5 Ways to Take Your Employee Perks Program to the Next Level

Lynn Martelli
Lynn Martelli

In past decades, many business owners and managers had a condescending view of the people who worked for them. They often saw them as subordinates who had to be pushed harshly and were easily replaced. Fortunately, the modern workplace has evolved to give staff more of the rights and fair treatment they deserve. Government regulations require employers to provide benefits such as health insurance for full-time employees and equal pay between men and women.

But in an intensely competitive economy, many employers are going above and beyond to keep their team members happy. Good managers know how important it is to retain top talent and keep their turnover rates low. If your competitors offer better perks, you’ll likely lose valuable personnel to them time and again. To keep that from happening, here are five ways to take your employee perks program to the next level.

1. Offer a Variety of Rewards

If your employee rewards program only caters to the interests and wants of a select few, you’re doing it wrong. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone wants to be rewarded in cash or gift cards. If you want to ramp up your team’s excitement and passion to do excellent work, offer a versatile rewards program. Focus on providing both experiences and tangible goods for the most well-rounded rewards structure.

For example, you could offer annual employee vacation budgets, theme park tickets, or branded apparel. You could also give employees a chance to earn the use of a corporate car when they reach a certain professional milestone. If you don’t have enough staff dedicated to making your employee rewards program exceptional, consider outsourcing it. Corporate discount programs can help you build a diverse and interesting employee rewards program with minimal effort on your part. 

2. Complimentary Retirement Planning

Shocking statistics reveal that approximately 20% of Americans aged 50 and older have no money in their retirement accounts. That means about one in five adults have no financial safety net or path to a comfortable retirement. As an employer, it’s important to give your team members every opportunity to retire comfortably and safely when the time is right. If you’re currently offering 401(k) matching and other similar benefits, you’re on the right track.

But sometimes, lack of financial means isn’t the reason for empty or insufficient retirement savings. Many people simply underestimate how much money they need to help them live comfortably without a full-time income. Retaining the services of a retirement planner can be costly, which is why so many refuse to do it. You can remove this barrier by offering complimentary retirement planning to your workers. This service can enhance employee well-being and peace of mind, which can in turn reduce your turnover rate.

3. Wellness Incentive Programs

Healthy employees tend to be more productive employees who take fewer sick days. Improving employee health has the potential to generate up to $11.7 trillion in economic value globally. The average worker spends about 1/3 of their lifetime in the workplace. Therefore, business owners should take an active role in prioritizing employee health. Implementing a wellness incentive program is a fun and effective way to encourage better health.

Your program may include perks like paid gym memberships, wellness retreats, and regular massages. These types of programs aren’t free and will naturally require a chunk of your budget. However, they pay off by improving employee morale and output while reducing absenteeism. Workers are also less likely to experience burnout if they are in good physical health.

4. Tuition Reimbursement

Businesses have been offering tuition reimbursement for many years now. If you haven’t yet jumped on the bandwagon, it’s time to consider it. Thanks to inflation, the average cost of tuition continues to rise. Many people can no longer afford to get a four-year degree without some financial assistance. That’s where employee tuition reimbursement can make all the difference for struggling families.

Tuition reimbursement doesn’t just benefit workers, it also benefits businesses. It’s in your best interest to help your team members enhance their knowledge and develop new skill sets. They can turn around and use those newly developed skills to deliver even greater value to your company. Offering tuition reimbursement is also a great way to show staff members how much you value them. Many job seekers look specifically for companies that offer this perk.

5. Mental Health Support

Mental health is just as important as physical health when it comes to a person’s well-being and ability to function. Fortunately, counseling and other mental health support services are no longer considered taboo or embarrassing to receive. Instead, mental health assistance is recognized for its ability to heal emotional trauma, foster self-awareness, and boost self-confidence.

Employees who have access to mental health support tend to have a higher morale than employees who don’t. Plus, they’re often better equipped to communicate and work well with others, which can help business operations run more efficiently.

Think about where your business would be right now without the hard workers who keep it running and thriving. Your success is highly dependent on the productivity and well-being of each staff member on your team. Implement perks like the ones suggested above to reduce your turnover rate and keep employee morale high.

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