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Is this the most valuable perk for your employees?

Flexible work hours are the perk that influences employee satisfaction the most, according to a new survey by Clutch, a B2B research firm. More than 40% of the full-time U.S. employees surveyed say that flexible hours are the most important perk they receive, and over half (54%) say it’s the perk that matters most to their job satisfaction.

Professional development is the second leading perk, with 22% of workers surveyed saying that it’s most important. The findings suggest that employers should invest in company culture and perks, such as flexible scheduling and professional development.

Women tend to value flexible scheduling more, which is not surprising, says Mary Pharris, director of business development and partnerships for Fairygodboss, a reviews website for women in the workforce.

“Having flexibility is key for working moms who want to be there for drop off or pick up, go to the parent/teacher conference, or take their child to the doctor,” said Pharris. Working moms want to adjust their hours as needed without being penalized or stigmatized.

Perks help employees feel appreciated

The Clutch survey indicates that employee perks contribute to a stronger work-life balance. Over half of the respondents said their employer-sponsored perks give them a better quality of life.

Perks also suggest that employers value their employees as individuals. Just under half of full-time employees (49%) say that their perks make them feel valued.

Perks can take many forms

There are numerous perks beyond flexible hours that employers can offer.

Almost anything can be an employee perk, says Lisa Oyler, human resources director at Access Development, a private discount network popular with employers.

“Even a candy jar sitting out lends to company culture,” she says. “It provides something that enhances employees’ daily experience.”

Experts recommend that companies be creative with what they offer and tailor perks to suit company-wide values.

For example, even free food or fitness classes can make a difference. “A healthy employee is a productive employee,” says June Palmer, director of sales at VIDA Fitness, a D.C. health club.

In the end, some perks may seem minor, but they matter.

Editor’s picks:

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