Ditch the Tradition: Start Customizing Benefits to Your Employees

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but your pile of laundry is slowly stacking up like the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt as we speak. Or is that just me? Do you also feel like you’re struggling to balance work, social life, and chores?

8-hour workdays and 40-hour weeks are typical labour standards common to all. The idea was originally introduced in 1926 with good intent when Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motor Company and the pioneer of welfare capitalism, decided to scale back from as much as a hundred hours each week to a standard of 40 hours. It was, without a doubt, a groundbreaking change. However, what we continuously perceived as the norm for over nine whole decades, was also created at a time so vastly different from today’s hustle culture.

Evolution of the Workforce

History had always presented men as the breadwinner of the family; wives would leave their jobs to fulfill the demanding duties of a housewife that were never appreciated enough – “I wanted spaghetti, not lasagna, Susan,” he would complain. The global demographics of our workforce, thankfully, have evolved immensely over time, and women nowadays are choosing to stay in their jobs even after marriage or having children. Yet, the cost of motherhood remains undervalued. So for employers to tell these career-driven women to just stay at home is surely, not right.

“Current full-time (40hr/week) jobs aren’t designed for single people to do this; they’re post-war relics and depend on the unpaid labor of a spouse for cooking, cleaning, shopping, etc.” – @rknLA

Then we have our “delicate” pool of millennials, who carry expectations so high that traditional career concepts can no longer keep up. A 40-hour workweek can be too much sometimes, especially when we have no one else to rely on to manage day-to-day obligations. Maybe because we are too focused on trying to make an impact outside, that we are forced to choose to lower the priority of doing chores at home; and maybe that’s why we are normalizing the convenience of meal prep and delivery services to cope with our lack of time to feed ourselves.

Tailor Employee Benefits to Each Individual

What I’m trying to say here, is that we all have different needs, and are motivated by different things – be it:

  • Money
  • Extra days off
  • Flexible hours
  • Corporate phone plans
  • Meal prep services
  • Gym memberships
  • Childcare services
  • Adorable puppies in the office

73% of employees agreed that having customized benefits increased their loyalty to their employer, while 83% said they would be willing to take a small pay cut if it meant having better choices of perks. Communicate with your team members to examine their needs; offer them “money allowances” instead to spend on whatever they find most valuable.

The backbone of a successful business is a group of great employees. For companies to attract and retain the best talents, it requires efforts more than just a standard healthcare package. With that said, office buildings allowing pets at work would be a great start.