Which workplace employee perks will make my team feel most loved?

Maria Shields   5 April, 2018
Employee Perks

Recognising the efforts of your staff by offering workplace rewards can be a great way of encouraging positive behaviours and motivating your team. Yet for small businesses – often on a tight budget and with limited resources – it’s important to know that you’re getting bang for your buck by offering employee perks that will have the biggest impact and make your employees feel loved.

It was with this issue in mind that our sister company Xexec recently conducted a survey of nearly 2,000 employees across the UK. The results suggest not only that annual leave and public recognition are the work-related benefits most likely to make employees feel loved at work, but that employees want to be rewarded spontaneously and with bespoke, personalised awards.

Interested to know more? Here’s a summary of the key findings:

Annual leave and public recognition were most popular

43% of those surveyed picked annual leave as the work-related benefit that would make them feel most loved at work, compared with a range of other options which included public recognition (15%), team drinks (15%), training (10%), professional mentoring (7%), having a lie in every week (7%) and getting a parking space for a month (2%).

So what does this mean? Well, employees want rewards that are going to make a difference to their lives outside of the workplace, which is why additional annual leave has becoming increasingly popular in recent years. It’s no wonder then that we have seen some high profile companies such as Netflix offering unlimited annual leave, but you don’t have to go that far! Offering even an additional day or two can make a big difference.

On the topic of public recognition, creating team moments and encouraging employees to recognise each other’s hard work publicly is a great way of building better bonds between team members and, ultimately, foster engagement. Whether a weekly team lunch, a regular morning meeting, or a monthly ‘awards ceremony’ these don’t need to be over complicated and, in the days of the flexible/remote worker, are becoming increasingly important as a way of facilitating face-to-face collaboration between staff.

Timing is key!

Employees want to receive rewards spontaneously and for good work (47% and 38% respectively) over traditional calendar events such as birthdays (10%) and Christmas (5%). 

In short, it’s important to go above and beyond things like annual bonuses and birthday treats if they really want to make your employees feel loved and appreciated. Regular and spontaneous recognition has a much greater impact on employee engagement, as it doesn’t feel token and shows your team that you have noticed their efforts. Next time one of your team does something outstanding, reward them for it there and then!   

Employees were more likely to value bespoke, personalised awards over money

66% of those surveyed said that receiving two tickets to a concert of their choice would make them feel loved, compared with 34% who favoured having three times the value of those tickets being paid into their paycheck over the course of a year. The opposite was true for small, non-personalised gifts such as cake, ice cream of chocolate. When asked their preference only 35% of employees favoured the token gift over being given 10 times the monetary value of that gift in additional salary (preferred by 65% of employees).

This is something that we have certainly experienced: the monetary value of a reward is by no means the key concern for employees, particularly when rewards are bespoke or personalised. We’ve seen some great examples of clients offering perks such as a contribution to dinner at their favourite restaurant, or a day off to volunteer at a charity they are passionate about. Though they don’t break the bank, these rewards are hugely popular because they are personalised. As the saying goes “it’s the thought that counts”!

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