Survey: Small-biz employees prefer perks over pay raise

Net Worth
Small-business employees prefer perks over more money, a SCORE study says.

If you are a small business and want to have a better chance attracting employees, pile on the perks.

A study shows privileges including free gym memberships and snacks, flexible hours, and more vacation time are preferred over a pay raise by four in five small-business employees.

SCORE, the Virginia-based network of volunteer business experts with 300 chapters nationwide, cited a study by Fractl of 2,000 employees.

The study found that perks impacted employee satisfaction in three primary areas: quality of life, feeling valued, and improving physical and mental health.

Nevertheless, 42 percent of full-time employees reported having no extra compensation.

Of those with benefits, the most common were flexible working hours (32 percent), professional development (28 percent), fitness/health (19 percent), food/snacks (19 percent), and working from home (14 percent).

Of course, free snacks don’t help an employee build 401(k) investments. Then again, many small businesses can’t afford such retirement-oriented benefits.

>> READ MORE: How to negotiate the best salary and benefits

What are the perks?

Here's what Fractl found were the most popular perks and the percentage of employees swayed by them in choosing a job:

  • Flexible hours, 88 percent.
  • More vacation time, 80 percent.
  • Work-from-home options, 80 percent.
  • Student-loan assistance, 48 percent.
  • Paid maternity/paternity leave, 42 percent.
  • Free gym membership, 39 percent.
  • Free snacks, 32 percent.
  • Weekly free outings, 24 percent.