Are you looking for inspirational new ways to attract top talent and improve employee retention? The more excellent your benefits program, the happier your employees will be.
Through word of mouth and reputation, you’ll find applicants with the desired employee experience clamoring for a role within your organization. And it doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out our top unique employee benefits ideas for all budgets.
What are employee benefits?
Employee benefits are indirect, non-cash compensation paid by a company to an employee in addition to their salary. They might also be called fringe benefits. Companies recognize that they need to show appreciation, allowing employees to grow and thrive within the business. Benefits might be anything from an employee discount at a store or additional time off.
Many employees apply for jobs because of the offered perks and benefits. Job satisfaction and employee satisfaction are linked; ignoring employee satisfaction will decrease commitment, motivation, and productivity. Discover our creative employee benefits ideas if you believe your employees are your most valuable asset.
Why offer employee benefits?
Only 49% of Americans are satisfied with their jobs. Introducing a job perk or two will help improve employee happiness, boost employee morale, and lead to more productive employees.
Essentially, the more you look after employee health, your company will perform better, and this includes everything from creating welcoming company cultures to offering corporate discounts. So, why should business owners offer employee benefit programs?
- Attract and retain new and existing employees.
- Improve employee motivation and morale.
- Improve productivity and workplace pride.
- Improve employee communications.
What are examples of employee benefits?
If you’re looking for a new employee benefits idea for your business, consider the following suggestions.
Health and wellness benefits
A health and wellness program is suitable for your employees’ physical and mental health. It’s an excellent way to encourage physical activity and offer a benefits package simultaneously. Anything from gym memberships to health insurance plans will attract and retain the top talent for your business.
1. Gym membership
Offering a gym membership or corporate discounts at your local gym or leisure center is an excellent perk. Many companies already provide gym memberships, so adding this health benefit to your bonuses will help you compete with the competition.
2. Healthy snacks
Many offices provide free snacks or ice cream lunches. While these fun food options go down well, why not set yourself apart with healthy snacks that encourage your employees to feel good about themselves?
3. Bike to work scheme
A bike-to-work scheme is a wellness benefit that helps your employees while commuting and in their free time. Bikes are expensive. You can offer to reimburse your workers the cost of their bikes if they cycle to work, improving their mental and physical fitness and encouraging sustainable travel and improving employee motivation.
Employee reward and recognition are crucial for your company. When a worker does something good, you want to reinforce them positively. However, you shouldn’t solely offer performance bonuses or recognition when they do something well — you should continuously recognize their hard work.
4. Monthly awards
Holding regular — whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly — awards is a great way to ensure that you continuously support your employees. Make sure you recognize those who are doing well and those who work hard but often slip under the radar. An excellent way to ensure everyone feels included is to host rewards for years of service, birthday parties, and mistakes of the month awards.
5. New hire welcome packages
Offering desirable welcome packages is an excellent employee perk that will tempt the top talent to join your company. An inclusive introduction, a book with all the details they need to know (including job perks), and personalized company goodies (e.g., a notebook with their name on it or a reusable water bottle) are just a few ideas to put in your welcome box.
Depending on who works in your company, offering family-friendly job perks is an excellent way to encourage a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Whether you add dependents to health insurance, provide extensive maternity and paternity leaves, or hold family BBQs, including your employee’s families in your benefits program is crucial.
6. Maternity and paternity leave
Welcoming a new child is an exciting time; you want to ensure your employees feel supported by their company. Paid parental leave is a massive draw for many job applicants. Under the law, parents are allowed up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave. If you go above and beyond your obligation to offer even just an extra two weeks, your employees will likely feel eternally grateful.
7. Family BBQs
Many employees balk at work socials because it means time away from their families. However, if you host family BBQs, movie nights, or other events open to spouses and kids, you’ll encourage your workers to attend get-togethers and improve office relations.
Job perks aren’t always about how much money you can throw at your employee benefits package. While not every company can afford to offer high-budget perks, they’re an excellent way to stay competitive. Of course, if expensive meals and costly benefits are out of your budget, don’t worry.
For instance, a family BBQ doesn’t have to cost a lot but will go a long way to improving your workers’ motivation. However, if you have a bigger budget and wish to spend it on your employees, there are many high-budget rewards and recognition programs you can offer.
8. Company cars
Company cars enable your employees to work more efficiently for you (particularly if they’re moving about) and enjoy the freedom of a vehicle in their personal lives. You might not offer a company car to all your employees, but rather offer a chance for them to rent an electric car for a weekend away from the company.
Other high-budget ideas include:
- Company-wide vacation or retreat.
- Home loan assistance.
- Company-wide bonuses.
- Paying moving companies for the cost of employee relocation.
There are few better ways to encourage your company’s values than to offer community involvement in gifting and rewards. Charitable work promotes a better attitude within the organization while attracting employees who want to work for a company that cares about their community.
9. Volunteering PTO days
Whether you offer volunteer time as part of a company-wide shutdown, organize charity events, or offer volunteer PTO, charity work is an excellent way to encourage employees to give back to their community. You might also arrange to match charity donations too.
Office perks should benefit your employees and company. If you’re looking for a creative benefit that sets you apart from other companies, consider offering employees cultural days out or events.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies offer flexible hours or the chance to work from home. It’s convenient and allows employees to do things they usually wouldn’t have the time for, such as doctor’s appointments or cultural events.
For practical reasons, you may need core official work hours or days, but you could encourage a flex schedule on Fridays or in less busy periods.
11. Office Olympics
Holding an office “sports day” is an excellent way to encourage team bonding and get everyone out of the office. You could also join after-work sports clubs or teams to continue the activity beyond the workplace.
12. Relaxed dress code
A relaxed dress code or ‘dress down Fridays’ are good ways to encourage a more casual atmosphere in the office.
13. Pet-friendly office
Inviting employees’ pets to work every day or just one day a month or week will add excitement to the office and offer convenience for pet owners.
No matter how exciting you make your workplace, everyone values time off. You could offer extended paid vacation time to all employees or a reward for commitment to the role.
14. Extended paid vacation
Burn out decreases productivity. Offering extended vacation time will encourage a better work-life balance and promote a healthier attitude to work.
15. Work from home options
Working from home (WFH) is more popular than ever. While it’s not for everyone, most employees appreciate the option to set up a home office. It enables trust and might improve productivity as well as employee communications if your employees work in a comfortable environment.
16. Childcare support
Employees with kids will inevitably need to take a sick day to look after their children. Encouraging child support or offering an onsite nursery is an excellent way to improve employee retention.
83% of US employees develop work-related stress. It almost feels like an inevitable part of modern life. However, the more you can do to relieve workplace stress, the more productive your employees will work and improve their attitudes. Promoting mental health day or offering stress management training is one way to ensure your employees’ happiness.
17. Free therapy
Free or subsidized therapy is an excellent job perk that attracts many employees. Therapy is expensive but highly beneficial for your employees’ overall happiness, health, and wellbeing.
18. Mental health awareness
One of the most important steps to improving mental health is encouraging awareness. Many workers feel stress is not a valid excuse for time off. By highlighting the importance of looking after your mental health, your employees will feel happier and healthier.
Invest in talent
Workers want to feel valued beyond their current roles. Offering continuing education, tuition reimbursement, or opportunities for professional development is an excellent way to retain employees.
19. Mentor program
Offering a mentoring program for new employees will help them understand how their careers might progress and motivate them to pursue their goals. If you make it clear that you want to invest in their career and professional progression, they’re more likely to stick with your company than look for work elsewhere.
20. Tuition reimbursement
Investing in your workers’ talent is crucial for your company and your employees’ success. Not only will your workers continue to improve themselves, but their new skills will benefit your company. Subsidizing or reimbursing your employees’ tuition is a great way to encourage learning and attract and retain good employees.
Team building activities don’t have to be boring corporate exercises or awkward ice breakers. Consider how you can introduce new and exciting team-building fun.
21. Office get-togethers
Regular office get-togethers will improve employee relations, even if it’s just attending happy hours after work. Team meals, theater evenings, or interactive events (such as our sports day idea) are good ways to encourage bonding. The better your team gets on, the more productive and harmonious the workplace.
22. Virtual team building
If your team is still working remotely or you have some employees wishing to work from home, virtual team-building events are more inclusive for remote employees. Whether you hold regular virtual quizzes or remote movie nights, it’s still essential that you create a social atmosphere.
Other employee benefits ideas
Consider the following options if you’re looking for other creative employee benefits beyond financial wellness and holiday parties.
23. Phone discounts
Offering discounts, free phones, or subscriptions are an excellent job perk that doesn’t cost the company too much. It will help retain and attract the top talent.
24. TGIF giveaways
Everyone loves a freebie. Why not offer surprise gifts to a lucky winner each Friday? You don’t have to offer huge prizes, even something small will go a long way to creating a warm environment.
25. Free breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Offering a complimentary breakfast option is an excellent way to boost your workers’ productivity, encourage an early start, and look after their health.
Showing employee appreciation is the best way to boost morale and attract top talent. Offering flexible schedules and office perks will demonstrate your commitment to your workers. You could run a referral program to encourage recommendations and offer benefits to your current workers.
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