Whose idea was it to start these crazy job perks, anyways? Office perks actually rank as the least important factor when the majority of millennials are considering whether or not to take a job, according to what studies are showing. The same studies are saying that what employees really want is competitive compensation.

As 2018 has unofficially been named the Year of Employee Experience (EX), it’s important for companies to acknowledge what future and current employees truly want, need and value. Sure, free dinner is a nice perk to offer, but that means that employees could feel that they are expected to work through dinner hours. This grand initiative to improve EX must revolve around what employees truly need, not benefits that are simply nice to have.

A recent survey of 12,000 workers found that employees want to feel a sense of pride and belonging within their organization, along with higher pay. The issue is, they are willing to share that in a survey, but noted that they would rather have a root canal before asking their boss for a raise; that is where the problem lies. If your employees are afraid of asking for a raise, or feel they are being a burden by doing so, they simply won’t and that may result in lower morale, lower productivity and ultimately will affect a company’s bottom line.

A few things that companies can do:

  • Regularly recognize workers’ successes
  • Have managers proactively set meetings to discuss compensation, instead of making the employees do it
  • Benchmark salaries and overall compensation bi-annually or quarterly (instead of annually)
  • Offer flexible working hours
  • Offer work-from-home opportunities

Once your company finds the right ingredients to cook up a sweet recipe for acquiring and retaining top talent, you will notice some outrageous results from the bottom of the organization moving all the way to the top.