For small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), it can be tough to compete with larger companies when it comes to recruiting and retaining employees – unless you know what employees really want. Today’s office worker, especially millennials, are looking for more than just a paycheck when it comes to evaluating the best place to work. According to Glassdoor’s Q3 2015 Employment Confidence Survey, 79% of employees would prefer new or additional benefits to a pay increase. In response, today’s companies are adding to the typical 401k and health benefits and offering more innovative (and affordable) perks. As a result, these forward-thinking businesses are seeing happier employees that are also more productive and loyal.
If you are looking for some unique ways to set your company apart from the rest, here are some workplace perks employees are guaranteed to appreciate (and maybe even brag about)
Pay for new tech. On Spiceworks, a system administrator explained how the private school he works for offers a Technology adoption option, which allows employees to request a new personal piece of technology. The school pays for the employee’s purchase up front. “Then, they take 24 monthly payments out of my paycheck to cover the cost. Interest free, of course.”
Tuition reimbursement. After a certain number of years of service, help your employees pay back those student loan bills, or pursue their next level of education.
Bagel Fridays. Or Taco Tuesdays. Or Wine Wednesdays…
Lax dress code. For companies whose employees aren’t customer facing, being comfortable and saving money on expensive suits is a major perk. If you require a business casual dress code, see possible perk below.
Dry cleaning service. Offer a discount to the local dry cleaners, or enlist a pick-up service to stop by your business every week for employee loads.
Team activities. Encourage your employees to connect through team bonding activities. To reduce stress and get employees active, set up a department vs. department kickball game, or take the team zip lining. Escape rooms are a rising trend for businesses because not only do they require critical thinking and teamwork, they are a fun way to earn bragging rights around the office.
Remote work options. This rising trend isn’t going away any time soon, and many employees (especially those millennials) view the option to work remotely as a top benefit a company can offer.
Discounts around town. Contact your local movie theater, YMCA, restaurants, daycares, golf courses, etc. and inquire about setting up a company discount. Local businesses understand the increased foot traffic will more than make up for the discounts they offer your employees, so it’s a win win! Keep a running list of which businesses offer what discount, and share it with your employees.
Dog days. Pet-friendly workplace policies don’t just benefit employees, but can do wonders for the company at large. A recent Banfield Pet Hospital survey found that 53% of employees who worked at offices without pet permission said they’d be more likely to stay at their current company if employees were allowed to bring their pets to work.
Lunchtime learning workshops. Ask your employees what they would like to learn more about (work related or not), and invite a speaker to come in and host a workshop. Feed their hungry minds with a nice catered lunch as well.
Birthday leave. Offering employees one extra day off a year isn’t that unique of an idea, but it is if it’s their birthday!
Watercooler email thread. Give your employees the space to discuss something in their day that doesn’t involve work. A watercooler email group is the perfect place for employees to advertise their lawnmower for sale, inquire about pet sitters, or to post a picture of the car in the parking lot with its headlights on.
Free drinks. Coffee, sodas, tea… Employees love a caffeinated treat (or other healthy drink of their choice).
Employee-taught workshops. Allow your employees to share some of their talents and hobbies outside of the workplace. Have employees sign up for a workshop they would like to attend, such as a gardening workshop by Tina in sales, or a model airplane class by Jim in engineering.
Games. Install a foosball table in the break room, a ping pong table in the lobby, or dedicate a copy-room cabinet for board games employees can play with coworkers on their lunch break.
Volunteering opportunities. Allowing your employees to volunteer for a local charity will give them the chance to try something different, give back to the community, and it serves as great do-good content for your company to share on social media.
Create a library. Set up a large bookshelf and ask employees to send you lists of resources they want to have on hand for learning new skills, reference, etc. Encourage employees to donate their own books as well.
Office perks don’t have to break the bank, and they can be tweaked to suit businesses of all sizes. Allowing your employees to experience a range of interesting benefits will keep them satisfied, productive, and loyal to your company.
Visit the Digium Careers Page to browse our open positions – plenty of perks included!