“Employee Perks: Are You Giving Too Many or Not Enough?” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

“Employee Perks: Are You Giving Too Many or Not Enough?” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

Are you guilty of giving your employees too many perks? Or, are you not giving them enough?

I read about a Canadian candy company looking for a Chief Candy Officer. The benefits? For a salary of up to $100,000, they get to taste 3,500 products every month. The most valuable perk though? It comes with “extensive dental coverage.”

It can be tough to find the right balance between what you offer and what the employee wants, but it’s important to do so if you want to keep your team happy and productive.

In this post, I’ll discuss some of the most common employee perks and how to determine whether or not you offer too many or too few. I’ll also provide some tips on how to create a perk program that works for your business. So, whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking to make changes to your current program, read on for some helpful advice!

Answers to Some of the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Perks:

What are the benefits of employee perks and why should you offer them to your team members?

  • Your employees will feel more appreciated and motivated when they know their hard work isn’t going unnoticed.
  • Perks can boost morale by demonstrating every individual is valued within the organization – which encourages employees to feel responsible for its success.
  • Giving employee perks shows that management cares about people beyond just their jobs – a reflection which has been shown time after again as being a critical factor in workforce retention strategies.

How do you know if you’re giving your employees the right perks?

The best way for you to know if your retail associates are getting enough perks is by having a discussion with them. This will allow the opportunity of being able to assess how they feel about their rewards, and what would be an improvement or more tailored toward their needs in order to make it easier on everyone involved.

From there – a conversation with other retail owners or chamber of commerce members in your area could inform your decision.

And keep your eyes open, in today’s competitive employment environment, you aren’t just competing with the work-at-home crowd.


Look at this McDonald’s Hiring Sign:

  • Health Insurance
  • 401(k)
  • Paid Sick Days
  • Discounted Employee Meals
  • Flexible Hours
  • College Tuition Assistance
  • Growth Opportunities
  • National Employee Discounts
  • Scholarships for managers and crew

Most of us would say that those are a lot of benefits to what most would see as an entry-level job.

This is what you are competing against for workers today.

Employee benefits are the true measure of WIFM – What’s In It For Me?

Potential employees have the upper hand and some will jump from an employer for just a bit higher wage. Imagine what they do when they see the benefits on a sign or ad such as this.

What is an appropriate employee discount?

I asked that question on my Facebook page and got a wealth of answers ranging from only 10% to cost. Several apparel retailers noted the associates had to wait until two weeks after an item was put on the floor.

That’s smart because you don’t want to have your crew picking the most common sizes and then constantly disappointing customers who see the merchandise on staff but can’t take it home.

Retail used to give generous employee discounts to make up for the low hourly pay, but with many now paying $15 an hour, some retailers have pulled back on those discounts.

Whether you look at it as a marketing cost or employee retention, finding the balance between covering cost and being seen as a great discount seems to hover around 30%.

What are some popular employee perks that you can offer your team members, depending on your budget and company culture?

There are plenty of ways companies can keep their employees happy and productive. Offering better benefits than just health insurance coverage alone might also include retirement savings accounts; flexible spending account options such as reimbursement upfront expenses like gym memberships/ fitness tracker systems etc.; educational grants and more.

And perks can be a book of car washes for someone who prizes their car, a spa day, or any incentive where the employee gets something for achieving a goal.

How can you make sure that your employees are taking advantage of the perks that you’re offering and also ensure they know about the great benefits that you’re offering them?

You can provide incentives for your employees to take advantage of the perks you offer them. A great way is by creating a rewards system with points, where they’ll get more than one point per dollar spent on company products or services (for example 50 points equals $5). Then once their account reaches 500 points, they will be able to redeem it toward any purchase.

This encourages people who work hard and helps keep morale high since there’s always something fun coming up next month at your team meeting.

Are there any other ways that you can improve the work environment for your team members beyond just offering employee perks?

In addition to employee benefits, there are a number of other ways that you can improve the work environment for your team members:

  1. Retail employees often have to deal with customers who are unhappy or stressed. However, you can help to reduce the impact on employees by providing them with a clear and concise set of guidelines to follow.
  2. A set two-week schedule that rotates so someone doesn’t have to work every Saturday.
  3. Additionally, you should make sure that the store is well-lit and free of any clutter or hazards.
  4. Corporate culture is described at onboarding and put into practice for inclusion, communication, and goal setting.
  5. A culture of training is a given – something you always do to get better.

An article on the website Quantum Workplace lists 45 perk ideas by categories such as family, health and wellness, and employee development. Millennials in particular are attracted to a company that is community-minded and does charitable work. Consider offering company days of service where you and your staff come together to give back.

In Sum

We have to, as a group, elevate how we treat frontline workers.  Yes, they’ve been through a lot but many are choosing retail as a career…provided they are treated with respect and given rewards based on their performance.

By taking these steps to create perks and employee benefits, you can help to create a work environment that is more enjoyable for your team members and increase your employee retention.

We are pleased to mention that the Bob Phibbs the Retail Doctor (who has contributed to BRA with outstanding articles like this one and so many others that we have reposted over the past year) has also contributed to BRA monetarily. We value his relevant retail insight and encourage you to learn more about his offerings by clicking on the following link to his website:

– Doug Works, Executive Director BRA

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