7 Low-Cost Employee Perks That Small Businesses Should Offer

Today’s employees and job seekers expect more than just salary. They’re looking for perks that make them feel happy and engaged with your company.

While large companies have been offering everything to engage their employees, from fine lunches to gym room, small businesses may struggle to offer attractive perks and retain the best people with them.

Though you can’t afford all luxurious treats for your staff, you should offer at least the 7 employee perks below. They’re lovely and, of course, inexpensive.

1. Training and development opportunities

Personal development and training opportunities are important to a large number of workers.

Training and educational sessions are beneficial for both your business and employees. Your staff can gain the knowledge and skills required to improve their performance, hence boosting your business operation. It’s a win-win situation.

If you can’t afford expensive coaches and private classes, encourage your staff to take outside workshops and online courses, then reimburse part of the costs.

2. Free food and beverages

Many employees will appreciate it if you stock the company pantry with free snacks and beverages. Don’t forget to consider your teams’ preferences, diets, and allergies.

Try to offer more healthy snacks such as fresh and dried fruits, yogurt, trail mix, and nuts. You don’t want your teams to develop diseases because of too much junk food.

Having a coffee machine in the workplace is also a great idea, especially when many of your staff are coffee lovers. Have water, instant coffee, coffee capsules, tea bags, sugar, juices, etc. available so everyone can enjoy their favorite beverages.

Besides, managers can order some delivery food on special occasions or on random days. Everyone can have some good time together and increase team bonding.

3. Flexible work culture and work environment

Job seekers often choose small companies when they look for a relaxed and flexible environment. Some love the casual dress code, while others love having autonomy at work.

You can make use of the benefits of a small company and turn them into attractive employee perks. Some ideas to make your workplace more flexible for employees:

  • flexible hours
  • casual dress code
  • shorter work weeks
  • less rigid time and attendance tracking
  • work from home
  • telecommuting

4. Workplace wellness programs

Wellness programs are designed to improve employees’ well-being. They can include weight loss classes, daily running challenges, therapy sessions, etc.

These programs don’t always have to be expensive. Some employers print out pamphlets about health. Some create health-related videos and quizzes. You can build a company team and initiate sports activities. The goal is to encourage employees to improve their health and well-being.

Research has shown that wellness programs help reduce health insurance costs and improve employee morale. Most people love to stay fit and be healthy, too.

5. Support

A benefit of working in a small team is you can easily get closer to each member. It’s easier to notice if they’re upset or going through tough times, and provide the support they need. Financial assistance is great, but sometimes all we need is some mental support.

6. Bring-a-pet-to-work days

Today, many employees have pets and love to bring their furry friends anywhere. If no one in your company is allergic to pets, you can establish a bring-a-pet-to-work day every week/month.

Make sure all of your staff are OK with this, and create some policies to avoid “disasters” caused by pets! Some businesses even set a private space for staff who are allergic to pets or not a big fan of pets.

Many companies already have these pet-friendly days, and employees love that.

7. Tailored perks

Offering tailored perks to each employee makes them feel unique and cared for. It can simply be you paying for a lunch out or a 1-month gym membership. You can ask your staff what perks they want in one-on-one meetings.


Perks are important, even if you’re running a small business. They engage and keep the best people with your company. Try to offer some of the perks above (or all, if you can), and your employees will surely appreciate it!

Want more ideas to keep your staff engaged and stay with your business? Check out 15 employee recognition ideas here.

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