10 Perks Companies Can Offer to Boost Employee Morale and Retention


In addition to the position itself, company benefits are one of the most important elements that candidates carefully consider when gauging whether they want to join a company. Once an employee is on board, these perks can also play a role in whether or not an employee chooses to stay and whether they get the sense that the company values their contributions. To help leaders determine which benefits to offer, 10 members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) explore the following question:

“What’s one company perk you’ve found most useful for employee morale and retention, and why do you think employees have enjoyed it so much?”

Consider offering these benefits to keep your employees happy and healthy.

1. Mental Health Benefits

“Our mental health policy encompasses a lot of benefits, but a specific one is that we offer to help cover costs for mental health visits if cost is a barrier for an employee. We’ve purchased BetterHelp subscriptions for employees and have seen that benefits like these help show the team that we truly care about them as individuals and want to support them to get whatever help they need.” ~ Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co.

2. Fitness Programs

“I’ve had a lot of success implementing employer-sponsored fitness programs. Depending on what my employees prefer, I will cover gym memberships or pay for specific fitness classes involving boxing or yoga. Encouraging my team members to focus on their physical health has fantastic benefits for their mental health too, which is great for morale.” ~ Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy

3. Flexible Scheduling

“Flexibility in scheduling and remote work have been the biggest booster for morale and retention. It shows our employees that we trust them. Even before the pandemic, we would liberally grant requests to work remotely. A lot of the stress in the workplace relates to commuting and family conflicts. Flexible scheduling and remote work allow our employees to achieve a better work-life balance.” ~ Reuben Yonatan, SaasList

4. Vacation and Leave Credits

“I believe that, more than recognition and bonuses, an exceptional yearly vacation outside or within the country on the company’s expense and additional leave credits are perks my team enjoys. Aside from the idea that we give importance to their well-being and leisure, these perks make them feel human and inspire them to do greater things in the future.” ~ Daisy Jing, Banish

5. Learning Opportunities

“Providing our team with learning opportunities and room for professional growth has been a great way of increasing retention and boosting morale. Even now, when everybody is working remotely, we make it a priority to train and coach our people in every possible area related to their professional journey, and it pays off big time.” ~ Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

6. Travel Perks

“For a young team based in a city like Austin where most people are transplants, the ability to work remotely and travel to our other offices around the world was a major perk. This helped build cross-cultural relationships by allowing our U.S. employees to go to France, Costa Rica, Peru or Thailand to work. It was good for business and our millennial staff loves to travel!” ~ Matt Wilson, Under30Experiences

7. Employee Stock Ownership Plan

“An employee stock ownership plan is a great perk. Long gone are the days where it’s the rich business owner at the top with workers at the bottom. Now, business owners are part of a team that makes or breaks the business. Rewarding your employees for the work that they do will allow for better morale and retention, so your employees feel that they have a stake in the business.” ~ Jean Ginzburg, JeanGinzburg.com

8. 401(k) Matching Plan

“We have introduced a 401(k) matching plan and it has really improved our employee retention and morale. When we did not have it, employees would leave without much hesitation. With a 401(k) plan in place, employees feel more rewarded and if they want to leave, they like to discuss the decision with us. We will also be adding a profit-sharing plan.” ~ Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

9. Annual Bonuses

“One perk I’ve found useful for boosting morale and retention is our annual bonuses. We give our team a Christmas bonus as well as a mid-year profit share bonus. I believe that offering this incentive shows our team that we value them and their skills. As a result of this change, we saw a noticeable increase in our employee retention rate.” ~ John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

10. Unique Discounts

“Our company offers discounts for popular restaurants, products and companies for our employees. Being an employee gives you access to discounts you can use at any time simply because you work for our company. This helps them save money on things they normally wouldn’t.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

Image: Depositphotos

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.