Your own company. Your dream team.

You’ve been waiting for this moment.

Then one day your star employee walks out the door. The others start to follow.

You start noticing that your new interviewees aren’t up to par.

Can’t figure out why?

I’ll let you in on a secret now – stop withholding employee benefits.

3 out of 5 employees decided to leave or stay with a company depending on the benefits offered (MetLife & Glassdoor).

It’s 2018, and a fat paycheck is no longer enough .

Out of 1,000 employees, 80% would prefer new or additional benefits and perks to a pay increase, with some even willing to be paid less (Glassdoor).

Keeping in mind the four generations of the workforce – traditionalists, baby boomers, Generation Xers and millennials – let’s take a look at the list of 8 employee benefits you should have in place.

1) A Zen State-Of-Mind

“There’s too much to do and not enough time!”

You just spent an hour listening to a friend break down over the phone, stressed and overwhelmed by her workload. Lucky for you, your company values your physical and mental health.

At lunch, you head to the onsite gym, where you calmly recollect your thoughts and return to work.

You can attract potential employees and lower absenteeism in the office by offering on-site gym facilities, free or discounted gym memberships, massages, organising yoga, meditation or pilates classes in the morning, a lunchtime running club, puppy play days, or allowing employees to bring their pets to work.

Over half of all smaller companies and more than 90% of large firms (Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Reebok, Eventbrite, Cisco) provide vision and dental care coverage, pharmacy discounts, short-term disability or life insurance.

Don’t make the great mistake of neglecting your employees’ health. It will affect their state of mind, level of productivity and creative output – none of which benefit you.

2) Productivity > Time Spent

You look up at the clock.

3 more hours to go.

Due to a burst of productivity last night, you stayed up late working and completed all your tasks. Today your body is paying for the consequences, but you have no choice but to stay until 6pm.

Why do most companies insist on paying employees based on the number of hours they spend in the office, rather than on the speed and quality of work they can produce? Think about it, quantity does not mean quality.

Instead, your focus should be on maximizing your employees’ productivity and creativity.

We should reward employees who can produce work quickly without compromising on quality, and accommodate those who work better outside of traditional working hours. This means allowing them to work from home or occasionally leave the office early.

A recent survey showed that 80% would consider a job that allows them to work from home. As a result, companies with workplace flexibility experience 63% less absence rates and lower turnover.

3. The Dream of Work-Life Balance

When was the last time you heard someone say, “I hate having work-life balance”?


Granting your employees paid time off means they can deal with any personal obligations that may be distracting them from work, allowing them to refocus.

Follow in the steps of TransferWise, Airbnb, Netflix, American Express, and Timberland for their accommodating PTO policies, Adobe’s once-every-5-years sabbatical, or Deloitte’s 3-6 months sabbatical program. Otherwise, you could give your employees’ their birthdays off.

4. Parental Leave

It is Friday and you are in the office until late again.

Your child’s first birthday. Missed it. Her first performance. Missed it again.

If only they understood or cared how difficult it is to be a working parent.

If your candidate or star employee is a parent or soon-to-be, your maternity and paternity package could be the difference between them saying ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

To avoid losing talent, extend your parental plan to six months of fully paid leave, contribute to what Facebook terms as ‘baby cash’, or copy Amazon’s ‘Leave Share’ policy. Even better, provide your parent employees with an on-site childcare center (like T-Mobile does) if your company has the space, negotiate discounted rates at a childcare centre or offer free dry cleaning service (they’ll appreciate it!).

5. The fastest way to your employee’s heart is through his stomach

The clock hits 12 noon.

You have 1 hour.

Bank. Post office. Pharmacist.

By the time you leave the pharmacist, you only have 5 minutes to inhale your lunch.

Consider providing employees with a stocked kitchen, an on-site cafeteria with discounted food, covering part of your employees’ meal expenses, or handing out coffee and meal vouchers. I can guarantee days similar to Jive Software’s ‘Bacon Thursday’ and ‘Hot Food Friday’ will be a hit at your office!

This is also a great opportunity to bring your team together – instead of looking for affordable and quality food outside, employees will be able to spend more time socializing with other employees and discussing ideas on different projects.

6. You get what you give

“We would like to promote you.”

After all the blood, sweat and tears, it finally paid off.

There is nothing better than being a part of a company that is deeply invested in your success.

Your greatest employees will crave learning and career progression. Nurture it.

Chevron subsidizes 75% the tuition costs of their employees’ educational interests, and Deloitte Career Connections offers mentoring opportunities and career development tools e.g. self-assessments. You could even set a shorter working week so your employees can pursue a relevant degree or training course.

To get, you need to give. Not only will employees be eternally grateful for your investment into their professional development, it will be an investment back into your company’s future.

7. Ohana means family

“Go James! We’re going to win!”

It’s the annual Christmas office game.

You look up to see James at his third attempt, laughing as his face gets covered in pie.

It’s great to see your boss joke around with the rest of you.

Like Bain & Co., you can foster team spirit by hosting friendly competitions with employees each month. Team-building games, company-sponsored meals, and all-expenses-paid company holidays or office games like pool table, ping-pong table or arcade machine are crucial for building a more committed, supportive, positive and resilient team.

Will employees who feel this sense of loyalty towards your company leave? Highly unlikely.


8. So long, commuters!

It’s 7am. That means you’re standing (barely) in a hot and jam-packed train carriage.

You haven’t even reached the office and you’re already drained.

Make it easier on your employees by providing a company car along with free designated parking, reimbursing their travel expenses, allowing regular telecommuting days, or upgrading your employees’ equipment with a new laptop, tablet, or smartphone to make journeys easier.

Now you have a better understanding of why you are losing or failing to attract star talent, it is time to start investing in your employee benefits – whether it be for health, work balance, parental leave, career investment, company outings…

Think about it – would you be happier and work harder at a company that appreciates you?

I know my answer.