10 Gimmicky Employee Benefits That Don’t Work

CareerPro Inc.Forbes Coaches Counsel

When putting together an employee benefits package, try to refrain from these 10 gimmicky benefits that don’t work.

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com

Thinking about getting that pool table or on-site massage chair for your employees? You might want to think again: Research by benefits platform Namely found that employees don’t want superficial perks — they’d rather have improvements to core HR processes, benefits and compensation packages.

Ten members of the Forbes Coaches Council share the “gimmicks” that just don’t resonate with today’s employees.

1. Unlimited Vacation Days

The reality is employees will never get to take lots of vacation. They will probably just take the standard 2 to 3 weeks as he or she wants to be a responsible worker, and the workload is such that the employee will not be able to manage to “get away” for more than that. – Rebecca BoslDream Life Team 

2. The ‘Ping Pong Table’ Approach

Ping pong tables, massage chairs and dry cleaning services are great, but employee benefits like these are just fluff without a holistic approach to employee engagement. Instead, employers should focus on providing meaningful work, true alignment of goals, a focus on employee strengths, and a learning and growth policy that allows the organization to respond at the speed of change. – Sheri NasimCenter for Executive Excellence 

3. ‘Healthy’ Snacks

One of the worst things about working in a startup that boasts a full snack bar is that you always find yourself overeating “healthy” snacks and suddenly gain weight. The stress of being in a startup inevitably means you’re overeating, which becomes a vicious cycle. – Yuri KrumanMaster The Talk Consulting 

4. Pooled Paid Time Off Policies

Companies that pool sick and vacation days create a poor incentive for workers. Sick people show up at the office, exposing colleagues to their illness and reducing esprit de corps. While lots of PTO seems attractive during the recruiting process, it’s better to encourage sick workers to stay home and offer a reasonable amount of separate vacation days for actual rejuvenation. – Liesa TaylorTaylor Advisory Group 

5. Flexible Work Schedules

Most companies are adopting flexible work schedules, which is a perk most employees consider when accepting job offers. The challenge, however, comes when the policy is not uniformly implemented by management. This is the case for more conservative work environments, especially those where managers fear the rise of millennial employees rather than embracing the value they bring to the workplace. – LaKisha GreenwadeLucki-Fit 

6. Promotions Without Preparation

Internal promotions are always a benefit for employees who are looking for upward mobility. The gimmick sometimes comes with preparation for next level and the training necessary to effectively do the job. Many times, organizations are looking to “plug the hole” in the workload by slotting an employee into the position to learn and grow, instead of proper developmental preparation and training. – Sunil HarrypersadLeading My Career Consulting 

7. Complete Transparency

The idea that as an employee you can share anything and it won’t impact your outcome is impossible. Many companies tout an “open door policy” to encourage a culture of sharing and transparency. This policy is, unfortunately, the beginning of the end for many people. Professionally, there is no such place that exists where you can drop off information with zero accountability or repercussion. – Sherry SwiftSwift Transitions, Inc 

8. The ‘Fake’ Insurance Benefit

This perceived benefit really is insurance, but it is usually of the supplemental variety where all the costs are passed on directly to the employee. This gimmick falls apart when the savvy employee realizes 100 percent of the costs are passed on directly to them. All too often, the trust bond of an employer-employee relationship is irreparably damaged. – Kevin LeonardEmerald Bay Performance 

9. Benefits That Don’t Apply To Most Employees

Perks and benefits should look at the entire employee population and the total compensation package. Some of the most unusual perks include breast milk delivery service, paid surf breaks and bike share memberships. Perks and benefits should benefit the maximum number of employees to promote a positive workplace. – Jessica Miller-MerrellWorkology 

10. Benefits That Don’t Connect With Core Values

Let’s say a core value at your company focuses on collaboration. Having a Friday Yogurt Bar Chat won’t do it. One off and once a week meetings are gimmicky. If healthy living matters, make it a daily habit, reinforced by offering incentives and options every day. If collaboration is a core value, then encourage recognition for work groups that solve problems. – John O’ConnorCareer Pro Inc.