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Trivial Benefits for Small Business Owners

trivial benefits

Who doesn’t appreciate the “little things” in life? A friend bringing you a coffee just the way you like it. The surprise of flowers on your doorstep. Finding the perfect parking spot near the entrance despite the crowded lot. Tiny acts of kindness or good fortune that put a smile on your face. The same sentiment applies in the workplace with trivial benefits.

What Are Trivial Benefits for Staff?

Trivial benefits refer to minor yet meaningful perks UK small business owners can offer employees, beyond monetary bonuses or formal rewards. While tiny on their own, trivial benefits collectively foster positive workplace cultures by improving retention, morale and productivity.

Examples include:

  • Flexible summer hours
  • Casual dress codes
  • Office snack allowances
  • Early office closures before bank holidays
  • Birthday early finishes
  • Bringing pets to work occasionally

These affordable gestures demonstrate an employer’s care for their team’s well-being and work-life balance. Your staff don’t expect lavish gifts or bonuses. But small comforts during busy work days make employees feel respected and happy. Over time, a culture embracing “little pleasures” earns fierce staff loyalty beyond salaries alone.

Setting Expectations Early On

However, don’t let good intentions backfire. Consider policies upfront addressing:

  • Universal accessibility – Perks apply fairly regardless of team, tenure or performance
  • Schedule alignments – Ensure staff responsibilities remain covered operationally first
  • Defined usage limits – Parameters prevent overuse or leaks in workflow
  • Expense caps – Contain costs aligned to budgets

Openly discussing sideboards gives teams clarity to adopt suitable perks without constant oversight needed to prevent productivity impacts or cost issues long term.

Encouraging Staff Input

Crowdsource ideas from your team to learn which perks resonate most. Create anonymous suggestion boxes via email or Slack polls. Use annual review meetings to discuss individual wishes too.

Inclusive brainstorming upholds equitable programmes matching your team’s spirit beyond assumptions. Distil suggestions into a menu calibrating agreed favourites and balancing consistency with flexibility. Teams know what “refuels” their productivity.

Managing External Perceptions

Prove discretion remains necessary when introducing new staff perks that could be seen as overindulgent externally without context. Prevent public perception distortions like:

  • Explain intent transparently when job posting – Demonstrates you aim to support staff well-being, not offer endless cookie breaks
  • Be tactful in sharing fun office activities on social media – Focus posts on achievements enabled by a supportive environment

Essentially, the outside world won’t see full policy guidelines maintaining professionalism while allowing some special indulgences. Frame messaging around caring for staff priorities beyond grabbing goodies.

Ideas to Get You Started

Need inspiration on meaningful perks for your small business? Consider:

  • Wellness stipends – Allowances used for self-improvement like gym memberships
  • Team volunteer days – Paid time off for community service activities
  • Casual attire – Relax formal dress code periodically
  • Learning sabbaticals – Occasional paid days off for training courses
  • Early office closures – Close early before major holidays for family time

Shape a supportive environment where people feel continually motivated to do their best work. Tiny touches make the office feel less like just a place employees have to be.

Recognising Generational Differences

With multigenerational teams collaborating today, small business leaders must recognise trivial benefit appeals varying across diverse perspectives when aiming to unify workplace culture:

Baby Boomers

Having spearheaded workplace activism and individuality earlier in their careers, Boomers embrace benefits like:

  • Remote work flexibility
  • Perpetual learning opportunities to expand expertise scopes beyond pure ladder climbing

Generation X

Influenced by tech-fueled mobility, Gen X often values perks either:

  • Enhancing work-life balance through condensed weeks
  • Facilitating convenient digital collaboration eliminating unproductive commutes and rigid desk requirements


As the most socially conscious generation per survey data, Millennials gravitate towards employers reflecting causes prioritising:

  • Diversity
  • Community Enrichment
  • Sustainability

Even though discretionary trivial benefits like staff volunteer days fulfilling personal passions for doing good on company time.

Generation Z

Having entered adulthood amidst economic volatility and tech reliance, Gen Z appreciates stability signals through structured programmes documenting policy terms around access, scheduling and eligibility for trivial benefits realising promises won’t get abandoned as business needs fluctuate.

While individual preferences always remain, viewing trivial benefits through generational lenses helps target offerings resonating across diverse career perspectives now collaborating. Customised options demonstrate inclusion beyond one-size-fits-all perks only connecting with some employees inadvertently. Meet all preferences where possible.

Getting Leadership Buy-In

Getting Leadership Buy-In

However, securing executive support for atypical cultural initiatives like trivial employee benefits requires tactful positioning addressing typical hesitations:

Perceived Costs

Rather than blank checks approving endless wishes, define controlled budgets or usage caps aligning with existing recognition platforms providing minimal incremental expenses.

Productivity Impacts

Studies demonstrate breaks and mood boosters sustain peak mental focus while also reporting metrics confirming no downturns or time losses against targets after instituting additional flexibility or recreational opportunities.

Favouritism Risks

Pre-empt concerns around preferential treatment allegations by emphasising equitable formal policies offering all employees equal trivial benefit access or allowances rather than cherry-picking instances seeming externally biased promoting inner circles unfairly.

Thoughtful framing against common leadership perceptions curbs automatic second-guessing on progressive initiatives like trivial benefits boosting modern employee experiences beyond historical norms. Patient persuasions pair facts with feeling luring willing experiments even from change-averse decision-makers in time as seeded small bets demonstrate outsized cultural returns when managed deliberately. Soon, champions emerge at the top.

Sustaining Through Challenging Business Cycles

Economic uncertainties inevitably pressure leadership to re-evaluate even popular cultural elements when reducing expenditures. Though trivial by name, benefits warrant defending explaining workforce reverberations:

Cultural Value

Rather than line items scrutinised in isolation, position trivial perks as critical cumulative signals demonstrating company priorities around employee satisfaction beyond surface-level words alone. What disappears suddenly speaks volumes over what stays if force cut for savings.

Retention Risks

Without proper communications packaging cutbacks sensitively, abrupt trivial benefit cessations get interpreted as diminished commitments to staff – accelerating resignation considerations compounding hiring challenges appearing detached from the realities and needs of people performing pivotal daily roles relying on such programmes feeling valued previously.

Investor Alignment

As social consciousness and human sustainability factors see workplace environments as predictive indicators assessing leadership integrity when considering funding enterprises long term, visible trivial benefits represent low-cost evidence ‘walking the walk’ converting those seeking conscious capitalism assurances beyond executive talking points alone.

In essence, trivial benefits frequently fuse cultural priorities in times when disconnects undermine resilience most. Companies committed to people’s first principles weather all seasons by deliberately nurturing community spirits.

During downturns or upturns, emphasise humanity – starting with those inside four walls motivated manifesting missions daily. People ultimately realise potential through others understanding intrinsic needs universally at the end of the day. Tap into that perspective as a centring force when facing storms.

Getting Creative with Low-Cost Trivial Benefits

With tighter budgets, small businesses can still create a positive environment through low-cost, creative perks. Some ideas to try:

Employee Recognition

  • Peer praise awards – Employees nominate colleagues for living company values. Highlight in company meetings or newsletters.
  • Wall of fame – Publicly display exceptional work, client kudos, project successes etc on office walls or intranet.
  • Office karaoke – Occasional team bonding sessions with music and snacks. Prizes for enthusiasm beyond talent.

Healthy Competition

  • Step challenges – Friendly fitness contests tracked via digital apps or devices. The winning team/individual gets a trophy.
  • Scavenger hunts – Staff seek items/photos around the community after work hours, fostering camaraderie. Small prize.
  • Ping pong tournaments – Office tables bring friendly connections beyond desks. Evolves into anticipated tradition.


  • Job swaps – Volunteers trade duties with colleagues for a day. Gain insights appreciating challenges faced in diverse roles.
  • Meeting-free blocks – Multi-hour blocks without meetings for focused work and collaboration.
  • Email-free Fridays – Discourage internal emails on Fridays. Raises face-to-face dialogue.

Tools to Thrive

Provide common goodies available to all:

  • Assortment of tea bags, biscuits or fruit
  • Shared office speakers playing approved Spotify playlists
  • Casual breakout area with comfy seating to recharge

Little touches make long hours or close proximity more pleasant.

Prioritise consistency over lavish offerings benefitting some unfairly over others. Group morale lifts when basics cover everyone without complicated qualifications. Foster that team spirit creatively.

Making Remote Staff Feel Included

With remote and hybrid work expanding, ensure off-site personnel enjoy equal trivial benefits through digital m baby boomers appreciate care package substitutes for office indulgences:


  • E-gift cards towards fitness subscriptions or massages
  • Ergonomic products improving home workstations
  • Meditation/yoga apps subscriptions


  • Food delivery credits
  • Subscription snack boxes
  • Care packages with branded garb, sweet treats and greeting card


  • Home office stipend for upgrades
  • Coordinated video lunch meetups
  • Mail team and individual appreciation notes


  • Unlimited access to e-learning video libraries
  • Virtual industry conference tickets
  • Audiobook subscription credits

Get creative. Tools like scheduled quiz breaks, virtual volunteering sessions, step challenge apps, e-lunches and more translate in-person experiences digitally. Even baby boomers appreciate tailored inclusion.

Making Smart Investments Over Time

While trivial benefits represent low-cost goodwill gestures, their positive impacts multiply over time through consistency and creative evolution. Some smart ways to build programmes:

Start Small

Kick-off with manageable initiatives like monthly breakfasts, casual Fridays or early summer hours. Establish foundations before expanding efforts.

Gather Input

Survey staff or host focus groups identifying “wish list” ideas to understand the biggest potential bang for buck options based on preferences.

Take Turns

Rotate perks monthly or quarterly so more concepts get incorporated across the annual calendar rather than overwhelming budgets or schedules trying everything simultaneously from day one.

Increase Visibility

As momentum builds, connect programmes to company value pillars within overall culture messaging so teams recognise continuity rather than one-off gimmicks sometimes abandoned hastily during harder times.

Tweak & Improve

Evaluate feedback to determine what offerings resonate best or could adopt tweaks to improve impact. Drop less popular elements respectfully or enhance based on lessons learned.

Embracing Trivial Benefits for Contractors

Beyond staff, consider extending trivial benefits embracing contractors or freelancers as vital contributors. Purposeful inclusion for temporary yet pivotal talent boosts productivity through heightened motivation and ownership despite project-limited durations.

Build Bonds

  • Invite contractors to team meetings/lunches
  • Feature bio profiles on websites/intranets
  • Send small welcome packages with company swag

Bridge Transitions

  • Conduct onboarding orientations reviewing systems access, contacts and training
  • Share peer feedback or mentors facilitating skill growth
  • Provide feedback channels – surveys, interviews, focus groups

Enable Agility

  • Offer flexible schedules aligning with project needs
  • Provide collaborative digital tools – chat, project management (PM), video conferencing
  • Consider home office/hybrid work arrangements

Recognise Impact

  • Showcase contractor contributions in newsletters or meetings
  • Send thank you notes after big milestones met
  • Provide references documenting achievements

Purposeful inclusion encourages contractors to bring their best efforts despite interim statuses. Everyone wants to feel valued. Meet that fundamental need through small gestures that make big impressions.

Making Trivial Benefits Count

In today’s battle for talent, trivial benefits demonstrate what sets compassionate leadership and resonant workplaces apart. Minor perks reveal major priorities through consistency and creativity.

Key takeaways include:

  • Tiny touches uplift staff spirits, retention and productivity
  • Perks require guidelines ensuring positive intents translate beneficially
  • Incorporate staff input tailoring initiatives matching team uniqueness
  • Get buy-in addressing leadership hesitations head-on
  • Defend programmes even in hard times based on workforce reverberations
  • Emphasise humanity as a centering cultural force during all seasons
  • Recognise generational differences guiding relevant options
  • Embrace contractors beyond employees alone

People don’t quit their jobs. They quit leadership teams and workplace cultures failing to meet basic needs for support, balance and care by investing thoughtfully in shared community environments both physical and emotional.

Trivial benefits represent that cumulative investment through everyday thoughtfulness shaping what thriving looks like beyond buildings housing workers alone. The essence goes deeper nourishing spirits when everything else remains in flux.

What could trivial benefits unlock or transform your culture?


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