You’re a manager with a budget yet you want to keep your team engaged and increase productivity.

You are probably already aware that your benefits package plays a key role in attracting and retaining those people who make work a great place to be.

In fact, one of the top reasonscandidates turn down a job offer is because they were dissatisfied with the benefits on offer.

So how does an SME compete with the companies that have brochures filled with an endless list of benefits?

Here are our top 10 perks that won’t break the bank yet are likely to benefit a company’s bottom line through better recruitment and retention and improved productivity;

  1. Professional Development

A common reason for leaving a role is lack of career progression. Providing employees with opportunities to develop their career through promotion and study can greatly increase staff retention. If funding exams isn’t an option, why not set up your employee with a mentor, grant study leave, provide access to online learning forums or offer in house training?

  1. Flexible Working Hours/ Working from home

Research from the CIPD has shown that implementing flexible working practices can improve staff engagement and motivation. Not to mention the reduction in operating costs for the company. Whilst the employee improves their work-life balance, it really is a win-win!

  1. Employee of the Month

Want to reward top performers and improve relationships across the team at the same time? Have employees nominate each other for Employee of the Month rather than having a manager choose the winner. Make it even more fun and special with an award ceremony that the whole team attend!

  1. Pet friendly office

Several studies have shown that having pets in the office can boost employee morale, reduce stress and improve overall productivity. If ‘bring your furry friend to work day’ isn’t feasible how about an office goldfish or hamster?

  1. Employee discounts

Do the team have a favourite gym, salon, car park or sandwich shop? Get in touch with them to see if they can reward your employees with a discount for their loyalty, it never hurt to ask! If that isn’t an option there’s always perk programmes such as perkbox, staff treats etc. that offer team discounts for a small price.

  1. Team bonding events

What’s cheap and cheerful that boosts morale whilst encouraging team relationships? Beer Fridays! Ease your employees into the weekend by rewarding them with a beer (or any other treat) on a Friday. You could even pair it with a team meeting to discuss the successes from the week.

  1. Wellness Package – Fresh fruit, bikes to work, standing desk options

Some companies may be able to afford gym or yoga passes, if yours can’t there are plenty of more cost effective ways to promote wellness. Bikes for work, fresh fruit, quit smoking support, standing desk options or sponsor your employees to complete marathons to name a few.

  1. Long service awards

Long service awards are widely considered as one of the most important forms of recognition, they motivate and engage staff while reinforcing the message of rewarding loyalty.In a recent survey by employee benefits, 43% of employees picked annual leave as the work-related benefit that would make them feel most loved at work.

  1. Dress down days

Employees perceive dress down days as a benefit and reward for hard work. It fosters a sense of community among them and allows them a little more personal expression. Many companies also ask employees to make a small donation to a charity on casual days which givesemployees a chance to give back to their communities.

  1. Pleasant Office Environment

While office trends come and go, one thing that does not change is the impact that the office environment has on employee health and wellbeing. Now, wellness rooms and ergonomic seating may not be an option, a good old spruce up and declutter however never hurt anyone. If you really want to push the boat out you could even introduce office plants!

To summarise, your benefit package says a lot about your office culture and what’s rewarded. A MetLife study revealed that nearly three out of four employees say that having the ability to customise their benefits would increase their loyalty to their current employer, so it’s probably worth asking your team what they would like to see put in place.


Whatever you choose, it’s bound to have a positive impact. For further advice on how to create a competitive benefits package feel free to get in touch.