5 Perks Small Businesses Can Use to Attract and Retain Employees

When you’re hiring a new employee, it can be tough to be competitive. Especially if you’re a small business and you feel like you can’t compare to big companies that offer crazy perks like in-house chefs who cater three meals a day for employees. With that said, as a small business, you might be surprised by the perks and flexibility you can offer potential employees. And, perks offer a double win for businesses: they can help attract new talent to your company and help keep your current employees happy, so you can reduce your turnover rate. 

Interested in learning about some unusual or unique perks you might be able to offer your employees to promote your company’s success? Keep reading below.

Flexible schedule

The benefits of offering your workers a flex schedule are numerous: employees with flex time tend to be more productive, less stressed, and happier. In addition, offices with a flexible schedule in place usually have reduced absenteeism and save more money. From a culture standpoint, a flexible schedule helps build trust and morale. Work is done when employees feel at their mental and physical best, with the independence to get it done when they’d like instead of arbitrary deadlines and a strict 9-to-5 schedule. 

There are different kinds of flex schedules you can offer. For example, you can offer a simple flex set-up where workers come in and leave when they want, under the condition they get their work done and do the required hours of work. 

You can also offer a compressed work week. If your employees prefer a 4-10 workweek, for example, that will mean an employee would work four ten hour days which means Fridays are always off. Three-day weekends deliver plenty of benefits and can help reduce feelings of burnout. 

Remote work

Remote work is a scary concept for many employers who believe those working without in-person supervision might slack or otherwise not get their work done. Believe it or not, remote workers are on average 13% more productive than their in-house peers. 

Remote workers also save companies an average of $11,000 a year per remote employee. Plus, you can hire a more diverse workforce and search for the best option worldwide, instead of narrowing your search to your immediate city.

In addition to these other perks, remote workers are healthier. Stress and burnout among the remote workforce are lower. 

Appreciation gifts

Show your appreciation to your hardest workers by setting up an employee of the month prize and invest in high quality cheap canvases to give as gifts. Consider putting together a gift basket with gift cards and a bottle of their favorite wine or beer.

In-office snacks

Snacks, everybody loves them. In one survey, 67% of workers who had food at their office reported being extremely or very happy with their career. An empty stomach that’s making whale noises in an open office isn’t great for productivity. But with the right snack, you’ll see a more focused and productive workforce. 

Snacks are also a fun way to make team meetings more dynamic and enticing. A team meeting without food can be boring but add pizza to the mix, and you’ve got the making of a great brainstorming session. 

If you decide to supply your workspace with snacks, try to ensure that the majority of snacks are on the healthier side, although a candy or two won’t hurt. 

Here are some options you can try out: 

Make sure to get an idea of everyone’s diets in the office so there’s a free snack for each of your workers. Vegetarian, gluten free, vegan, paleo, diabetic – these are just a few of the considerations you might want to make before investing in snacks.

Making resources such as a low cholesterol diet plan available for your employees will also show them you care about their health, and help them want to stay with you long term.

Dog-friendly office

Who doesn’t like the sight of a wagging tail during a stressful day at work? Believe it or not, dogs provide much more than just a little added cuteness and happiness to your day. There’s strong evidence suggesting that dogs in the office promote social interactions between staff members, creating a more open, inviting atmosphere.

If you choose to allow dogs in the workplace, make sure you develop a policy to outline the rules.

Gym stipend

If you want healthy employees who are happy and healthy, consider offering a gym stipend. Exercising promotes wellness and acts as a preventative measure to help stave off other kinds of medical issues. Giving your employees an incentive like a gym stipend means they’re more likely to actually exercise.


As a small business, you may feel like you’re not able to compete with the big guys when it comes to perks. But with a little creativity, you can generate a suite of perks that will attract new workers and retain your top talent.

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