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Perks & Benefits at work: What are your employees expecting in 2019?

by Mr Yellow

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Struggling to find new talent for your business? Feeling the need to motivate your employees and enhance their loyalty and job satisfaction? We're living in a time and age where the job market has grown to be highly competitive so you need to get on your feet and step up your game if your objective is to attract the top talent and to retain your current workforce. One way to move your company forward and stay aligned with the current job market is to introduce the right perks and benefits within your company.

The mindset of today's employees can in no way be compared to that of previous generations. In contrast to our ancestors, working people are now more predisposed to changing jobs and are in an ongoing search for a more satisfying job, better working conditions and more innovative perks. Today's job seekers won't merely consider the type of work they'll be doing and the salary they'll get paid doing it. They want to work in a pleasant and positive workspace and, hence, the type of perks offered will influence their decision. Their propensity towards certain benefits will make them choose the company which is employee-oriented, even if it's not the one offering the highest salary.

If you want candidates to get thrilled and fired up from their very first interview, now's the time to start boosting your company's appeal and make it an exciting place to commute to on a Monday morning. Your business needs to be versatile, fresh and creative in its pioneering ventures. Certain fringe benefits may have been attractive five years ago, but are now surpassed by more trendy and dynamic perks. Keeping your work culture as intriguing as possible will serve both to attract prospective candidates and to incentivise current employees.

Why introduce and update work benefits?

To keep your employees motivated

With an average of 8 hours a day spent at work, keeping your employees motivated should be one of the topmost priorities of a company. The right work benefits and perks can help you instil a positive attitude amongst your employees, consequently, increasing their security and helping them be more productive. Motivated employees will implement their work with a smile and would put more energy and passion into their work. Also, you'll have fewer people taking days off for no reason. Ultimately, a happy workforce is a crucial ingredient to your company's success.

To reward your employees

Your employees are the most important component of your company and your company's success stands on their performance and their attitude. Providing perks and benefits are one way you can reward them and show your gratitude for their valuable work. If they feel their work is being appreciated, you'll boost their morale and they'll be more engaged in their work.

To enhance company culture

Putting forward new perks and benefits is one way you can contribute to the enhancement of your company culture. Instilling a culture which puts your employees first and which strives to strengthen their job experience and their well-being is crucial in this time and age if you want your employees more engaged. Be open to what they need and want, and you'll already be reinforcing a modern-day company culture.

To facilitate recruitment

The right talent is hard to find nowadays and potential candidates will receive offers from multiple companies. What will make you stand out from your renowned competitors? A higher salary will stir up their interest, but attractive perks will boost your chances of being chosen over your competitors. The innovative work benefits are what will stay imprinted on the candidates' minds, so use them in your favour.

To avoid staff turnover

So, you've employed the best candidates. However, once recruited, you need to make sure you retain them. Appealing fringe benefits will play an important role in enhancing your employees' loyalty and will reduce the chances of your workforce advancing to a company with a higher salary.

To boost ROI (Return on Investment)

Enticing perks and benefits are not only beneficial for your workforce, but also for your business. You'll achieve a higher return on investment as it's more cost- effective to sustain your current workforce, rather than going through a recruitment process every few months and re-start training from scratch every time.

Who should introduce benefits?

Benefits are, unfortunately, still mainly associated with tech giants, however, this shouldn't remain the case. Regardless of the size and type of your company, your employees all need to be motivated and engaged. Even if you're not swimming in money and can only dedicate a limited budget to perks, options which don't break the bank do exist and you can create tailored benefits for your workforce.

Facebook, Google and other tech heavyweights can afford to introduce a multitude of perks, but introducing one or two low-cost perks which the majority of your employees can benefit from, will pay off for both your employees and your business. Offering free food on a daily basis may not be feasible, but offering a healthy breakfast on Mondays is enough to motivate employees at the start of a new week. If you're organising a team-building event, activities can be organised by the employees themselves; you won't need to pay an external company, and your people will feel they belong there.

Regardless of the sum of money you decide to spend on perks, check out our top picks below:

Top Work Benefits and Perks

Health Insurance

According to a survey conducted by Misco in 2016, health insurance is considered as the best fringe benefit you can offer to your employees and a study done by JustWorks in 2017 found that 45% chose health insurance as the top perk. If you do introduce this benefit, make sure you offer a wide selection of services which cater to both mental and physical health in order to be as holistic as possible. This is one of the most dominant benefits since not only will the majority of your employees benefit from it at one point or another but you'll have a healthier workforce overall.

Retirement Plan

With more and more people planning for their retirement from a very young age, a retirement plan is greatly appreciated, as you'll be showing your workforce how meaningful their future is to you, and how you want to ensure their life as pensioners will be as comfortable as possible.

Flexible working hours

Nowadays there is more awareness on the importance of a work-life balance. People are not living to work, but working to live, and flexible working hours is a crucial fringe benefit you should consider introducing, especially when you have parents working in your company. According to a 2018 study by Deloitte, strict working hours is the biggest reason why millennials would change jobs. The age of the 8-hour workday is long gone and flexibility will allow your people to accomplish all the day's activities and errands. Employees will lead a happier and healthier lifestyle, as they'll have more time for personal development and leisure time. Moreover, they'll be more productive as people will waste less time if they're working less hours.

Remote working

Giving your employees the option to work from home will go a long way as it's a highly valuable benefit. A 2017 study by Human Interest found that 75% would consider accepting a job with a lower salary, but with work from home possibilities, rather than accepting a higher salary. Another study done in 2016 by PWC concluded that 48% would rate their job a 10 if remote working is allowed even just once a week.

Performance benefits

Providing performance benefits is a practical way to show appreciation for impeccable performance. A massage voucher, tickets for a sports game or a concert, and small personalised gifts will pay off as you'll boost your employees' motivation levels and strengthen their loyalty.

In house discounts

Having your employees using your products or services should be in your advertising strategy. If employees are preferring your competitors, it doesn't reflect well on your business. If you can't provide your products or services for free, offer tantalising discounts which your employees can't refuse. Make them feel part of your corporate family and you'll buy their loyalty.

Training Opportunities

You want to avoid staff turnover... so why aren't you investing in your personnel? A 2016 study by Gallup indicated how 87% of millennials would stay in a job which offers training opportunities. Investing in their personal and corporate development will show that you're willing to invest in their wellbeing and how you want to provide them with learning opportunities which will serve useful both in their work and in their life outside work.

Financial benefits

Apart from increasing their salary, there are other financial benefits you can introduce in your company. Part finance their wedding, offer fuel or parking reimbursement, sponsor their tuition… the options are endless. According to a 2017 study by Human Interest, 44% would consider a job with a lower salary, but which offers tuition reimbursement. So steer away from the salary and consider what other financial benefits would aid your employees.

Extra Vacation time

If you want to go the extra mile, then why not consider increasing vacation allowance? Your personnel will have more time to work on their wellbeing and your company will also benefit as they'll return back to work with a refreshed spirit. On the other hand, you can also provide them with paid time off for volunteering.

Team Building Activities

Enhancing the relationship between your employees is crucial to keep staff turnover at bay. Providing them with informal opportunities where they can get to know their fellow colleagues will go a long way in creating new friendships and enhance existing ones. This will, in turn, boost their motivation in coming to work. You want each and every one of your employees to participate in the organised event or else its purpose will be defeated. Hence, evaluate the type of people you have and ask for feedback. Are they more into a spa day or would they prefer an outdoor adventure? Try to vary team building activities as much as possible as unpredictable ones would be more impactful and more enjoyable. Check out 5 summer team building activities you can organise and tips on how to plan effective activities.

Bonus tip: Don't ever skip the Christmas and summer staff parties even if your budget is running low. Check out how you can organise a summer party without breaking the bank. They are events which are much awaited for and enjoyed by all.

Innovative work amenities

Your workplace needs to be an inviting place where you won't hate spending most of your day at. You don't need to make it look like an adult playground, but a number of amenities will make your space more dynamic. Invest in a table tennis table, a high tech TV, video games and other supplies which will give your personnel the break they deserve from work.

In House Gym

Healthy and fit employees are synonymous with high performance and job satisfaction. If you lack the space for an in-house gym, consider organising workouts led by professional fitness instructors. Besides being beneficial on a personal level, fitness sessions would also serve as an active way to unite your team and would provide your employees with a mutual goal they can achieve together. What a way to enforce team spirit! Sponsoring gym memberships may be an alternative option to consider.

Free Food

As Virginia Woolf used to say: "One cannot think well, love well and sleep well if one has not dined well." Several local and international companies are in fact offering free breakfast, lunch and snacks in their premises. Why is this dynamic perk beneficial?

  • Employees can concentrate on their work and not waste time commuting to an eatery outside of work
  • It creates a space where people can socialise and bond together
  • People would be willing to work longer hours when necessary
  • Will enhance productivity and boost attention as onsite food facilities will ensure you take your daily required dose of vitamins and calories
  • People tend to skip breakfast or lunch when they're running late or are too busy so onsite facilities will save your employees precious time
  • If healthy food options are offered, people will have lower chances of falling sick
  • Upon leaving work, there's no need to worry about preparing lunch for the following day and your employees would have more time for leisure and relaxation
  • Your employees' weekly expenditure on food will reduce drastically, leaving them with a higher percentage of their salary to spend elsewhere

Otherwise, you may choose to take your team out for lunch once a week or twice a month. In this case, be creative and explore the variety of cuisines found on our Mediterranean Island.

Other perks you can introduce include happy hours, casual Fridays, bringing pets to the office and onsite child care service.

What are popular international companies doing?

Some companies are satisfied with offering minimal fringe benefits, while others are ready to provide their employees with more innovative and creative benefits and perks in an endeavour to reinforce and embellish the working experience. Here are a number of innovative work benefits which popular companies have implemented throughout the years:

Netflix: Unlimited maternity and paternity leave for new parents

Facebook: Free housing for interns, tailored work schedules and a financial bonus for new parents

Airbnb: Travel bonus and yoga sessions

WWF: Panda Fridays (no work every other Friday)

Pinterest: Football tables, onsite massages and food trucks

Twitter: 3 meals a day

Google: Onsite doctor, Google bikes to move from one building to another

Ikea: 4 months parental leave

Reebok: Crossfit classes

What are local companies doing?

Betsson: Gym allowance, product discounts

Ixaris: Free snacks and drinks

GIG: Workout spaces

We at Yellow have also moved with the ages in an endeavour to remain an attractive workspace. Life at Yellow includes regular team building events, a chilling area with TV and bean bags, playstation and a table tennis room. Training opportunities are also provided to all employees willing to enhance their knowledge. Interested in joining us? Check out our open vacancies and embrace the Yellow life.

What do you need to consider when choosing the best benefits for your company?

Not all fringe benefits are suitable for all companies, and you can never offer all imaginable perks and benefits to your employees. Explore the number of factors you need to take into consideration:

Your employees' lifestyles

Consider your employees' age, status, gender, interests, priorities and lifestyles. Young employees will appreciate onsite amenities such as playstation rooms and chilling areas, while parents would be more appreciative of flexible working hours or on-site child care facilities. If employees are ditching the office desk for their home study, there's no purpose in enhancing onsite facilities. Get to know your employees, inquire about their interests and passions and don't hesitate in asking for their preferences with regard to work benefits and perks. Tailored benefit packages can also be provided in accordance with the unique needs of your employees.

The space at your disposal

The size and type of space available will determine the type of activities you can afford to carry out in your company. A restricted kitchen space isn't the ideal place to organise cooking competitions, while organising fitness classes in a tight office isn't ideal.

The company's workflow

Each company has its own workflow which needs to be taken into consideration. If Friday is the busiest day of the week, it's a good idea to provide free lunch onsite to alleviate stress and encourage your employees to take a break. Additionally, if clients and customers are roaming around your office all day long, bringing pets to work isn't the ideal way to go.

Purpose of benefits

Evaluate your current needs and ponder on what you aim to achieve in the future. What's impelling you to introduce certain benefits and not others? What's the underlying purpose? 

Do you want to enhance their well-being? Increase socialisation opportunities? Boost their personal development? Make life at work and outside more convenient? Show appreciation? When you define the purpose, you'll be able to pinpoint the best benefits for your company from a clearer perspective.

Your budget

Buying loyalty doesn't need to break the bank. Benefits can be tailored according to how much you're willing to invest in your employees. You can apply for local and EU funds in order to provide learning opportunities, and team building activities like hikes, games and karaokes won't empty your pocket.

Interesting stats on perks and benefits

  • 57% take benefits into consideration when pondering over a job offer (Glassdoor 2016)
  • 4/5 prefer benefits over a raise (Glassdoor 2015)
  • ⅓ of employees would leave a job for better benefits (Gallup 2017)
  • Top 3 reasons why benefits were introduced: 72% to reduce staff turnover, 58% to attract talent, 54% as a response to feedback received by their employees (SHRM 2018)
  • 83% of companies upgraded their benefits over the last 3 years (Empyrean 2017)
  • 84% who were satisfied with their benefits, were satisfied with their job (Glassdoor 2017)

Not convinced yet? Check out more perk statistics and decide on your next business strategy now!

A note for job seekers

Hunting for your next dream job? As awesome as certain perks and benefits may sound, don't be nearsighted and accept a job offer just for its perks. The perks will be inviting, but your primary consideration must be the actual position and the field you're immersing yourself into. It may seem like you've found your dream job, but looking at the whole picture will help you make the best choice and will determine how happy you go to work in the future. If you have no passion for the job, no happy hour or free breakfast will fill the void.

Bonus tip: Don't hesitate to negotiate certain benefits which may be tie-breaking for you. If you need your company to pay for tuition, or else need to work flexible hours to take care of your family, speak up and see whether your requests can be accommodated.

Explore in more detail how you can switch your career path successfully and tips on how to search for jobs effectively

Want to stand out from your competition and remain one step ahead of the game? Then it's time to re-think your company's strategy and start considering adding benefits in your pipeline. Nevertheless, don't stop at the benefits. Also focus on other ways you can enhance your company culture by keeping your workforce engaged, showing appreciation, displaying good leadership, and providing training prospects. This way you'll also reduce employee turnover. Need some inspiration? Check out the top 100 best places to work for in 2019 and discover how your business can become an attractive workplace.

Explore tips on how you can boost motivation levels, keep your employees happy, and how to create a positive culture within your business.

Keep on discovering local with Yellow



Mr Yellow
About Mr Yellow

With a passion for helping others and a desire to making you more efficient, Mr Yellow has managed to arm himself with powerful capabilities making your daily searches a breeze. Putting his knowledge, creativity and wit into action, he also crafts insightful and engaging articles encouraging you to explore the Maltese Islands and experience new adventures, while offering some interesting tips on a number of topics. Ever-present, Mr Yellow always has your back. 

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