When a job is offered, there’s a lot to for a candidate to consider before accepting a position. They have to think about the salary, possible relocation, and job security for the new position. Another crucial area they will need to deeply consider are the benefits – benefits can be a game changer. But in the employment world, we are seeing more flash and fluff than substance from different benefits offerings.

Benefits like Healthcare, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance are absolutely necessary for both maintaining your health and providing financial security. And employees need time off to recuperate. But we also see companies offering perks such as unlimited time off, gym memberships and beer on tap. Some organizations have started putting video games in their office spaces. But here’s the point to hammer home: Flashy benefits cannot substitute for a meaningful work culture.

This is not to say adding extra incentives on top of the core benefits has no value in helping attracting and maintaining talent. But let’s take use unlimited days off as an example. Unlimited time off sounds much better than 14 vacation and 3 personal days. The philosophy around this idea is that as long as you get your work done, management won’t keep track of your hours. But if your employees have high quantity work and unable to balance a healthy work-life balance, then the difference between 14 days off to unlimited becomes irrelevant if they can’t step away from their desk to unwind.

Office outings and various perks can be great to boost moral – but what if employees are not in a position to foster positive relationships? What if employees truly feel alienated from their work? No matter what benefits an employer may provide, there still ultimately needs to be a connection between an employee and the role they play in your organization.

Whether they are current employees or prospects, people want to know the value of their work and how there are contributing to their organization’s mission statement. When employees have an understanding of where they fit in the larger picture, they are less likely to feel alienated and the more likely they are to want to join you organization and grow there. This is crucial for a positive work culture that will attract and maintain talent, and a no amount of beer on tap can ever be an appropriate substitute.

How do you show your employees that they are valued? Join the discussion by dropping us a line at conversations@jwt.com.

As an Account Executive, Ben Litoff is all about effective communication management. Whether it’s graph-filled PowerPoints, detailed Excel spreadsheets, continuous email chains, or just a quick chat on the phone, he wants to ensure all information is concise and digestible for his clients. When not in the office, Ben spends his time taking long walks in various D.C. neighborhoods and reading short stories.