The Top Work Perks that Aussies Want and why you should offer them

The Top Work Perks that Aussies want and why you should offer them

A recent report from career recruitment website Seek found that when it comes to deciding whether people are happy in their job and want to stay, salary is a significant factor, however the survey also showed that non-monetary workplace perks also have a significant impact on workplace satisfaction.

But what kind of employee benefits are we talking about? The Seek survey asked 2,000 Australians what the most desirable perks are, and this is what they said:

  1. Flexible working hours
    The number one work perk that Australians want is the ability to choose their working hours. While this is particularly in demand from those with children, it’s also a popular wish for millennials and other employees without families.
  2. Time off in lieu
    Getting time back for additional hours worked is the second most in-demand employee benefit. No one likes to see extra work go unappreciated!
  3. Working from home
    Being given the option to work from home when desired or required also goes a long way for staff. Having a break from commuting or sometimes attending to personal matters in the working day is important to a lot of people.
  4. Health insurance
    This appeals to a range of employees, particularly those who have families or who are looking to have children. Health insurance can be costly these days and every saving on a personal level makes a difference!
  5. Upskilling support
    Providing subsidised education, training, or personal development courses is the fifth most wanted work perk for Aussies. Upskilling can greatly enhance career and personal progression so it’s no wonder it’s a sought-after benefit.

Why should employers offer perks?

According to The Undercover Recruiter, the talent market is becoming more and more competitive which is why companies are increasingly placing importance on employee benefits as a tool to attract and retain quality staff.

Pay rises, promotions and bonuses aren’t enough anymore. People want to be rewarded in ways other than financial gain that benefit their wellbeing and lifestyle, and the pay-off for employers is that in doing so it will keep staff motivated, loyal and productive.

Workers love to talk about perks. In fact, in 2018 (using the Employer Brand Index), The Undercover Recruiter analysed the conversations candidates, employees and alumni were having online about some of the biggest companies in the world and found that staff perks was the number one topic out of 15 others. The most common benefits discussed were:

  • Unlimited vacation policies
  • Free food, snacks and lunches
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Gym memberships
  • Product discounts
  • Medical, dental and healthcare

According to the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, more than 50 per cent of millennials agree that a quality benefits package influences their choice of employer, and 60 per cent said that benefits were an important reason for staying with an employer.

Therefore, while perks are fantastic for staff, they can also greatly improve your business in other ways such as:

Minimising turnover rate
For many companies keeping the best employees is vital to sustaining success. When you offer a compelling and valuable perks package it is unlikely new recruits will turn their backs on your company.

Better job performance
Improving benefits and perks shows people you are investing in them which keeps them loyal and keen to work harder. Satisfied employees are crucial to any successful business as the better your staff perform, the better the company performs.

Improve talent attraction
Being rewarded with things that improve their wellbeing and lifestyle goes a long way to employees and may land you the star employee you’ve been waiting for.

From low-cost perks to the extravagant and unusual
If you think that benefits and perks are too expensive, consider the cost involved in constant recruitment, training and poor staff performance. There are also many low-cost benefits for employees that business owners can consider such as free snacks, gym memberships, flexible hours or working from home days, unlimited vacation time, casual Fridays or bring your dog to work days. Often a little goes a long way!

If you want to think outside the square with incentives that really excite, inspire and attract good staff; here are 15 impressive perks that companies are offering around the world.

  1. Perks for pets
    PetSmart offers employees a variety of pet-related benefits such as a 15 per cent discount on pet-related merchandise and grooming, free training, discounted vet services and the option to bring your dog to work with you. Dogtopia also gives staff a personal wellness fund that can go towards doggie daycare and vet visits, or gym memberships and healthy lunches (for those without pets).
  2. Massages and yoga
    The office environment at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition supports the mental and emotional wellbeing of staff with healthy food options, weekly massages and yoga classes during work hours.
  3. Free books
    Penguin Random House has a free books program where workers can order multiple books and e-books free of charge and join book clubs with colleagues to discuss titles and practice team bonding.
  4. Daily ice cream tubs
    Ben & Jerry’s wants employees to know and love its ice cream, so it rewards them with three tubs every day. Staff are encouraged to share this perk with friends and loved ones, and they can also have a say in the names of ice cream flavours.
  5. No official work hours
    At the Netflix California headquarters, vacation days and work hours aren’t tracked. The company only measures performance by achievement. Taking time off is also encouraged, especially for new parents.
  6. Focus on family
    Deloitte offers incredible perks for parents and parents-to-be such as extra paid leave to help bond with children and reimbursement for up to $25,000 of expenses related to adoption or surrogacy. Additional paid leave can also be used to care for a partner or family member with a serious health condition.
  7. Onsite health services
    In addition to standard health insurance benefits, Steelcase has an onsite Wellbeing Hub where employees can see a massage therapist or registered nurse. There are also “healthier home meal” ingredient stations in their cafeterias so employees can prep a meal to cook at home instead of going to a drive-through after work, and lectures on personal wellness.
  8. Mental health support
    Capital One Financial provides counselling services as well as informational services to help employees successfully manage big changes like moving house or having a baby.
  9. Continuing education
    Starbucks employees can take advantage of the College Achievement Plan to earn a bachelor’s degree with full tuition coverage.
  10. Student loan paydowns
    PwC offers employees $100 per month for up to six years to go towards student loan debt to help pay off their degree and save on interest.
  11. Midday surfing
    California based Patagonia values employees who love the outdoors so it encourages them to stay physically fit and active by providing bikes, volleyball courts and onsite yoga. The reception desk also posts daily surf reports and staff are encouraged to catch a wave or two in the middle of the workday.
  12. Giving back
    Multiple studies have shown that workers, especially millennials, value brands and employers that emphasise doing good in the world which is why Google matches employees’ monetary charitable contributions and donates $50 for every five hours staff volunteer within a non-profit organisation.
  13. Office parties
    Smule employees can bring instruments to the office for weekly company jam sessions, plus there are various holiday parties, weekly game nights and monthly karaoke functions.
  14. Freedom (and funding) to travel
    Staff members at Airbnb have the chance to travel for free or at discounted rates with hotel credits as well as being eligible for flexible vacation time and the opportunity to win a free vacation once a month.


The Undercover Recruiter


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