Several years ago, organizations clamored to fill their offices with ping pong tables, bean bag chairs and a pantry full of snacks, because that’s what they believed millennial employees valued most. While those types of perks may be viewed as fun, they’re not necessarily the things that will get a team member to stick around for the long haul.
So what do your employees really want to get when they come to work for you? We asked a panel of Forbes Human Resources Council members to weigh in. From flexible work options to a simple sense of belonging, here’s what they had to say.
1. A Holistic Set Of Benefits That Serve ‘Health, Wealth And Self’
Rather than focusing on specific benefits, focus more broadly on benefit programs that encompass the three broad categories of health, wealth and self. From this perspective, it is simpler to tailor the specifics to meet the needs of your current and future organization. – John Sigmon, johnsigmon.com
2. Employer-Sponsored Healthcare
In the age of ever-rising health insurance costs, the ability to offer an attractive and competitive health care plan will become increasingly important. At the end of the day, pool tables, company swag and flexible hours are nice to have, but healthcare costs directly impact take-home pay and are considered part of the total compensation package. – Kellie Graham SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Complete Children’s Health
3. A Sense Of Belonging
As humans, we are wired for connection and belonging. A workplace that values its workforce and can provide a compelling sense of belonging will fare much better than one with outrageous perks that do not keep an eye on building a connected workforce. Results at several high profile companies with amazing perks demonstrate that even they struggle with engagement and retention. – Lucy Rivas-Enriquez, Union Rescue Mission – Los Angeles
4. Flexible And Remote Work Options
As we evolve into an ultra-connected workplace through advances in technology, it becomes less important where employees work. Offering partial or total remote work options pays dividends for talent acquisition and employee retention. – Heather Doshay, Rainforest QA
5. The Ability To Achieve A Work-Life Balance That Fits Their Lifestyle
Since a competitive salary and room for advancement aren’t considered benefits, the next most important thing a company can offer employees is work-life balance. Companies with over-the-top perks will usually admit they’re intended to keep employees at the office as many hours as possible, which often leads to burnout, or employees leaving to join companies with even better perks. – John Feldmann, Insperity
6. 401(k) Plans
It’s important that companies have a 401(k) plan in place for their employees. Employees are becoming increasingly aware of their financial futures and are evaluating the long-term impact employers can make in their lives. As companies compete for the best talent, those who make an effort to positively influence their employees’ futures are more likely to attract and retain the best candidates. – Alexandra Adamson, Bowery Capital
7. A Diverse Benefits Package That Speaks To All Ages, Backgrounds And Experiences
There is no single benefit that will make everyone come running. You must offer a meaningful variety of benefits to attract the best talent. There is more diversity than ever before in the workforce so it’s only appropriate for benefits to also be diversified. – Lotus Yon, NCH
8. A Voice In The Company’s Future
You hired people because of their expertise. If you communicate how the company’s bottom line is affected because of what they do, the employee feels they make a difference. When they bring ideas to the table, implement them. Show that you value them. Once they feel like they are a part of a family, then all other perks are icing on the cake. – Abhijeet Narvekar, The FerVID Group
9. More Office-Wide Time Off
Our people told us that time off is especially rewarding when everyone is out of the office at the same time. We decided to give our people “the gift of time.” We’re closing our US offices during the weeks of Christmas and July 4th to allow people to truly disconnect and come back feeling refreshed. It gives our people a boost of mental and physical energy and fosters innovation and creativity. – Carolyn Slaski, EY
10. The Benefits That They Tell You They Want
Ask your employees what benefits are most important to them. Total compensation and health benefits are always going to be key determinants when people decide to join your organization. Beyond those, ask your employees what benefits matter most to them via regular surveys or focus groups. Pool tables and food trucks may not be as important as paid parental leave, student loan consolidation, etc. – Joyce Maroney, Kronos Incorporated
This post originally appeared on Forbes.com.