Guide to Company Benefits and Perks (With Examples)
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Part of being an employee at a company involves receiving benefits and perks in addition to the compensation you receive for your work. Such benefits and perks that you receive as an employee often add value to your work life and your personal life. Companies provide perks to not just attract but also retain the best employees who contribute to the company's success. In this article, we explain what company benefits are, why companies offer them and examples of benefits and perks.
What are company benefits and perks?
Company benefits and perks are those incentives an organisation provides to its employees in addition to compensation. Some benefits may be mandatory by local law, while others are available to employees depending on the company's budget and feedback that employees relay through the human resources department. Companies use benefits and perks to attract and retain the best employees. Often, perks cater to an employee's career goals, work-life balance and health. Companies also provide benefits because they can foster better productivity, morale, a healthier work environment and job satisfaction.
Why are company benefits important?
Companies that offer benefits and perks do so to maintain employee satisfaction. Below are some of the advantages of providing benefits and perks to employees:
Prioritising work-life balance
Employees may have concerns about how their career impacts their personal lifestyle and well-being. A company that provides a flexible work schedule and paid leave shows that it values its employees' priorities and well-being. Having the ability to work from home or remotely and being able to decide your work hours within reasonable limits can promote productivity and reduce stress. Having paid annual leave, apart from mandatory leave such as public holidays and sick leave, enables an employee to spend time away from work to take a vacation, which can ease stress and prevent burnout.
Increasing job satisfaction
Job satisfaction is an important measure for a company, as it shows how an employee feels about the value of their work. Having job satisfaction can lead an employee to channel their best efforts into their responsibilities and encourage them to do more within their role and beyond it. The intention to cater to an employee's interests and needs can motivate them to do their job and potentially advance in their career. Benefits that can lead to job satisfaction include paid leave, career advancement opportunities and employee engagement programmes.
Providing employees with benefits and perks can boost productivity. Benefits and perks, such as access to recreational activities in the office, gym or wellness programmes, access to refreshments and flexibility in the work schedule, can all contribute to better productivity. It allows employees to take a break, refresh and return to their responsibilities with better focus and renewed motivation to continue their work. Employees who can focus better on their responsibilities are often able to be more organised in their efforts, avoid burnout and work more efficiently.
Providing benefits to employees can help with retaining them. Companies typically research what benefits can best retain employees, which eases the process of repeatedly searching and training new talent. Employees who enjoy benefits, such as health insurance, frequent professional training and career advancement opportunities, have the motivation to stay with a company over a long period, as they feel the company invests in their well-being and in their career goals. Company events also contribute to retaining the best talent, as events show that a company wants employees to relax and socialise beyond the professional relationships employees share.
Improving employee engagement
Having benefits and perks can improve overall engagement with employees. Providing employees with the time and space for social activities, rest and relaxation trips with colleagues and other events can help employees feel more included and valued by an organisation, going beyond the professional confines of the work environment and the professional relationships they share with others. Companies also engage with employees through their managers and supervisors, who sometimes receive training from the HR department on how to engage employees effectively. Other benefits can include a reward and recognition programme and providing opportunities to promote leadership and career growth.
Examples of employee benefits and perks
Below are some of the employee benefits and perks that a company may provide:
One of the most common benefits that a company provides is health insurance. In some cases, it may be mandatory by law to provide health insurance to employees. Companies usually work with an insurance organisation to provide corporate health insurance plans, which include the premiums that a company has to pay, the scope of the policies and whether it covers only an employee or their immediate family. Some companies may also provide dental or vision insurance that can provide coverage for an employee to get a check-up or undergo procedures if necessary.
In some jobs, particularly those involving dangerous activity, a company may provide disability insurance to their employees. Disability insurance typically covers an employee if they're unable to perform their responsibilities owing to illness or injury. In such cases, short-term disability insurance can provide coverage for injuries that prevent you from working for a short period, which may range from a few weeks to a few months. Long-term disability insurance provides coverage for illnesses and injuries that may cause permanent disability to do your job or injuries severe enough to prevent you from working for a few years.
Paid annual leave
Paid annual leave is another customary benefit that a company provides to employees. Paid leave provides an employee with time away from work to attend to personal matters, relax or take a vacation. Some leaves such as public holidays, sick leave and maternity or paternity leave are mandatory by law, while a company can decide on the other types of leave. Annual leave is a common type of leave that employees use for vacation time or to attend to personal matters. Companies may also decide on the number of days of leave to provide to employees in a year.
Companies can provide retirement benefits or options to employees. The most common of these is the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) which most companies provide by contributing one-half of the payment and the other half from an employee's salary on a monthly basis. Companies may also provide other options upon the retirement of an employee by paying a gratuity, which may be a predetermined scale of monetary compensation that depends on the employee's length of service in a company. A company can additionally partner with a service provider to offer retirement plan options to their employees.
Learning and development
A company may sometimes encourage employees to experience continuous learning and development programmes. These may take different forms, such as participating in corporate training, which may provide certification, or attending lectures from guest speakers from the industry. In some instances, a company may also encourage an employee to attend professional courses or academic degree courses and sponsor the tuition and certification of the employee. For an employee, this can lead to job satisfaction, career advancement and acquiring specialised skills and knowledge.
Flexibility in the job
As technology advances and access to digital software and tools increases, many employees can work from outside the office. Flexibility in the job is another benefit that a company may provide to employees. It allows employees to be productive and work at optimal levels, minimising the stress and fatigue that can come with working in a familiar environment. An example of job flexibility is the ability to work from home and flexible work hours. Letting employees work remotely also means they can complete their work within reasonable work hours.
Some companies provide wellness programmes and initiatives that focus on the mental and physical health of employees. These initiatives show that a company cares about the well-being of their employees and their ability to do their work without ill health and under minimal stress. Some of these initiatives can include organising health check-up camps, programmes to address mental health concerns, designating certain days of the week for specific activities such as casual dress codes, monthly company entertainment events, hosting and maintaining a variety of clubs that cater to an employee's interests and personal development programmes.
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