It’s not a trend anymore. Companies are offering more and more perks to their employees in order to retain them and increase their productivity. Free gym, yoga classes, foosball tables, from Google to a small start-up it’s all the rage. However, do those benefits actually matter to your employees?

Well the answer is yes and no. It’s always nice to be in a company that tries to make work a little more fun but are those the benefits your employees really need? In a way all these little attentions are not essential and rapidly loose their attractiveness. Let’s now focus on benefits that your employees actually want:

A Harvard Business Review article enlightens us on the subject. And the results are pretty surprising. It’s not the over-the-top perks that make talents choose a company over another one, but rather more basic needs.
The study has been conducted in the U.S. However, the results can be considered for Mauritius as we have a similar working policy system.

Benefits your employees actually want

 Even if no one would say no to lunches cooked by a Chef like at Google, most respondents have marked their preference for less fancy benefits. 88% of surveyed employees want better health insurance that also includes vision and dental. Next in line is the possibility to have more flexible hours, more work at home options and then more vacation time. The last three items are low cost benefits companies can easily implement.

Moreover, respondents have mentioned that they would consider a less paying job with those benefits over a high-paying one but with fewer perks. If you struggle with the unlimited paid vacation possibility, it isn’t that much of a complicated expense after all. Vacations can create a big liability for companies if employees don’t use up their vacation time. As a consequence, when they leave companies need to pay this miscalculated surplus. As such, unlimited vacation can regulate this and also send a powerful message about your company. By doing that you display the fact that you think your employees are responsible individuals who are able to manage their work and vacation time.

The last mentioned perk what the possibility for companies to help out employees pay out the student loans contracted for their kids. Depending on the governmental policies, companies can assist until a certain amount tax free. However it doesn’t seem available in Mauritius yet.

How to implement that in your structure

According to this Forbes article, employees who actually stay in a company do that because they feel adequately paid and respected. As such, if you have a bit of room in your budget, you should consider either giving a bonus or investing in a health insurance plan. Otherwise you can still integrate a flexible hour policy and more work-from-home options. With the current context we realize that flexibility will be the new norm, so why not keep it going?

Moreover, at the end of the day what will really matter to your employees is financial and health stability, so don’t invest in a small perk if you haven’t covered the basics. Those cited above will always outstrip a foosball table.

If you want to know more about great things to do for your employees, check out the following article focusing on company culture and also one on the best online courses to help your employees upskill.