Think about the best employee benefits and perks at your organization. Getting time off, career development opportunities, and family leave could persuade you to stay at the organization for years to come. Employee perks and benefits are great tools for improving the employee experience, increasing loyalty, and keeping employees engaged.
Companies with the best benefits and perks know just how much these acts of appreciation boost company culture and prevent turnover. Because they are a key driver of employee engagement, providing the benefits and perks that matter to your employees is also a great way to attract new top talent.
Employee perks vs benefits
So we know employee perks and benefits are great for your bottom line, but what’s the difference between the two? Both contribute to employee experience and satisfaction, but there are a few crucial distinctions.
What are employee perks?
Employee perks are additional, non-essential incentives to boost morale and company culture. Often used for a wide range of offerings, perks provide immediate satisfaction rather than long-term support. Think of them as the shiny cherry on top of employee compensation packages – not necessary, but it makes everyone happier.
The importance of employee perks
Offering perks is a great way to provide immediate satisfaction and show employees that you’re listening well. Plus, perks and the happiness they provide boost employee retention and prevent employee burnout.
Even though they’re discretionary, perks drive employee satisfaction, which is essential for long-term engagement. These minor acts of gratitude boost morale and workplace culture because they are voluntary, showing employees how much employers care about building a people-first culture.
What are employee benefits?
If perks are the cherry on top, then benefits are the whole bowl of ice cream. Employee benefits offer essential, long-term support to employees. Designed to keep employees happy and healthy, employers also use these advantages to stay competitive in the job market.
The importance of employee benefits
Benefits are so essential that they are usually required by law. Focusing on financial, health, and well-being, these security measures promote long-term wellness and higher retention levels. There are many reasons to offer employee benefits, including improvements in:
- Employee appreciation and recognition
- Employee engagement
- Employee morale and retention
- Employee trust
- Employee well-being
- Talent attraction
- Productivity and absenteeism
Eight best employee benefits
Want to improve employee engagement, show appreciation, and create an attractive company culture? Maybe you’re looking for Here are some of the best employee benefits to do just that:
1. Health insurance
Health insurance can be expensive, and companies want their employees to be healthy. That’s why most organizations offer health insurance coverage. Some even provide health insurance advisors to take the headache out of choosing which plan is best for you. At a minimum, health insurance options should include overall health, dental, and vision coverage.
2. Paid time off
Offering paid time off is great, but you must also ensure employees take advantage of the benefit. That way, people avoid absenteeism and burnout. The more time off you give your employees, the more focused they will be when they’re back on the clock. Paid time off includes mental health, sick, personal, and vacation days – all necessary for employee well-being and sustained performance.
3. Family leave
Family leave benefits attract top talent and keep them around for longer. Whether someone is having a baby for the first time or already caring for a family, it’s crucial to provide support. Not only does family leave assistance help caretakers maintain work-life flexibility, but it also improves employee loyalty for years to come.
4. Retirement planning
There are a few reasons why most companies offer retirement planning. Retirement planning and financial security promote peace of mind and employee well-being. It also provides a competitive edge for recruitment and retention. After all, employees who feel financially secure and supported are more likely to stay with their current employer longer.
5. Life insurance
In addition to health insurance, most companies offer life insurance in their competitive benefits packages. Life insurance provides protection and security for employees’ families during the unlikely event of a death. This offers additional peace of mind, which all employees will appreciate.
6. Company equity
Company equity is one of the best employee benefits because it gives individuals a sense of ownership. Not to mention a financial incentive for shared success. Offering company equity in employee compensation packages is also a great way to attract hungry top talent.
7. Family planning
Gone are the days of choosing between career and family. These days, employers must give employees the space to grow their families without judgment or question. It’s vital to offer comprehensive family planning services, like these, to all employees:
- Adoption assistance
- Childcare support
- Contraception coverage
- Counseling and mental health support
- Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
- Paid parental leave (if possible, make it generous)
- Wellness programs
- Work-life flexibility
8. Mental health assistance
Providing mental health assistance to employees has many benefits. First, employees who feel better boost morale and employee well-being levels for others. Mental health assistance also improves productivity and reduces absenteeism. Not to mention, in some jurisdictions, employers are legally obligated to ensure employee mental health.
Ten best company perks
As mentioned above, employee perks take employee benefits to the next level. Combining the best employee perks and benefits helps create a comprehensive compensation package that meets employees’ unique needs. When accompanying great benefits, the following perks strengthen employee engagement and help employers remain competitive.
1. Tuition reimbursement
Almost one-fifth of Americans have student loan debt and the immense stress of paying it off. Tuition reimbursement and student loan assistance reduce stress for employees. They also encourage continued learning while eliminating financial burdens. And don’t forget about the recruitment benefits- many job seekers look for companies with tuition reimbursement perks.
2. Remote work and flexible schedules
Workplace flexibility is another excellent employee perk that’s gaining momentum. Most companies offer remote work options and flexible work hours to help employees keep a healthy work-life balance. This autonomy shows trust in leadership and helps employees develop self-management skills.
3. Training and development
Career training and development opportunities get employees excited about growth and success. Just think about it, wouldn’t you also be excited to hear that your employer wants to invest in your career development? This excitement promotes engagement, satisfaction, and retention. Plus, it’s a great way for businesses to grow as well.
Learn more: Types of Employee Training and Development
4. Employee recognition
Employees love recognition. Whether it’s awards, certificates, verbal praise, written notes, or public appreciation – the benefits of employee recognition include higher morale and motivation. People who feel appreciated want to keep up their energy, and people watching want to earn recognition too. Gather employee feedback about the recognition, as some employees have specific preferences regarding appreciation.
Learn more: What is Employee Recognition?
5. Childcare assistance
Another one of the best employee perks? Childcare assistance. Offering complimentary childcare and reimbursements for childcare fees gives parents more time to be engaged and productive. This perk also alleviates emotional and financial stress for employees, creating a healthier and happier workplace culture.
6. Wellness programs
Wellness programs keep employees energized and focused, but they also increase the value of employee health insurance. Perks like gym memberships, standing desks, wellness retreats, meditation programs, and massages keep your workforce healthy, saving money in the long run. Plus, wellness programs reduce absenteeism, illnesses, and even burnout.
7. Complimentary lunch
For the most part, everyone eats lunch. It’s the perfect opportunity to share a meal as a team or show employee appreciation with meal stipends. If your employees work in person, set aside time to go out to lunch and get to know each other. If your employees are remote, send stipends for food delivery services and encourage everyone to take mindful meals to break up the workday. Although minor, these small acts of appreciation are sure to boost morale.
8. Home office budget
Home office budgets are one of the newer, unique employee benefits. As remote work is becoming more prevalent, it’s helpful (and often more cost-effective) to offer the same supplies and tools that in-office employees enjoy but at home. Even a small budget helps remote employees stay productive and satisfied, regardless of location.
9. Discounts and rewards
Employee discounts and rewards are a fun way to improve well-being and attract top talent to your company. This perk helps employers promote a specific workplace culture and lifestyle outside work. Ask employees what they’re passionate about and what living expenses are the most stressful. Then, offer rewards to support those passions and offset living expenses. The better rewards you offer, the more employees feel appreciated and valued.
And finally, bonuses are last on the list of the best employee perks. Monetary incentives aren’t always the best solution for sustained engagement. However, they are a great way to show appreciation and incentivize motivation. A larger paycheck can alleviate financial stress at home when provided alongside other comprehensive employee perks and benefits.
Explore Top Workplaces for Employee Benefits
The Top Workplaces for Employee Benefits recognizes companies with the best perks and benefits, employee appreciation, and work-life balance. Explore Top Workplaces today to learn more about the benefits of a people-first culture and industry-leading employer recognition.
If your company believes in the power of a people-first culture that prioritizes employee benefits, get recognized for it! Top Workplaces is the nation’s leading employer recognition program, offering awards in 60+ regional markets plus national honors for culture and industry excellence. To participate, begin by nominating your organization here.