Work Happy: The Top 3 Perks to Offer Your Employees

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Last week I read an article at Inc.com by Janine Popick, CEO and founder of VerticalResponse. It was about working happy, and the little things that count.

There are a lot of options out there as far as perks go. Popick’s article got me thinking about which ones are most effective at actually fostering a collaborative culture and an overall positive working environment. After all, while unique and innovate benefits are cool (I certainly wouldn’t mind having in-office massages or a popcorn machine), the vast majority of us can’t have it all — and that means we need to be selective in what we offer.

Top 3 Perks Companies Can Offer Their Employees

Here is how I weigh in on the top perks I think companies can offer:

1) Free Food

Stock the kitchen with free drinks and snacks that everyone gets to enjoy. It’s really as simple as that.

2) Events

Promote working hard with the idea that team events will drive camaraderie and collaboration within your company, as well as a sense of excitement and energy. Events are a time for everyone to simply get together in a more casual environment, outside of the work environment.

Events can be big or small and range from a simple party gathering in one of your office spaces to heading out to a restaurant for appetizers or trivia night to getting involved in a the community for a giving-back type of day. It’s a great time to have your employees come together, get involved, and take an active part of building your culture.

3) Promoting Work-Life Balance and a Culture of Flexibility

Offering certain flexibility to your employees can have a supreme effect on the company culture. For example, though employees should try their best to schedule doctor and other appointments outside of work hours, it can really help morale if they know they will not be docked if the only appointment they could get is first thing in the morning, or the plumber gives them a 3 hour window of arrival, or their child is sick.

If you foster an open and flexible environment it can significantly decrease the stress level in employees. To make this work, however, be sure that it’s a “perk” that isn’t frowned upon (I’ve been in environments where flexibility is approved of in theory, but not really in practice, and it doesn’t foster a positive feeling).

Along with flexibility, promote a healthy work-life balance. Encourage employees to unplug on vacations, weekends, etc. and to focus on having a sense-of-urgency while working, so that they can unplug.

Other Great Perks to Offer Employees

These are just a few of the many options at your disposal. Others include:

  • open vacation policies
  • training offers
  • yearly stipends for attending conferences/industry-related events
  • discounts on wellness initiates such as gyms
  • commuter benefits
  • sabbaticals

The list goes on. Choose perks that match your organization and culture, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

What exciting company perks does your company offer?