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The 21st century is uncharted territory when it comes to hiring and retaining talent. Long gone are the days of an employee devotedly staying with one employer for the duration of their career. With opportunity around every corner, corporate perks do more than help you attract and retain the best talent within your industry; they are considered an employee “must-have” with workplace expectations at an all-time high. Employees are less impressed with the communal snack cabinet and are holding out for offers with more meaningful perks, like continued education, workplace flexibility, and wellness packages.
These types of perks, personalized for the exact talent you hope to attract to your organization, provide you the opportunity to engage with your employees on a profound level, making them feel understood, appreciated and motivated. But how do you choose which perks to offer? And will they be inclusive of your employee’s needs? And, possibly most importantly, how do you even begin incorporating a corporate perks program within your organization?
These questions, common among employers from a variety of industries, prompted us to create this guide with a single goal in mind: to help your team navigate the confusing and saturated world of corporate perks. In the following chapters, you will learn everything you need to know (and more) about how perks can benefit your organization, the best perks for your employees and how to establish a solid corporate perks program.
But first, let’s start at the very beginning …
What are corporate perks, and which do your employees really care about?
Short for “perquisites,” from a Latin word meaning “something acquired for profit,” the term “perks” refers to non-wage benefits. Employers may offer corporate perks to attract new talent, to boost worker morale, or retain top performers.
Most people use the terms “perks” and “benefits” interchangeably, but many experts distinguish between benefits and perks. ”Benefits” actually refer to necessities that workers should receive as a baseline for employment. “Perks” refers exclusively to non-essential items provided in addition to a benefits package. Here, we’ll be following the more familiar way of speaking about all types of non-wage compensation as “perks,” with an emphasis on perks that differ from standard benefits.
Perks come in a wide variety of forms. Some of the most popular corporate perks above and beyond standard benefits include:
- Employer-sponsored charitable gift-giving
- Supplemental health insurance
- Volunteer time off
- Flexible work hours
- Work from home opportunities
- Employee discounts
- Cell phone discounts
- Transportation benefits
- Housing and relocation assistance
- Wellness programs
- Child care benefits
- Education benefits
- Free food
An understanding of each perk will help you and your company determine which ones could make the largest impact. Continue reading for some of the best perks to keep great employees loyal to your company and new talent interested in being a part of your organization.
Supplemental Health Insurance
Health insurance tops the list of most common benefits offered by employers. The Affordable Care Act requires applicable employers to provide minimal health insurance coverage for full-time employees. However, some companies go beyond these minimums and offer to supplement traditional health insurance.
One increasingly popular perk is providing a health savings account (HSA). These are tax-advantaged accounts that allow healthcare consumers with high-deductible insurance plans to save towards payment of qualified medical expenses. Contributions are taken out of an employee’s pre-tax pay or deducted from their taxes, and any money withdrawn is not taxed. Unused funds roll over to the next year and can be used even if you change employers. Flexible savings accounts (FSAs) are another popular supplemental healthcare perk, similar to HSAs but with lower contribution limits and usually not eligible to roll over.
Volunteer Time Off
Some employers offer volunteer time off (VTO) separately from other types of paid time off. This type of perk compensates workers for community service. For example, employees may get paid time off for helping at a local school, food pantry, or Habitat for Humanity chapter. As with other types of paid time off, employers offer a limited number of hours of volunteer time off annually. Hours for volunteer time off accrue separately from regular company-sponsored volunteer work. Providing employees a chance to give back to their community is an excellent way to promote a sense of purpose; professionally, personally and within the community that they live and work in.
Employer-Sponsored Charitable Giving
As an alternative or supplement to volunteer time off, employers may also make it easy for workers to automatically donate part of their paycheck to their favorite charity. Some employers may even make matching charitable gifts.
Online perks platforms such as Fond make charitable gift-giving (and developing strong company core values) easy. Employers have the option to make a donation to an employee’s favorite charity in their name. In addition, employees can directly donate to charities with a few simple clicks.
Many employers now offer workers flexible work hours, within reasonable limits. For instance, a company may allow a worker to start and leave work an hour early. This accommodates people with family responsibilities, like transporting children to and from school. Employers may also allow arrangements such as letting employees work longer days with shorter lunch hours Monday through Thursday so they can take Friday off.
Work from Home Opportunities
With the growing number of companies that employ remote workers, the option to telecommute has taken its place among popular corporate perks. Some companies offer a limited number of days telecommuting per week, while others allow employees to work from home full-time. In a remote work environment, you have to go to extra lengths to ensure your remote workers are invested in your company culture but the benefits could be worth it.
Cell Phone Discounts
Many employees use their own smartphones for business purposes. To accommodate this, employers offer discounts on cell phones as another popular perk. This can include discounts on devices, reduced monthly plans, and waived activation fees. Some employers even provide cell phones for their employees. Depending on whether the phone is provided primarily for non-compensatory business reasons or as an additional perk, the value of the phone may be either excluded from or included with employee wages for tax purposes, per IRS regulations.
Some employers offer workers the opportunity to reduce their tax obligations by excluding certain commuting costs from gross income. This type of perk is called qualified transportation fringe benefits or tax-free commuter benefits. Qualifying forms of transportation can include expenses such as transit passes, van-pooling, parking, and other items allowed under tax law. Employers may also arrange for employee discounts on purchases of bus passes and subway passes.
Housing and Relocation Assistance
Employer-assisted housing programs can help workers with items such as down payments or rent. Companies may also assist employees with relocating when accepting a job requires them to move from their current residence.
Wellness programs have become one of the most popular new perks in recent years, spurred by incentives under the Affordable Care Act. Employers may offer benefits for participating in a program, for completing an activity, or for achieving a goal. For instance, employees may receive a financial incentive for participating in a preventive medical screening program. Wellness perks can also include items such as on-site exercise and recreational equipment, gym memberships, or healthy snacks.
Companies can receive tax deductions for directly contributing to employee childcare costs. Some companies may provide on-site childcare facilities to make it easy for workers to bring children to and from daycare. Even more important than the tax breaks received are the reductions in employee turnover when employees feel they have an optimal work-life balance. Offering flexibility such as on-site child care reduces the daily strain for employees, allowing you to retain your best people.
Employers may offer workers several types of education-related benefits. Companies can attract up-and-coming talent from colleges by offering internship programs. Employer-sponsored tuition reimbursement can attract recent college graduates. To retain experienced workers seeking career advancement opportunities, companies can offer continuing education programs through means such as classes, seminars, workshops, and certification programs.
Corporate discounts represent another way companies can extend perks to workers. These can include discounts for purchases of company products and company-exclusive discounts on items purchased elsewhere.
A tangible benefit of using an online perks platform is the pre-negotiated discounts on your employee’s favorite products and services. Online platforms allow you to customize perks based on your geographical location and your company needs, making it easily accessible for employees to claim using their personal mobile app. Even better? Some online perks programs (Fond included!) even allow employees to share their savings with family members!
Some companies offer free food and beverages as a perk. This can include anything from quality coffee in the break room to occasional catered meals or free daily lunches. Take it one step further and design a lounge area where your employees can enjoy the refreshments, socialize with coworkers and relax during their workday.
Why offer perks? The Top 9 Benefits for Your Company
In the past, companies and employees viewed corporate perks as an unessential bonus to their standard pay package. Although once considered “favors,” the perception of corporate perks has changed. Companies now see perks as a critical component of their recruitment and retainment strategies and a means to stay competitive in a market with the lowest unemployment rate since December 1969. Businesses that neglect perks may find themselves facing a skills gap crisis, affecting more than just their bottom line.
A 2019 SHRM survey found that 20 percent of companies increased health-related and wellness perks. Just three percent decreased corporate perks in any significant area. These numbers reflect the widespread consensus that perks are essential. Companies, as well as employees, derive benefits from perks. Perks can help businesses improve their:
- Corporate culture
- Brand reputation
- Talent recruitment
- Worker morale
- Talent retention
- Customer relations
- Community relations
- Promotional partnerships
Understanding more about the relationship between corporate perks, employees, and your company will help you decide which combination will yield the best results.
1. Corporate Culture
The corporate perks you offer define your company’s culture. Your culture, in turn, affects every aspect of your company’s identity, from the way you craft your mission statement to the way your workers and customers see you. A strong perks package proves that you prioritize your workers and their happiness and wellbeing. The perks you offer can also define your company’s social commitments, particularly if your perks package includes support for volunteer activity on behalf of charities or charitable donations on an employee’s behalf.
2. Brand Reputation
Brand perception represents one of the most fundamental reasons why companies are investing in employee perks. The way companies treat their employees affects their reputation via word-of-mouth conversations and online reviews. This, in turn, affects how brands are perceived in the eyes of both job seekers and customers. Companies that are considered the best places to work often offer highly competitive perks.
3. Talent Recruiting
Building a positive brand reputation lays a foundation for attracting top talent. Workers consider corporate perks almost as important as salary when it comes to evaluating job offers. A Glassdoor survey found that 63 percent of job seekers weigh perks and benefits among the top factors they look for when considering job ads.
When it comes to accepting job offers, 48 percent of employees rank corporate perks and benefits as their highest priority, even ahead of salary. Having an easy commute to work ranks as the second most important consideration, with salary pulling a close third. For companies seeking to attract top talent, this means having a competitive perk package is a must.
4. Employee Morale
Perks not only attract employees to companies, but they also keep them happier on the job. Employees seek certain jobs to achieve financial goals and relieve stress over issues such as long commutes, student debt, health insurance, and retirement. Corporate perks packages that help address these issues tend to alleviate employee stress, translating into happier workers.
On the other hand, employees with poor perks may feel unappreciated by their employers. Five in ten employees regard better perks and benefits as a key to thriving at work, a MetLife study concluded. When asked to identify what they need to succeed at work, employees rank better perks and benefits third behind salary and a positive work environment. Offering superior additions to your perks packages can help companies boost employee satisfaction.
Just as perks can improve employee morale, they can also boost worker productivity. Happier workers enjoy stronger motivation and suffer fewer distractions.
Allowing employees to work from home can prove especially conducive to productivity. For instance, a two-year Stanford study found that call center workers who work from home gain 13 percent in productivity. These gains stem from several factors, including working more minutes per shift, taking fewer breaks and sick days, and handling more work per minute. Companies that offer work from home opportunities stand to gain measurable productivity benefits.
6. Talent Retention
Perks help companies retain employees as well as attract them. When workers are content with benefits, their job satisfaction is higher, making them more loyal to your company. Perks can help retain workers who are considering leaving. MetLife found that 29 percent of employees who were planning to leave would stay if their employer offered more benefits.
Employers using perks to retain talent have found that flexible work arrangements and career development support can increase worker retention. Deloitte research found that millennial workers are more likely to leave employers who don’t offer flexible hours or work from home.
7. Customer Relations
By improving employer relations with workers, perks can help companies’ relationships with customers as well. When employees are happy at work, they are more inclined to positively interact with customers, translating into a better customer service experience and higher customer satisfaction. A Glassdoor study found that companies with high employee satisfaction reviews also tend to have higher customer satisfaction.
Happy employees can also boost a brand’s image in the eyes of customers. When a company has a reputation for treating employees well, customers have a more favorable impression of the company’s brand. Customers who perceive that a company treats employees well are more likely to shop there. They are also more likely to recommend that brand to family and friends.
8. Community Building
Perk programs that involve partnerships with other organizations can help companies build better community relationships. For example, if your company sponsors paid time off for workers to assist at a local charity, your brand can develop a relationship with that charity that reinforces your company as a part of the community. Similarly, if your company provides free tickets to attend local theatre performances, your brand becomes associated with that production company as part of the community.
9. Promotional Partnerships
Perks programs can help your company form promotional partnerships with other businesses. For example, if your company makes an agreement with a local merchant to provide discounts for your employees, you may be able to leverage this into a mutually beneficial promotional partnership. These types of partnerships are beneficial because they broaden the reach of the organization’s target audience, the scope, and purpose of their marketing strategy and positively increase their exposure to the community.
10 Unique Corporate Perks to Attract Top Talent
Perks can have a significant impact on whether or not a job seeker decides to accept an employment offer. Nearly three in five job seekers prioritize corporate perks among their top criteria. In light of this, human resources departments strategically use perks to attract top talent to their companies. Companies that neglect perks run the risk of losing talented recruits to competitors.
To use this strategy effectively, companies must know what types of perks employees want. Additionally, if your competitors are offering the same benefits as you, offering unique perks can help you stand out. Here are some of the most in-demand corporate perks:
- Unlimited paid time off
- Paid family leave
- Volunteer time off
- Wellness in the workspace
- Stress management assistance
- Financial wellness support
- Flexible working arrangements
- Student loan assistance
- Professional development opportunities
- Employee discounts
1. Allow Unlimited Paid Time Off
Most employers offer paid time off (PTO), but many workers encounter situations where they need additional time off. These types of situations create anxiety over the prospect of losing their job.
Employers increasingly offer this incentive. Providing this perk doesn’t cost companies anything because workers generally take the same amount of time off as they would on a standard package. Companies that offer this perk still require employees to schedule time off.
2. Provide Paid Family Leave
An alternative to offering unlimited time off is providing specific types of frequently requested time off like paid family leave. This can accommodate the growing number of single parents or employees that care for their aging or sick parents. The number of companies offering some form of paid family leave has grown significantly in recent years, with 58 percent of employees now enjoying this corporate perk, according to a survey by benefits provider Unum. Employees particularly prize paid maternity and paternity leave. Some employers now also offer paid leave for adoption and foster children.
3. Support Volunteer Time Off
For today’s job seeker, a company’s social commitment can be a major consideration when exploring job opportunities. Offering VTO can help communicate a brand’s social values to prospective workers. It can also help companies retain socially conscientious employees.
4. Wellness Starts in the Workplace
Wellness programs have become a popular corporate perk in recent years. Varieties of wellness perks range from preventive medical screenings to on-site gyms. But many employees say that what they want most from wellness programs is a healthier workplace environment. A survey by Future Workplace and View found that the wellness perk employees most desire is fresh-allergen free air. Workers also want more comfortable lighting, better water quality, and comfortable temperatures.
5. Provide Stress Management Assistance
Stress in the workplace can cause lower productivity, missed days, and higher turnover. Wellness perks aren’t just about staying physically fit. As medical professionals and consumers have grown increasingly aware of the link between mental and physical health, stress management assistance has become a popular benefit. To meet this demand, a growing number of providers offer stress management programs specifically designed for employees.
6. Offer Financial Wellness Support
Wellness doesn't just limit itself to physical health — financial wellness is also key to a happy workplace. Many workers struggle with financial anxieties like student loan debt, credit card debt, and retirement savings. A recent Equifax financial literacy survey found that this anxiety stems partly from a lack of understanding when it pertains to finances and poor saving habits for emergencies, budgeting, and retirement planning. To help with worker anxiety over finances, employers increasingly offer financial wellness support through programs such as training on debt reduction, asset management, home purchases, retirement planning, and paying for children’s education.
7. Allow for Flexible Working Arrangements
Workers increasingly seek jobs that offer flexible hours or work from home opportunities. Companies that offer flexible working arrangements can significantly increase their ability to attract and retain workers.
A FlexJobs survey found that 16 percent of workers are currently seeking new employment because of flexibility issues. Eight in ten say they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible working arrangements.
Over half of workers have tried to negotiate a flexible work agreement with their employers. More than a quarter would take a pay cut between 10 to 20 percent if they could have more flexibility. For employers, this represents an opportunity both to attract workers and to cut costs.
8. Offer Student Loan Assistance
In the first quarter of 2019, the average student loan debt per person stood at $31,172. Understandably, recent college graduates rank loan repayment assistance among the top benefits sought from potential employers.
A recent survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants reflected this, showing that 41 percent of recent graduates rank loan repayment aid among their most desired benefits. Yet just 8 percent of companies offer student loan repayment assistance. Adding this to your corporate perks can make your brand a compelling choice for new talent.
9. Provide Professional Development Opportunities
Employees often seek new jobs because they feel that their current role limits their career development and salary potential. Employers can boost worker retention by offering professional development opportunities, including mentorship programs, workshops, certification training, and employer-sponsored continuing education.
10. Offer Employee Discounts
Offering employee discounts exclusively for your workers can help your company stand out from the crowd. Employees particularly value discounts on big-purchase items such as electronics items, cars, and even homes. Employers can arrange these types of discount programs through partnerships with other companies. For instance, an employer might partner with a local car dealer, restaurant, florist or many others to provide exclusive discounts to their workers.
Utilizing a corporate perks platform can save your HR team time. Corporate perks platforms such as Fond will negotiate custom discounts that are the most important to your employees. This will not only improve the productivity of your HR team but will boost employee engagement as well.
How to Select the Perfect Corporate Perks Program
Companies have a wide variety of corporate perks to choose from, but how do you decide which perks would work best for your business and your workforce?
Standard benefits such as insurance and retirement plans can be expensive. Perks are often more cost-effective and have similar returns in terms of employee happiness and overall morale. As an employer, you need to ensure that you’re seeing a return on investment for your perks programs. Otherwise, you risk wasting money on an ineffective effort. Follow these eight steps to select the perfect corporate perks program for your needs:
- Set goals for your perks program
- Check regulatory obligations
- Research what your employees want
- Find out what competitors are offering
- Review your budget
- Rank perk options
- Narrow down your list
- Keep your perk packages updated
Let’s dive deeper into these 8 steps to understand how they could fit your needs.
1. Set Goals for Your Perks Programs
To have a successful corporate perks program, it is important to set goals. Defining goals helps guide your selection of perks to achieve practical business ends. For instance, you might set out to:
- Boost employee satisfaction
- Increase your number of qualified recruits
- Reduce employee turnover
Make your goals measurable so that you can track your results. Measure your performance by establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can monitor.
For instance, create a survey questionnaire to measure employee satisfaction in specific categories. Be sure to measure your current performance before implementing your new perks program. Doing this gives you a baseline to track your program’s effectiveness.
2. Check Regulatory Obligations
Employers can choose some perks voluntarily, but others are mandated by federal, state or local law. Determining what you’re required to provide gives you a head start on selecting your perks package. You can automatically add mandatory perks to your package list first.
Bear in mind that even if a perk is required by law, job seekers may still find it appealing if you promote it. After adding mandatory perks, you can consider ways to make these perks even more attractive by going beyond what’s required.
3. Research What Your Employees Want
When expanding your corporate perks list beyond mandatory requirements, start by finding out what your employees want. Studying research on perks and benefits trends can give you insight into what workers are looking for.
You can get more customized insight by surveying your workers about what they’d like to see in a corporate perks package. Find out what perks you’re already offering that they’re satisfied with, as well as what they’d like to see added.
4. Research What Your Competitors Offer
You can make your corporate perks package more appealing by studying what your competitors offer. Competitive analysis will help you understand what job seekers already expect from employers. Look for in-demand perks that workers want that aren’t listed by competing companies and consider adding these to your company’s perks package. In some cases, you may be able to add a distinctive perk that sets you apart with minimal effort or expense.
5. Review Your Budget
After considering regulatory obligations, what employees want, and what competitors offer, you should have a preliminary list of possible perks. You can then check which perks are within your budget to evaluate options for feasibility.
To determine what budget you have available for your perks program, start by reviewing your benefits budget. From this amount, subtract the cost of any mandatory items. You can then review your options to see which remaining items make the most budgetary sense.
6. Curate Your Perk Selection
Offering a variety of perks is one of the keys to a successful employee perks program. But providing every perk available isn’t feasible from a budgetary standpoint or from a practical perspective. If your employees have too many options to choose from, they might find your perks package confusing and overwhelming, especially if your program isn’t structured and organized. Making your perks options too comprehensive also prevents your brand from developing a distinctive benefits package that stands out. Strive to achieve a happy medium that allows your employees some amazing options without overwhelming them.
To do this, consider the questions below and answer each as thoroughly as possible.
- Which corporate perks are most desired by workers?
- Which perks do you need to keep up with the competition?
- Which perks would make you stand out from competitors?
- Which options could generate the best return on investment?
- Which perks could cut costs?
- Which options fall within your budget?
Answering these questions will help you make a more objective assessment of which perks represent your top options.
7. Narrow Your List
After curating your perk options, you’re in a position to start narrowing down your list and finalizing your offerings. To complete your list:
- Include mandatory perks
- Eliminate options that are outside your budget or otherwise unfeasible
- Consider your highest-ranked remaining items first
- Add any other items that fit your goals for your corporate perks program
Following this procedure should leave you with a working list. If you’re using a corporate perks platform such as Fond, you can reach out directly with a list of custom perks you’d like to have added to the platform. They’ll do the work for you by negotiating discounts for your employees. When presenting your list to employees, allow workers to choose from possible selections which will make them feel more empowered and satisfied.
8. Keep Perk Packages Updated
When you first implement your perks package, it may or may not achieve the results you intended. You may find that it performs better than expected, or you may find that it falls short of expectations.
To make sure your perks program achieves its purpose, monitor your results and make adjustments. Track your results using the key performance indicators you established when you set your initial goals. A major benefit of having Fond as your corporate perks platform is the ability to monitor all your KPIs seamlessly within the platform. If your results fall short of your goals, consider what changes you might make to improve your performance. Surveying your employees can lend insight into what adjustments might help.
How to Effectively Manage Your Corporate Perks
The success of a corporate perks program depends on an effective management strategy. Managing a perks program involves a variety of tasks that require some attention and expertise. These include:
- Choosing between in-house versus outsourcing solutions
- Selecting perks administration software
- Promoting your perks package
- Onboarding employees into your perks program
- Administering perks
- Handling bookkeeping tasks such as payroll and taxes
- Tracking the performance of your perks program
Understanding each of these tasks will help you create an effective management strategy. Let’s review these in more detail.
In-House vs. Outsourcing Solutions
When implementing your benefits package, you should consider whether outsourcing your rewards and perks programs would be advantageous. Handling your perks in-house can incur significant labor, technical know-how, and expenses. These can include:
- Building a content management system
- Negotiating corporate discounts for benefits such as insurance
- Managing discount and rewards programs
- Ongoing maintenance
Altogether, the costs associated with these items can add up over time. They can also consume hundreds of hours of labor. Estimating your costs and comparing the expenses of in-house solutions with outsourcing can help you decide which route to go.
Perks Administration Software
Choosing the right perks administration software can save you time, labor and cost when managing your perks program. Software can include features to help you manage tasks such as:
- Online enrollment of employees in perks programs
- Managing employee perks packages from a centralized platform
- Accessing pre-negotiated corporate perks
- Providing a single interface for managing employee perks from multiple providers
- Creating statements for employees summarizing the value of their perks
- Publicly recognizing employees for achievements
- Managing employee service rewards
- Complying with regulatory requirements
- Tracking performance of your perks programs
Some software provides these features as part of specialized programs focused on a specific area such as rewards management. Which type of software you require depends on what programs you’re already using, your company’s needs, and your budget.
Your onboarding process represents the perfect opportunity to make sure new employees sign up for your perks program. Building benefits registration into your onboarding process will help maximize the number of employees who take advantage of your perks.
You can use the onboarding process to have employees:
- Learn what perks are available
- Receive early and follow-up notification of enrollment deadlines
- Register for perks programs
- Select from perk options
During the registration process, some employees may experience difficulty selecting from options, especially if you have many available. You can solve this problem by setting up your software to automatically enter a default corporate perks package. You can give new employees a specified time window to adjust their default selections to their preferred options. For instance, you may provide new employees 30 days to adjust their options before defaults kick in.
Promotion of Your Perks Package
Even the best perks program won’t benefit you if your employees don’t know about it. Unfortunately, many programs underperform because workers aren’t sufficiently aware of them.
You can increase employee awareness of your perks program by promoting it through methods such as:
- Emphasizing your perks program in your employment ads and recruitment material
- Discussing perks during interviews with job applicants
- Providing information about your perks program during your onboarding process
- Setting aside specific time slots for new employees to sign up for these benefits
- Reminding workers about your corporate perks program during employee meetings
- Periodically mentioning perks in email and social media reminder messages
After your workers have signed up for perks, follow-up administration will be required to ensure that they receive a smooth experience of their benefits. If you outsource your perks administration, your provider will generally handle this. Otherwise, your human resources department will be responsible for administration.
Important administrative tasks include:
- Verifying regulatory compliance
- Monitoring employee use of perks such as volunteer paid time off
- Sending employees periodic statements summarizing their perks
- Answering employees’ questions about their perks packages
- Correcting data entry errors in employee accounts
- Negotiating periodic renewals of corporate discounts
- Informing employees of changes to perks plans
- Assisting workers in making any annual updates or other updates to their perks packages
Administering perks also involves important bookkeeping tasks. These include:
- Managing employee payroll deductions for perks programs such as matching charitable contributions
- Making sure all payroll deductions comply with federal, state and local tax regulations
- Calculating perks expenses for tax deductions
- Verifying that all tax deduction claims comply with current tax law
Accounting procedures and tax regulations covering these areas can be quite complex. Employers should work with accounting or tax professionals to ensure accuracy and compliance. If you have a corporate perks platform such as Fond, you can easily download tax reports to help you with your tax reporting. Whether you should use in-house or outsourced professionals depends on your expertise and budget. Working with a professional who uses cloud-based accounting software can streamline the process.
Tracking your performance forms a critical part of corporate perks management. Keeping your program’s goals in mind, monitor your key performance indicators to see how close you come to your targets. If you’re falling short of your goals, consider what adjustments you might make. For best results, monitor your performance through regular, periodic reports.
Monitor the return on investment of your perks program. Perks can add significantly to your business expenses. Tracking these expenses and comparing them with gains such as productivity can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your program. You can also compare the cost of perks per individual employee with the productivity generated by that worker.
Are your perks ready for the future? 9 Predictions for Perks Programs
Savvy employers are continually updating their perks packages to keep up with worker's preferences. Market and regulatory trends can also affect the popularity of perks at a given time. Here are the current hot trends in corporate perks:
- Low unemployment is making perks more critical for attracting talent
- Wellness perks are expected by employees
- Wellness packages increasingly offer mental wellness perks
- Financial wellness is becoming more popular
- Student loan repayment assistance is attracting growing demand from workers
- Employers are providing caregiver assistance
- Personalization is growing more popular
- Employee discounts will diversify
- Employers will explore creative perks
Let’s dive into these in more detail below.
1. Perks Will Become Even More Critical for Attracting Talent
Unemployment reached a 50-year low in 2019. This reflected many positive trends but also aggravated an existing skills gap for recruiters. In 2019, 64 percent of HR leaders reported a skills gap at their company. This was up from 52 percent in 2018, a double-digit increase.
The number of HR recruiters reporting difficulty in closing their company’s skills gap also rose from 42 percent to 44 percent. With top talent becoming increasingly scarce, boasting a competitive corporate perks package will become even more vital for attracting and retaining qualified workers.
2. Wellness Perks Will Be Expected
At one time, wellness perks were associated with Silicon Valley startups on the cutting edge of corporate perks. However, wellness programs have now grown so widespread that employees increasingly view them as the norm.
Recent research by the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that 80 percent of large American employers now offer wellness perks. Popular wellness perks include onsite gyms, fitness reimbursement programs, meditation rooms, standing desks, and nursing hotlines. Employers who don’t offer these types of perks will increasingly find themselves behind the curve.
3. Mental Wellness Perks Will Expand
As part of a growing emphasis on healthcare and wellness, employers are increasing their support for mental health and well-being programs. Nearly nine in ten employers are now concerned with providing employees access to behavioral health services, Optum research shows. Concern over substance abuse helps drive this trend.
To promote mental well-being in the workplace, a majority of employers plan to implement anti-stigma campaigns and training for managers. Employers are also bringing counselors on-site and supporting virtual telehealth mental health counseling. Companies are also working to reduce medication co-pays.
4. Financial Wellness Perks Will Increase in Popularity
With so many workers struggling to pay bills and pay down debt, financial wellness perks have grown in popularity. Between 2015 and 2019, the number of U.S. companies offering financial wellness perks increased from 24 percent to 53 percent, according to Bank of America’s annual Workplace Benefits Report.
Employer financial wellness initiatives encompass a number of different approaches. One popular approach is offering financial planning education that teaches skills such as budgeting and retirement planning. Employee assistance programs are an up-and-coming perk that businesses should pay attention to. For example, some employers offer employee relief and compassion funds to help workers deal with emergencies. Another financial wellness perk is providing access to basic money management tools.
5. Student Loan Repayment
Another leading financial wellness perk is tuition reimbursement. With so much of the workforce buried in student loan debt, loan repayment has become one of today’s hottest benefit trends. In 2015, just 3 percent of employers offered student loan repayment as a perk. By 2019, this had climbed to 8 percent, more than doubling.
Industry watchers expect this trend to continue to gain momentum. Some innovative employers are matching 401(k) contributions for employees who are keeping up with student loan debts. This perk has the appeal of allowing workers to repay student loan debt while saving for retirement at the same time.
6. Employer Will Offer Caregiver Assistance
An aging population and an increase in adult children living at home have made caregiver assistance an in-demand corporate perk. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16 percent of the U.S. population over 15 provides unpaid eldercare. About one in four eldercare providers engages in care on any given day for an average of 3.4 hours. Meanwhile, nearly three in ten American adults have a child younger than 18 living with them, BLS data shows. Over one in ten also care for an adult.
Recognizing the burden this places on workers, employers are increasingly offering caregiver assistance as a perk. Experts expect smaller companies to follow suit.
7. Personalization Will Grow in Popularity
Artificial intelligence has impacted virtually every industry by making it easier for companies to deliver customized options to consumers. The trend towards personalization has rippled into human resources as well. More workers now expect customized service from benefits packages.
Employers are meeting this demand by allowing workers more flexibility in choosing their own perks. For instance, older workers may favor benefits such as long-term disability, while younger workers may lean towards student loan repayment. HR technology tools are making it easier for employers to offer this type of flexibility. Companies will increasingly allow workers to choose their own perks to boost employee satisfaction.
8. Employee Discounts Will Diversify
As part of the trend towards personalized corporate perks, employees will gain greater flexibility to choose their own worker discount packages. Both employees and employers view discounts as one of the top ways to retain talent. An Express Employment Professionals survey found that 24 percent of employees say vendor discounts would make them more likely to stay at their jobs, while 20 percent of employers offer such discounts.
Today’s technology makes it easier for companies to offer a wider range of vendor discounts to employees. Where companies once had to negotiate manually with individual vendors, digital corporate discount platforms now make it possible to automate the process of providing workers with instant access to the discounts they want.
9. Employers Will Explore Creative Perks
Employers have traditionally sought to attract and retain workers through pay raises and standard benefits. But with low unemployment making talent harder to find, and tight budgets limiting standard incentive options, companies are turning to more creative perks to draw workers.
Some non-traditional corporate perks that are growing in popularity include free movie passes, bring your pet to work days, and paid time off for birthdays. Perks such as these offer the advantage of boosting worker satisfaction without costing employers excessive amounts.
Offering a competitive corporate perks program in the modern workplace can be a challenge for any company. And economic improvements and a brighter job outlook mean many candidates are motivated and armed with options in 2020 and beyond. Throughout this guide, we’ve highlighted how corporate perks can add value to your hiring package, help retain top talent, and motivate current employees. We hope we’ve armed you with the understanding of the different types of unique and standard perks available, the benefits of each perk, what employees really want in their perks packages and how to effectively manage a perks program.
However, if you’re still not sure how to develop the perfect corporate perks program in a saturated market, contact us and let us help you. Using the Fond platform, your company will be able to offer a custom corporate perks program that caters to both your employees’ wants and their needs. Even better is your ability to track the success and ROI of your program, ensuring you’re always offering the best perks for both you and your employees.