Cool Perks: They Don’t Replace More Valuable Benefits

We are living in the prime of the cool office perks era. Catered lunches, foosball, puppies on-site. They’re all the rage. And you aren’t just finding them at startups or tech companies anymore. This kind of “culture” is being replicated in all industries. But some companies are making a fatal assumption: cool perks are just as (if not more) attractive as other benefits, so I’ll use them instead.

Don’t get me wrong. A ping pong table or PlayStation in a company break room is definitely fun and can make for a great stress reliever, but assuming that they will replace a more fundamental benefit like health insurance is a mistake that will cost you.

Benefits with Value

Fifty-five percent of employees have left jobs in the past because they found better benefits or perks at another company. Benefits are also the top consideration for joining or leaving a company. And the #1 benefit as ranked by employees is healthcare.

While perks like massages and snacks can improve some aspects of employee satisfaction, they miss the mark on what employees truly want.

Perks can work as a great addition to valuable benefits, but they shouldn’t substitute them. Because when faced with the decision between a soda machine and great health benefits, employees are far more likely to choose the benefit that gives them true value.

Communicate the Value

Another common misconception is that employees don’t always appreciate or perceive the value of health benefits, so they choose to invest in office perks that employees see every day in hope that they have more impact.

However, it’s clear that great health benefits are what employees desire. Where companies can fall short is in communicating that value. Health insurance can be complicated. Employees need to be educated on the true value of the plans because a competitor can always come along and poach your talent by simply better articulating the value of their benefits.

A Health Benefit that Checks All the Boxes

Supplemental expense reimbursed insurance is an employer-paid benefit that offers tax-efficiency* for the employee and employer and can also be offered to select employee classes. Unlike voluntary insurance, it provides coverage for routine and unexpected health expenses and saves employees from paying many out-of-pocket costs.

This type of benefit provides value in a multitude of areas:

  • Time saving
  • General wellness
  • Financial support
  • Tax savings*

While perks may support some of those areas, they won’t provide lasting value in them all, like supplemental expense reimbursed insurance.

Fast Company.
*This is not local, state or federal tax advice as each person and company is unique. It is recommended that you seek the independent counsel of a professional tax adviser.

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