Good employers exist. Before we even start this article, I just want to tell you that despite all the workplace-related horror stories you read on social media, good and caring employers exist. They just get overshadowed by all the bad ones.
And here’s the thing – they *want* to attract you, a talented professional, to work with them.
This article serves two purposes:
- For employers and future employers to take note of what brilliant employees expect in exchange for their hard work and loyalty, so you can grow your business better
- For employees to refuse – nay, reject – workplaces that don’t treat them well. Let those businesses die a slow death, they deserve it
Basic Employee Benefits
Before we jump into the best employee benefits, let’s cover the basic expectations. These benefits are considered basic, you can even say they’re the bare minimum, but some companies don’t even do them!
- Safe and comfortable office to do the work in
- Functional, legal and safe work tools and equipment
- Respectful boss/superior who don’t take advantage of you (being exploitative, offer minimum wage only, overt discriminative actions/policies, force you to work more than expected, never pay for overtime, withhold your salary/EPF, etc)
- Sanctioned holidays and annual leaves
That’s it. That’s pretty much it, that’s the basic. If your employer right now is not fulfilling any of the above basics, run.
Cool Employee Benefits
Now that we got the bare basics out of the way, we can move on to the actually cool employee benefits.
Take note that it’s not realistic to expect your employer to provide ALL of these benefits, but a selection of them is nice. My intention is to let you know about some of the benefits out there, not to make you feel bitter about what you don’t have!
Here are some cool employee benefits that many of us universally like:
- Pays a competitive salary
- Cool colleagues
- Pantry with fridge and microwave
- Free-flow hot beverages like coffee and tea, and snacks
- Filtered drinking water
- Fun hanging out spaces to rejuvenate
- Comprehensive healthcare and medical benefits
- Childcare assistance
- Covers dental and optical
- Flexible working hours
- Option to work from home
- Great work-life balance (40 hours per week)
- Generous claims for transportation and/or utilities
- Access to gyms, fitness-related activities and/or wellness programmes
- Company retreats, outings and makan occasions
- Opportunities for salary increments, self-development and career growth
- Annual leaves that can be carried forward and/or can be converted into cash value
- Annual bonus
But wait! The fun part comes from the RoR audience. When I asked the question as a mini-forum, some of you told me employee benefits that I’ve never even thought of!
Here are some replies, published with permission (underline is my emphasis):
Sangeetha Jayaram – My current employer provides flexibility to work from home, great medical benefits inclusive spouse and kids, flexible hours, and nothing beats my department GM and my boss, truly the best.
My current employer also sponsored my learning and development. They paid for my training in Agile and Scrum, and I passed both certification exams. I am now exploring DevOps.
Eddie Yong – I’m a Malaysian working in Singapore. (They provide me with) child care leaves. Dental subsidy. Snacks (overflowed chocolates). Coffee machine. Fridges with can drinks. Nice office environment to chill and work. Most importantly cool boss😆
ARia ADia Sha RoSe – (My workplace does) Fruits day once a week 🍇🍊🍎🍏
Syaza Nazura – (I get) Free parking. Also lots of tea and coffee for those who drink them (not me but they have Milo too so I’m good). Also I got an office laptop (choice between Dell XPS and Macbook Air, obv chose the Macbook) to use (that I can bring home).
(I also get access to) Gym, swimming pool and running tracks to use before and after work. Microwave and fridge to use. Staff gets 30% off for lunch sets at the canteen.
Dzurihan Yusoff – (I get) Career growth, vast knowledge expansion, unlimited medical benefit, 30 days annual leave, smart casual attire, yearly increment, and Harvard Business Corporate e-learning subscription.
Brian Soon – Every 2 weeks, the company gives us a Friday off. So in a month we get 2 extra days of leave. It’s really nice to have an extra day for the weekend where you can settle other things (eg going to the bank or catching up with friends) 😁
To elaborate more, my company is from France and they really value work-life balance in their work culture. For maternity leave, the ladies get 4 months off and the man get 1 month off as parental leave.
Ivan – I used to work for a US organisation. With them I enjoyed: 3 meals a day, housing with free air-conditioning, internet and water, free parking at work and petrol reimbursement, basic 12 annual leave + 1 day additional for every 2 years you work, unused annual leave can be carried forward to the following year, yearly bonus of one month, and unlimited amount of special paid leave (Family funeral, hospitalisation, dental visit, emergency cases etc)
So you see, the point I made in my first paragraph stands. Good employers exist, and they may be looking for you right now.
What cool employee benefits do you have?
By this point, if you’re feeling like your company can do better, then you have 3 choices:
- implement the benefits you want yourself (go and propose to workplace, never ask never know. Some benefits don’t require much funds to implement!), or
- find the employer of your dreams, or
- accept and just be grateful for the job that you do have. It could be worse :/
Does your company offer employee benefits that are not included in here? I’d love to see more variety – and dare I say, creativity – among different companies 😀 Let us know in the comments section!