5 Creative Employee Benefits to Build Better Retention Strategies

Comprehensive, competitive, and creative employee benefits packages comprise an essential portion of your employee retention strategies. They enhance job satisfaction, support healthy work-life balance, promote employee well-being, encourage professional growth, and cultivate a positive company culture that not only cuts down on turnover costs but builds loyalty and differentiates you from your competitors.

The importance of employee benefits for employee retention cannot be understated. However, these days, attracting and retaining employees in a competitive world doesn’t just take any old benefits package—organizations of all shapes and sizes need to be creative in designing unique benefits packages as part of effective employee retention strategies that are reflective of the needs and wishes of their people. Remember, what works for one organization may not be suitable for yours. Whatever benefits you decide on must align with, and support, your corporate culture and values.

Let’s take a look at five of the hottest innovative ideas for employee benefits—creative ways to retain employees that encourage job seekers to choose you over your competitors and, once they’re onboard, stick around for years to come.

1. Pet Insurance

Especially across the younger generations, your workforce’s fur babies are often considered valued members of their families. Pets provide unconditional love and companionship, and when a pet falls ill or becomes injured, the financial strain owners face can be a significant source of stress that may impact their lives at home and at work.

When employers offer pet insurance along with insurance for their employees and their human dependents, they help their employees overcome the financial and psychological strain of taking care of a sick or injured pet and signal to pet-owning employees that they care about their families and personal lives, fostering increased loyalty and a stronger emotional connection to your organization.

Pet insurance is a unique extended benefit that can distinguish you in the job market, making your workplace more attractive to prospective and current employees who are passionate about their pets.

2. Special Days Off

You might notice a common theme among many of the most popular creative ways to retain employees. For the most part, today’s innovative ideas for employee benefits prioritize treating employees as unique people with unique needs, with flexible offerings that reflect their life circumstances and values.

Case in point, one of the particularly useful tools in your arsenal of employee retention strategies is special days off. Each of your employees have their own birthdays, work anniversaries, marriage anniversaries, birth of children, and other important annual milestones unique to their lives both on and off the clock.

Offering flexible special days off outside of their normal PTO allotment sends a message to employees that their employers care about their unique personal and career milestones rather than fitting them into cookie-cutter molds. As a result, you’ll notice employees with higher morale who feel recognized and appreciated on a personal level.

3. Paid Sabbaticals

Many employees have struggled with increasingly demanding jobs that turn their relaxing vacations into stress-filled “working vacations.” Turning a time that is meant to be for relaxing and recharging into just remote work with a fresh coat of paint is a great way to make employees feel undervalued, disrespected, and overworked.

In a world of working vacations, forward-thinking businesses who care about their employees can enshrine those values into their benefits packages by offering paid sabbaticals—extended periods of rest and rejuvenation away from work where employees can focus on pursuing personal interests, engaging in volunteer opportunities, or taking educational opportunities without worrying about financial stability.

Paid sabbaticals not only encourage rest and rejuvenation but also encourage personal and professional growth—bringing your employees back re-energized and with fresh perspectives for tackling your organization’s biggest challenges. With paid sabbaticals as one of your employee retention strategies, you demonstrate a long-term investment in your employees’ well-being and development, fostering loyalty among current and prospective hires.

4. Home Office Stipends

Employees love remote and hybrid work for many reasons, not the least of all being the time and money they save from eliminating or vastly reducing their commutes. However, remote work comes with its own costs. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many jobs to be done from home, many employees found themselves scrambling to furnish their new ad-hoc home offices with work-related equipment such as microphones, headsets, webcams, and dual-monitor setups, ergonomic office furniture, and other necessary furnishings to ensure the same level of productivity—or more—in the new remote paradigm.

Office equipment doesn’t come cheap. If your business sees remote and hybrid offerings as powerful employee retention strategies—and you should—then consider adding stipends for home offices to your benefits package.

A stipend offsets the cost burden of creating a comfortable and productive home working environment while showing your employees that you understand the new demands of the remote work paradigm. To your employees, it shows an investment in their comfort, well-being, and job satisfaction.

Some companies who offer home office stipends as one of their innovative ideas for employee benefits even include subsidizing their remote employees’ internet connections!

5. Mental Health Days

Employees, especially Millennial and Gen Z employees, are pushing back against the stigma surrounding mental health. Today’s employees are attracted to employers who recognize that mental health is just as important as physical health and requires the occasional tending-to all the same.

When employers provide a bank of dedicated mental health days separate from traditional sick leave, they send a powerful message to their employees by recognizing the reality of mental health and well-being. In turn, this practice cuts down on employees feeling guilty about using traditional sick days or PTO for mental health days or feeling ashamed about the need to look after their mental well-being.

In turn, fostering a culture of care and understanding reduces the risk of burnout and attrition in your workplace, making this practice an especially powerful answer to the age-old question of how to retain employees.

Build Your Most Effective Employee Retention Strategies with Gameplan HR™

Knowing how to retain talent is essential to running a healthy workplace. High employee turnover is costly—and not just in terms of the financial cost and the time and labour costs of finding and onboarding new employees. High turnover can also cause brain drain in your organization and leave you less equipped to tackle your industry’s challenges and remain competitive.

Understanding how to retain employees with creative and innovative benefits packages is the key to being successful in a competitive industry or sector as well as a tight labour market.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for building the perfect benefits package to inspire loyalty and prevent burnout. There are plenty of employee retention strategies to choose from that involve creative and unique benefits packages beyond what we’ve covered in this article.

To build the perfect HR strategy to fit your unique needs, get in touch with a senior HR expert today. We’ll help you empower your people to love their jobs and do great work.

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