Rewards & BenefitsReward and RecognitionWhat employee benefits do people actually want?

What employee benefits do people actually want?

How do you decide what perks to provide your employees with? It’s an issue that deserves more airtime than it’s given. Company benefits are an expensive part of your EVP and if you miss the mark, not only are you wasting money but you’re giving nothing of “value” (perceived or otherwise) back to your employees.

There is an assumption occasionally that simply providing something, anything, by way of employee benefits will do the trick. After all isn’t it the gesture that matters? The answer to this is of course, no. As an employer gestures are the preserve of slapdash management, every decision you make for your employees should be thought-through and meaningful.

Management usually start with good intentions, whipping round departments, gathering feedback here and there but the final decision is often made without employees being consulted. It can create a feedback loop that, at best, results in no one using their employees benefits and at worst leads to widespread disengagement.

What do employees want then? Well, here at Perkbox we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled “The Great Perk Search”, UK-wide survey that ranks the top 50 employees benefits. To give you a flavour, here are 5 of the top scorers:

  1. Extracurricular activities

At first, this seems a little surprising (it ranks higher than a free lunch??) but take a moment and think back to school, or university. As soon as you enter the workplace, access to book clubs, sports teams etc. vanish without a trace. So running activities such as chess clubs, pottery classes, yoga or knitting sessions (whatever floats their boat) could score you big points you’re your employees.

  1. Team sports

Wine-lunches or company nights out have been surpassed with the desire to have office-wide sports teams. Netball, 5 a side football and touch rugby leagues are now seen as a desirable facet of a workplaces’ culture.

  1. Games tables and activities 

Ping pong tables, pool tables, video games etc. are easy to implement, and are low cost and high reward. It costs less than taking everyone out for a drink and who knows, you might find it a great way to relieve stress yourself!

  1. Birth-o-holiday 

This perk, which has close links with the likes of Google, and other tech-savvy companies, was particularly favoured by younger cohorts in our Great Perk Search survey. Cheap and easy to implement, this perk should be a no-brainer for companies looking to engage their staff.

  1. Discounts

The Great Perk Search revealed that discounts on holidays, flights, hotels, and supermarkets – were among the most favoured work-based perks of the UK’s employee base. It seems that employees really do value perks that make their pay cheques stretch further – so a worthwhile investment for any employer.

These are just a few of the “hottest perks” that were revealed in the Great Perk Search, however what all of them seem to suggest is that the money spent on benefits has no bearing on the enjoyment employees get out of them. In fact, it’s often quite the opposite. What employees seem to value are perks that encourage social interactions. Almost all of the high rankers involved an element of communitas, whether that be in a game of ping pong, or a 5-a-side league. In some ways these results are to be expected in an age of unprecedented loneliness. So perhaps it’s time to ditch the gym membership in favour of giving your employees a run about the local park with their colleagues.

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