Recently I participated in an HR Manager Roundtable. With summer coming to an end and the fourth quarter of the year nearly upon us, open enrollment was the top topic. It got my wheels turning on employee benefits in general, and specifically, those that reach beyond traditional medical and health insurance, PTO and retirement savings. I really began to think about the more distinctive benefits that set certain employers apart from their competitors. I’ve heard many employers discuss open job positions in their companies and how it’s getting increasingly difficult to attract highly qualified and experienced candidates, and yet also they tell me their benefit offerings are the same as they have been for years.
A creative and thoughtful benefits package is an excellent way of recruiting and keeping top tier talent, and it is also a way to make an even more positive impact on the lives of your employees. As a business owner, you can profoundly shape a worker’s life by providing them with the benefits that will make a difference in their daily lives. Many business owners acknowledge that the effect they have on the lives of their workers is one of the most rewarding aspects of owning their own business.
However, benefit offerings do not come cheap. They also don’t need to bankrupt you though. Benefits and perks aren’t equal in the mind of everyone. Recent research conducted by Glassdoor found that more than half (57%) of people said benefits and perks are among their top considerations before accepting a job, and four in five workers say they would prefer new benefits over a pay raise.1 Innovation, and open conversation with your employees, are critical to discovering the benefits that are going to be relevant and meaningful to your employees.
Here is a list of some creative benefits and perks to help you start thinking outside of the box as you brainstorm for ideas.
- Complimentary financial and estate planning for employees and their families
- Paid time off and/or flexible work hours to engage in volunteer projects
- Assistance with student loan debt
- Weekly on-site fitness class (yoga, pilates, crossfit, stress management, etc.)
- Healthy living coaching programs
- Vacation reimbursement for a set amount every 5 years
- Dry cleaning service (Drop off and pick up at office)
- Tickets and transportation to local area events—sports, concerts, etc.
- On-site haircuts
- Pet insurance
- Adoption assistance
- Netflix subscriptions
Innovative, meaningful benefits don’t necessarily need to break the bank, and they can even have a net positive effect on your bottom line when they aid in employee recruitment and retention. Unique benefits like those outlined above can help enhance your employee value proposition and make your business stand above the rest, but more importantly, they can build loyalty and trust among your employees. Benefits are one of the business world’s best ways to tell employees, “We value you.”
- Fast Company, “These Are The Best Employee Benefits And Perks” by Lydia Dishman, February 2016.
Tina Brown is the HR Consulting Supervisor at MCM CPAs & Advisors. Tina began her HR career in the insurance and financial services industry, working in benefits administration, payroll, strategic planning, and training and development. For the past several years, she has worked in assessments, hiring assistance and development.
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American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
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