Article main image
Jan 16, 2014

Lots of companies have gotten pretty creative with the perks they offer their employees – from daily gourmet meals and beer-on-tap to clothing stipends and on-site basketball courts.

But are these perks what matter most to your employees? And are they making the impact to the bottom line you hoped they would?

While some of these big-ticket perks might be what draw new applicants, some of the shiny perks lose their luster and what should last are those with long-term value.

Here are five perks that will actually keep the right people right where you need them:

1. Great people

The people an employee is surrounded with can make or break a job.

In today’s collaborative work environment, people need to be able to have frank conversations with others, and a high level of transparency will encourage trust and foster great work. In fact, frequent and open communication is important whether it’s with a co-worker, a manager or the CEO. People will feel more valued if leaders share information about what really matters.

And the leaders under those leaders — as well as every employee down to the very las t— need to follow in cultivating a culture of open communication.

2. Being invested

People like to feel they’re an integral part of something big. Does each employee understand exactly how and where they fit into the company’s vision?

They should. When your people feel like they’re making a difference, they will be more excited about what they do and more willing to contribute everything they have because they want to keep making a difference and see how their contribution is actually affecting the big picture.

In addition to offering an emotional stake in a company, leaders can also give their people an equity share in the company. Just imagine how invested your people would feel in your company’s success if they owned part of it.

3. A positive work environment

When people feel included and actually enjoy working with the people around them, they tend to stay put and be more productive and creative.

People need to do meaningful work that keeps them feeling passionate about their projects, which in turn contributes to the overall success of the company. People want to connect with the others around them and feel like they’re a part of the team.

When everyone is engaged in their work, others can’t help but adopt those same feelings.

Similarly, leaders need to support this thought process and lead with it always in mind, starting from the top and working its way down so that every single employee feels included and part of the great work you’re doing together.

4. Work-life balance

Sometimes one of the best perks is simple: flexible work hours that allow people to spend time with their family and friends and be present at the next important concert or soccer game.

People need a chance to get away from the office and disconnect. Then when they come back to the office the next day, they’ll be recharged and ready to go.

5. Fair compensation … and then some

Employees need to feel they’re being treated fairly. One of the most obvious ways to do that is compensation.

While salary isn’t the only important factor in choosing whether or not to stay at a job, it has always been — and always will be — important. After all, people need to feed and house themselves.

Of course, additional value is offered in benefits like medical and dental, paid time off, retirement and stock options. Giving your people tangible benefits shows them they and their contribution is valued.

In an ideal world, employees could have all the free on-site massages they want while doing rewarding work with a great boss and inclusive co-workers who appreciate everything they bring to the table, then go home and spend quality time with their loved ones.

You couldn’t pull people away from a job like that! But when weighing the options of which perks matter, make sure you’re focusing on perks that will keep your people around for the long run.