There are a lot of startup perks that seem insane (in-house masseuses, for instance), but not all startup perks deserve the same rap. Some startup perks actually help employees feel more valued, engaged and empowered at work -- and some of them are pretty beneficial for your company.
Here are ten easy perks that'll make your team love working for you:
1. Free food
60 percent of employees say free food at the office makes them feel valued, and thankfully, there are a lot of ways to provide this perk, regardless of your office's budget.
Some offices keep free snacks and coffee at the office. Other offices might provide free lunch on occasion, or set up a tab for employees at the local coffee shop.
2. Flexible vacation time
Vacation time is the second most important perk to employees (after pay raises), according to a Monster survey. There's a lot you can easily do to provide better paid time off for your employees.
Try having no set maximum number of days. You could go further and offer no blackout vacation days, or rewards for taking a vacation. Some companies go all out and offer "paid paid vacation" where they specifically pay employees to take a vacation!
3. Student loan repayment aid
According to the Federal Reserve, the average student loan debt per person was $26,700 in 2016. With this figure so high, some companies are now piloting programs to offer repayment aid to their employees, with aid packages starting at $100 per month.
The added benefit here is that this perk can improve also your business' recruitment and retention efforts.
4. Wellness stipend
Healthy employees are less likely to take sick days and therefore more likely to be productive. Offering a wellness stipend or a discount on a gym membership to encourage employees to be health-conscious has been a popular perk among startups for a while -- but it should be on your radar too.
Some companies will directly pay for a gym membership, whereas others may offer to reimburse a certain amount each year for fitness related purchases. Take your pick.
5. Commuter stipend
If your office is located in a larger city, offering pre-tax commuter benefits or stipends is a great and cost-effective perk for your employees.
A popular option among a lot of companies is to offer employees the ability to buy commuter passes using their pre-tax income. You can also offer a monthly stipend for commuting expenses. Some companies have taken this to include Uber and Lyft rides.
6. Employee bonuses
Cash is a great motivator. Offering your employees bonuses for outstanding work or referring new hires is an excellent way to keep office morale high and employees feeling valued.
The rewards don't have to be huge, either. At my previous job, our company would give us "recognition awards" for $50 to $500 for a job well done. The thing I appreciated most about the award? Knowing someone noticed my hard work.
7. Relaxed dress code
Based on your industry, relaxing your dress code is an effective, no-cost perk that your employees will almost certainly appreciate.
While you don't have to jump headfirst into a casual work environment, you could start a weekly Casual Friday or allow employees to wear casual clothing if they don't have any client facing meetings or responsibilities on a given day.
8. Flexible work schedules
Letting employees have a say in when and how they work will make them feel engaged and empowered. You can offer the ability for employees to work remotely or offer flexible schedules or compressed work weeks.
This is also a great perk for any employees who are also parents, since they will be able to spend more time with their kids.
9. Company outings
Taking your employees out to a happy hour, dinner or some other event is another great way to build a cohesive and bonded office culture.
You can even host events in the office if you're budget-conscious. Our company will sometimes have informal board game nights or happy hours in the office.
10. Corporate swag
Corporate swag a great marketing and branding tool, and (almost) everyone loves free stuff. For every new employee who joins, you can offer them a branded hoodie or t-shirt, notepad, pen or something else as to immediately make them feel welcomed to their new company.