What perks do employees most value and how important are they?

It can be a challenge to recruit and retain the best staff, especially at the moment, but can offering perks really make a difference?

Online recruiters Glassdoor argues that many workers will tolerate less pay if other perks and benefits fill in the gap.

Among the top perks it lists are free bicycle repairs on site, a day off for Christmas shopping,  four free weeks of holiday for four years work, free on-site dentistry and free day-care for new parents.

But although they may be appreciated how important are they?

It is argued that a benefits package can Improve workplace morale, reduce stress and associated staff absences, boost productivity, help set the tone for your company’s internal values and ethos and can also both reduce staff turnover by helping to retain existing staff and make recruiting top talent easier.

But to be truly effective perks and benefits must offer something employees will actually value and which will help them.

In this context perhaps arguably free day-care is one of the most appreciated.

However, the work perks most appreciated by employees vary with age.

According to Glassdoor, again, younger workers (aged 18-24) particularly prioritise retailer and restaurant discounts, free coffee and tea, help with housing, additional holiday days for long service, free taxis if you need to stay in the office late, clothing allowance, phone allowance/work phone and free/on-site gym and classes among other things.

As they get older, their needs change and are likely to be reflected in their choices of most valued perks so for 35-45 year-olds the choices are likely to prioritise flexible working hours, enhanced pension contribution, unlimited holiday days, free coffee and tea, additional holiday days for long service, private health care, dental care and free eye tests.

By the time they are over 55 their highest priorities include flexible working hours, enhanced pension contribution, private health care and additional holiday days for long service.

The point about offering perks and benefits to employees is that they can not only demonstrate that the employer values its people and understands the pressures on them.

This can only help with both recruitment and retention.

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