HNI Account Executive
The cost of employee health benefits continues to be a burden for many employers that are struggling in the difficult economy. Offering competitive benefits is important to recruiting and retaining employees, but it is also more difficult as costs continue to skyrocket and uncertainties about the future continue to be a drag on many businesses.
Adding complexity to the mix, today’s increasingly multigenerational workforce often requires non-traditional means (not necessarily compensation) to keep them productive, satisfied, and engaged.
Employee engagement and success are closely linked. Companies with engaged employees benefit from improved performance in many ways— if your company is considered to be a “great place to work,” you are promoting a strong culture that improves leadership, quality, and success. Benefits plays a huge role in this.
Non-traditional, innovative benefits ideas
So with traditional employee benefits somewhat stuck in the weeds these days, what kinds of non-traditional employee benefits, or “perks” can help promote your culture of success?
Some perks we see more frequently include:
1) On-site childcare or subsidized childcare benefits (can be used in conjunction with pre-tax FSA dollars for twice the benefit)
2) On-site healthcare clinics
3) Complimentary car cleaning
4) 100% employer-paid healthcare premiums
5) Telecommuting, flexible scheduling, or compressed workweeks
6) Paid sabbaticals
7) On-site fitness centers
8) Wellness plans or opportunities for wellness-related activities (can include onsite fitness facilities, or simply wellness workshops or seminars, company-wide weight loss challenges, weight loss discounts, yoga classes or other low-impact activities)
Less common, but equally beneficial and far more innovative benefits approaches include:
1) Life coaching
2) Paid fertility benefits included in healthcare plans
3) Botox discounts, onsite tanning, haircuts, or beauty discounts
4) Fun and games! (interpretation required)
5) Pet perks (discounts, bring your pet to work day, etc.)
6) Employee concierge (errand services to help employees with work/life balance)
7) Employee retreats
8) Lactation consultant and/or facilities for nursing moms
The programs on the second list do have some associated costs, but they are often significantly less than enhancements to traditional benefits plans.
As an added bonus, these types of non-traditional or innovative benefits are those that employees are more likely to talk about with their friends and family -- which can be great for your internal brand and help further differentiate your company. Of course, the right innovative benefits components for your company depend upon your specific workforce and the type of culture you are trying to encourage.