These days it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to compete with all the flourish and flair many start-ups and tech companies offer. Take Google, for example; they offer their employees things like gourmet cafeterias, video games, nap pods, massage rooms, and rock climbing walls all for free. Employees can even do their laundry at work for free. They can get a haircut for free. They can start a friendly volleyball game during work hours if they wanted to; they just need to head down to the volleyball courts.

If you’re like me then you’re asking yourself if all of that is necessary? Is this even really what employees want? Do I need to install a laundry facility in my office? I’ll save you a headache and give you the short answer. No. According to Forbes there are five key factors that employees look for from an employer.

  1. Competitive salary
  2. Good health insurance
  3. Work-life balance
  4. Opportunities for advancement and professional development
  5. A sense of purpose

Did you notice that nap pods didn’t even make the list? All those things that Google provides to their employees are really great but entirely unnecessary. As a small business, it’s unreasonable to compare yourself to an international mega-company that has a seemingly endless budget. Consider the list above and focus on what actually matters to your employees. If you’re still concerned about “perks”, then keep in mind that the small things do count. Are you stepping out to get lunch? Ask if anyone else wants anything. Keep some snacks in the break room. Buy something better than the absolute cheapest coffee that everyone hates but drinks anyway. If you can’t think of anything, then remember, you can always ask your team. You may be surprised at how something simple can entirely change an employee’s experience at work.