Travel, mindfulness and gelato: This employee appreciation day, give your staff what they really want


It’s one of many things small business owners and startup founders have to contend with on a daily basis, but it’s also something that can make or break you. How do you keep good staff happy?

Today, it’s ‘employee appreciation day’, and employee experience startup Perkbox has collated some data from the 250 companies it works with in Australia, revealing the top 10 perks on its platform that are utilised the most.

Of course, we know perks aren’t everything. Many startups and small businesses maintain that what workers want is a strong company culture and a sense of belonging, rather than a ping pong table and Friday night beers.

And, let’s be mindful to remember that the majority of employees — no matter how much they love their job — are there for the cold, hard cash. Everyone wants to be acknowledged for the value they bring to an organisation, through praise and recognition, sure, but also through payment.

“These results show that something as simple as buying lunch for an employee is a simple and effective way to show your appreciation for their work,” said Ben Leeds, country manager for Perkbox Australia.

“While these perks create an excellent incentive, they’re only one way to show appreciation for your staff. They bolster other policies and benefits that help improve employee experience in an organisation.”

So, if you hire humans, and you want to offer them perks to take their work-life experience above and beyond, then take note. This is what they really want.

Something tasty

Several of the top-claimed perks revolve in some way around eating. Staff apparently appreciate a free lunch each month, or the odd treat of gelato.

However, the fourth most popular perk is getting discounts on groceries. So, while we all love to eat, many prefer to sensibly stock up their own cupboards.

Something healthy

Perhaps serving to counteract the gelato, the fifth-most popular employee perk is free fitness and wellness classes, showing appetite among workers to get out from behind their desks and get moving.

However, there’s also a focus on mental health. After the lunch and ice cream, the third most popular perk is premium access to a mindfulness app.

Something frivolous

Finally, several of the most utilised perks revolve around shopping, with discounts on online clothing retailers proving pretty popular, as well as discounts on jewellery and at electronics stores.

But, people also like to get out of the house — and sometimes out of the country. Deals on travel and on cinema tickets both ranked in the top 10.

The top 10 most sought after employee perks

  1. A free lunch every month from a local cafe
  2. A free gelato every month
  3. Free premium access to a top Australian mindfulness app
  4. Discounts on groceries from major supermarkets
  5. Discounts on clothes and accessories from online retailers
  6. Free online fitness and wellness classes
  7. Discounts on travel bookings
  8. Jewellery and accessory discounts
  9. Discounts on electronics stores
  10. Price-reduced cinema tickets

NOW READ: Death to the ping pong table: The Aussie startups breaking the mould with employee perks

NOW READ: Lunchtime singing and awards for failure: The best perks from Australia’s most innovative companies


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SmartCompany Plus

Sign in

To connect a sign in method the email must match the one on your SmartCompany Plus account.
Or use your email
Forgot your password?

Want some assistance?

Contact us on: or call the hotline: +61 (03) 8623 9900.