It can be difficult for small businesses to attract top talent because you can’t compete with larger companies’ compensation and benefits packages. You can, however, offer perks that larger companies can’t to make working for your company more attractive and recruit skilled employees.
Perks are privileges given to an employee alongside their compensation and benefits package to make the job more enjoyable.
It can be easy, especially for startups, to offer perks to get your employees to work longer hours. Perks should, however, help your employees live a more productive life outside of work. If an employee likes you, their coworkers, their work, and receives perks that suit their needs, they’re more likely to stay with your company long-term.
You don’t have to give all your employees the same perks, but you can give them in conjunction with a promotion or to entice a candidate to join your team. Your perks should match your employees and your culture, so survey your employees to find out what they want.
To get you started, here are ten perks your employees may want:
1. Family Environment
Treat your employees like family. Be empathetic to their personal issues, listen to them if they need to talk, and be willing to give them time off on short notice for family emergencies.
By taking the time to listen and care for your employees, you’ll help them feel like they’re part of something bigger.
Offer flextime to give your employees a better work-life balance. Let an employee come in a few minutes late to take their kids to school, or leave early to pick their kids up.
If you offer your employees the opportunity to dress more casually for work, they’ll feel more comfortable. Make sure to create a casual dress policy, however, so your employees still look professional to customers.
You can also give your employees more responsibility, which will allow them to learn on the job, while improving their skillset.
5. Gym Memberships
If you can fit it in your budget, subsidize a portion of your employees’ gym memberships. You can talk to nearby gyms to try to cut a deal for lower priced memberships for your employees.
If you can’t subsidize a gym membership or work out a deal, but still want your employees to stay active, consider starting a softball, kickball, or volleyball team.
6. Free Food
To show your appreciation for your employees’ hard work, occasionally bring in lunch or breakfast to say, “Thank you.”
If you’re a retailer, offer your employees a discount on the merchandise or services you sell.
8. Parental Leave
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), if you have 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or prior year, you’re required to give your employees 12 weeks of job-protected leave over a 12-month period for:
the birth of a child and to care for a newborn;
the placement of a child for adoption or foster care and to care for that child, within one year of placement;
the care of a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; and
a serious health condition that makes your employee unable to perform their job.
You can take this one step further by offering paid (or partially paid) parental leave for new moms and dads.
9. Volunteer Days
35% of millennials want to work for a company that gives back to the community. You can do this by giving your employees paid days off specifically for volunteering or by offering company-wide volunteer days. Let your employees choose where the company will volunteer so they know they’re impacting a cause they’re passionate about.
10. Keep Your Employees in the Loop
Obviously, there are some things in your company that your employees shouldn’t know, but keep them in the loop as much as possible.
If you know a change will happen soon, let your employees know in advance so they have time to adjust to the idea. When plausible, ask for your employees’ input in company decisions.
By keeping your employees in the loop, they’ll feel like they are truly part of your company’s future and will stick with you longer.