Employee Perks Programs Enhance the Total Compensation Package

March 11, 2021

Employee perks programs are non-wage offerings. Here are some creative ways you can use perks to attract and keep good employees.

Employee Perks Programs Cover Image 2

Before working in the payroll industry, I believed compensation was merely my salary.  Aside from the digits that made up my gross salary, nothing else mattered.  Even though my understanding has since changed, I wasn’t alone in my thinking then, and there are still many people who maintain that intense focus on salary.  Many people don’t recognize employee perks programs as a component of the total compensation package.

If you are someone who values salary more than any other component of the total compensation package, then I invite you to look at employee compensation with new eyes.  Specifically, let’s dive deep into employee perks programs so you can see them for the value add they are.

Total Compensation Package

Photo of a game board with an arrow that says INCREASE YOUR SALARY BY $2000 inside, and the word PAY.
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If you haven’t heard the of the total compensation package, it’s time to get you up to speed.  An employee’s total compensation package is the bundling of all the components that make up their paycheck together with other offerings from the employer to the employee.  Think about the items that make up your employees’ pay: gross salary or hourly wage, overtime pay, bonuses, commission, etc.  Then, you might see some deductions for a 401k or retirement plan contribution, healthcare premiums, etc. Those are actually components of compensation, as well!  However, it doesn’t stop there.  Do you offer employees things like access to an employee wellness center or tickets to box seats at sporting events?  Well, those would be employee perks.

So, the total compensation package is much more than a dollar value.  The total compensation package takes into consideration pay, benefits, and employee perks.  Furthermore, it should be the driver behind a candidate’s decision to work for your company.  Thus, the salary or hourly wage should only partially influence the decision.

Alluring Employee Perks Programs for Candidates

Now, perhaps your company doesn’t currently have the means to be the most competitively paying employer on the block.  Maybe you are a startup, or maybe your focus is on passing along savings to customers instead of lining your workers’ pockets.  Whatever reason you have for the rate at which you pay employees is your decision.  However, this could certainly impact your ability to attract employees.

So, what can you do to offset your salary?  Well, consider offering a strong employee perks program!  Employee perks are non-wage offerings employers extend to employees.  If you don’t already have an employee perks program in place, it’s time to get creative.

Related:  The Social Security Dilemma

Perky Perks

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Here are some perks you might consider offering in an employee perks program:

  • Office treats – Who doesn’t like a dessert cart?  Well, imagine a cart making the rounds in your office!  Believe it or not, there are companies whose employees enjoy a daily treat this very way.  Office treats aren’t just pleasurable for your taste buds—they can also provide a midday perk that will get employees over the hump and maybe even help keep their blood sugar in check so they can remain productive. Remember, even if you simply offer free coffee, it’s still a treat to some people… and will definitely count as a perk!
  • Discounts – Most people don’t brag about paying full price for things.  In fact, many of us will spend an hour searching discount codes online to save a mere 10% on a $10 purchase.  So, give employees what they want, and partner with companies that will offer employee discounts.  Some discount partnerships that can add up include cell phone services, computers, and gym memberships.  These are perks that keep on giving, especially when they are discounted on a monthly basis.
  • Rewards – If you have sales reps, it’s likely you are quite familiar with commissions and bonuses for employees who meet and exceed their quotas.  However, there are other employees within the business who would love to be rewarded for their efforts.  You could easily incentivize customer care reps, as well as other workers, for their high-quality service.  Perks you could offer might include tickets to venues or events, dedicated parking spaces, or company apparel.   
  • Wellness partnerships – Some employees already have gym memberships, but others may not.  If you partner with a local gym or a virtual wellness coach, you will likely see many employees taking advantage of the opportunity.  This is especially true if you offer a discount.  So, whether you have your own wellness center, or you partner with another organization, know that it is a well-received perk.

Retaining Employees with Employee Perks Programs

Image of happy employees entering through glass doors of an office building, part of their employee perks program.
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Some employers probably feel pretty satisfied with their current employee perks program.  However, many of us know that we should never get too comfortable with things as they are.  Frankly, it’s natural for people to want something new—they want to feel fresh.  If things are stagnant for too long, it’s possible employees’ eyes may begin to wander, and you could end up seeing good employees heading for greener pastures.  So, if your employee perks program has been in place for a while, consider shaking things up a bit.  This is a simple solution for a potentially big problem. 

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The most important thing to remember is to keep the employee perks programs relevant.  Choose perks that will appeal to as many employees as possible.  Also, remember that even though not everyone will like all the perks in the employee perks program, there should at least be a couple things everyone likes.  After all, it makes no sense to offer a package full of perks that are not perky. 

Never Underestimate Employee Perks Programs

While some people will always see their salary as the be-all-end-all of payment, smart employees will recognize the importance of the total compensation package.  The total compensation package incorporates all aspects of payment and perks to provide a value beyond an employee’s mere salary.  Smart companies use strong employee perks programs to attract qualified workers.  Some common employee perks include office treats, discounts, and wellness partnerships.  Thereafter, those employers continue to update their employee perks programs in an effort to retain employees.  It’s important for the employee perks program to be appealing and relevant to employees you are trying to attract, as well as existing employees.  Finally, remember that creating a strong employee perks program should also be exciting for the employer.  Therefore, don’t be afraid to get creative when putting your program together.

Image of two employees working on a rubix cube, discussing employee perks.
Photo by Akshay Gupta | Source

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