How the Right Perks Create a Great Company Culture

Charlie Hoffmann | Economist Corner
Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015
How the Right Perks Create a Great Company Culture

Thirty years ago, employees weighed their job satisfaction based on vacation time, medical benefits, retirement plans, and salaries. All of those factors still matter today, but workplace perks have taken on a new meaning. The modern workforce is looking for more than general compensation, they want an atmosphere that will enhance their overall work experience and make the grind of the workday enjoyable. Recently, I joined our recruiting team at a college job fair and asked students what was important to them in their search for a career. Confirming my presumption, an overwhelming number expressed the importance of incentives and perks that extended beyond the salary. As an employer, the right perks go a long way in an effort to provide a positive work experience to the staff. In this blog, I discuss several successful endeavors that worked at my company, but I encourage each employer to seek the feedback of staff members in order to decide what perks are most beneficial at your organization.

Free Food Tastes Better

Here at iCIMS, we have an abundance of drinks, lunch, and snacks provided by the company for employees. We half-jokingly coined the phrase “The iCIMS 15”. Similar to freshmen year in college, it’s easy to pack on a few extra pounds between the pot lucks, lunch and learns, bagel Fridays, and other company events. These events feed more than just a hungry stomach — they promote a much-needed sense of community that ties departments together. For example, in my role, I rarely come into contact with our software developers. However, I still have a great working relationship with the team since we can easily stay in touch during frequent company events. Each month, the company provides a great opportunity to mix and collaborate with departments that may not interact together regularly.

A Workforce that Hoops Together, Stays Together

I once heard the phrase “I would never leave the company until we win a championship with the company basketball team.” Certainly an exaggerated statement, but the perks derived from a workplace team (soccer, softball, basketball, golf, etc.) do wonders for an organization. It brings a sense of comradery and teamwork to a company. In addition, these type of perks promote healthy lifestyles which is a win for all. Company sports teams also provide a unique way to showcase the brand to the community. At iCIMS, we have even seen it as a recruiting tool on occasion. For example, players on opposing teams become interested in a company with such a great culture, then research the company,  and end up applying.

Passionate Outreach Projects Do Wonders 

Our company vision promotes responsibility to our community and our environment. This can be exemplified with projects such as park clean-ups, community volunteering and fundraising. It’s so powerful to watch the collective workforce rally for a cause they believe in as a unit. When Hurricane Sandy devastated our area, iCIMS collected over $30,000 for the Raine Foundation. Through this endeavor, our team directly impacted the lives of struggling families in an immediate and obvious way. This proved not only to be an impactful way to support the community, but also provided each employee with a sense of gratitude and the opportunity to assist in a quick and meaningful manner.

Bring Your Kids to Work Day

Perhaps no single event can be more rewarding for employers than Bring Your Kids to Work Day.  The day provides a chance for an employee to have their workplace family meet their real family. Children get to see behind the curtain into where their parents go each day, what they do, and who they interact with. It’s a fun-filled day for all, and most importantly, it can bridge the delta between home-life and work-life in a positive and educational way.

In summary, small steps can be taken with little or no cost that can provide tremendous benefit to your employees.  The benefits are endless as morale will improve, employee turnover will be reduced and you will have a happier & more productive workforce.  Most steps taken can be simple, inexpensive and easily deliverable.  We encourage you to develop an action plan with input from your employees to add some amazing perks that will be sure to take your organization to the next level.

about the author

As chief economist at iCIMS, an industry-leading provider of talent acquisition software, Josh Wright leads a team of data scientists in analyzing emerging trends in the U.S. labor market

Josh Wright | Press Kit