Last week the Exubrancy team attended Betterment for Business’s panel: “What is the Future of Work?,” a discussion on understanding the benefits your employees really want. The panel featured Exubrancy’s own founder and CEO Liz Wilkes!  Executive speakers from Casper and Plated, and other top organizations joined in on the conversation to give their insights and tips about how companies can provide meaningful perks for their employees without wasting time, money, and resources.

When discussing the shift in trends associated with office perks, Liz cited the growing role wellness is playing in the workplace. “People want to do things with their employees that don’t just revolve around after-work drinks or cocktail parties. Instead they’re looking for activities that are more creative and that have broader health benefits for their employees.” The importance of health and wellness has become increasingly understood by individuals to be an integral part of building personal and professional success, so it’s no surprise that companies are now more willing to invest in the wellbeing of their employees beyond a basic health coverage plan.

Although perks and benefits can certainly lead to more satisfied employees, company culture plays a huge role as well. Jason Costi, the Vice President of Finance at Casper said it all has to start with the founding team’s attitude and demeanor. Setting a positive tone that permeates throughout the company will create a company culture in which your employees can thrive. If you don’t establish an enjoyable atmosphere,,  additional perks may not be fully appreciated. In smaller companies or startups this is especially key, as you may not be able to offer larger benefits and packages. Jason suggests hiring with the basic competitive benefits, but then retaining employees by reinforcing a strong corporate culture that keeps your team engaged, motivated, and happy. Above all, be realistic and align your resources with what you can offer at the moment, evolving your perks as your company grows.

If you are able to offer more traditional benefits, make sure your employees understand what they are getting. Jordan Gray, the managing director of corporate development at NFP, a leading provider of benefits, insurance and wealth management services stressed the importance continuously communicating the benefits you offer your employees. Too many companies are spending extortionate amounts of money on employee health insurance plans, while the majority of workers aren’t aware of the numerous benefits included in these plans. Monthly reminders and email blasts with “benefits spotlights” are an easy way to ensure your employees are being reminded to take advantage of what you’re offering.

The overall message of the evening was for employers to start taking a more holistic approach to employee benefits. It’s important to implement a broader strategy that includes everything from health and wellness to personal financial development. Above all, empower your team through education and choices so that your employees feel valued which, in turn, can ensure a stronger commitment to your company.