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Offer the Most Desired Company Perk of 2016

Employee Benefits

The workplace isn’t just a place, it’s a concept. And that concept has slowly changed through the years, thank goodness, or we’d still be debating whether employees should work 14 hour days.

Today, one of the main topics of discussion in human resources is the role that benefits play in helping businesses recruit and retain high-performing employees. So, we set out to determine, straight from employees and their employers, the most desired employee perk of 2016.

The Contest

The Paychex Employee Perk Challenge ran from April 25 to May 22, 2016 and consisted of 16 perks noted for being innovative, interesting, and able to be implemented by businesses of varying sizes. 1,816 votes were cast over the course of the bracket-style competition, and the results were sometimes surprising, although we weren’t sure that would be the case after the first round.

Round 1—Blowouts and Close Calls

As you might expect, profit sharing, which involves incentive plans that pay employees based on the company’s profits above and beyond standard pay, was five times more popular than the perk of vehicle/transportation reimbursement (83.4% to 16.6%). Also unsurprising: Employees like to be pampered, as onsite spa services easily advanced to the second round.

Close call: Education subsidies were very slightly preferred over extra maternity/paternity leave by a margin of only 5.6 percent. Sorry, moms and dads.

Round 2—Practicality Beats Pampering

This vote produced our first unexpected result. While profit sharing performed well again, this time annihilating paid volunteer time 90.9 percent to 9.1 percent, onsite spa services were dealt a fatal blow by unlimited sick time—which was a healthy 16.6 percent more popular among voters.

Round 3—Cash over Convenience

The final-four of the Paychex Employee Perk Challenge featured monetary benefits versus perks that make work-life easier for employees. In the first match, annual bonus was almost three times as popular as unlimited sick time. The second match was closer, but profit sharing defeated working from home by over 10 percent to advance to the finals. When it comes down to it, employees truly appreciate an occasional boost to their paychecks.

Final Round—And the Winner Is…

In the battle of money versus money, employees didn’t show much preference for how they want to be paid. Annual bonus barely defeated profit sharing 54.6 percent to 45.4 percent, crowning it as the most coveted employee perk of 2016.

Thank you to everyone who voted in the Paychex Employee Perk Challenge and congratulations to those business owners who already offer their employees an annual bonus. For those owners who are considering a bonus or some of the other perks in the competition, you can find articles to help with your research on Paychex WORX, such as:

How Raises and Bonuses Affect Small Business Budgeting

What to Know About Employee Reimbursement Taxes

FSAs, HSAs, or HRAs—What’s Best for your Business?


This website contains articles posted for informational and educational value. Paychex is not responsible for information contained within any of these materials. Any opinions expressed within materials are not necessarily the opinion of, or supported by, Paychex. The information in these materials should not be considered legal or accounting advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant.
Paychex is committed to providing resources to the Spanish-speaking community. To ensure we are providing the most up-to-date and accurate information, some content on this website will be shown in English, and will be provided in Spanish when available.