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Looking for Unique Employee Benefits? Here are 30 Trendy Ideas for Non-Core Perks

Employee Benefits

If you think employee benefits are a critical component of any successful business, you're certainly not alone. The savviest business owners and HR professionals have known this truth for a while now, that having a great benefits package can help you not only attract but retain the top talent in your industry.

If you're reading this, however, it probably means one of a few things:

  • Your current benefits package isn't very popular with your employees
  • You're offering nearly identical perks as your top competitors
  • Financial compensation is no longer enough to keep your best workers

Today’s workforce wants more than the standard health and financial security of generations past; they're looking for unique employee benefits that are tailored to their individual lifestyles and needs. The question is: are you prepared to give them that?

If your answer is yes, but you find yourself in need of some inspiration, we've got you covered. From pet insurance to free on-site laundry, here are 30 of the trendiest ideas for "non-core" perks.

EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES WITH A BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE

If the last couple of years has taught us anything, it’s the importance of a good work-life balance. Even the most hardworking, determined employees will get physically and mentally drained eventually, so it’s a good idea to have the right perks in place to help them relax and recharge from time to time. Here are some ideas to get you started.

1. Vacation bonuses

This may sound crazy, but you can literally pay your employees to take time off. For instance, offer them a monetary bonus ($1,000, $500, etc.) the first time they take a vacation of 5 (or more) consecutive days.

2. Work from anywhere

Working from home is fairly commonplace these days, but what about working from cabin or working from beach? Provide your employees with the flexibility they need, within reason of course (we recommend limiting this to a specific month, such as August Anywhere.) Are you considering a hybrid work model? Here’s a guide on how to prevent turnover post-pandemic.

3. Health and wellness stipend

Hard work takes a toll on the body and mind, so offer your employees a small stipend each month to spend on their personal health and wellness. Whether that means investing in a CPAP machine or signing up for a hot yoga class is entirely up to them.

FURTHER PROTECT YOUR TEAM WITH ADVANCED COVERAGE OPTIONS

Nobody said these trendy perks had to be exciting. In today’s world, risk comes in many different shapes and sizes, and you better believe there are specific coverages available to keep your employees fully insured and protected.

4. Identify theft protection

In our increasingly digital world, identity theft is a major concern for many workers. Adding this type of coverage to your benefits plan can give your employees peace of mind and show that you're invested in their well-being. To learn more about this coverage, read our complete guide to cyber insurance in 2022.

5. Critical illness insurance

Thanks to social media, it's almost impossible to avoid the barrage of medical bill horror stories. Because of this, many workers are increasingly worried about being able to cover their medical bills in the event of a major illness or accident. This type of insurance can help alleviate those fears, allowing your employees to better focus on their work.

6. 100% insurance coverage

Either offer to cover 100% of all insurance selections or one particular tier (such as a platinum-level, $0 deductible health plan), including dental, vision, and life for your employees and their dependents.

JOIN THE PET-FRIENDLY REVOLUTION

Pet-friendly workspaces are becoming quite popular, but of course, this perk comes with a unique set of challenges. With certain animal allergies and fears out there, this is definitely one that needs to be implemented with caution.

7. Bring your pet to work day

Assuming you don’t work in a warehouse or food service facility, offering a bring your pet to work day is a great option to improve employee happiness. Not to mention the benefits for the pets themselves! (National take your dog to work day is June 23rd, for the record.)

8. Pet insurance

Many Millennials and Gen-Zers in the workforce are forgoing the traditional route of having children. Instead, they're embracing their adopted "fur babies" in a way that's never been seen before. As such, they're increasingly looking for pet-friendly workplaces and benefits plans that will insure their "children" in a fair and equal way.

9. Therapy animals

The mental and physical benefits of animal-assisted therapy are well documented, so treat your team to this incredible comfort once a year, once a month, or once a week. Depending on what’s available in your area, your employees can interact and unwind with puppies, rabbits, and even baby goats.

MAKE YOUR EMPLOYEES’ LIVES EASIER WITH ON-SITE SERVICES

There are few things worse than working a long, hard day and then having to run a bunch of errands. If your business can help alleviate some of these mundane chores, they’ll be much more likely to stick around for the long haul.

10. Free laundry

If a large percentage of your staff frequent laundromats, adding a washer/dryer combo or two to a shared communal space can make a big difference. For larger businesses, converting an underused storage closet into a full-fledged laundry room can be an absolute game-changer!

11. Postal service

Save your staff a trip to the post office with in-house postal services. Allow them the opportunity to send packages, receive mail, buy postage, and even renew their passports—all just a short walk from their desks.

12. Fitness center/personal trainer

The benefits of an onsite fitness center are unquestioned, but complimentary workout rooms are fairly commonplace in larger office buildings these days, so a few treadmills and free weights aren’t exactly going to entice new hires like they once did. So why not take things to the next level by offering personal trainer sessions once a week, or a more full-fledged onsite gym with 24/7 employee access?

13. Professional printing services

Many employees already take advantage of the office printer for personal documents, so it makes sense to extend this service into a more professional offering. With this perk, you can encourage your team to print holiday cards, wedding invites, garage sale signage, and much more—all without leaving the office.

14. Car detailing/oil changes

The average employee misses enough time due to car trouble as it is. By offering complimentary oil changes, car detailing, and other automotive services once a year, you can help take some of that lost time back.

REIMBURSE YOUR EMPLOYEES FOR JOB-RELATED EXPENSES

It may seem counterintuitive, but many jobs require substantial employee investments upfront—before they can even begin to work! If your company can help new hires avoid an immediate hit to their wallets, that goodwill is sure to go a long way.

15. Student loan repayment

No generation in history has entered the workforce with more accumulated student debt than today's entry-level labor pool. If your benefits plan can help bear even a little bit of that financial burden, you'll not only attract the top talent but retain them for years to come.

16. Commuter benefits

With gas prices on the rise, reward your employees that are still willing to make the trip into the office every day with a monthly gas stipend and/or mileage reimbursements.

17. Remote office setup

Not all remote workers have the disposable income to build out their dream home offices. For those employees where working from home is the only (or preferred) option, reimburse them for up to $1,000 to use within 90 days of their start date.

18. Child care support

Work is important, sure, but family should always come first. For smaller businesses, offering child care benefits for employees is a great option, even if it’s only partial financial support. For larger businesses, in-office daycare may be something to consider.

BUY THEIR LOVE WITH SUBSCRIPTION ASSISTANCE

A great way to entice new hires is to help them afford the things they love most in life—watching movies and TV, working out, and eating delicious, homecooked meals, for example. And the good news is, there’s a subscription for all of that!

19. Streaming service subscriptions

Offering free streaming service subscriptions is the hot new perk these days, particularly with internet and cell service providers. At only $5–$15 per month, providing your team with access to a Netflix business account, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, or Hulu is a cost-effective way to keep them happy.

20. Gym memberships

While not as cheap as a streaming service, unlimited access to a local gym is one of the best ways for your employees to clear their heads after a long day of work. This is an especially enticing offer if your building lacks an in-house fitness room (as mentioned in #12 above).

21. Meal delivery subscriptions

Meal kit delivery services are becoming increasingly popular thanks to a rise in working parents and on-the-go families seeking alternative dinner solutions. Treat your team to a recurring subscription to Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, or one of the 150 other meal kit companies.

ENCOURAGE PERSONAL AND CAREER GROWTH

Providing opportunities for your employees to develop their skills is a true win-win for any business. Not only does it improve their career satisfaction, but it makes them more effective and efficient at their jobs.

22. Continued education coverage

Provide your employees with a set annual budget that they can put towards the continued education method of their choice—whether that’s signing up for an online class, taking a certification exam, or attending an industry seminar.

23. Offer 10% time

Rather than fund your team’s continued education, encourage them to take up to 4 hours per week (10% of a 40-hour work week) to put towards building skills, improving processes, or working on a passion project.

24. Non-management career paths

Not everyone wants to be a manager—and that’s okay! Provide your employees with a career path that allows them to climb the ranks, grow their careers, and earn a higher salary without having to manage a team.

WIN YOUR TEAM OVER WITH FREE FOOD AND DRINKS

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach—but who says this can’t also apply to your staff? As an added bonus, your team may be far more productive (and far less cranky) without having to work through the pangs of hunger.

25. Regular all-company lunch

Treat your team to an all-company lunch—whether you dine out or cater in is entirely up to you and your budget. This is a great way to celebrate new hires, say farewell to departing employees, or cap off a successful quarterly all-hands meeting.

26. Themed food/drink days

Bloody Mary Monday. Taco Bar Tuesday. Warm Cookie Wednesday. Thin Crust Pizza Thursday. Food Truck Friday. Whatever you choose, this is a great way to bring your team together and give them something to look forward to every week.

27. On-demand snacks and beverages

Fill a cupboard with chips and granola bars. Put out a bowl of fresh fruit. Stock a fridge with a selection of sodas. Or, for bonus points, install a keg for always-on-tap beer (if your workplace allows it), root beer, kombucha, or cold brew.

MAKE YOUR WORKPLACE FUN

While you can’t force your employees to be friends, you can give them every opportunity to connect and grow your company culture by implementing fun activities. There are many ways to do this, but here are a few ideas to give you inspiration.

28. A fun committee

Making your workplace fun doesn’t have to be any extra work on your part. Ask for volunteers to head up a fun committee at work, give them a monthly budget, and watch as they plan events that they are interested in.

29. Sponsored happy hours

Your team is probably going to happy hours whether they like working for your company or not. So by sponsoring these social get-togethers, they’ll be far more likely to celebrate than commiserate.

30. Offsite retreats

Most people love to travel, so send your team on an annual, all-company “working vacation” to someplace warm and exotic. This is a great way for coworkers to bond, which often results in better workplace unity when they return.

ARE YOU READY TO OFFER BENEFITS THAT GIVE YOU THE ADVANTAGE?

When the talent marketplace gets competitive, it’s time to think outside the box. Taking into consideration carefully vetted independent industry benchmarks, lessons learned over decades of experience, and emerging trends and regulations, Christensen Group can help you design an employee benefits package that’s creative, cost-efficient, and that will give you a recruiting edge.

Throughout our work together, we’ll continue to bring strategic planning, wellness programs, and innovative project management tools to the equation, so you can stay leaps ahead in the talent game. Are you ready to speak with a benefits strategy and design expert? Contact us today.

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