Employee Perks: The Ultimate Guide to Investing in Your Team (with 15 Ideas)

Sep 14, 2023 | Employee Benefits

Josh Rust

Marketing Manager

Losing a top employee is gut-wrenching, and it often feels like you need multiple hires to fill their void.

The secret to retention?

Offering the RIGHT perks.

Many companies mistakenly believe that standard benefits are enough.

But with even perks like Twitter’s free lunches failing to retain, it’s clear that basic benefits like health insurance or 401(k)s no longer set you apart.

The key is to provide a diverse array of perks tailored to your team’s needs, signaling that you prioritize their growth and well-being.

This not only fosters loyalty but also attracts the best.

Discover 15 top employee perks below.

The 15 Best Employee Perks to Make Your Team Feel Valued

employee perks

1. Pets in the office

It’s 2023– some of us are still working from home and some of us are back in the office. What better way to go back to work than to be able to bring all your creature comforts (pun intended) from home to your office! 

If the thought of a per-friendly office makes you wag your tail, you’re not alone! We’re including this first on the list thanks to the support and emotional well-being it provides in the workplace. 

Many people find that having their dog with them at work helps to reduce stress and increase feelings of happiness and well-being. Dogs can also serve as a source of comfort and support during times of uncertainty or high pressure.

Additionally, it can foster a sense of community and connection among coworkers. Dogs are known to bring people together and can be a great conversation starter or icebreaker.

2. Remote work/flexibility

Speaking of being back in the office or staying at home, one of the best perks to provide is freedom of choice! 

Having a flexible schedule at work can be incredibly beneficial for employees, especially those with busy or unpredictable lives. Flexibility allows individuals to better balance their work and personal commitments, which can lead to increased productivity and satisfaction.

For example, someone with young children may find it easier to focus on their work if they are able to adjust their schedule to accommodate school drop-off and pickup times. Similarly, someone who has a long commute may appreciate the option to work from home or start and end their workday at different times to avoid rush hour traffic.

Overall, flexibility allows employees to feel more in control of their time and can lead to greater work-life balance, which is essential for maintaining physical and mental well-being.

For example, if someone’s main responsibility is to run social media moderation on your social media profiles, they only need a stable Internet connection – no need for them to commute to your office for hours to do the exact same thing from the desk you’re providing.

3. HSA Options with your health insurance benefits

If you haven’t heard of an HSA before, get excited to multiply your total income! HSA stands for Health Savings Account and can often be provided as an option if you have a high-deductible health plan. Learn more about HSA’s here. These are essentially a cheat code to savings. 

HSA’s allow you to put money into a special account untaxed. Hello, any reason to not lose nearly half of your hard-earned dollars. Funds roll over annually, can gain interest, and can never be taxed! 

4. Wellness programs (chiro and massage monthly)

Physical and mental stress typically come alongside the demands of your job. This can take a toll on your overall well-being and can lead to issues such as back pain, muscle tension, and fatigue. That’s where chiropractic care and massage therapy can come in handy.

Both chiropractic care and massage therapy can help to alleviate pain, improve mobility, and reduce stress. By providing these types of care to employees, companies can show that they value their employees’ physical and mental health and are committed to helping them feel their best.

Having access to chiropractic care and massage therapy can be especially important for employees who work in physically demanding jobs or who spend long hours sitting at a desk. These therapies can help to prevent work injuries and keep employees healthy and productive.

5. Childcare

As a working parent, finding reliable and affordable childcare can be a major challenge. Not only does it take a toll on your finances, but it can also be stressful and time-consuming to coordinate. That’s where having access to on-site or discounted childcare can be a major perk for a job.

Childcare perks can make a huge difference in the lives of working parents, helping to reduce stress and improve work-life balance. By providing on-site or discounted childcare, companies can show that they understand the unique challenges that working parents face and are committed to supporting their needs.

Having access to reliable childcare can also make it easier for parents to focus on their work, knowing that their children are being well taken care of. This can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

If your company doesn’t offer this service, take comfort! Abenity has over 300 offerings of childcare services available to its members.

6. Lifestyle amenities

It’s not uncommon to feel the financial strain of daily living expenses. From car payments and maintenance to eating out and shopping, these costs can add up quickly. That’s where having access to discounts at car dealerships, car maintenance providers, restaurants, and brand name retailers can be a major perk.

Discounts on these types of expenses can help employees save money and stretch their budget further. This can be especially important for those who are trying to save for a down payment on their next house or finally take that all-inclusive cruise to the Bahamas.

In addition to the financial benefits, being able to open an app on your phone and see how convenient it is to access these discounts can provide employees with the opportunity to treat themselves or their loved ones to something special without the pressure of having to come up with the next restaurant to try. 

7. Unlimited PTO

Now, this one can be a little tricky! Of course, we would all love to participate in the August Shutdown, and get paid to visit the south of France for a month but unlike the characters in the show Emily in Paris, vacation time is viewed quite differently in America than how the Europeans see it. Bravo, Europe. We commend you. 

On one hand, having unlimited vacation days can feel very freeing. No more anxiety with having to use each one of your precious days perfectly and no worrying about running out half way through the year! 

The downside to unlimited vacation days is without the pressure to use a specific number of days in a certain period of time can make us think, “Oh, I’ll plan something in the next month or two after I finish this big project.” We hard-working Americans are almost too hard-working for our own good! Don’t let apathy get in the way of your PTO! 

Additionally, a lot of power is wielded in the hands of the time-off-approver.

Just because you have unlimited days doesn’t mean Nancy in HR is going to allow you to take a particular day off. (Always be nice to Nancy in HR.) If she isn’t having a great day, it’s probably not the best time to ask for two weeks off to holiday at the beach.

If unlimited vacation time is a benefit offered at your work, be sure to get a written guarantee of the minimum amount of days you are allowed to use and understand what the approval process looks like.

Also, be sure to take advantage of this benefit and take a hard look at your annual calendar.

Fun opportunities will always come up and it’s easy to take a Friday off to attend a golf tournament. But be intentional about planning gaps in your year and force yourself to have your own version of an August shutdown.

8. Electronics stipend 

Keeping up with the latest technology can be expensive, especially if you’re on a tight budget. That’s where having an electronics stipend at work can be a major perk.

An electronics stipend can provide employees with the opportunity to upgrade their devices or take advantage of discounts on things like phone bills and computer upgrades.

This can be especially important for those who rely on their devices for work and need to have the latest and most reliable technology.

9. Lunch stipend (or team lunches)

You knew we couldn’t go without adding this to the list. If you’re reading this and you work at Twitter– so sorry for your loss. 

The Washington Post reported that one of the things Elon did as he took over Twitter was cancel the lunch perk… so few employees took advantage that it made the cost come out to $400 per serving!

Hopefully, this isn’t the story of the company you’re looking to work for. 

Having lunch provided at the office or having a lunch stipend are both sure to keep employees at the office well-fed and taken care of. Another option is using a discount service that includes discounts at any number of local spots.

10. Family management 

Running a household can be a challenging and overwhelming responsibility, especially for those who are juggling multiple commitments and responsibilities. From managing the finances and paying the bills to taking care of the home and the family, there’s a lot to keep track of.

Think of the annual commitments–Costco. The monthly commitments–cable. And the peace of mind knowing your home security system is working.

If you didn’t get the hint: Abenity offers all of these member-only perks and more!

Whether you’re the breadwinner of the household or DINKs (or the newest–”DINKwad: Double Income No Kids, With A Dog) having access to a suggested list of discounted goods to keep your house running smoothly is a no-brainer.

11. Family fun

Family outings can be an important and enjoyable way to spend time together and create lasting memories. As a parent, you know how hectic and stressful everyday life can be, and it’s easy to feel like there’s never enough time to connect with your loved ones. 

Having built-in family fun as a work perk is underrated. These outings provide a break from the routine of daily life and can be a great opportunity to bond and connect with one another.

Imagine new ideas and suggestions for your family to connect: seeing the new giraffe exhibit at the zoo, catching the premiere of the newest Marvel movie, or even making that first-concert memory for your kiddos. 

Family outings can be especially important for children, as they can provide opportunities for learning, exploration, and socialization. These work-paid outings can also help to foster a sense of belonging and support within the family, which is so important for children’s emotional and social development. 

12. Academic and professional development services

Amongst many other work perks centered around career growth – Continuing your education and pursuing additional training or certification can be an important way to do just that.

Employees surveyed have agreed that working for a company that prioritizes your growth is unbeatable for many reasons:

  • Staying current: The world of work is constantly changing, and it’s important to keep up with the latest trends and developments in your field. Continuing your education can help you stay current and competitive in the job market.
  • Increasing your knowledge and skills: Pursuing additional training or certification can help you learn new skills and expand your knowledge base, which can make you more valuable to potential employers. Gotta beef up your skills section on LinkedIn!
  • Improving your promotional prospects: In many fields, advanced education or training is necessary to qualify for higher-level positions or to move up the career ladder. 
  • Finally getting that pay raise you deserve! In many cases, those with advanced degrees or specialized training are able to earn higher salaries than those who do not have these credentials. Continuing your education can help you increase your earning potential.

13. Reduced prescription drug costs

A study out of Georgetown University found that 66 percent of all adults in the United States use prescription drugs. 

The average American spends nearly 12% of their total personal health care services on prescription drugs. 

We’re sure your company offers amazing healthcare benefits but the effort of having an additional discount on prescription drugs shows the company is going the extra mile in caring about your health and well-being. 

14. Adoption assistance

Adoption assistance programs can be a kind and supportive benefit for employees who are considering adoption or who have already adopted a child. 

Adoption can be a costly process, and many individuals may struggle to afford the associated fees and expenses. Adoption assistance programs can provide financial support to employees, helping to reduce the burden of these costs.

Often it requires time off work for meetings, home visits, and other activities. Adoption assistance programs can provide employees with paid time off, allowing them to focus on the adoption process without worrying about lost income.

It can also be a complex and emotionally challenging process, and it’s not uncommon for individuals to feel overwhelmed or uncertain.

Adoption assistance programs can provide employees with access to support and resources, such as counseling, legal assistance, and educational materials, which can help them navigate the adoption process more smoothly.

15. Employee discount programs

One member called Abenity “our one-stop shopping app.”

With over one million (and counting!) redemption locations of local and national discounts and an average savings of  $4,500 per member, Abenity is your number one solution to providing perks in the workplace. 

What Kind of Employee Benefits and Perks Work Best in 2023 and Beyond?

With all of the different options presented, it’s important to take into consideration not only your employees’ needs but also what can be subsidized by your company’s benefits package.

And perhaps if it’s not included there– what can be an employee perk and still a tax write-off for your business?

Things to consider when selecting perks for your employees:

1. Employee Demographics. Older employees will have different preferences for perks than younger generations. 

2. Location of the workplace and what the local area provides. It’s important to take into consideration what your area provides and how using perks can make up for what it lacks! Free SUP (stand-up paddleboard) classes may not be very beneficial if you’re located in Maine.

3. Personal preferences of the employees. Take a survey! What do your employees like to do outside of work? Is there an overlap with activities they could do with each other for team building or with clients as networking opportunities?

4. Objectives of your business. If company culture is hyper-important to you, community-building and relationship-building perks will be a shoo-in.

On the other hand, if your company is mostly remote, it may be better to lean toward online incentives and growth opportunities there.

It’s important to figure out what your employees really care about. Once you can hone those details in and have a good picture of that, find the highest valued benefits that are within your budget. 

Last, but most importantly, don’t be afraid to get creative! Sometimes mixing and matching perks with your benefits is the best way to get the most value out of your partnerships and onto your employees. 

The Best Company Benefits and Perks

There are plenty of companies that offer employee perks programs to go hand in hand with what your company is able to offer alongside its benefits offerings. 

If you’ve read this far, we know you are curious about what the best options for you are– and curiosity is a wonderful trait to be rewarded! 

We’ve created this PDF for you to save, print, and frame on your desk, or whatever you choose to do with it. 

Our Perks Report offers a side-by-side comparison of what Abenity offers compared to other popular providers such as AAA and AARP. 

Get The Best Employee Perks and Discounts

Abenity offers real savings for the people counting on you. Click below to see how you can supercharge your employee benefits package.

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