Workers' Perks and Benefits: 20 Most Common and Explanation

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated October 20, 2022 | Published July 26, 2021

Updated October 20, 2022

Published July 26, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When deciding which perks and benefits to give your employees, there are many factors to consider. While the base salary remains an important consideration, you can also offer attractive benefits to improve your employees' job satisfaction. This affects your employee retention rate and fosters a healthy corporate culture for you and your staff. In this article, we define what perks and benefits are and discuss the most common types you can offer your employees.

Related: How to Design Benefit Plans for Employees (With Tips)

What are workers' perks and benefits?

Perks and benefits are non-salary compensation given to workers. Some people use the terms "perks" and "benefits" interchangeably. However, there are some fundamental differences between them. Benefits are non-wage and considered need-to-haves, while perks are non-wage nice-to-haves. Some benefits are legally mandated and include health insurance and voluntary benefits such as paid vacations. Perks are additional ways employers support the needs of their employees beyond the salary and benefits. A perk could come in the form of extended paid parental leave, employee discounts, or free gym memberships.

To find and retain talented team members, employers are devising ways of attracting the best candidates to their organization. There's more emphasis on healthy corporate cultures and employee perks and benefits to improve job satisfaction. Employees weigh several factors before applying for a job or accepting a job offer. A good combination of a generous salary, perks, and a benefits package is crucial in attracting and retaining top talent. Some employees also prefer additional benefits and perks to a pay increase. Perks are not a legal requirement and may also not be itemized in an employee's contract.

Related:

  • Importance and Common Types of Compensation

  • 15 Work Perks and Discounts for Employees

  • Ideal Working Environment Components (With Benefits)

Most common perks and benefits

The type of perks and benefits available to employees varies between organizations. Large corporations can typically provide more benefits that a medium- or small-sized business would not be able to afford. Regardless, some perks may not require a significant financial investment. Here are some of the most common workers' perks and benefits to consider before accepting a job offer:

1. Health insurance

Health insurance is the most common type of employee benefit. Most companies, large or small, provide their employees with health insurance to cover doctors' visits, medical tests, medications, and emergency rooms. The type of health insurance varies among organizations. While some policies cover certain ailments, others may be more comprehensive, covering pre-existing conditions and employees' immediate family members.

2. Dental and vision insurance

On top of health insurance, some employers provide coverage for dental and eye care for employees. Dental insurance may be part of the health insurance or may be a separate cover. Many employees consider it critical to cover dental work such as teeth filling, cleaning, surgeries, and tooth replacement. Vision insurance covers employees' eye-health needs, such as eye exams, corrective lenses, and eye surgeries.

3. Life insurance

Some employers insure their employees in the event of their death while working for the company. The employer may choose to cover all life insurance policy payments, or the employee may need to contribute to the premiums out of their paycheque. Employees take comfort in knowing their immediate family would be financially stable in their absence.

4. Retirement planning

Some companies attract and retain their staff by providing retirement planning. This involves contributing to the employees' pension fund by matching the employees' own contributions. Companies may enrol their employees in different retirement programs depending on their affordability, company policy, and existing regulations.

5. Flexible working hours and remote work options

Some employers are exploring offering their employees the choice to work flexibly. This includes plans such as having employees work four days a week instead of the standard five. This arrangement is an attractive prospect for employees, as it saves them money and time that otherwise would be needed for car fuel and public commuting.

Besides flexible working hours, some employers are allowing their employees to work from home. This is feasible for jobs that do not require an employee's physical presence and that rely on computer technology and internet connectivity.

Read more: What Is Remote Work?

6. Professional development

Professional development is an important consideration for workers who want to improve their career growth prospects. Some employers offer their employees opportunities to pursue further education, such as granting them time off work to attend classes. Other employers pay for courses or certification exam fees to motivate employees and help them develop their careers.

7. Paid vacations

Some companies offer paid vacations to their employees to allow them to recharge and stay motivated. Employees are entitled to pay even when they are out of office. Some companies also give their employees a vacation allowance to help them pay for travel and accommodation expenses. Some companies manage vacation properties or time-shares and offer discounts or free stays to their employees.

8. Wellness programs

The well-being of employees is an important aspect for the employer and the individual worker. Some companies are capitalizing on workers' desire for a healthier lifestyle by introducing workplace wellness programs. This may entail providing programs like biometric screenings, nutrition, physical fitness, and mental health.

9. Paid sick days

Paid sick days allow employees to stay home from work as they recover from an ailment. Most companies allow their employees to take a set number of days to recuperate without any pay deductions. This is also beneficial to the company, as it reduces the likelihood that illness will spread to other team members.

10. Learning stipends

Tuition costs form a substantial part of the cost of attaining higher education. To motivate their employees, some companies pay learning stipends to workers who pursue advanced studies. Employees can study and work, saving both real and opportunity costs.

Read more: What Are Stipends and How Do They Work?

11. Performance bonuses

Monetary rewards may have their limit, but they still matter to employees. A performance bonus is a monetary reward given to employees or teams who meet or exceed performance expectations. The bonus is a reward for the winner and provides motivation to others to encourage them to work harder.

12. Discounts on company products and services

Depending on the industry, giving workers access to discounted company products and services is a great way of motivating them. For instance, a smartphone manufacturer may give its staff the product before it's released to the market. Similarly, bank employees may receive loans at lower interest rates.

13. Commuter assistance

The cost and time spent by workers on commuting is substantial. Some companies provide employees with commuter assistance to reduce this burden. This may involve providing shuttle buses, public transport passes, or additional reimbursement to alleviate the cost of commuting.

14. Childcare assistance

Parents who work may need help in taking care of their children. Daycare is expensive, and parents may find it difficult to find daycare and to cover its cost on their salaries. Employers who provide childcare assistance are more likely to attract and retain employees.

15. Employee ownership plans

Employee ownership plans involve giving employees a share in the company's ownership. Employees who have this opportunity are more likely to work harder and stay with the company longer, since they are also drawing returns on capital in addition to earning a salary. Ownership plans also create an emotional connection between employees and their work, building a more engaged team.

16. Rewards and recognition perks

Companies that recognize the contribution of their employees foster a relationship of mutual appreciation between the employee and the company. The employee is likely to stay longer and the company benefits from the workers' contribution. Recognizing and rewarding employees may cost little to nothing. For example, it could entail mentioning the employees' good work via company emails or sending a handwritten note from a supervisor.

Related: What Is DOE Pay, and What Does It Mean For You?

17. Paid parental leave

Paid parental is a benefit for employees who become parents. It allows them time to bond with their newborn children. Some companies are going beyond the government-mandated parental leave benefits by allowing extended parental leave. Other companies offer parental rooms or daycare services to enable their employees to continue working and caring for their children at the same time.

18. Scholarships for children

Granting scholarships to employees' children is a novel way of motivating employees. Workers whose children benefit from scholarships are likely to stay with the company longer. This is important for highly skilled staff performing critical tasks and are in high demand in the job market. Employees feel appreciated when they believe their company cares about them and their family.

19. Financial planning assistance

Some employees may need help with their finances, such as paying student loans, financing mortgages, and saving for future needs. Some employers offer this kind of assistance to allow their employees to enjoy peace of mind. Employees with a sound financial footing are more likely to feel satisfied, which translates to increased productivity.

20. Team bonding events

Some companies organize events where employees can mingle and have fun away from the daily grind of work. Some employers also provide spaces for employees to take a break and engage in games or a cup of coffee with colleagues. Such activities increase the focus of workers and keep them motivated.

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