Employee satisfaction is essential to an organization’s overall success, which is why it’s crucial to establish a positive company culture, and offer incentives, employee benefits, and job perks that excite and inspire staff as well as attract top talent.
What organizations fail to realize is that for today’s workers, salaries are more of a threshold than a scorecard. In fact, there are many more effective ways to keep your talent happy and engaged.
Four-in-five people prioritize new job perks over a pay raise when looking for work, and 85% of employees take benefits into account when evaluating a job offer. But it can be challenging to know which benefits to seek out.
Here are 16 benefits and perks (along with examples from Cooleaf partners!) that help improve collaboration, company culture, and employee satisfaction.
1. Volunteer time
A recent study found that creating a company culture that encourages volunteering can help boost employee morale, workplace atmosphere, and brand perception. This goes to show just how important it is to make volunteering accessible for your team.
2. Paid sick days and paid vacation time
While this might seem like a no-brainer, a staggering 32 million U.S. workers don’t get paid sick days. For organizations, this is an easy place to start for drastically improving the lives of your staff. Offering paid sick days, paid vacation days, or even unlimited PTO goes a long way in increasing your employees’ quality of life.
3. Work-from-home option
Giving employees the option of remote work helps them feel in control of their surroundings. It also gives them a greater sense of creativity and energy. This can also include flexible hours and flexible scheduling.
And remember: Remote workers are also slightly more satisfied with their work and are equally as productive as onsite workers.
4. Supplemental insurance
In the United States, there are 31 million people currently lacking health insurance and adequate access to healthcare. As an employer, you can consider offering supplemental insurance programs in addition to health benefits that can be offered at group rates to employees for pennies on the dollar, including spousal insurance, long-term care, disability, and more.
5. Health and wellness benefits
Healthy employees who have a work-life balance have been shown to be more satisfied and productive in their work. So, it stands to reason that employers would do well to provide their staff with wellness programs and health and wellness benefits, such as offering corporate gym memberships or even hosting in-office or virtual fitness classes like yoga, meditation, and workouts.
6. Mental health support
In July 2020, a whopping 53% of adults in the United States indicated that their mental health had been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This clearly shows why it’s more important now than ever for organizations to take initiative on providing mental health resources for their staff. This can include things like access to counselors by phone and in-person, as well as making information and resources readily available electronically.
7. Mental health days
Speaking of mental health, the ongoing pandemic and recent recession fears have been challenging for everyone’s well-being. Extend a little extra empathy to your team by offering days off for mental health breaks. Don’t ask questions. Just trust your team when they say they need a day to themselves.
At Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, leadership offers "resilence days" to their staff so that a mental health break can be taken whenever needed. Perks like these are what really make the difference in preventing employee burnout and contributing to a positive overall culture.
8. Office social events
Sometimes one of the best employee perks is simply getting together to do something social which has nothing to do with work. Office events like parties or happy hours can do just that. This can happen in-person or virtually if your team works remotely.
9. Team building activities
With many teams feeling strained and stressed by the current economic conditions, and many others being physically disconnected while working remotely, finding ways to create connections between employees is more important than ever. Team building activities are a great way to help colleagues bond, relax, have fun, and hone their professional skills while they’re at it. And if your team is working remotely, don’t worry—there are a ton of incredible virtual team building options as well.
Cooleaf partner, MountainSeed, builds a culture of team bonding by hosting different virtual and outdoor events like baseball games, dress up days, and recipe challenges on Cooleaf! Matt Samuels, MountainSeed's Employee Experience Manager, credits these kinds of fun, extracurricular activities with contributing to an excellent hybrid work culture.
"These types of activities help to humanize your co-workers; you get to see a bit into their lives, which promotes empathy and that leads to healthier teams. Cooleaf is a great host for these sorts of humanizing interactions.” – Matt Samuels, MountainSeed
10. Employee recognition programs
Let’s start with how good it feels to be recognized at work. A simple thank-you or compliment can change anyone’s day. This is especially important for virtual and hybrid teams. Moments of gratitude can make team members separated by distance feel closer and more connected.
And there are powerful business reasons to offer an employee recognition program as a job perk. A big one is that an employee who doesn’t get recognition at work is twice as likely to say they’ll walk out the door (probably to work for a competitor) in the next year. Don’t let it happen to you!
Consider looking into employee recognition platforms, like Cooleaf, that seamlessly integrate into existing workflows and offer a variety of reward options.
11. Continuing education
Your employees aren’t just there to meet deadlines and get their tasks done – the people in your organization help build it. And investing in the development of your staff is a great way to show that you appreciate their efforts. From post-secondary courses to licenses and certificates that include tuition reimbursement, investing in your employees will pay dividends in the long run.
12. Financial literacy training
In today’s employment market, millennials are now the most prolific generation in the working world. And yet only 24% of them demonstrate basic financial literacy. But it’s not just the younger generations who struggle in this department: 44% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $400 emergency and 58% of Americans have less than $1,000 saved.
As an employer, promoting financial literacy and savvy money management can be one of the biggest benefits you can offer. Whether it’s bringing in a professional to share insights and best practices or offering an automatic savings withdrawal program, a little support can go a long way.
13. Employee development opportunities
Researchers found that giving workers a chance to better themselves is key for employee retention and professional development, second only to compensation as a reason why people leave their jobs. One great way to incorporate learning and development is with both in-person and virtual group training sessions designed to help employees develop soft skills such as performance management, presentation skills, and even emotional intelligence.
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are a popular way for organizations to promote a team culture of learning. Cooleaf partners, NetHealth and Salesloft host a number of ERGs for their employees to come together and share learnings with one another. For example, NetHealth's women's ERG hosts a celebration around International Women's Day. Salesloft's numerous ERGs are instrumental to its overall DEI strategy.
"ERGs are strategic cultural advocates, retention tools, and resources that help educate companies." - Cherie Caldwell, Head of DEI (Salesloft)
14. Childcare support
With both parents working in the majority of U.S. households, childcare is a need-to-have rather than a nice-to-have. But here’s the downside: it can cost upwards of $700 per month per child, and for many families, this can be a devastating financial blow. This is a great opportunity for employers to kick in and help out with childcare costs, in turn making life a lot less stressful for parents.
15. Parental leave
The average length of full-paid parental leave in the United States is about four weeks. This is extremely short – in fact, among 41 first-world countries, the United States offers the lowest amount of paid parental leave. This means that, for new parents, extended paid parental leave can not only relieve a huge burden, but it can also allow for more time spent with their newborns during a key developmental period.
16. Pet insurance
Just like any other family member, pets can get sick. Without insurance, bills can quickly stretch into the four or even five-figure range. Considering how much more affordable pet insurance is than human insurance, it’s an affordable perk to offer employees that means a lot to the pet parents in your workforce.
Providing a comprehensive employee benefits package to employees is essential to reducing employee turnover, improving employee engagement, and attracting top talent. It is also directly related to overall employee wellbeing.
And the best employee benefits are those tailored to meet the individual needs of employees at different stages of their careers.
Happier team members = a healthier business!
Want to learn more about providing employee benefits through Cooleaf?
Cooleaf is the leading solution for companies looking to drive extraordinary experiences for their employees, customers, and prospects. Through Cooleaf's platform, forward-thinking brands are able to incentivize employees with personalized, meaningful reward options.