15 Innovative Employee Benefits Examples

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examples of innovative employee benefits

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It’s not just pay that attracts top employees to your company, so it pays to check your benefits package. Having terrific job benefits and unique employee perks shows that you value your staff and can help inspire loyalty/reduce turnover. Great employee benefits can also make your company stand out from the crowd. Your positive attitude toward your workforce, your creativity (and the press that you may receive about your interesting and valuable list of perks) can win you the talented people you really want working for your company.

Ideas for Super Employee Benefits

Here are some superior work benefits that may inspire you as you create or update your company benefits package:

1. Refreshing Time Away-from-it-all

Consider following in the footsteps of Metis, a Boston company that offers your birthday off, plus closes up shop for the last week at year end.

If you can’t close the week before New Years (which is obviously a popular benefit) offer a “holiday week” of the employee’s choosing anytime of the year (with appropriate notice to the company). You can create a similar benefit tailored to your work environment and customer/coverage needs.

2. Productivity over presence

Work-at-home options are a big part of many company benefit lists these days, or they may be an attractive part of the actual job description. You can experiment with the idea without jumping in company-wide, and possibly save money on office space and associated expenses. You’ll still expect high productivity, of course.

3. Enrichment (outside of money)

Employee development benefits your company–as well as the employees who are offered training or other unique team-building experiences.

Offer to host guest speakers on topics in line with your company mission or expert master-classes in your industry to help advance your employees future careers.

College tuition reimbursement could fall into this category, which many companies, including Starbucks, offer. Or consider providing surf breaks during the workday, like Patagonia’s HQ.

4. Health Options

If you can’t afford on-site health care like Capital One or Google, try supplying healthy snacks or catered lunch on Fridays. Consider an in-house masseuse, free yoga classes onsite or paid gym memberships.

Stellar benefits leader Facebook offers on-site healthcare and free housing to interns.

5. Convenience features

Save your employees time and hassle–and they’ll have more energy to laser-focus on work. Offer (free or not) dry cleaning pickup and delivery to work–or provide free housecleaning, like at Zappos online shoe (and more) store. Genentech even offers on-site car washes.

6. Personal(ized) Space

Innovative or “cool” office design can be a perk and benefit for your workers, especially if it offers comfy, quiet areas to chill out and fun zones with foosball, for example. Apple takes the cool workplace to the limit, of course.

7. Teambuilding and Team Fun

The company that Glassdoor contributors voted Best Place to Work this year offers a yearly, two-day “Bain World Cup” soccer match and event, in which all staff may participate.

8. Travel

Companies like Evernote (which is not in the travel business, by the way) offer to pay for (or contribute to) your vacation travel.

9. Bring Pets to Work

For employee comfort, many companies allow pet friends to come to work too. Scripps, a healthcare organization (for people) offers pet health insurance for employees’ furry friends.

10. Generous Company Discount

This one is economical for many companies to offer. Provide a generous percentage off of products/services–or even 10 percent, if your offerings are high end.

11. Generous Maternity/Paternity Leave

Amex offers 20 weeks leave, with additional weeks available for infant related health care. They also offer funding for fertility treatments, and many benefits also extend to adoptive parents.

12. Sabbatical

A combo of vacation and personal/career development (some paid time off and some unpaid or half-paid) are available at companies like Deloitte.

13. Paid Volunteer Days

Many companies offer this popular, socially-conscious benefit.

14. Innovative Scheduling

A “make-your-own work schedule” policy works for Netflix, where staff can set their own hours.

15. Your Latest Company Benefit

What will you come up with? Hint: Ask your staff what they might enjoy or value–and/or schedule a vote on the top benefit ideas.

And while imaginative and useful perks can help take some of the ‘work’ out of work and help your people stay focused on the task at hand, even the coolest, shiniest and most expensive benefits won’t make up for a bad fit.

At least not for long; worst case, they may entice the wrong people to stay longer than they should [and do you really want to attract and keep people who are there mostly for the benefits?

If the fit’s not right, nothing else matters.

Hire for fit with our candidate assessment tool that will help reduce turnover by 40-60%, and give you greater confidence in hiring decisions.

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