Unique Employee Benefits and Perks

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Your employees will give back to a company that appreciates, respects and rewards them. Employee benefits and perks are meaningful ways of compensating employees for their loyalty and performance. They offer conveniences and values that go above and beyond financial compensation. The following unique employee benefits and perks are thoughtful and can improve morale, promote your company culture, enhance motivation and help you attract top talent.

Flexible Work

Although the eight-hour workday has been a staple in Western culture for decades, it’s not the most efficient use of your employees’ time. In fact, one 2016 study found that full-time employees reported working fewer than 3 hours per day even though they were on the clock for 8.

Workers are often more productive when they can set their schedules. Working flexible hours lets them make the most of their energetic times. We’re not all clear-headed from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Moreover, flexible hours may allow your employees to get more done in less time. This helps them feel more capable and expands their time for leisure activities. They have better work-life balance, which translates into better performance when they are on the clock.

You may offer a situation with:

  • No official hours
  • Remote work capabilities
  • The ability to work longer days to earn time off
  • Split shifts
  • Earlier or later start and end times
  • Summer hours

Professional Development

Professional development offers a chance for employees to nurture their skill set, It furthers their career path and shows that you support their growth. However, professional development can be expensive for employees. If you cover the costs and provide training as a benefit, you make it easier for employees to enhance their confidence in their skills. You also have the option of paying employees to participate in career development training.

This translates to enhanced performance within your company. You might  worry that employees may use their newly acquired proficiencies to seek a better job elsewhere. However, evidence shows that professional development has the following benefits for organizations:

  • Increases engagement
  • Improves retention
  • Boosts productivity
  • Increases profits
  • Attracts high-quality job applicants

In fact, 94% of employees say that they would remain at a company that offered in-house professional development as one of its employee benefits and perks. Offering reimbursement for continuing education that helps employees reach their full potential is an alternative to offering in-house training. Tuition reimbursement and student loan payback programs are also valuable perks for many employees.

Employee Discount Programs

With the price of consumer goods soaring, you can help your employees cut costs by offering discounts on commonly purchased products, brands and services. For a small fee, you can create a portal through which your staff can get discounts on things like:

  • Groceries
  • Retail goods
  • Travel
  • Entertainment
  • Restaurants
  • Auto parts
  • Sporting events and artistic performances
  • Home services
  • Wellness services
  • Cell phone plans
  • Utilities

About 64% of employees say that they’d want to participate in an employee discount program. This is a cost-effective way to provide a unique perk, especially if your budget for employee benefits is limited.

Wellness Services

Healthy employees typically perform better than unhealthy ones. They manage their time and stress well, which means that they have the energy, capacity and stamina to do their jobs. They also have more continuity in the workplace because they rarely call out sick. 

Offering savings and opportunities for wellness services can help your team stay healthy. Some options include reimbursements and discounts for:

  • Gym memberships
  • Spa, massage or chiropractic sessions
  • Meal planning or nutrition services
  • Healthy restaurants
  • Yoga classes

Pet Insurance

With 70% of households owning pets, insurance for these furry companions can give employees peace of mind. Medical emergencies for pets are emotionally draining. Insurance coverage can help employees avoid the financial stress of managing their pet’s health. 

This is one of those unique employee benefits and perks that shows compassion within the company culture. Pets are part of the family; they offer physical and mental health benefits for their owners. 

Offering or covering pet insurance for your employees demonstrates that you understand the importance of work-life balance. You could even make your office a pet-friendly environment to encourage employees to spend more time at work.

Remote Work Stipend

If your company has a remote workforce, coming up with a formal stipend for those employees specifically can be a game changer. 

Included on it could be many things that are included on this list already, but additional ones that are specific to remote workers. Items like

  • Complimentary coworking memberships
  • Event / conference tickets for continued learning and networking
  • Transportation (subway pass, Lyft, Uber)

Stipends for remote workers can be invaluable to employees. Not just from a cost-saving standpoint, but to help make them feel more connected and part of the team. Not to mention, it can be a huge perk for your HR department when they look to hire for highly sought-after positions.

On-Site Conveniences

Snack bars are nice, but some organizations are offering even more conveniences for employees. Daycare services reduce parents’ commute time and sick days. Salon services make life easier for your workers. Medical services and events help your employees take care of their health without taking time off for appointments.

On-site laundry and gym facilities streamline your workers’ lives. Hootsuite has an on-site nap room. Campbell Soup offers after-school programs for children as well as a daycare.

Free Stuff

Starbucks workers get free coffee, and Spotify employees get to see concerts for free. Does your organization produce a product that your employees are passionate about? Give them access to some of it. They’ll feel rewarded with these “gifts,” which are a small but appreciated token of gratitude.

What Do Your Employees Want?

Not all of these unique employee benefits and perks are appropriate for every situation. Your efforts could show a lack of relevance if you offer a benefit that your employees have no use for. Therefore, you might want to consider what your staff wants before creating or revamping your employee benefits package. 

Capture employee feedback through an easy-to-use platform that keeps everyone on the same page. Staying in touch with the employee experience throughout each staff member’s tenure helps you give your employees exactly what they need to excel in their jobs and appreciate the way that you treat them. Employee benefits surveys also show employees that you prioritize their needs.