When ‘Perks’ Matter

During the height of the so-called “start-up” boom back in the early to mid 2010’s, a lot of companies heavily invested in perks that were thought to attract and retain talent, particularly from the millennial demographic. I myself witnessed such pouring in of these perks when I had the opportunity to work for a tech company in San Francisco. From having an onsite office bar, catered lunches, to the staple ping pong tables, such experience was indeed straight out of the movie The Internship. 

However, fast forward today and A LOT has changed – and that’s an understatement. Since then, there has been a growing emphasis on intangible benefits among organizations rather than just having employees do pull-ups in the company gym. 

Such findings were conducted by researchers at Kansas State University and the University of Missouri’s Novak Leadership Institute. More than 1,000 full-time employees between the ages of 21 and 34 who across industries were surveyed and asked to rank their current workplace for things like how much respect they experienced, how well they were able to bounce back from setbacks, how engaged they were, and the perks employers used to retain workers. 

The said study suggests that companies should invest more in employee well-being, including nurturing respect and proper communication among team members. This is further echoed by the post-Covid era where working remotely has become a necessity which could take a toll on one’s wellness. One of Serbizyo’s webinars, for instance, got one of the highest engagement rates when it tackled mental wellness among employees. To this date, it is still considered one of the most viewed webinars since the company started its webinar series. 

“Providing employees the much needed support system and safety net during times of uncertainties, is definitely something they look for when it comes to staying in a company”, says one local HR officer whom we corresponded with for this article. 

It’s still unclear whether such a shift shall persist in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, if there is one thing that companies might want to highlight in attracting and retaining talent, it is the ability to help an employee achieve his or her full potential – physically and mentally, rather than just provide her with a free gym membership. 

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