conditions, we encourage employees to stay home and take a ‘snow day’. One of the most influential factors in keeping employees happy on the job is offering benefits. A well-stocked kitchen gives employees a sense of being cared for, along with offering free coffee and beverages. Here are some of the more common employee benefits: Medical We have employees from early 20s to mid-60s and not everyone wants the same perk so it’s important to ask employees.”, Michelle Hayward agrees: “The reality is that not all perks are created equal in the eyes of all employees. What motivates others can be money, time or notes of appreciation. It helps improve relationships, public speaking skills [for] the ones that present, and it shows support for co-workers, promotes learning and encourages everyone to become better generally. But what should a business do if it can’t afford Google-sized benefits? Matt Bentley, Founder of CanIRank echoes the sentiment: “If you are the type of Manager that…[is] more suited to micromanaging, then a flexible work environment may not be suited to you as you will naturally feel you need to double check what all of your staff are doing day-to-day.”, That’s not the only way managers and directors can undermine the positive aspects of employee benefits. Turning work into a competition or game can motivate your team to do their best. Mary Pharris sees it as a must for working women, one with fewer and fewer excuses not to implement: “From our research, we know that women’s job satisfaction is directly related to job flexibility. Copyright © 2020 Harvard Business School Publishing. When businesses are birthed, it is typically the owner who gets things started. Regardless, your intelligent and motivated employees will find satisfaction in furthering their education with your monetary support. But with the passing of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which went into effect in tax year 2018, you can’t deduct entertainment expenses for your business or employees. Your business can generally deduct the costs of fringe benefits you give to employees. The Impact of Benefits and Perks on Employee Engagement and Retention. Defining business benefits by referring to business objectives provides a practical basis for measuring, valuing, and comparing all benefits—financial and non-financial. Payroll Horror Stories: Don’t Let These Happen to You. This perk shifts the focus from employees just putting in hours to placing an emphasis on production and great results. Paid vacation time is a complicated expense, since it’s not simply the cost of an employee’s salary for the days they are out; liability also plays into the cost. Glassdoor’s 2015 Employment Confidence Survey, 60% of people report that benefits and perks are a major factor, new survey conducted by my team at Fractl, $224 billion dollars in unused vacation time, Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), of executives think productivity would decrease significantly, provide up to $5,250 per employee per year for tuition. The survey also found that 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay raise. Also, it doesn’t cost anything.”  — Tatiana of Enhancv. In today’s hiring market, a generous benefits package is essential for engaging and retaining your talent.”. Not only does this create a serious liability in the form of unused PTO, it tends to result in team members experiencing burnout and, frequently, leaving the company for more favorable employment. The more unusual perks are surprise retail vouchers after a great performance, and activity days like waterspouts, go-karting and treetop obstacle courses.