December 2, 2020

15 Perks Businesses Don’t Offer (But Should)

Employment has shifted from being an employer’s market to an employee’s market. Now, businesses have to offer better packages to interest the most talented employees to stick around and add their expertise to the company’s operations.

Despite the need for industries to be more competitive in the benefits they offer employees, several of them miss a few key perks that would make them unique places to work at. These perks aren’t even earth-shaking in the change they require from the business. They can be implemented quickly and will attract even more talent to the business’s employee pool.

Below, 15 associates of Forbes Human Resources Council examine what these perks are and how they’re useful in bringing in and retaining new talent.

1. Formal Social Recognition Program

A formal social recognition program is an effective perk. Getting and giving recognition at work is something all employees crave; recognition makes people feel acknowledged for who they are and what they do, which in turn motivates and empowers them. In fact, Workhuman data has shown that recognition led to twice less voluntary turnover among new hires (13%) vs. their unrecognized peers (30%) at a consumer goods organization. – Jennifer Reimert, Workhuman

2. Experiential Rewards

Experiential rewards are often overlooked within the landscape of perks and benefits – for example, a travel budget, scuba lessons, horseback riding, etc. When a company or manager can offer an opportunity to create a memory, it connects in a more meaningful way. These deeper connections can be a major boost to an employer brand, resulting in talent attraction, retention and brand reputation. – Elisa Garn, GBS Benefits

3. A ‘Work From Anywhere’ Policy

Businesses should consider transitioning to a “work from anywhere” policy. Giving employees greater flexibility over their work environment demonstrates a strong level of trust and respect. It also helps you build a culture that is focused on results and bottom line, rather than individual hours and activities. – Larry Dolinko, The Execu|Search Group


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4. Easy-To-Use HR Tech

Many people may not think of this, but easy-to-use HR tech is an often overlooked perk! Everyone, employees included, is used to ordering food online, checking bank accounts from an app and generally having access to information 24/7. People use their phones for everything and deserve the same access when it comes to reviewing their time-off balances, training, paystubs, and really all things HR. – Jennifer Kraszewski, Paycom

5. Child Care, Tutoring

As we head into a school year like no other, remote learning is a new challenge for many parents. Organizations need to offer and promote schedule flexibility and nontraditional hours that allow parents to assist children with Zoom call setup and questions with school work. Offering perks like back-up child care or tutoring services will also go a long way to show support for working parents. – Tia Smith, Collaborative Solutions

6. Family-Oriented Perks

Companies should offer more family-oriented perks such as a family vacation or a family getaway. In doing so, a company acknowledges the family contribution and sacrifices the employee makes to help the company win. Even a simple gesture of a paid family dinner once a year can express appreciation for the family. Social engagement can complete the missing piece of the appreciation jigsaw. – Vineet Gambhir, Contemporary Leadership Advisors

7. Continuous Learning

Most companies do not offer continuous learning as a perk or offer internal coaching as a benefit to most employees. Companies that offer coaching to help develop the skills send a strong message to their employees that they care about their career and professional growth. This care and a culture of support for career growth are among the big drivers of employee loyalty and engagement. – Madhukar Govindaraju, Numly™, Inc.

8. Wellness And Social Impact Programs

Increase employee engagement and workplace productivity by providing team members the opportunity to participate in both employee wellness and social impact programs. Employees want these benefits, and these benefits benefit the bottom line. Wellness programs increase employee adaptability and reduce unplanned time off. Social impact programs promote the brand positively and reduce staff turnover. – Kelly O’Connell, ON ITS AXIS

9. ‘Health Maintenance’ Days Off

Businesses should offer employees two paid “health maintenance” (not sick) days off per year. These are days when employees could schedule routine health maintenance screening appointments and check-ups. This signals to employees that the company takes their health and well-being seriously. Employees become busy with job demands and neglect health concerns. We need a formal way to change behavior. – Heide Abelli, Skillsoft

10. Virtual Benefits Bundle

One perk businesses should be offering right now is a virtual benefits bundle. With so many employees now working from home, isolation and decreased levels of engagement are being seen more prevalently. In the absence of on-site amenities and perks, employers should provide a suite of benefits that could include access to yoga, meditation, exercise classes and virtual co-working memberships. – Laura Spawn, Virtual Vocations, Inc.

11. Work-Life Integration Coaching

Companies could offer work-life integration coaching and tools. We are way past any semblances of work-life balance (in my opinion), so let’s move on to how we can empower people to better deal with the constant need and desire to be connected to our work. Providing individual Industrial psychologist consulting sessions could be a great place to begin. – Bryan Passman, Hunter + Esquire

12. Cross-Departmental Shadowing

An often overlooked perk is cross-departmental shadowing. When employees understand the value and impact of each department, they do their jobs with a better perspective and drive better professional and organizational results. – Cat Graham, Cheer Partners

13. On-Demand Access To Wages

Businesses have paid their employees in the same way for decades, so “receiving a paycheck” doesn’t sound like a perk, but it can be. New technologies that allow employees to access their earned wages on demand will soon become the norm. That kind of control over their finances, and the peace of mind it delivers during uncertain times, can absolutely help attract and retain employees. – Susan Tohyama, Ceridian

14. Tax And Immigration Support

Businesses have placed international assignments on hold due to the pandemic, but as borders reopen, the demand for personal and professional development abroad is on the rise. Offering basic tax and immigration support for self-initiated moves is a cost-effective way to attract top talent and get global exposure for your next generation of leaders. – Shawn Farshchi, Topia

15. Paid Time Off For Social Justice Participation

A perk I’d recommend would be paid time off for participation in social justice or election days. Now more than ever, candidates are concerned with how companies take a stand and action for social justice issues. Communicating to employees that they have access to days off not included in their vacation to attend marches and vote in elections should become a standard part of a benefits package going forward. – Cher Murphy, Ph.Creative

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