Employee benefits – gold dust and pitfalls

Employee benefits

As an employee, there is nothing better than being praised for your work and being recognised for the contribution you have made to the company and your team – right? Even better is receiving some kind of reward for your hard work. However, believe it or not, there may be some red flags when it comes to employee benefits – so watch out! If you are an employer, consider the following list of employee benefits and what may or may not work for you and your business.


Employee benefits – gold dust

I always think it is best to start positively – so let’s do just that. In this section of the article, we will consider a few employee benefits that it is good to look out for at companies. If you are an employer – this list may help you set up a benefit programme or amend one you already have in practise.

Currently, the topic of mental health in the workplace is an important one of interest. Therefore, you will find that a number of these employee benefits to follow are said to contribute to a better work/life balance and thus, not only increase productivity, but give your employees a better life.

  • Exercise rooms/gym memberships
    • Regular exercise is known to have a positive health effect on an individual. Thus, more and more companies are paying for gym memberships or are including gym or yoga areas on their sites. In doing so, employees are less stressed, more creative, take fewer sick days and have improved concentration. What’s not to love? Healthy body, healthy mind.
  • Flexible working schedules
  • Travel perks and/or discounts
    • Companies such as Airbnb and Experian are known for offering cash to their staff when they take annual leave. This means staff who may not be able to afford exotic or expensive holidays abroad are able to do so with their company’s cash! Although your business may not be related to travel, check and see if there are any company-related perks related to travel or discounts. If you are an employer – why not check this out and see if you can create a USP for your company as regards perks?
  • Paid maternity/paternity leave
    • While childbirth is a stressful thing for some, some companies offer paid maternity/paternity to take the pressure off. In doing so, these companies become more comfortable places for people to work – in particular, women.


In short – employee benefits do not need to be detrimental to a business to work well. They do not need to be showy or complex. Something as simple as paid maternity leave may make a world of difference. In the modern working world, a company showing that it cares about every individual staff member when taking leave is important. I have discussed this in another article on LeaveMonitor – the importance of unpaid leave.


Employee benefits – red flags

Firstly, it is important to note that this list is not set in stone – not every company offering these incentives to work intends for these benefits to be poor or low-quality. Rather, this section of this article will discuss why I believe these employee benefits may be viewed as red flags in the modern working environment.

  • A company policy on “wellness” in the workplace
    • Company policies on wellness in the workplace, such as providing internal medical or mental health professionals, may seem like a good thing. However, such a scheme may not work for everyone. As an employee or potential employee it may be good to ask how superficial such a scheme is. Is the workplace environment incredibly challenging and stressful? Does the company show a lack of concern for the individual? If so – no amount of wellness policies will change the facts. Be on the lookout for superficial taglines about employee wellbeing.
  • Recreation rooms and lounges
    • Let us just consider, for a moment, the purpose of work. Work. Right? Actual, physical work. Now – don’t get me wrong – your work should be enjoyable, and your workplace should strive to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. However, if your favourite part of the working day is taking a break with some colleagues over the snooker table or darts board, or a coffee with all the admin girls round a brand new coffee machine, that is not job satisfaction. Yes, these workplace facilities look good. But remember – the purpose of the office is to work. Don’t be blinded by the façade of workplace amusements – consider, again, how superficial they are. Take a look at some varying opinions regarding the office recreation room here.
  • Incentives and competitions

Employee of the month! Sounds great, right? £100 shopping voucher for bringing in the most amount of sales or answering the most calls. Even better?? Beware. (This one is particularly for you employers reading.) Whilst this may seem like a great reward system, and often motivates staff to work harder if there is a cash reward involved, some hard-working members of staff may not top the charts when a reward is due. Surely their work should be rewarded. Looks like they might lose their motivation. They feel under-appreciated. In fact, they begin to wonder if your company really cares about them at all. Oops. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Whilst some employees, of course, deserve more recognition for their hard work than others, be aware of the effects such schemes could have on workplace morale – particularly if the same individuals keep topping the charts. Take a look at this article on workplace rivalry – maybe this is a reason to avoid a competitive atmosphere.  

Joshua Nicholson

Joshua Nicholson is the Content Marketing Consultant at Leave Monitor and has been supporting the marketing team with fresh ideas and plans.