Let’s be honest, everyone loves a bargain. The excitement of starting a new job isn’t just about the work itself – the corporate perks on offer as part of the employee benefits package are also important to attract staff. The trend for increasing workplace happiness and satisfaction is closely linked to corporate perks.
Corporate perks are beneficial for everyone. Not only do employees gain a benefit, but employers attract talented staff who are more likely to want to stay in their job, keeping employee turnover to a minimum.
A survey conducted by CV Library found that 70.5% of British workers said corporate perks should be offered by all companies. The survey also showed that 62.1% of of professionals believe corporate perks to be an important factor when looking for a new job.
12.6% said they would outright refuse a job if the potential employer did not provide corporate perks and 71.8% said their current employer fails to offer corporate perks, which suggests that they could be easily tempted by a job elsewhere.
Core perks that are the biggest clinchers for potential employers include:
- Healthcare insurance
- Holiday allowance
- A bonus scheme
- A pension scheme
- Gym membership
Additional popular employee benefits include:
- An on-site gym
- Company parties
- Outdoor activities
- Maternity/paternity leave
- Work-life balance
- Gaming room
- Free lunch
- Car allowance
- A cafeteria with subsidised food
- Free drinks
- Shopping discounts
Some employees may be content with tea and coffee supplies in the office kitchen, however many job perks are getting more elaborate as companies compete to attract and keep the best talent.
Tech companies in particular are keen to recruit fresh young talent and so are famous for their instagrammable perks for social media bragging.
Some quirky and envy-inducing corporate perks on offer at UK companies include:
- VisitBritain – gives out free theatre tickets and day trips to their employees
- Buzzfeed UK – has live music in the office every Thursday
- Hotjar – provides employees with over £3,500 to create an office space in their home
- BrewDog – gives a week of paid holiday as ‘paid puppy leave’
- Money.co.uk – moved all their staff to a renovated castle with a built in Star Wars themed cinema room
- Just Eat – has a DJ spinning the decks and free food and drink every Friday in the office
- Mind Gym – has cocktails every Friday
- Cloudreach – takes all employees on surprise holidays across Europe and the US
- UKFast – rewards a gift of £10,000 for working there for ten years and an extra week’s holiday on getting married
With the surge of millennials in the workforce – many of whom are coming in with large university debts – some companies are even starting to offer help with student loan repayments as an attractive employee benefit.
However, the workforce today are less impressed with the trendy perks that had gained in popularity thanks to companies such as Google and their more creative approach.
These perks often give limited satisfaction – all shiny wrapping with nothing much inside. A free beer is fun, but actually it doesn’t cost much to buy your own. Many workers say they would prefer good benefits that impact them on a long term basis over a pay raise.
Nap areas, ping-pong and lip-sync battles may be popular in the AOL office, but the majority of professionals now want palpable benefits like good health insurance.
The key corporate perks a company can offer
The employee perks a company provides may vary due to the nature of the business, but health benefits, a pension scheme and life insurance are always appealing to employees and should form the basis of a strong benefits package.
These perks don’t look as fun on paper and a recent graduate may sign on the dotted line without reading the tedious paperwork and overly complicated words and jargon, but they are invaluable. Let us cut through the bumf for you:
A company pension scheme is a tax-efficient way for members to save for their retirement. It is now a legal requirement for employers to offer their eligible employees a pension, which the company must contribute to. An employer may add value to their company pension scheme by offering access to financial advice at a lower cost than that which an individual employee could access, through their bulk buying power.
Health insurance may include:
- Private Medical Insurance (PMI)
Private medical insurance covers the cost of treatment for medical problems. It doesn’t supplement salary when an employee is off sick and it doesn’t cover all medical problems so you should need to check your policy details. It’s also a taxable benefit
- Dental insurance
Usually this covers the cost of routine treatments along with any accidents. Anyone who has paid for a private dentist – as most NHS dentists are full – and has winced when they received the private bill are sure to appreciate this perk
- Optical insurance
Optical insurance covers contact lenses, glasses and eye tests and sometimes includes a lump sum in the event of permanent loss of sight. Glasses all seem to be designer nowadays with a price to match, so this is a great perk
- Critical Illness Insurance (CII)
Critical illness insurance will pay out a tax-free lump sum for specific medical conditions – make sure you read the small print
- Health Screening
Health screening provides an employee with a personal MOT for their peace of mind, which is invaluable if it it helps an illness to be detected early
A bit morbid to dwell on, but nevertheless essential – benefits that provide for death whilst in employment include life insurance, which pays out a tax-free lump sum if an employee dies. It’s worked out as a certain number of times their salary and provides support for any dependants.
It is important to consider the employee demographic when considering what corporate perks to include in a benefits package. It is doubtful that a young employee is thinking about how to pay for their gas bill when they are in retirement. They will be keener to pay off their student loan than contribute towards a pension pot. Likewise the more quirky perks such as DJs and Nerf gun battles might appeal more to a younger generation of emerging talent.
However, there are some corporate perks that remain ‘essential’ as opposed to passing fads and employers should listen up.