Company Perks: How can Small Businesses Compete with Big Organisations?

26th October 2018
Catherine Vickery

There’s a reason that perks are big business in the world of employee satisfaction at the moment: they do exactly what they say on the tin, they are a little something extra which is a nice little part of your job. And when it comes to employee satisfaction, making sure you stand out from the crowd in terms of the benefits that you offer is a sure-fire way of retaining your top talent.

But if you’re a small business, how can you compete with the big boys in terms of the perks that you offer? Well, the key is knowing that not all perks have to be of monetary value. Here are several ways that you can pick the right perks for your small business:

Work-Life Balance

Creating an environment which cares about your employees’ commitments and interests outside of work is one of the most valued perks that you can offer. It could be as simple as a lunch hour which is long enough to enjoy a gym class, or flexitime across the working week. If the role lends itself to it, the very least that most small businesses can offer is the opportunity to work from home.

If you have employees that have young families or carer commitments at home, they will really appreciate having the flexibility to juggle around their work and life schedules without any pressure from their employers. Furthermore, by giving the flexibility to your staff, they will be more likely to go the extra mile, making up time where required and / or working extra hours as needed. It’s all about the give and take!


Wellness is a bit of a buzzword in workplaces at the moment. However, there’s a good reason that companies are focussing on the mental health and wellbeing of their employees: happy employees will be more engaged with the company and willing to work to the best of their ability.

So what can you include in a wellness programme for your team? Here are a few ideas:

  • Lunchtime yoga classes: ask a local instructor if they’ll come in to instruct some stress-busting yoga.
  • Cycle to work scheme: this is a government tax exemption initiative which allows employers to loan a bike, or cycling safety equipment, to their employees as a tax free benefit. Cycling to and from work will promote a healthy lifestyle in your team.
  • Run workshops: these could be on anything from mindfulness through to financial education. They could even be a lecture completely unrelated to anything to do with the workplace on an educational or entertaining topic. As long as it’s something which will either help your employees with their worries, or take their mind off of them for a short while, it will be useful.
  • Supply healthy food in the office: eating nutritionally will help your employees to feel better in all areas of their lives.

There are a whole host of activities you could include in a wellness programme, and some will suit your organisation better than others. There is normally a nominal cost involved when it comes to wellness, but when this is weighed up against the cost of hiring and training a new member of staff, it’s worth the investment.


Of course, a lot can be said about the simple act of supporting your employees. This is especially the case within the small business workplace, as there is more opportunity for employees to be involved with the business’ goals. Communication can be much easier within a small business, so utilise this and seek the input of your employees as often as possible.

Remember to train your team in new areas of expertise, or refresh their current skills, regularly. It’s often thought that there is little room for career progression within a small business, but this doesn’t have to be the case; speak to your team about their personal career goals, identify particular areas of their talent and as the business grows, see if there is anyone who is willing and able to step up to certain roles.

And don’t underestimate the power of going out for a team lunch every now and again! It’s a great way to open the lines of communication, get the creative juices flowing and also say thank you to your hard working team.

Harness the Power of your Small Business

If you’re looking at the perks offered by the likes of Google or Facebook, it can be daunting to see how you can implement anything as fun, quirky or fulfilling as the big brands do. Which is why it’s important to harness the power of what you do well as a small business.

Remember that ideas and thoughts can be actioned much quicker in a small business, and you can tailor the benefits to the individuals within your team. And being treated as an individual, rather than just one of many employees, can, in itself, make a huge difference to employee engagement!

If you’re ready to make your next hire, feel free to get in touch. We love working with companies who look after their employees, and would be happy to outline your benefits to any prospective candidates. It’s time to stand out from the crowd with your employee perks as a small business, and proudly attract the talent that you deserve!