In today’s society, the issue of the ‘Wandering Millennial’ is a significant one for many businesses, with 75% of Millennials believing that constantly changing jobs advances their careers. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, it takes over 40 days and costs just over £4,000, on average to replace one employee with a new hire. As a result, companies are looking at their company culture in order to not only attract, but retain the best talent. On top of this, increasing studies show that employees desire to be valued and satisfied in their work environments in order to work to the best of their abilities.
“43% of Millennials plan on leaving their jobs within two years and only 28% see themselves in the same job for over 5 years.” – 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey
A common question amongst HR teams, finance teams and business owners is ‘do work perks really work?’. Naturally (considering our line of work), we at Feedr are drawn to respond with ‘absolutely!’. But that’s only one piece of the puzzle. We often read about the benefits of perks at work, learning that offering certain company perks such as flexible working can positively affect employee retention, happiness and productivity. But to what extent do work perks really work? Which perks are the most successful? And what are the reasons for a company implementing a work perk? We decided to run a short survey asking HR professionals about the perks at work they use, the reasons behind these and how effective they find them. Read on to discover our key findings.
The importance of employee satisfaction
What metrics do you measure when looking at the impact of your benefits package?
Despite the growing concern for staff turnover, it turns out that employee retention isn’t the main metric companies are looking at when investing in staff benefits. Our recent survey revealed that 83% of respondents use employee satisfaction and feedback as their main sourceto evaluate the effectiveness of work perks. While staff retention and talent attraction remain important, businesses need to prioritise their own staff satisfaction, as naturally, the knock-on effect of this should be happier teams and decreased employee turnover. It’s also interesting to note that less than 30% of respondents measure the overall cost of benefits. This suggests that companies are moving away from measuring the ROI of their perks package in financial terms and more towards seemingly less tangible benefits like employee health, wellbeing and satisfaction.
So how well do perks really work?
What positive impact have you seen or been able to attribute to your employee perks package?
-80% of respondents said that their company’s employee benefits package has had a positive impact on the business.
Our survey revealed strong correlations between perks and employee happiness. With nearly 70% increased employee satisfaction and 50% increased employee retention. The results were strongly in favour of implementing perks within the workplace.
For one company, staff turnover dropped by more than half when they introduced an extensive employee perks package (including subsidised food, flexible hours, and subsidised travel), to their workplace.
What perks do you offer your employees?
– The results from the survey were fairly broad, revealing decisions vary according to each business
Another question we are repeatedly asked is ‘which perks actually work?’. Employers often struggle to decide which benefits to choose and which will provide the most impact on their team’s wellbeing. Unfortunately, deciding which perk works for your company is a little more nuanced than a ‘one size fits all approach’. Different companies benefit from different perks. What’s clear is that opening up a 2-way dialogue with employees is central to success when it comes to raising employee satisfaction and increasing retention. How you decide to do this, has to be tailored to the needs of your business and employees. Perkbox encourages companies to focus on inclusive perks, which bring the team together. Options for this include staff socials, in-office benefits (pool table etc) or free/subsidised meals.
The importance of creating a wide-reaching and inclusive perks package is vital for driving maximum employee uptake and satisfaction. We see evidence of this with our Cloud Canteen platform, which has 80% employee uptake vs other traditional benefits offerings, because it is a personal food solution which offers individuals a way to eat exactly how they want. – Riya, CEO & Co-Founder at Feedr
Following this, we have witnessed a growing interest in subsidised employee meals, with 45% of respondents opting for employee lunches as a perk.
The bigger picture
It’s important to note that perks alone aren’t the silver bullet to success, but they contribute enormously to the sense of wellbeing employees feel within their workspace. Company culture and job satisfaction are all influenced by the approach employers take towards the wellbeing and nurture of their workforce, and they can create a virtuous cycle within the organisation.
As one HR put it: “employees won’t stay in a job they hate due to a gym membership, but having access to that membership can be part of a positive cycle of support and nurture that great workplaces have. Productivity and retention are due to multiple factors and benefits, flexibility and autonomy all contribute to that significantly”.
So there we go, a little insight into the value and importance of employee perks. It’s clear there is strong evidence of the benefits of company-wide employee perks. However, understanding the nuances and learning which perks work for different organisations is a trickier subject. It’s important to explore different practices, activities and perks to find the best combination for both your employees and the organisation. But what we do know is that there has been a decided shift from the financial measurement of perks alone to looking at it more holistically. So if you’re considering updating your business’s perks package, we suggest you begin by asking your team what they want, be clear on what your goals are and stay flexible. The wandering millennial may stay a little longer if you do.
Are you an HR manager or in charge of employee wellbeing? If so, we’d love to hear about your own experiences and insights on perks at work. If you have any successes or learnings, please comment below to let us know!