Perks at work

Crowd-pleasing Perks at Work

Crowd-pleasing Perks at Work
Reading Time: 4 minutes

There are “perks” at work that are anticipated, and then there are perks meant to wow a job seeker & employee’s socks off. 

For those looking to join a company’s culture or stick it out with the one they’re already in, the right balance of bonuses and incentives for production and motivation is key – especially when money doesn’t match up with their expectations. To add to that, meaningful employee perks boost positive attitudes among team members and contribute to workplace happiness.

Perks offered vs. needed vs. wanted

First comes determining the difference between what’s offered, needed, and maybe just wanted to bring support, engagement, recognition, and even fulfillment to you and others in your organization. Use this simple set of questions to charge your “perk radar” and help see where job opportunities and current positions land:

  • Are the perks offered mutually beneficial?
  • Do the perks offer usefulness in professional and personal settings?
  • Do they sound overpromising or attention-grabbing rather than actually helpful?
  • Are perks within the organization used to increase, ease, or distract from your workload?
  • Have perks brought you a sense of belonging or connected you with co-workers and management?
  • Is the benefit of one perk or another supplemented by your efforts-to-results ratio?

The starting line

There are several corporate perks that provide a solid foundation and are easily the most coveted. Here are just a few:

  • Benefits: Paid support in health, mental wellness, family planning and leave, and retirement are expected essentials in today’s job market. Thankfully, health insurance is a typical front-runner perk on job listings. 
  • Flexibility: Many on the job hunt still face lingering anxiety with the thought of returning to an office. So it’s no wonder that companies that offer remote and hybrid options, or where the 4-day week is up for discussion, are becoming increasingly more desirable.
  • Performance bonuses: You work hard for the money. Which is why performance reviews and bonuses that compensate for growth and development are important for maintaining motivation and retention.

The extra mile

Though health care, work-life balance, and an occasional pay bump for your dedication and effort are cornerstones of perks at work, there’s still so much more to look forward to in terms of job satisfaction. These perks are anything but basic and are sure to make even the most average position a dream job.

#1 Educational loan paydown and learning incentives

For all those who have shelled out the expenses for a degree (whether related to the position or not), a major deciding factor for job-seekers could come down to companies offering even the most minor perks in student debt assistance.

On the flip side, professional development is still on the agenda for most in the workforce, making educational and mentorship programs something both, new hires and veterans, look forward to.

#2 Employee discounts and reimbursements

As employees, a lot of expenses cut into hourly wages and salaries. There are everyday commuters longing for company gas cards (especially with recent price hikes) and home office employees facing increased internet and electricity rates. And the most tragic of them all, the workforce as a whole witnessing staggering coffee budgets always seemingly on the rise.

Employee benefits that help save money on everyday work needs and activities, or maybe even give a small percentage of it back at the end of the year, are greatly valued and highly sought after.

#3 Plans for fans & hobbyists

Perks like these may be a stretch for smaller organizations, but the lucky employees with something similar to the following definitely won’t be leaving their companies for anything less!

  • Employees can cheer on their favorite sports teams in an office conference room or enjoy early days off on game days. Maybe there are even some hush-hush bets and wagers to partake in for added fun and excitement. 
  • Reading suggestions, discussion forums, and book store credits for the avid readers in the company. A perk like this highlights an appreciation for personal development and is an opportunity for connecting on reading topics co-workers and leadership may be interested in.
  • Company jam sessions and discounted concert tickets are perks that some may even say are instrumental to music enthusiasts. Supporting music appreciation boosts employee engagement and improves their experience.

#4 Community building incentives

Perks that help grow and develop workforces, as well as their surrounding communities and causes are receiving some much-deserved hype. It’s encouraging for workers who are giving back through impactful activities such as volunteering or raising donation funds to get something back in return from companies that acknowledge their good deeds.

The next-level perk building up communities can be found when companies themselves organize food drives, gather employees for a shift at a soup kitchen, and coordinate fundraisers for a cause everyone can get behind. And hey, when team building is sprinkled in with making a difference in the world, everybody wins.

#5 Salary-based overtime reward systems

High performance by those committed to completing tasks and responsibilities even at the cost of long hours should earn a little something extra for the ongoing time and effort dedicated to a job well done. A perk like this improves employee recognition. When overtime hours can be traded in for a start-late day, longer lunch breaks, or added vacation hours, hard work itself becomes a perk.

#6 Payout, roll-over, and transferable PTO

Yes, vacation days are a perk, but not everyone uses them. And for some, before you know it, poof! They’re gone. It could even be the case that your favorite coworker could really use a day off but has already met their cap while you still have a few days in the reserve.

Not everyone has the same recharge rate, and who knows the demands of physical and mental rest better than those putting in the time? A sweet perk for current and potential employees is the ability to cash out, keep, and move around vacation hours in a way that works best for them.

Perks at work aren’t always recognized immediately upon joining a company, but as early as the interview process you can address your needs and their capacity to meet you halfway. Even if you’re already with a company that covers the basics in regards to healthcare and PTO, don’t be afraid to speak up and openly ask about or suggest perks driven to benefit the company.

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