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When we think of work perks, we often think of happy hours, complimentary hot drinks, and early-finish Fridays – but what do employees really want to see their employers provide to encourage their hard work?
At this moment in time, employees are highly sought after, and it’s up to the employers to make themselves appealing to potential staff. However, according to research conducted by NerdWallet, this cocktail-party approach to workplace benefits may not appeal to the majority of employees in the current job market.
According to NerdWallet, ‘lifestyle perks’ are the new favourite amongst employees. In particular, those that allowed employees to make use of a flexible work schedule, take care of their health, develop their skills, and save money with discounts were particularly well-favoured.
The team at NerdWallet have shared the following tips for business owners to give their employees perks that work for them:
Health and wellbeing
Some employers may offer membership to private medical or dental schemes. This can be attractive to employees looking for perks that benefit their life outside work, not just their wellbeing during the working day. Others will offer money towards employees’ wellbeing – to pay for yoga or pilates classes, for instance.
Perhaps this is a knock-on effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, with employees prioritising their health and lifestyle over at-work perks that may be less useful in the long run.
Many businesses have taken things one step further and offer free access to wellness apps, a wellness room in the office, as well as mental health support.
Memberships and discounts
Benefits such as gym memberships can be a common addition to employee benefits’ packages. Offering lifestyle incentives such as these can be of benefit to both the employee and the employer.
Perks will add value when they provide something to the employee for less money than the employee would pay themselves. So offering a gym membership – bought in bulk at a discount of around 20% to 30% from a local gym, for example – saves money for your employees and could be seen as a good perk.
Other lifestyle perks include discounted restaurant cards and travel or interest-free season ticket loans.
Flexible working is proving a popular choice for many employees. Whether it’s working from home, hybrid working or flexible working hours, employees appreciate some freedom from the traditional 9 to 5.
Employees may be happier because they are saving money on their daily commute, or they may feel more valued knowing that their employer trusts them to work independently.
Letting employees manage when and where they position their hours in their working week can allow them to meet family commitments and contribute to their work-life balance.
According to research from Robert Half Recruitment in June 2022, a third of companies planned to use professional development and training as a way to attract new talent. Almost a third (30%) also thought that providing training opportunities would help them retain existing staff.
While lifestyle perks can help to retain staff, a salary package that matches employee expectations could be the key to attracting new talent to reinvigorate your business.
It may be that, at the end of the day, the most important perk of all is to be financially well rewarded for the work that you do.
The full piece can be found here. Let me know if you need any additional information, quotes or images. NerdWallet is also available to provide comments and expert insight for any articles you may be working on.