In today’s competitive hiring market, it is more important than ever to offer a generous benefits package. Employee benefits have been shown to boost both recruitment and retention efforts, while also maintaining greater satisfaction among established workers.
You probably already know the most common benefit options, such as medical and retirement benefits. However, these are far from the only perks you can offer to employees. If you really want to attract top talent, you need to get creative when building your benefits program.
Check out these top innovative employee benefits and learn why so many business owners are opting to add them to their benefit packages.
Many people still go to work on their birthday to prevent a reduction in pay. Show your appreciation to your hard workers by offering a paid birthday holiday. A paid day off each year to celebrate a birthday is a small benefit that can have a major impact on employee morale.
Holiday Time Off
To make the holidays more special, many businesses close for several days to a week at the end of the year (December 24-January). Closing up shop allows employees the opportunity to spend time relaxing with friends and family, and time off of work is a pleasurable way to end the year.
Remote Work Opportunities
While many employees would love the opportunity to work at home, few businesses offer remote work options. Depending on your industry and the type of work your business is in, you may want to consider offering applicable employees the chance to work at home, even if it is just a few days a month.
Remote work opportunities not only make employees happier, but can also save you money on office space and office supplies.
Training programs at work can be advantageous for all those involved. Employees have the chance to master their skills, while business owners can gain the peace of mind that their workers are well-trained. Ideally, you want to hold these training programs during the work week to prevent resentment from employees who may not want to use their personal time for training.
Team Building Exercises
Team building exercises have the potential to increase employee motivation, productivity, collaboration, and creativity. They can also improve communication between co-workers and promote positive reinforcement.
There are many types of fun team building activities your staff can do together, such as playing a sports game, hosting a potluck, or planning a scavenger hunt.
While offering your staff medical insurance can be highly beneficial, there are also other ways to encourage good health. Provide your staff with a healthy snack each Friday, offer on-site yoga classes, or offer a steep discount on a gym membership. Healthier employees often have higher energy levels giving them more motivation to do well in their positions.
Get rid of the cubicles in favor of a more employee-friendly workspace. While you may not have enough room to give each employee their own private office, you can create a more productive workplace by creating quiet spaces where workers can go and relax, such as a spacious lounge with plush furnishings.
You may also want to consider adding fun elements that workers can utilize during breaks, such as a pool table.
Everyone loves to save money. If you sell a product or service that people want, offer a discount on your goods to your employees. Even if the discount is just 10 percent off or a certain dollar amount off an order, employees will likely appreciate the thought and will get to know your products or services from the point-of-view of a customer.
While not all types of work can be effective with a flexible schedule, accounting, data entry, and similar job fields can usually be performed anytime of the day. Consider giving your employees a little more freedom by allowing them to create their own work schedule. Of course, there will need to be some regulations, but most employees perform better when they are able to work on their own time.
Through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), women’s jobs are protected following childbirth or adoption for up to 12 weeks. Unfortunately, maternity and paternity leave are often unpaid. As an innovative business owner, you should consider offering a more generous maternity or paternity leave, or providing paid leave which allows your employees to enjoy their leave without the associated financial strain.
Vacation Funds & Paid Sabbaticals
While many employees would love the chance to travel to new places, not all can afford such luxuries. By offering to pay for your employees’ vacations, you can attract talented workers and retain the ones you already have. Consider making contributions to a vacation or travel fund.
Sabbaticals allow long-term employees the opportunity to travel or take an extended leave with the stipulation that the employer will allow the worker to return to their position at the end of their leave.
While sabbaticals can be paid or unpaid, providing wages to absent employees can be a highly attractive benefit.
Pets have been found to help their pet owners lower their stress levels, boost their fitness, and achieve a greater state of happiness. By allowing your employees to bring their pets to work, workers are generally happier which can make a positive impact on their work. As having pets at work every day may be somewhat chaotic, you may choose to permit a ‘bring your pet to work day’ each Friday.
Financial Wellness Education
Many employees are seeking insights and advice for how to make wise financial decisions and invest in better outcomes in the future. In addition, employees are increasingly looking to their employers to help them achieve financial stability.
In response to these conditions, many employers are being proactive about providing their employees with the resources to facilitate financial education. This includes training on a variety of financial facets, from managing a 401(k) and creating healthy budgeting and spending habits to establishing short and long-term savings goals.
Financial wellness can even extend to assistance paying off student-loan debt and giving employees home-purchasing advice. When financial wellness programs are offered, employees report higher satisfaction with their benefit plans overall.
College Tuition Repayment
With student loans now being the second largest consumer debt category after mortgages, many employees are looking for assistance paying them off. And while vacation time, 401(k) plans and health insurance may seem like great incentives in the short-term, assistance paying off that mountain of debt might be the single greatest perk of all time (for millenials anyway).
In direct response, many companies are now expanding their employee benefit programs to help reduce student loan debt for their employees, making it a novel and significant way to attract and retain recent graduates and seasoned employees alike.
With dozens if not hundreds of companies now following suit, college tuition repayment is among the hottest employee benefits around.
Building a Benefits Package
There is no rule that you have to provide your employees with a standard employee benefits package that includes common benefits like medical, disability, and paid leave. To make your business stand out amongst the competition, consider building a more creative package that includes innovative employee benefits like paid birthdays and free yoga classes.
For more information or assistance building an employee benefits package, contact the employee benefits consultants at BBG Broker.