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10 Unusual Perks Your Employees Will Thank You For

Prioritizing your employee's experience and providing a great benefits package boosts morale, retention and productivity.

6 min read

Would you be happy with the benefits you offer your employees? If not, it’s time to reconsider your benefit plan and start prioritizing your employee’s experience. Regardless of the industry, your business is in perks matter.

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to provide benefits that meet your employee's needs — better yet, provide benefits that exceed your employee's expectations. According to a recent study, 72 percent of employees said having more work benefits would increase job satisfaction. Satisfied employees result in productivity, profitability, and loyalty. In time, the perks will pay for themselves.

Over 77 percent of companies focus on employee experience to increase retention and that’s because it works. Provide great fringe benefits to retain your top employees and show them you appreciate their consistent hard work.

It’s important to note that benefits are more than just health insurance, PTO and sick leave. They encompass any additional perk, which includes a variety of non-wage compensation given to employees on top of their normal wages or salaries. A comprehensive benefits package makes any job opportunity more attractive.

Despite the common misconception, that money is the driving factor for employee dissatisfaction, it’s not. More than 60 percent of employees would take a job with a lower salary for better benefits. So, we can agree that perks are important, but that still leaves the question of which ones to offer.

Here are 10 unusual perks your employees will thank you for:

Casual Dress Code (or no dress code at all)

This perk is not only free, but it’s also easy to implement. Everyone loves being comfortable at work, it’s an invaluable extra that has finally started to become more popular in the workforce.

Strict formal dress codes in the workplace are on the decline, and for good reason. Giving your employees the freedom to choose what they wear is an underrated benefit. It may not seem big, but it dramatically impacts your day-to-day life.

For those employees who enjoy dressing up for work, they are still able to. Not enforcing a strict dress code just gives employees the ability to choose for themselves.

Bring Your Dog to Work

We can all agree that dogs make everything better. Having a furry companion in the office can brighten up even the dreariest of days and reduce stress.

You can have a general dog-friendly policy or dedicate specific dates to be “bring your dog to work” days. Whichever option you choose, your employees will thank you for it.

Make sure that all of your employees are comfortable with having pets in the office and that there are no allergies or illnesses before bringing in the pups.

Remote Days and Summer Fridays

Working from home is an option many employees desire. And it’s clear why — everything is just a little better when you get to do it in your pajamas. Remote work days are beneficial and make you seem flexible especially when employees have issues or situations that need to be tended to at home, but don’t want to call out of work. As long as everyone gets their work done, there shouldn’t be any issues.

Another sought after perk is summer Fridays. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a summer Friday is a half-day of work for the duration of the summer. Some businesses modify it and give employee’s the entire day off and others allow employees to work from home on Fridays instead. This serves to give employees a little extra time for a weekend getaway or to just get some sun and enjoy the great weather. It’s seen as a small thank you for the hard work that’s done all week long.

Employees are more productive when morale is higher and they're satisfied with their work environment. Since working remotely and summer Fridays can lead to higher morale, it can boost your business.

employee perks

Team Building Activities (and lots of them)

Team building activities are always a great idea. It gives employees the chance to build professional relationships with their coworkers. Some common activities include escape rooms, trivia nights, arts and crafts, team happy hours, laser tag, and so on. It’s a great way to encourage your employees to connect outside of the office and have some fun.

Paid Volunteer Days

Believe it or not, people want to help and give back to their community. By offering paid volunteer time off, you are appeasing your employees while also giving your business a philanthropic reputation.

You can have employees do team volunteer days, company-wide volunteer days or just individuals.

Gym Memberships or Fitness Classes

Promoting health and fitness is a great way to win over your employees. Encouraging your employees to be active with a free membership to a local gym or fitness classes is a win-win. Doing this will provide your employees with a free option to stay healthy and exercise.

You will get bonus points for offering company-sponsored sports teams too! Some friendly competition never hurt anyone.

perks for employees

Student Loan Reimbursement

Affordability is the number one reason high school students decide not to go to college. The looming weight of having to pay off extortionate loans deters them. Offering your employee's student loan reimbursement is a desirable perk that can drastically improve the lives of your employees.

Onsite Game Room

Make Monday’s feel less Monday-ish with some onsite games. We’re talking a fully stocked game room: video games, tables for ping pong, billiards, and foosball and more! Having a game room allows employees an escape from the stress of work without ever leaving the office. It will save time and boost employee engagement. The more you give your employees, the more effort they will put into the work

Nap or Yoga Room

Sometimes employees really need an area to just check out. Creating a quiet room that is designated especially for napping, yoga, or just relaxing can do wonders for your employees (and their health). Throw in a few mats, blankets and pillows and you'll be good to go.

Next time that 3 o’clock feeling hits you, put down the coffee and head to the nap room. You’ll have a peaceful escape to unwind for a quick break without ever having to leave the office.

Free Food

Who doesn’t love to eat? Reward your tireless employees with company-sponsored food and they will reward you in return. Forget about a few undesirable snacks and provide real food: catered meals, espresso options, organic fresh fruit — options people want to eat.

Free food is employee-retention gold: It boosts morale, productivity and promotes better concentration at work. It also helps to build overall company culture. A small and fairly inexpensive offering can go a long way with your employees.


Perks are Important

What it all boils down to is offering flexibility and knowing what your employees want. You don’t have to offer all the perks listed above, but listen to your employee's needs and act accordingly. The fact is, 79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving. Providing an excellent benefits package is a foolproof strategy to show employees that you appreciate them and that you want to see them succeed. It’s a win-win for your business and your employees.

More than 70 percent of employees agreed that fringe benefits would be a key consideration in evaluating future jobs. It is incumbent for you to offer your employees an appealing benefits package because if you don’t, another company will. You don’t want to miss out on a great employee.

Offering exceptional benefits is to the employer’s advantage, even for small businesses. Yes, your employees will enjoy the perks, but it counts for so much more. It helps you attract and retain top talent by keeping employees satisfied and decreasing your employee churn rate.

A lot goes into making a great business, but happy employees are its core. If you want to be successful and acquire the best talent, you have to incentivize — offering unique and irresistible perks is a good start. 

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