Free Beer for your employees?

The Worst Employee Benefits Your Business Can Offer

The Worst Employee Benefits Your Business Can Offer

Employers need to learn how to keep their employees happy and motivated. It's all about creating a company culture that rewards your team and inspires them to stick with you. By doing this, you cultivate a business that sees low employee turnover rates, saving lots of money and influencing profits. 

What can you do to ensure your employees are satisfied? Begin by offering them an impressive benefits package. Employee benefits are diverse, but they all serve the same purpose; you give back to your workers. You'd think that all benefits are welcome, but some are much better than others. In fact, many businesses are guilty of offering benefits that aren't good at all. It may look like you have an extensive benefits package, but the reality is that half of your employees feel unfulfilled. 

Staying with that trail of thought, this post will go over a few of the worst employee benefits you can offer. These are the things you should avoid putting as part of your benefits package as your workers won't gain much from them. 

Source - CC0 License (Beer toast picture)

Free drinks

Loads of modern businesses offer free drinks for employees on a Friday night. It forms part of the team bonding plan, getting everyone out into a pub for some drinks after work. Nobody has to pay, so everyone enjoys a few drinks on the house. 

The issue with this benefit is that it doesn't benefit everyone. What if someone has to go home to look after their kids? What if some people don't drink? They miss out on the benefits and get nothing in return. This system only works when your entire team goes out for drinks every week. It can lead to some employees wondering why they're working for you if there's a benefit that they can't use. So, free drinks may sound like a good idea to help people socialise, but it's not an employee benefit to brag about. 

Gym memberships

Offering free gym memberships seems like a genius employee benefit. It can save money for your team while encouraging them to stay fit. The only problem is that it's a bit too restrictive. Your employees will have to go to the gym that you have a membership with. For some, this could be a small gym that's part of the office building. It may have a lack of equipment or be too full of people. Therefore, your employees may decide not to bother using this gym at all. 

Your staff may prefer to go to their own gym, even if it means paying for a membership. Also, consider people that don't like going to the gym. What are they getting out of this? Gym memberships are pretty costly when you add them up over 12 months. An employee that doesn't go to the gym can miss out on hundreds of dollars in benefits per year! 

Vision benefits

Vision benefits are pretty popular amongst a lot of companies. For those that don't know, vision benefits are often referred to as vision insurance, and they focus on prescription glasses. In essence, you provide your employees with a plan where they can get prescription lenses without spending any money. Your business covers the costs, so they don't have to. 

On paper, it sounds like an incredible benefit. Unfortunately, you can identify a couple of critical problems. The first is obvious; what about your employees without glasses? How will they benefit from this? Secondly, vision benefit plans are commonly known for being quite rubbish. They restrict your employees to buy lenses from one store, and the store usually hikes the prices up. Also, many people can forget to use the benefit plan or have no need for it every year. Think about it, how often do you get new glasses? It's not something that will come in handy that regularly, so it's a pointless expense. 


Dogs at work

Source - CC0 License

A dog-friendly workplace

Modern startups will always look to be quite trendy and innovative with their benefits packages. You see many small businesses design relaxing workspaces that differ from the traditional office format. Alongside this, they include a dog-friendly policy as a benefit for employees. Here, you can bring your dog to work and keep them with you throughout the day. It looks like an excellent plan as dog owners save money on dog-sitters, while also bringing a furry friend to the office. 

Nevertheless, a dog-friendly workplace is arguably the worst benefit of all. This is coming from someone that loves dogs, so it has nothing to do with my opinion on them! Instead, dogs can be very distracting when you're trying to get work done. They demand attention and can make your employees take their eyes off their work. Not to mention when they start barking, then the workplace descends into madness. You also have to consider people who don't like dogs or are allergic to them. In these cases, is it fair to let someone bring their dog to work? There are too many complications that prove this is more of a gimmick than a benefit. 

What do good benefits look like?

There's a running trend with all of the employee benefits listed above; they're too gimmicky. They seem like they offer something beneficial, but really they don't give your employees that much. Also, they don't cover your entire team, only certain populations. 

So, what do good benefits look like? It honestly couldn't be any simpler; provide your employees with things that improve their life. Health insurance is a big one, dental insurance is another. These things are useful for everyone as they save money while providing an essential service. Providing more than 28 days of holiday is another benefit that everyone will utilise and enjoy. 

It's not rocket science; stop looking for quirky and innovative ways of treating your employees. Nobody wants these strange benefits - they just want good working conditions, a fair wage, and things that can improve their lives. As a business owner, you should steer clear from the benefits listed in the main part of this piece. Don't overthink it; keep things simple and create employee perks that please everyone.

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Dave Gardner

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