Why Company Perks Are Important

Why is it beneficial for companies to provide employees with so many perks? originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question.

Answer by Kyle Olson, software engineer at Synegen, Inc., on Quora.

1) Many perks are tax deductible for an employer but not for an individual. Health insurance and college reimbursement are examples of this. Some of these perks therefore have the effect of raising an employee's wages by $1000 while only costing the company $800.

2) Employers can save money based on scale. They can buy a soft drink machine where the drinks are pennies per cup, instead of 40 cents per can. They can shop at Costco / Sams Club to buy snacks in bulk instead of employees buying them at a gas station.

3) Employees don't do a good job of recognizing the value of perks. Therefore they will stay at a company with great health care without calculating the true value of that perk. I recently left a job with great perks for a job with lousy ones. When I discuss this with people they can't understand why I would do that. But I calculated the cost of the better healthcare, more PTO days, better 401k matching, and free snacks / drinks was worth $12k in pre-tax earnings. I set my target salary at 10% above my previous position + $12k, and got it.

4) Showing employees you value them has a benefit all by itself. If you treat your employees like a commodity, they are more likely to treat your company as a stepping stone towards something better. Employee loyalty and job satisfaction have a lot of value. After a really tough deployment I was instrumental in "saving", my boss gave me two extra PTO days and a $100 gift card. Considering I am highly paid and it is expected that I don't work just 40 hours every week, it was still a great gesture that helps make me more willing to put in that level of effort next time.

5) Many perks reduce stress on employees, which increases productivity. An employee whose kid gets sick and costs them $20k in medical bills will be far more stressed than if their bill was just $500. Many studies show employees with more vacation time (by US standards) are more productive overall than employees that work 48+ weeks per year.

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