Best work perks for a happy office

Perks can be more valuable than pay raises when it comes to motivating and attracting talent, since they may come with a far greater return on the investment.

However, that’s only true if you’re providing the right perks for the crew. Let’s look at the best perks, and we’ll explain why they contribute to a happy office.

work perksA well-designed office

Too many companies focus on the nice-to-have perks like bring your pet to work day or a ping pong table in the break area over environmental factors that affect your employees every day. For example, it is almost impossible for perks to make up for the increased stress and reduced productivity that come from an open office layout. Giving people a measure of visual and auditory privacy in the form of low walled cubicles is a step up from the open office. Giving them a beautifully designed office space shows that your company truly cares about its employees.

Pampering them right

Little luxuries can go a long way, and that’s why they are so valuable as motivational tools. Don’t just give the top performer VIP sports tickets or a premier parking ticket. Give everyone occasionally free massages, napping rooms or expense paid dinners out. Put every member of the team in drawings for event tickets. Ask them what they’d like, so that you don’t waste money on perks that don’t matter. For example, your workforce may appreciate paid breaks to go walking with the team or paid fitness memberships more important than an on-site gym. You’ll improve your employees’ health, and it makes the company appear to care.

Provide freebies that matter

Companies can see a significant return on the investment when they offer freebies that matter to employees. Free coffee may come with a modest cost, but you see a major boost in productivity. People don’t have to leave the premises to get gourmet coffee. This saves people time and money. It will also cause a number of people to work longer and harder than they otherwise would. Note that you need to provide free beverages your employees value. If that’s tea, bottled water or soda, so be it.

Consider providing free, healthy snacks to employees. If people can snack on apples, bananas, or cereal bars, they may not need to leave the building to get lunch to replace the one they forgot. Or they can work an extra hour or two before they have to leave for the day. If you’re going to schedule a mandatory morning meeting, provide breakfast. These freebies are not only seen as a great perk, but it runs counter to the image of company cafeterias and vending machines seeming to be another way the company profits from its people.

Invest in your team

Remember to invest in your team. Pay for continuing education or industry related training. This is a major benefit for those who must take continuing education courses to maintain their certification. For example, registered nurses and professional engineers are required to take so many hours of continuing education courses every year. Pay for the classes and let them get paid on the days they take these classes, and you’ll retain these professionals and get more referred via word of mouth.

Another tactic is giving people paid days off to volunteer. Make it a company event including company T-shirts. Then have marketing take pictures of your crew working at the event. Give the charity permission to mention your efforts, as well. This not only scores points with Millennials but is a great marketing opportunity as well. You can take things to the next level by matching what employees donate to various causes.