Silicon Valley has had a huge impact on the perception of employee perks - a quick search and you'll find workplaces that offer ball pits and nap pods, free food and very flexible time off policies - and 'perk culture' is spreading to the UK too. Looking to be an employer of choice, many businesses seek to offer interesting rewards and whilst these 'quirky' perks might not suit your business, it’s still worth knowing that they are a reality for some employees.
Here are just a handful of Quirky Perks....
• 'Whisky Fridays' - Dropbox
• Helicopter Ride Vouchers - Dropcam
• On Site Hairdressing - Facebook
• Free Car rental - Google
• 2 day parents weekend- including flights and accommodation for family to visit the offices in San Francisco - Dropbox
• ‘As you please’ working hours - Google
• Arcade Games - Eventbrite
• On Site Candy Shop - Facebook
• Adult Ball Pit - Google
• Concierge Service to make appointments or collections - Google
• Bring Your Pet To Work Everyday - Eventbrite, Yammer, Palantir
• Paid Volunteering Days - Microsoft
• Nap pods - Google
• Free workout classes – SVM Global
• Free travel fund of $2000 - Air bnb
• Untracked, un-accrued time off and ‘take rest when you need to’ policy - Ask.com, Netflix, Yammer, Virgin, Automaticc, Zynga
• Free Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks - Dropbox
• Dry cleaning service - Google, Facebook
• Meditation rooms - Eventbrite
• Twice monthly home cleaning service - Evernote
• Fertility treatments - Apple
• Meals to take home for family dinners- Genentech
• 1 month paid, working vacation abroad - Expensify
• On site music studio - Weebly
• On site massages - StumbleUpon
• On site yoga and pilates lessons - Twitter
• Monthly poker tournaments - Zynga
• Cheese and wine tasting sessions - Palantir Technologies
• 40% off all purchases - ASOS.com
• 4-week sabbatical for every 4 years of service - ARM Holdings
• GP and dentist on-site - Allen and Overy
• Anytime, free use of a villa in Italy - Opus
• Wine Club, giving employees discounted wine delivered to their door every month - Auto Trader
Sources: Time.com, Wisebread, thenextweb, businessinsider, Glassdoor
But do ‘Quirky Perks’ work?
According to a Direct365 survey, when asked what employees actual want, it is the ‘standard’ benefits that crop up time and time again. Of 750 professionals polled:
• 35% of respondents said they would prefer flexible working, whether that be flexible hours or working from home
• More than a quarter of people (27%) opted for a company car as their most desired reward
• 14% of people said they would prefer a gym membership
• 6% of people were interested in childcare vouchers
Whilst standard perks aren’t as exotic as offering a helicopter ride or cheese tasting sessions for many employees, ‘employee incentives’ need to be just that… Incentives that specifically target the needs and requirements of a workforce.
The great news is you can easily reward employees and keep them engaged. You might want to look at performance and sales goals, length of service, employee contests or on the spot rewards that create a culture that rewards greatness.
Brilliantly, research shows that 61% of people would be more likely to choose an employer that regularly thanks its staff for their efforts – a very simple activity that requires absolutely no heli-pad!
On top of this, the humble gift card was the most requested gift item in 2015 for the ninth year in a row, according to the National Retail Federation's Consumer Spending Survey, with 59% percent of consumers saying they would like to receive one.
Given that the research shows that people want tangible rewards and perks they can use, it seems clear that a gift card is an ideal choice for an employee reward that slots into your existing business. They are portable, quick to buy and deliver, and have long lasting benefits when compared with cash or other benefits and offer the key word – choice. Gift cards are often delivered with public thanks and an acknowledgement of work – an experience in itself.
There’s also relatively little manpower required to issue the cards, and they can have a huge effect on morale.
With 100’s of retailers offering gift cards, they are possibly the gift that everyone loves. Why not get in touch and ask how you can use Gift Cards and eCodes in your business? (That helicopter would never get approved on expenses anyway!)
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