5 Unique Employee Benefits
Today’s job market isn’t competitive only for employees. Employers also have to compete to attract the best talent, and one way they can do so is with unique employee benefits. Successful benefits packages go beyond traditional health insurance and retirement accounts to include wellness perks, travel stipends, or tech-driven extras. With the right combination of benefits, the return on investment can be significant.
The Changing Landscape of Employee Benefits
Offering benefits is hardly a new recruitment method, but today’s workforce is often looking for more unique employee benefits than its predecessors.
Traditional Employee Benefits
Most full-time employees have come to expect certain benefits from their companies. Health insurance, for example, is a given in most contracts, and retirement plans are typically not far behind. Most companies also entice employees with the promise of paid time off and holidays, providing a work-life balance and freedom in their schedules. For many high-ranking employees, bonuses and profit-sharing may also be on the table to reward extra-hard work.
The Rise of Unique Employee Benefits
In a competitive job market, it’s important for companies to attract the best and brightest. While traditional benefits do some of this, it’s the unique benefits that really make an offer stand out.
These unique benefits include things that aren’t typically expected. They may be financial, like Airbnb’s annual travel stipend, or educational, such as Starbucks’ tuition coverage program. They may be more fun-oriented, like the annual ski passes and snow days that are beloved by Burton employees. They may even expand on expected benefits, such as the extended paid parental leave included in Netflix’s employment contract – which advertises that most parents take four to eight months off.
Unconventional Benefits That Make a Difference
1. Wellness and Work-Life Balance
Although medical benefits contribute to employees’ overall wellness, they’re more applicable when an employee is already ill. Today’s workers also appreciate benefits that will help keep them healthy in the first place. Perks such as in-house fitness facilities or gym memberships help employees get physically fit, and these benefits lower their expected health care costs in more than 60% of cases. Mental health coverage can also be offered alongside traditional medical benefits — reports show that 86% of employees who were treated for depression said their performance at work improved afterward.
Many potential employees also find flexible work arrangements to be attractive with the remote work movement continuing to gain traction, even post-pandemic. Allowing employees to work from home, whether it’s fully remote or just on an as-needed basis, helps them prioritize their time and mental health.
2. Personal and Professional Growth
For workers seeking to turn their job into a career, continued growth is a top priority. Businesses that promise development opportunities attract motivated employees who will put in the effort to become invaluable. Perks in this vein might include professional development workshops, college scholarships, or even mentorships.
3. Beyond the Office: Unique Perks and Experiences
To support a healthy work-life balance, many companies are offering perks that allow their teams to gain experience beyond the workplace. Some employers include travel stipends or vouchers for employees to use on vacation. Others allow remote workers to work from anywhere they want — even from a cruise ship.
For companies that can’t send every single one of their employees on vacation, travel perks can still be an option. Company-sponsored retreats or conferences can get your employees out of the office and help your team grow closer. The novelty of working in a new environment can even get those creative juices flowing.
4. Community and Social Impact
Everyone wants to feel like they’re making a difference in the world, especially through their work. But for much of today’s workforce, tight schedules and tighter budgets make volunteering or donating to a cause all but impossible. Some businesses are now including such perks as paid volunteer time off to combat this challenge.
Some employers offer to match charitable donations or make donations on their employees’ behalf as a reward for milestones or exceptional performance. This way, workers can make a difference without cutting into their personal time or budget.
5. Tech-Driven Benefits for the Modern Workforce
In an increasingly tech-driven world, employees are coming to expect tech perks with their employment. Company-sponsored AR or VR experiences, for example, can be a fun way to blow off some steam. Tech perks may also correspond with existing benefits, such as wellness apps or digital health subscriptions that work alongside a health plan.
Tech benefits don’t have to be just for fun. Many perks can benefit both the employee and the employer. For example, some companies include access to AI software that can help employees increase their productivity or improve their work. Many companies are also using AR and VR tools for training, which can be especially beneficial for delicate or complicated tasks that are best learned hands-on.
The ROI of Unique Employee Benefits
The right benefits package can have a substantial ROI for any employer. When provided with exceptional benefits, employees show increased engagement and satisfaction in their work. A unique benefits package can also give your company an edge over competitors in recruiting new talent. Increased employee satisfaction reduces turnover and improves employee retention, meaning you spend less time and money recruiting and training replacements.
Implementing Unique Employee Benefits: Considerations for Employers
Of course, most employers can’t implement every single one of these benefits for their entire workforce. When you're deciding on benefits to offer to your team, there are a few things to consider.
First, figure out the preferences and needs of your employees. Issue a survey to ask your current employees what benefits they might appreciate. When interviewing new candidates, consider asking them what benefits might sway them to choose your company over any other job offers they might have.
Second, some benefits align better with certain companies. A company that specializes in travel, for example, might include travel perks in its benefits package. A tech company might opt for tech-driven benefits such as access to AI tools or remote work.
Although implementing unique employee benefits may have its challenges, the ROI is often worth it. To keep track of your benefits and employee accounts, consider using a benefits broker or advisor.
Stand Out in a Competitive Job Market With Unique Employee Benefits
In a job market that’s competitive for both employees and employers, anything a company can do to stand out will help attract the best talent. Unique employee benefits improve employees’ satisfaction and engagement, increasing individual productivity and facilitating overall company success.
Consider implementing creative, meaningful benefits to stand out as an employer. Talk to a benefits broker from Nava Benefits to find just the right package for your company.