The war for talent is getting more and more intense, so the benefits that companies are now starting to offer are overwhelming. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, this has now even created a whole new job category.

The article talks about how huge tech companies are trying to outdo each other in the benefits category, leading to job roles like “workplace manager.”

Their sole responsibility is making sure employees are happy and coordinating all of the lavish perks like planning outings and yoga classes.

Companies like Google and Facebook are well-known for their over-the-top perks, like on-site daycare and drycleaning, but now other companies are joining in like Pinterest, Asana, Shutterstock, and many other tech companies.

I completely understand if your company can’t do all of the things that Google does to make your employees happy, and that’s fine. You just need to get creative.

The truth is though, having the mindset that a mere paycheck will do, is a risky way of thinking. In this current tough economy, you could make the argument that anyone should be happy to have a job.

Top talent won’t stand for it though, so if you want to hire amazing workers, you need to provide incredible employee benefits. If you’re okay with working with mediocre talent and don’t mind a high turnover rate, then feel free to keep that attitude…up to you.

Here’s the thing though, like I was mentioning, you don’t need an on-site daycare center. The real issue is that tech companies, after raising massive amounts of money or making massive amounts of money, need a way to outdo each other.

They’ve already covered a lot of the basics though that many companies still don’t have. So instead of focusing on those over-the-top perks, make sure you’re working on offering benefits that matter to employees.

Here’s the secret – Most employee benefits that actually matter are free. The reason for this is that employees just want to be respected and treated like adults.

Way too many companies don’t even do this.

Let’s go through some of the employee benefits that you should be offering to employees.

Flexible Schedules

This benefit is completely free, and on almost any survey you look at, this is the most important benefit for employees.

The reason for this is what I was mentioning earlier. Employees want to be respected and treated like adults. Don’t be tracking every move they make, and if they took an hour and ten minutes for lunch instead of one hour, not a big deal.

Trust is a two-way street. If you expect loyalty and trust from employees, you have to show them that you trust them.

Life is unpredictable, and things come up. Please, have a heart. Let your employees have a bit of flexibility with their schedules.

Unlimited Vacation Policy

Again, this benefit is completely free and shows employees that you trust their judgment. Modeled after Netflix, many startups (including Officevibe) have an unlimited vacation policy.

It’s not what you think. It’s not as if everyone’s lying on a beach and no work gets done. It’s all about giving employees the autonomy to be responsible. If someone abuses this perk, they will be reprimanded, but so far it hasn’t happened.

At Officevibe, out of respect, we give each other notice before we take a vacation, but no one is tracking how many vacation days I’ve taken or how many I have left.

Employee Wellness

Investing in employee wellness is more than just having healthy and productive employees, it shows employees that you genuinely care about them as people, which is a huge motivator.

At Officevibe, we have healthy lunches delivered to us and fresh fruit in the kitchen that employees can grab anytime.

We also have yoga classes, a hockey team, and other healthy activities that are organized by groups of employees.

Personal Growth

I often write about autonomy, mastery, and purpose being the three things that motivate employees at work.

Investing in their personal growth and development is an easy way to satisfy their need for mastery.

If you’re interested in letting employees learn at their own pace and a subject that interests them, then check out websites like Coursera, edX or Udemy.

If you’re more interested in teaching them material from the company, look into a tool called Axonify, they’re really taking over the corporate learning market.

Here’s a CultureTalk I did with the CEO of Axonify.

Another tool I want to recommend is called Zenefits. I have no affiliation with them at all, I just think they’re great.

What Are Some Of The Employee Benefits That Your Company Offers?