When waging the war for talent, unique employee benefits are the ones which will give you the competitive edge in recruitment. When trying to retain good employees amid the job-hopping culture, creative employee benefits are the ones which provide ongoing excitement and recognition to existing employees. A few years ago, having a reward and benefits scheme which offered some retail vouchers and a discounted gym membership would bring applicants flooding in. But in the world of beer clubs and nap pods, that isn’t enough anymore.
While it’s undeniable that foundational benefits like income protection and healthcare are much more than just hygiene factors (in fact, year-after-year we see these having the most consistent take-up), it is the benefits which are a little bit different, that are going to make you truly stand out as an employer of choice.
This list is by no means an exhaustive one, nor are employee benefits prescriptive, but if you’re looking to give your benefits scheme a bit of an edge, why not consider some of the following…
1. Yoga and meditation classes
Wellbeing techniques have garnered quite the sceptical reception, but nonetheless, the proven benefits in productivity and engagement speak for themselves – in the U.S. alone, yoga popularity have increased by 55% since 2012 and meditation has tripled. Many companies, including innovation front-runners Apple and Google, provide their employees with access to on-site yoga and meditation classes. Other organisations give employees optional access to classes through a Healthcare Cash Plan or discounted gym/leisure centre memberships.
2. Technology purchase
With the cost of technology on the rise, and many employees living pay-packet to pay-packet, purchasing a new gadget is a huge expense to spend at once. A technology benefit can enable your people to afford products they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. This can help them relax at home, encourage development at work, or just make the commute seem quicker! Among our clients, technology purchase is consistently in the top three leisure benefits; popular due to the salary sacrifice payment plan which allows repayment in manageable monthly payments.
3. Payroll giving
Some of the most attractive employee benefits are the ones which benefit other people, whether that’s friends, family, or a cause that’s close to your heart. Payroll giving (also known as Give As You Earn) works via salary sacrifice, allowing employees to donate regular amounts, tax-free, directly from their salary to a chosen charity. Payroll giving not only saves time and money, but it takes the effort out of it – so your people can support good causes, without even thinking about it.
4. Beer/wine club
If you’re looking for a benefit to stop people in their tracks, why not consider Beer or Wine Club? – A benefit that provides employees with the chance to make it global and explore different cultures through unique drinks, delivered to their home each month. Whether you’re in hospitality, work at a brewery, or your people just fancy a DIY wine tasting, this unconventional benefit is sure to garner interest.
5. Book allowance
One of the most unique benefits we’ve come across is book allowance or discounted book purchase. Companies like Buffer and Twilio encourage their people’s learning and development by giving them monthly book allowances, coupled with a free Kindle to read on! While this is a fantastic opportunity to encourage professional growth among your people, it’s also a great way to promote reading for fun and relaxation, so employees will come back to work refreshed and ready to be creative.
6. Pet insurance
Just as health and insurance benefits offer cover for employees’ family, some employers also provide options for pet insurance. After all, they’re just as much a part of the family as anyone else! Pet insurance benefits work like any other insurance benefit; allowing you to pay in regular amounts to a centralised account, ready for withdrawal as and when you need it. Pet insurance benefits provide peace of mind to employees, and the reassurance that they can afford the ‘upkeep’ and out-of-the-blue expenses that come with a pet; letting them have the furry companion they’ve always wanted!
7. Subscription services
Many employers give their people access to discounted subscription services. By offering discounted subscriptions, you show your employees that you care about their wellbeing and life in and out of work. At Benefex, we offer a discount on the meditation and wellbeing app, Headspace. But why stop there? Your organisation could look into offering subsidised subscriptions for other services such as club memberships or even Netflix accounts!
Whether you want to offer employee benefits to help people switch off, or encourage opportunities for growth and development in the workplace – there is no end to the creative and unusual employee benefits that can be customised to fit your people. Take a look at our full list of employee benefits here.