Smaller companies can't afford all the perks larger firms can provide, as a rule. But attractive employee perks don't have to expensive. Here are seven inexpensive but no less appealing perks:
- Movies: These can either be a group outing or complimentary tickets.
- Game time: Some companies provide foosball, table tennis, or pool tables in their break rooms.
- Employee referral bonus: If an existing employee recommends a new hire who stays on the job for a certain amount of time – usually 60 or 90 days – give the referring employee a cash reward.
- Healthy snacks: Got a workout room? Your employees need energy to make the most of any exercise regimen. Fuel that fire by offering healthy treats – whole-grain muffins or energy bars, fruits, juice, and the like – daily or even once a week.
- Mailroom services: Let your employees mail letters and packages via your mailroom. They still pay for postage, but the convenience is no less appealing.
- Loaner computers, tablets, and other electronic devices: Make it clear that employees can take home the laptop computers, tablets, or other electronic devices issued to them by the company but with a strong and clear reminder that your company's property, technology, and security policies still apply to their at-home use of such devices. This can boost productivity. As an added perk, think about making these devices the employee's property after a period of time (a subtle encouragement to take good care of the machine), though you will want to ensure all company data is wiped, returned, and/or protected before transferring ownership.
- Free seminars: Professionals often will speak for free (to promote themselves) on topics such as time management or ways to relieve stress. Make sure that attendance is voluntary, so that the time doesn't become compensable work time.