Offering innovative employee perks in 2024 is a great way to improve your employee retention, along with your recruitment strategies! It’s no secret that today’s employees value flexibility and creative perks, and among the best employee reward systems, benefits, incentives and perks are access and coverage to services that help improve each employee’s life both in and out of the workplace.

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Article Contents
10 min read

Why Should I Offer Innovative Employee Perks? What Are Some Innovative Employee Perks? A Self-improvement Stipend or Wellness Perks Academic and Professional Development Services Free Coffee, Lunch, or Spending Equivalents Unlimited Sick Days and Time Off Family-friendly Innovative Perks Basic Benefits Packages and Coverage Flexible Workplace Model Final Thoughts FAQs

When considering the top job satisfaction factors, employee perks are among them, and innovative, unique employee benefits and perks are a great way to show your employees that you care about them and want to provide them with access to services they’ll benefit from. Offering innovative perks will also help boost morale, and they can even inspire workers to come up with creative ideas for future incentives, perks and benefits. It’s important for companies of all sizes to offer their employees the best possible benefits packages and additional perks – because the right perks can inspire employees, improve their health and increase morale, which in turn, increases retention!

Why Should I Offer Innovative Employee Perks?

There are plenty of creative ways to attract employees to your company, this is especially if you’re important if you’re scaling, and offering innovative employee perks is one of them! Along with innovative perks being a great way to enhance your talent acquisition strategy, offering such perks can also:

Simply put, employees who feel as though they’re being taken care of, and that they’re working for an employer who is truly invested in their work and their growth in and out of work, will likely feel motivated and perform better at work. They’ll be happier if they feel that they are a part of a great workplace with a solid culture, and if they—and their families—benefit from the many perks offered in exchange for their hard work.

Without innovative perks and employee benefits, employees won’t be motivated by much else rather than their base salary, which may (or may not) be set at market rate or average. Employees have additional needs and expenses outside of the workplace, as do their families, and to help offset some of the costs and stress that comes with affording health, dental, wellness, and educational services—just to name a few—many employers opt to offer innovative and unique perks. If you choose not to offer such perks, employees may have low morale and find themselves searching elsewhere for a job with better perks and compensation, meaning you risk having poor retention, and high turnover costs. To reduce this, and improve retention, you need to give your employees some sort of incentive to stay on board, and innovative perks that help them out in their everyday lives are a great way to achieve this.

What Are Some Innovative Employee Perks? 

A Self-improvement Stipend or Wellness Perks

Self-improvement, self-care, me-time…these are all things that are highly valued by most of today's modern workforce. Because there is now a bigger emphasis on mental health than there was a decade ago, as well as an emphasis on self-care and employers being more inclusive overall, wellness perks or another stipend for self-care and improvement are certainly an innovative perks to consider offering.

Whether you offer a discounted—or free—gym or yoga membership, and/or access to mental health services, apps and counselors, living a healthy and balanced lifestyle can help your team focus better at work by reducing stress levels, making it easier for them to relax in between meetings or projects, which leads to fewer mistakes on tasks that require high levels of concentration. Self-care and self-improvement come in many forms, so encouraging your employees to utilize a service or membership that will benefit them is a great way to foster a healthy workplace culture, and also offer a perk that may be an incentive, or, a part of your employee’s total compensation package, along with benefits.

Along with mental and physical wellness perks, it’s important to be mindful that self-improvement may come in many forms depending on each employee’s unique interests and abilities. For example, some employees enjoy reading new materials or taking up a new hobby that relaxes them, and others may enjoy volunteering with the less fortunate or animals. If your employees are not interested in physical exercise, or unable to participate, and do not require mental health apps or services, it’s certainly advised that you have an open discussion about what you can do to offer a self-improvement-style perk that suits them, even if it strikes you as being a non-traditional employee benefit or perk. Whether that may be a reimbursement for a few books they’ve bought, or, an additional few paid days off to volunteer in their community, the ball is in your court, and it’s important that you curate an innovative perk plan that suits your team and shows them that you’re invested in their career path and personal growth.

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Academic and Professional Development Services

You may be thinking, “my employees aren’t going back to school”, but don’t be so sure! Many employees pursue professional degrees, like MBA’s, several years into their career, which makes them a knowledgeable asset to their company. And, even if you don’t think your employees are interested in pursuing an educational endeavor, it’s very likely that their children will have their sights set on college, graduate school, or another professional program! So, why not offer them an innovative perk that can benefit their entire family?

To not only include incentives for your staff to be supported in any educational endeavours, but, for their children to access resources either free of charge, or for a low cost, will surely be appreciated by most—if not all—of your team!

As noted, some staff may take part in company seminars or leadership events within your industry, but others may in fact welcome the opportunity to return to the classroom for training courses or additional qualifications that will enhance their skills in their field, role, or future role. Certain companies offer partial or full tuition coverage for employees to return to school, but a less costly option to consider first is providing access to academic consulting to your employees and their dependents. For example, if three of your valued employees are opting to pursue an MBA, then they will be considered a mature, non-traditional applicant to admissions and will face obstacles that undergraduate applicants won’t. It’s vital that you support these endeavors, because, tuition aside, having motivated and intelligent employees pursuing a higher education means that they’ll return to you with valuable skills and knowledge that could benefit your company tremendously in the long-run. Offering services like BeMo Academic Consulting as an innovative employee perk means that your employee can seek the support they need to be admitted to, and succeed in, whatever program they’ve chosen. BeMo offers one-on-one preparatory services that can help guide current and future students through the admissions process—from organizing application materials, to preparing for interviews and studying for intensive tests and exams. This can be a lot to manage for any student, but especially those who are non-traditional and working part-or-full time during their application process, and having a knowledgeable consultant can certainly help them feel prepared and confident.

Even if your employees are unlikely to return to a campus, they may have children, and those who are parents, regardless of the child’s current age, will likely want the very best future for them. Parents may stress about college due to financial planning and the fact that their children may move away for the first time, but, they’ll also be stressed about the application process and, depending on how competitive their child’s chosen program is, the admittance rates. Young adults looking to attend various graduate programs and professional schools, including nursing, dentistry, medicine, law, veterinary, and business, will benefit tremendously from additional preparatory consulting services. BeMo also offers admissions consulting for undergraduate students looking to enter college and/or university as well, which is especially important for first time applicants, first-generation applicants, busy families, and students who are struggling with their GPA or scores on their LSAT or MCAT. Essentially, most employees (and/or their dependants) will benefit from having access to this unique and innovative perk.

Free Coffee, Lunch, or Spending Equivalents

This is a classic employee perk, and it may not sound like an innovative employee retention strategy or perk, but it’s still a very appealing and cost-effective one to offer! company cafeteria or lunch room is a great place to provide employees with perks like free beverages, unlimited coffee, or even breakfast and lunch items daily. If, however, your employees work remotely, offering a spending equivalent or covering the cost for them to order a special lunch each month is a great way to say ‘thank you’ and incentivize hard work!

If offering a family-friendly employee benefit or perk is something your company values, you may consider offering employees gift cards to family-friendly restaurants, hosting office parties where spouses or dependants can come by for a simple social hour with snacks, or even offer a very modern and innovative perk: partial coverage for a family meal subscription service that can be delivered to your employee’s homes and promotes healthy eating. In addition, this particular perk helps reduce time spent at the grocery store and in the kitchen, leaving more time for work-related productivity and relaxation after work!

Unlimited Sick Days and Time Off

The company that offers unlimited sick days and time off is taking a page from the playbook of tech companies, which have long had generous policies around this. The rationale behind the premise of unlimited sick time is that giving employees more flexibility in how they can use their time off will encourage them to take care of themselves, and as a result, will help retain their best employees.

Unlimited sick days and time off doesn’t mean that your employees can choose to take a ridiculous amount of time off. The required minimum amount of paid vacation and sick days must be given to employees, as this is required by law. However, beyond what is required, some employers opt to offer additional paid time, and, unlimited unpaid time. Employees will still need to have requests approved and should not abuse this innovative perk, but if a hard-working employee were to ask for a month off to travel during a quiet quarter, with two of their four weeks paid, and two unpaid, you may see it in your best interest to accept their request, as they’ll return home rejuvenated having enjoyed some quality time out of the office.

Unlimited sick days can also be helpful for employees with young children, as often medical issues and school closures arise unexpectedly, and it can be difficult for even the most dedicated employees to complete their daily tasks if they’re taking care of a child at the same time. This perk is innovative because it shows your team that you care about them and are willing to be flexible; it fosters a culture of trust and autonomy as well, which is often sought after by employees, and could be considered one of the best employee recruitment strategies, as well as an innovative perk.

Family-friendly Innovative Perks

Offering your employees perks like flexible or ‘create your own’ work hours, autonomy, and childcare options such as an on-site daycare, daycare reimbursement, or even summer camp reimbursement is a great way to attract and retain employees, as it will be appealing to all employees with young children. In addition to what we’ve already covered, such as academic consulting and food perks, offering flexibility to parents will allow them to achieve an ideal work/life balance and care for their family as needed.

However, for employees who don’t yet have children, or who are struggling to have a family, a very innovative perk to consider offering would be access to family planning services, fertility treatments, and even additional time off for such appointments, as they often are scheduled during work hours. Your employees will be grateful for your understanding and flexibility, and this can reduce a lot of stress and keep them happy in their roles for longer periods of time!

Basic Benefits Packages and Coverage

It might not be innovative, but at the very least, you should look to offer your employees basic benefits, and see what other services you can cover with each package to make them appealing and unique! For example, health, dental and vision insurance are considered a staple, but offering additional coverage for mental health services, addictions counseling, ABT, sports medicine, life and travel insurance will appeal to every employee, as these are considered to be some of the best employee benefits, and the type of perk that is often expected.

Flexible Workplace Model

It goes without saying that flex models, 4-day work weeks, hybrid workplace models and remote work have become increasingly common, and for good reason! Studies show that the majority of today’s workforce prefers flexible and hybrid work, and employees tend to be more productive with these models in place.

Allowing your employees flexibility, autonomy, and a great work/life balance that is encouraged by their leaders is an innovative perk that fosters a culture of trust, dedication and self-management, which can go a long way so long as employees are showing up when they are expected to, and completing their tasks well, if not exceptionally!

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Final Thoughts

The right perks can inspire employees, improve their health and increase morale. It's no secret that employees want perks, and we can’t blame them—life can be hectic, taking care of oneself and/or a family can be stressful, and services can be costly. After all, companies like Google offer free massages and laundry services or Netflix provides unlimited vacation days, so it’s certainly advisable that small and medium businesses follow in their footsteps and provide appealing, innovative employee perks to their teams. Perks and benefits go beyond making life easier for your staff—they can inspire people to work harder, improve their health and increase morale.


1. Why offer innovative employee perks?

To keep up with the demands and desires of today’s modern workforce, it’s important to think outside-of-the-box and offer innovative, unique and creative incentives and perks that will benefit your employees and appeal to potential candidates in the future.

2. What is the difference between basic and innovative perks?

Offering foundational health and dental benefits to your employees can help make working at your company more feasible, and these things can be offered as a part of an employee’s total compensation…but they’re a very ‘basic’ perk. Instead, innovative perks are a bit more unique, such as a fitness membership, access to academic consulting services, a meal subscription service, or unlimited days off, just to name a few! Innovative perks go above and beyond what is typically offered.

3. Do I have to offer all of these perks simultaneously?

You could, but you don’t have to. Instead, look at your total compensation model (salary and benefits) and decide on a few different perks that you can afford and offer them in addition. You do not have to offer everything if it isn’t feasible for your budget; you may even wish to give a choice to employees so they can select one or two perks from a list.

4. Do these perks just apply to my new hires?

No! Your perks should be offered to everybody at your company. Innovative employee perks can help improve retention at your company, and it would be very unfair to offer great perks to new employees and exclude your current ones! This would potentially lead to an increase in turnover, which would be costly for you.

5. How can I ensure I am offering the best perks to my staff?

Do some research if you aren’t sure where to begin, or, whether or not you’re offering the best perks to your employees currently. Make a list of what you think you can and should offer, and run it by your employees. Open conversations, emails, polls and surveys are a great way to gauge what your employees truly consider a perk and would enjoy having access to.

6. I have a low budget, what should I consider offering?

Even if you’re strapped for cash, or a start-up/small business, offering basic benefits, performance incentives, and inexpensive perks like staff lunches, free coffee, or paying for a gym membership can go a long way.

7. Why should I consider offering academic/educational services to my employees as an innovative perk?

Offering academic consultation is a great additional option to offer that will make your stand out as an employer who truly cares about the futures of your employee’s children, and/or your employees, should they wish to return to school and upgrade their qualifications!

The admissions process for a variety of academic programs—undergraduate, medical, law, and business, just to name a few—can be gruelling and intimidating, as the process itself is extensive, and requires ample preparation. Between submitting required materials, writing essays, attending interviews and exams and figuring out which program is best, students are faced with a lot of stress (and, their parents may be, too); having access to a knowledgeable academic consultant for one-on-one services can be extremely beneficial!

8. If I want to offer academic consulting to my employees, where should I start?

Offering BeMo’s Academic Consulting Services to both your staff and their families as an innovative perk is a great idea. If you’d like more information, you can contact us here to learn how to get started!

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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