Making your business a great place to work doesn’t just boost employee happiness — it can actually improve your productivity and profitability. Staff members who feel that their organization cares about them are more likely to personally invest in the work, leading to impressive gains for the business. However, there are some misconceptions about the difference between employee benefits (“have to have”) and employee perks (“nice to have”). Defining the two helps human resources professionals effectively communicate the value of the compensation package that your business offers for employees.

Defining Benefits vs Perks

Loosely defined, benefits are non-wage compensation that employees would otherwise have to self-fund. This can include everything from medical, dental and vision insurance to retirement funds and more. Benefits are generally considered the basics of the compensation package that your organization offers. These items often cover basic needs and the business is likely to continue with similar offerings over an extended period of time. Perks are more loosely defined and are not required as a core offering by the business. This could include generous personal/sick time policies, flexible schedules, team building activities, onsite coffee/sodas or snacks, and even a health club or membership to a local gym. These perks are what help drive positive corporate culture and differentiate your business from the competition when you’re making your organization appealing to potential new hires.

How Employee Perks Help Your Business

When your business offers perks such as flexible hours or gym memberships, they can help boost your employee retention rates, saving a significant amount of money in retraining and staff development over time. Employees that stay with your organization are generally more productive, with less time required for training. When it comes to saving money, one of the largest hits to organizations today are the costs of health care — a cost which continues to grow dramatically each year. Encouraging your staff members to focus on their health through perks such as gym memberships or other healthcare options may reduce your overall insurance rates while also leading to a healthier workforce. Another way to keep staff members engaged in positive health decisions is through offering perks such as standing desks or having easy access to healthy snacks instead of high-sugar caffeinated beverages and candy in snack machines.



Top Employee Perks

There are some perks that you might (selfishly) want to offer to boost the health of your business, but what are employees clamoring for? Turns out, employees are also looking for ways to increase their personal and financial well-being, balancing wholeness between work and family life in new and creative ways. Ensuring that your employees are well cared-for starts with listening to their needs, and these are a few of the things that human resources professionals throughout the country are hearing from staff members as preferred employee perks.

  • Standing desks that allow sedentary staff members to move around a bit as they are completing their work.
  • Gym memberships are a key request, as well as the flexibility to take time before work or during lunch to complete a workout and then return to the office.
  • Massage and chiropractic care are both targeted at helping individuals feel their best and reduce the stress that is placed on bodies that are in the sitting position for too many hours each day for work.
  • Remote work options allow staff members with a long commute to reduce their daily stress and also drop the costs associated with long drives twice a day.
  • Flexible schedules provide a way for employees to balance the needs of their families with being productive at work. Not all jobs are workable with a flexible schedule, but offering this option can help you keep good staff members.
  • Transportation or parking reimbursement is key, especially in a city setting. Parking becomes an increasing problem as businesses tighten up and share space with others.

Employee benefits are a given, but putting some thought into the perks that you are able to offer can pay off dramatically over time in terms of increased productivity, employee health, and retention rates.



We created a complimentary download of healthcare terms specifically for businesses like yours. Download it today: The Healthcare Glossary: Your Definitive Guide to Healthcare Terminology or contact us to see how we can help your business handle compliance, security and improve the employee experience throughout the benefits process.