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Everyone wants to earn what they feel they are worth. The way employee's see it, their hard work and dedication have brought the company much success and improved its bottom line. And so, because of their contribution, employees feel they are deserving of a pay rise.

However, in reality, not all companies can offer their employees the pay rise they may seek. Financially it may not be viable. In addition, as soon as one employee receives a pay rise, everyone wants one. It may be easier to say no to a pay rise to maintain workplace harmony, even if you want to.


What else is on the table?

So, as an employer, what should you do in this situation? Saying no to a pay rise may be justified, but it can still hurt your employees. You want to show your employees how much their work means, not make them feel under-appreciated. Which could cause their motivation to drop, or they start to think that their future lies elsewhere.

You need a compromise. And by being creative, you can offer your employees something different. For example, 4 out of 5 employees prefer additional perks to a pay rise. Companies trying to recruit and retain key staff despite tightening belts have seen a 16% increase in spending on benefits and perks.

The article, therefore, will look at what benefits you can offer your employees instead of a pay rise.


What perks do your employees value?

In 2006, a survey of 10,000 US workers found that less than half considered money their most significant consideration. Of course, everyone wants a competitive wage, but there is an increasing desire for other possibilities among today's workforces, such as flexibility, a great corporate culture, and other perks. And so, a generous benefits package can be crucial in retaining and attracting top talent.

For example, Google offers employees lunches made by professional chefs, yoga classes and complimentary haircuts. At the same time, Twitter offers their workforce three catered meals a day and even improv classes if the mood may take you.

These are great; however, not every company has the same resources as these Silicon Valley titans. Nevertheless, they give a good idea of the type of benefits packages popular among employees. So we will explore a variety of perks that may be more appropriate for your business. And will align with your organization's nature and financial capacity so you can suitably reward your most valuable assets.


The nine perks for your consideration…


An office environment to be proud of

You cannot underestimate a great workspace and working culture. We talk so frequently about how culture improves performance. So the steps you take to bring your teams together will ensure they enjoy their jobs, enjoy one another's company and are motivated to deliver excellent output.

The office environment should be a happy place to be. Where employees know that they will work hard but also have a good time during their workday. To do that, you could consider the following:

  • Regular team-building events. Sports teams, film clubs, find the things that unite you.
  • Space to relax and take a moment from work, designated break spots for chats and coffee.
  • Table tennis, anyone? Games and competition to bring laughter into the workplace.
  • Casual dress.
  • Snacks available. The average employee consumes one or several meals, including snacks, during their working hours. To keep focus high, offer healthy snacks. A balanced diet can prevent illness and ensure high productivity. As well as curbing healthcare costs and absenteeism because of poor health.
  • The creation of work events and traditions such as Pizza Friday or drinks at the end of the month. 
  • If employees have to work late, ensure dinner options are available to show your gratitude for their hard work.

These sorts of benefits are what your employees are looking for in a job and a workplace environment. Spending so much of one's time at work, you want to enjoy yourself, get on with your colleagues, and make memories beyond sitting at your desk every day. 

It shows employees present and future that the organization is more than a job. Today, people desire a workplace culture that they can buy into. These perks are great for creating ties among the workforce, increasing the sense of belonging and improving staff performance.


Help employees keep fit and healthy

Every day you give it your all. Your job is demanding and requires a large amount of energy each day. So to relax at the end of it all, you want to let off some steam by doing some exercise. But after finishing work, commuting, and with the wintery night fully settled in, HBO Max and your cosy sofa look a better option.

The motivation to get fit can be hard to maintain, especially when your energy levels are low. So, employees need something to give them that extra motivation.

16% of employees believe gym membership or wellness programs are their most desired office perk. And it is in your interest to investigate these possibilities. The impact of being sedentary all day can lead to increased health costs and less productivity.

So, suppose there is space in the office. In that case, you can invest in a trainer, or someone in the office who moonlights as a fitness instructor, to come in during the lunch hour to do a workout. Or take those interested to a local park for a much-needed daytime endorphins rush. 

Your employees are free to choose what works best for them and what will help achieve their targets. Increasing workplace exercise opportunities can help your employees get the most out of their day and time. So they don't have to worry about exercising after work, reduce the feelings of guilt for not doing it and help break up their day and give them a strong second wind in the afternoon. ‍


Who doesn't love freebies?

There is a range of possibilities, coupons for activities, tickets to movies, concerts, sports, and other events. Even discount offers for shops, supermarkets or mobile phones. Little or large, these types of perks can contribute to satisfied and highly appreciative employees.


The provision of healthcare and paid sick days

Not everyone is fortunate to live in a country where there is free healthcare for all. So, if employees can benefit from a work healthcare program, be that medical, dental or therapy, it can create peace of mind among the workforce. Employees know that they and their family have coverage in the event of illness or an accident.

Yours and your family's health is the most important thing in the world. And to be able to offer a guarantee of that, well, I don't think there is a greater workplace benefit.

Alongside this, offering paid sick days can also be highly valuable to employees. They don't have to be a trooper and come to work ill and discredit the myth that days off are a sign of weakness. With paid sick days, they can stay at home, recover properly, and prevent the spread of illness among the rest of the teams.

Ensuring employees can still receive their wages even when ill can prevent a rush to get back into the office because of money worries. You show consideration for your employees' physical and mental well-being and increase their sense of financial security.


Paternity Leave, COVERED!

For many, the choice between a career and a family can be challenging. 

Not sure when the right time is, can you afford to go without work for an extended period, whether you feel you have achieved what you would like to do professionally or whether you will lose your job because of the extended absence? All these factors can cause delay or force you to choose between one or the other.

But what about if you could have both? Offering your employees paid paternity leave can afford them the time and space to start a family and support their children in the early stages of their lives. In addition, it can give new parents the time necessary to find their rhythm and settle into a new way of life.

Your employees know they don't have to rush back to work. And signals that as an employer, you understand there are more important things to life than work, and you respect and support their choices.


More opportunities for R & R

Two weeks in the summer and your Christmas off. For many, this has been the holiday norm for much of their working life. But now, with the need to cater to the needs of diverse and expectant workforces, businesses must address their approach. 

Employees want flexibility with when they can take time off. Not to have it limited to one part of the calendar. The possibility of floating holiday dates would allow employees to strike a better balance between work and personal time. Thus giving your workers the chance to travel when they want to, run with the bulls in Pamplona, follow their football team on their European adventure, or spend time with their family and new grandkids.

Fluid holidays would allow employees to match their desire to fulfill both professional and life ambitions. And modernize the nature of holiday schedules with 30% of employees now offering floating holidays instead of the typical days off

Employees who don't feel chained to the office, and are trusted to responsibly manage their workloads regardless of the number of days they take off, will likely be more engaged, productive and wish to stick around. 

Furthermore, employees taking holiday days will mean that you don't have to pay for unused vacation days when they leave the company.


Training and Education

Everyone wants to achieve their full potential. We all hear of the marginal gains and 1% upgrades that sports teams constantly pursue, so, as a business, why shouldn't the same drive for improvement be supported? 

It's in your organization's interest to help your employees develop their skill set. So, as a benefit, you could offer your teams increased opportunities to attend training or courses so that they have professional skills coming out of their ears.

For the organization, the instant benefits of a highly-skilled workforce are tenfold. First, it will help improve their employees' working habits and technical prowess, their desire for more responsibility, and enhance the functionality of teams and processes with new knowledge and skills. And for the employee, these skills will remain with them for the rest of their lives, offering them the chance to progress and achieve their professional goals.


Offer your employees a bonus for outstanding performance

Yes, you are spending money, but your business is getting a lot in return. By connecting financial incentives to the emotions that keep employees engaged, you tie excellent work performance to personal gain. 

By offering performance bonuses, you are challenging your employees to perform well consistently and hit targets. The notion of working towards something, having a personal goal to achieve, can increase employees' sense of control of their working day, engagement and competitiveness.

Thus, motivating employees to deliver consistent excellent output, with incentives also helping increase team performance by 44%. There is nothing sweeter to receive rewards when you feel that you have justly earned them.


A flexible working schedule

Flexibility is highly desired among today's workforce. The chance to work from their homes or telecommute from anywhere can allow employees to juggle responsibilities. And 80% of workers would give increased consideration to a job that lets them work from home.

For employers, offering their teams the chance to mix working patterns could be highly valuable. Firstly, with reduced numbers in the office, it can help to lower overhead costs. And for employees, it is a giant carrot. It will enable them to follow a working schedule that fits their lifestyle, and more time for their families, and what they love. Working when it suits them, so they feel energized and productive, and for 98% of employees, a job that can offer them flexibility would positively impact their quality of life.

You are offering employees the chance to broaden their horizons, to increase the balance of work and life, which all employees would love to embrace.


Why perks and benefits mean you don't have to break the bank with pay rises

Employees today want more than just a big bag of money at the end of each month. Of course, that would be nice, but they are looking for a more holistic working experience in the grand scheme of things. One that can benefit all aspects of their lives.

So, finding the right perks and benefits that appeal to your workforce can help your business, especially if you don't want to spend as much on salaries. 

Finding out what your employees want, the type of environment and the workplace they wish to be part of can go a long way in helping you deliver it. So, you help your employees feel happy working for you and want to stay because of their favorable treatment, relationships with one another, and the support you show to help them be at their best each day.


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