Offering unique employee benefits to your team is not only a great way to improve employee happiness, but also a great retention strategy. When your employees know they are taken care of, your business will prosper. Whether you’re looking to offer the , improve your , or just add some unique options, like educational consulting to your list of perks, read on to learn more!
No matter the size of your company, small business or a large corporation, a great way to provide adequate compensation to your employees, boost morale and productivity, and increase retention is by offering employee benefits. And, you can go a step beyond regular benefits packages and perks by offering any number of unique employee benefits that are modern, and considered to be useful to many.
Employees may not only feel taken care of and satisfied by having access to benefits for their personal health, dental, and vision care, but also for health and wellness, leisure, academic endeavors, additional training and development, and other unique options to support continuous growth—both of the employee, and their family. What you choose to offer can vary, and should align with your company culture and values. You have options to offer unique employee benefits through company policies and programs or through exterior sources like . Regardless of what you decide to offer, providing options and access to unique employee benefits to your team is a great way stand out as an employer.
Why offer unique employee benefits?
- Attract unique employee talent
- Stand out in the sea of potential employers
- Increase your employee retention
Offering employee benefits as a part of your overall compensation—as a portion of your employees’ total earnings—is often seen as a favorable, anticipated component of many jobs. In fact, offering great benefits is a talent acquisition and retention strategy!
Providing your employees with a benefits package, even if basic, is a great way to keep your employees happy and healthy, and give them the opportunity to access services outside of work that they may wish to utilize. Most common benefit plans commence when an employee has based their probationary period, however, every company is unique. Some employers may opt to begin offering benefits from the date of hire, whereas others may wait up to a year.
Benefits can be either monetary and non-monetary. Non-monetary benefits include things like health insurance, retirement plans, vacation time or paid holidays off of work. Monetary benefits include things like bonuses and other incentives given out as part of your compensation package. Depending on your total compensation model, you may give the opportunity for your employees to earn both types of benefits. However, non-monetary benefits are the type in focus here, as they’re constantly evolving, and many unique options are available for you to offer to your employees each year!
There are several basic, common types of benefits that many employers offer. At the bare minimum, many employers offer their employees the opportunity to be reimbursed (either fully or partially, depending on their chosen plan) for things like medication, dentist visits, hospital trips, and sometimes other services such as physiotherapy, massage, or vision care.
In many workplaces, offering benefits has become quite imperative. Your most productive employees will likely be your happiest ones, and people are happiest when they feel comfortable and well looked after. Even with an attractive salary or good team culture, if an employee has little-to-no access to healthcare, dental care, or additional benefits, they may feel inclined to look for another job that can better take care of their health, and the health of their family members, too.
Offering benefits is important because:
Happy employees are the best employees: Employees who are happy with their overall compensation, including the benefits they and their family have access to, are generally going to be productive, motivated and dedicated in their roles. This also means that they may feel inclined to stay at their job longer. In general, offering good benefits is one of the among employees in modern workplaces.
Now that you understand how and why offering benefits to your employees can actually benefit an entire company (or, maybe you already knew that!), you may be wondering what better, more unique benefit options are out there for you to offer to your team.
The most basic employee benefits typically include medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, and sometimes additional wellness benefits. The most fundamental packages include partial or full coverage –up until a certain amount, predetermined for each plan by the insurance company—for things like prescription medication or unexpected emergencies, illnesses and injuries that require treatment, hospitalization, ambulance transportation, diagnostic imaging, or anything else that can be costly, depending on geographic location. Additionally, coverage for dental cleanings and procedures, as well as prescription glasses, and for services like psychotherapy or chiropractic (just to name a few) is often included in a basic package.
However, some benefits packages don’t expand into covering much else other than the basics, and, as mentioned, some only include partial coverage, and for a specific amount. That means that if your employee or their child were to require more than is available to them, or additional services to better their condition, the cost would come out of pocket.
Some examples of more unique, useful benefits you can offer in addition to your fundamental benefits package include:
Offering better, more unique benefits to your employees in addition to fundamental health and dental benefits means that your employees will feel that many of their needs are being met, and they will very likely be happy. A happy employee who feels supported and satisfied with their job and the benefits they have access to will very likely be a productive, engaged employee who remains in their role for a long time.
A unique employee benefits package can help you attract new talent to your team. The modern workforce is ever-evolving and depending on your industry, there may be a lot of competition…and turnover. Attracting employees by promising great benefits that are unique is a great way to obtain new talent that can help your business prosper, and keep them. Poor retention can be costly in many ways, and frustrating, and one of the simplest ways to improve that is by improving what you offer to your staff and making your workplace an enticing one that people will want to be a part of long-term.
Finally, offering unique employee benefits casts a favorable light on your company culture and values. People respond positively to action! That means that by offering unique perks and benefits to your employees, you’re showing that you’re invested in them as an employee, and their whole family. You’re showing your team that you care about them outside of the workplace, too. Offering your staff the opportunity to utilize fundamental benefits, as well as unique benefits for things like wellness, mental health, physical activity, family planning and education will make them feel motivated. And, it can reduce a significant amount of stress and psychological impact that affording/accessing these services may have had on them before they had access to your benefits. When your employees are physically and mentally well and know that they/their family is taken care of, you may even notice a reduction in medical or personal leaves, unpaid days off, as well as absences.
So, you’ve got a lot of unique employee benefit options to consider…where should you start?
As always, it’s recommended that you assess your current employee’s and their needs. You may want to conduct a survey to try and gauge what your staff feel they’re lacking, or, what they would benefit from having access to, if you’re uncertain. Along with this, you should revisit your company culture, values, and vision to ensure that what you’re offering aligns with your organization’s identity. For example, if you’re a very family-oriented business focused on growth and wellness, you may wish to tailor your unique offerings to education services, additional wellness services and offer childcare perks. You should also reassess your budget and may opt to offer employees the chance to pick-and-choose their benefit options, or, cut any benefits you don’t feel are necessary at this time and replace them with more useful perks.
You should also ask yourself the following questions: Are many of your employees young, and either planning to have a family or a parent? Are they single and looking to continue their own educational journey to climb a ladder toward corporate success? Or, are they middle-aged with children who are about to head to college?
Offering benefits for the whole family certainly spans beyond basic health and dental, and should focus on the employee as a whole…no matter who they are or what their family looks like, they are valuable and important! Whether your employee is hoping to further their own education, or is focused on their child’s future, providing access to academic consulting services, such as , is a great way to offer a unique benefit for the whole family. Through BeMo's employee benefits program, your employees and their families can gain unlimited expert admissions coaching so they can succeed in getting into top higher education programs, advance their careers or help their children get accepted to competitive programs such as medical school and law school.
Preparatory services, especially 1-on-1 options like BeMo, have become increasingly beneficial as society has learned that access to education, as well as understanding the steps required to even apply for various programs, isn’t available for everybody. There are a lot of barriers facing first time students, students pursuing graduate school, and even mature students returning to academia, perhaps to purse an , to enhance their designation and skills for their role at work.
Students looking to attend various graduate programs and professional schools, including ,, and , will benefit tremendously from being able to access admissions consulting services. BeMo also offers services geared toward students looking to enter college and/or university as well.
In addition to general admissions preparation, BeMo can teach students , or help them get organize their responses for potential . BeMo can also help students understand what is required and how to stand out with detailed multi-step application processes, as well as help them with and with .
Regardless of what post-secondary path your employee and their child(ren) have in mind, development and consulting benefits being made available to families can really make it worthwhile for employees to stay in their roles long-term. If employees know that their children have a bright future free of academic barriers, and/or, if they themselves will have access to great services, it is likely that they’ll be satisfied, feel a reduction in stress, and be motivated in their role.
1. What are basic employee benefits I can offer?
The most fundamental, basic employee benefits are often comprised of health, dental and vision insurance. This usually includes prescription medication and medical services, dental cleanings and preventative services, vision tests and some coverage for prescription eyewear, and at times can include psychological services, holistic health and sports medicine.
Usually, employees with basic plans can either present a card or submit claims to be reimbursed, and, the amount of coverage available depends on what plan your business decides to purchase for employees. Oftentimes, a percentage (such as 70%) or full coverage up until a certain amount, like $500 annually, is pre-determined and employees will have to pay out of pocket for the remainder of services that exceeds any limits.
2. Why is it important to offer unique employee benefits?
Offering foundational health and dental benefits is certainly advised, but going above-and-beyond can be even better! Offering unique employee benefits possible to your staff will help improve retention and boost team morale. A happier, satisfied team means that productivity will increase, too. Offering access to unique services demonstrates that your company is eager to go support your employee’s and their families in several ways beyond the standard health and dental coverage.
3. Do I have to offer unique employee benefits?
What your compensation model comprises of is entirely your call. However, it’s advised that you offer at least the foundational benefits with a few unique perks, such as access to academic consulting or wellness benefits, to demonstrate that you care for your employees and their families, to attract and retain talent, and to keep your team happy. And, as mentioned, actions are meaningful and speak louder than words! If you’ve established that your company culture is one that promotes wellness and claims to care about employees, yet fails to provide them with the opportunity to access any services, your culture may not be taken seriously, or perceived as legitimate.
4. Do employees pay for their benefits?
This can vary by company! There are organizations out there that offer complete benefit coverage. And, there are many businesses that arrange to have a small percentage deducted from each individual employee’s paycheque as a way cover the cost of their benefits.
5. I want to offer unique benefits to my staff…where should I start?
Start by taking a step back and evaluating your company culture, goals, mission and values; you should be offering unique benefits that align with your culture and will benefit your people! You may also want to do some research to see what competitors, or other businesses in general, are offering their teams. A great way to understand what your employees and their dependants require (coverage-wise) is to conduct a survey in your company! Even if surveys are conducted anonymously, you can ask questions and leave room for feedback to understand what services and additional perks your employees would benefit from.
6. What can I do if my budget is low, but I still want to offer some unique employee benefits?
If you don’t have the budget to offer your employees coverage for every unique service you’d like to, you may opt to search for a ‘build your own’ package, whereby employees can pick and choose what benefits they’d like. They may not have access to everything they’d benefit from, but, the fact that you’ll be providing them with an option for some coverage and a choice shows that you’re a dedicated employer who is trying their best! You also may opt to offer a cheaper benefits package—which usually provides less coverage—but still gives your employees a bit of a financial break, and allows you to demonstrate that you’re invested in your team without exceeding your own company budget.
7. Why should I consider offering academic/educational services to my employees?
Offering access to academic consulting services to your employees is a great way to demonstrate that you care about the employee, and their whole family! Academic consultation is a unique benefit option to offer that will make your stand out as an employer who truly cares about the futures of your employee’s children, and about your employee if they happen to be on an academic journey themselves! Education isn’t always accessible for all, and every parent wants their child(ren) to have the best education and future. With educational services as a part of their unique employee benefits, your staff and their families will have access to academic consultation services and support to help them prepare for admissions processes, like interviews, applications and exams… which will be a huge relief to stressed out parents, or your employee who is returning to school as a mature student!