Company Culture

Yes, These 3 Categories of Employee Perks Have a Bottom-Line ROI

Yes, These 3 Categories of Employee Perks Have a Bottom-Line ROI
Image credit: FitRepublik

From free, daily catered lunches to company yoga classes to Friday happy hours, workplace perks are here. And they're great additions to standard 401(k) plans and vacation days. Perks like these break the everyday monotony of the workplace, attract the newest generations of talent and keep current staff happy.

But, that’s not all.

Related: Free Helicopter Ride, Anyone? 40 Awesome and Absurd Tech Company Perks. (Infographic)

Employee perks also have a strong impact on a company’s bottom line. That’s right -- there’s a quantifiable benefit to taking the team out for drinks.

So what is the return on investment of employee perks? Here are three categories of popular perks companies are providing today and the data-backed ROI that comes with them:

1. Wellness programs

Employee absences -- especially the unplanned kind -- can cost companies more than just lost productivity. Seventy-five percent of HR professionals say employee absences have a large impact, not just on productivity, but on revenue, according to a 2014 study of more than 1,000 professionals by Kronos and the Society for Human Resources Management.

Offering employees an apple a day may not be enough to keep the doctor away (and absences at bay). Workplace wellness programs, on the other hand, can help employees maintain a healthier lifestyle so that they don’t have to miss work.

According to a 2013 Towers Watson survey of about 900 employers, highly effective organizations with wellness initiatives experienced lower unplanned absences (just three days as opposed to four days).

So, when it comes to wellness initiatives, what is it that employees value most? A Quantum Workplace survey released earlier this year revealed that the majority of the 2,000 employees surveyed wanted an on-site fitness center (50.5 percent) and time for healthy activities at work (49.8 percent).

The Motley Fool, a multimedia financial services company, is a role model in the wellness category. It incorporates both of the two initiatives described above with offerings that range from free spinning classes and bootcamps to in-house massages and wellness consultations.

Related: This Startup Is Giving Businesses a Better Way to Offer Employee Perks

2. Company outings

Companies that play together, stay together. Whether this means going out for a team lunch, attending a local sports game or taking a weeklong company retreat, getting employees out of the office does more than just boost employee happiness and appreciation.

Escaping from the office for an afternoon, in fact, can greatly affect workplace relationships and collaboration. According to a 2014 Globoforce survey, relationships at work impact 89 percent of employees’ quality of life -- both in and out of the office.

Additionally, taking a break from the hustle and bustle of the office can help reduce employee stress levels. Quantum Workplace’s study on employee benefits found that nearly 80 percent of employees surveyed said they believed that taking time off to recharge can help them manage their stress levels. What employees wouldn’t feel less stressed after singing their hearts out at karaoke night?

Scopely, an LA-based mobile company, is a role model here. Staffers go on all-company retreats, participate in regular paintball outings, enjoy company dinners and have their own kickball team.

Sujay Tyle, former VP of business development, explained how these outings help improve collaboration, telling Mashable: “We often have incredible late-night brainstorming sessions on some of the outings, and it’s clear these have led people to become even more passionate about the product.” 

3. Concierge services

When employers and employees think “workplace perks,” they typically think of game rooms, happy hours and the like. Often overlooked are perks that pack a big punch in terms of savings on time and money (and an even bigger ROI). Their name: concierge services.

These services may include anything from dry cleaning to childcare arrangements to automobile services (e.g., oil changes, car washes, etc.). Yet, according to the 2014 SHRM Benefits Survey, a mere 3 percent of employers offer concierge services.

Helping employees with their chores has an obvious benefit for employees, but what about employers? Employers benefit from offering concierge services by increasing individual productivity and engagement through the reduction in the amount of time employees spend on nonwork-related activities during the work day.

According to the Quantum Workplace survey described above, the work-life balance that results from the availability of concierge services increases employee-engagement levels by more than 20 percent. Think about that: Less time spent running errands during the work day means more time that can be spent on the task at hand.

Take a page from Google’s book, as we all do when it comes to creating a top-notch company culture. Role model Google provides a number of on-site services dedicated to helping employees get their errands done. The company even has a designated team to assist staff with everyday tasks, ranging from laundry to oil changes to haircuts.      

What do you think? How do your company’s employee perks translate into ROI? Share in the comments below!

Related: Entrepreneurs Need to Focus on Culture, Not Perks