We all know that the job market remains competitive, and many industries continue to suffer a talent shortage. This has led some employers to look at innovative ways to attract and retain the best people. Surprisingly, this doesn’t always have to do with money.

Beyond a Paycheck

Before we get started looking at a new breed of employee benefits, it’s important to know that things like healthcare and vision insurance and a competitive salary continue to be crucial in the workplace.

Other benefits that are typically expected these days are a retirement plan and stock options. These and other benefits will let your employees know that you care about them beyond what they can do for you while on the time clock.

And, ultimately, employees that believe that you are invested in them will be invested in you and your business.

Time Away

As much as you know your employees love to punch in the time clock, it is their time away from the office that might actually benefit you the most. Giving your employees plenty of time off helps them reset and recharge.

It helps them focus on their families, which is the reason they work in the first place. One way to provide this valuable downtime is to offer paid vacations and then insist your employees use it.

Consult with your human resources department and managers. Look for creative scheduling solutions that allow everyone to get their time off without being short-staffed.

How much time should they take? According to Travel + Leisure, the answer is eight days.

Vacation time is not the only way you can allow your employees to step away from their professional responsibilities. Consider offering unlimited personal days.

While this might sound counterproductive, unlimited PTO makes retention easier, increases productivity, and shows your employees that you trust them.

While there are challenges, if you implement a PTO policy carefully and clearly outline expectations, then it can be a huge benefit to your business.

Another option for knowledge-based workers is to allow either unlimited or flexible remote work.

Computer programmers, personal assistants, writers, and graphic designers often don’t have to be in your brick-and-mortar location to be effective at their jobs.

The same goes for customer service, insurance, and other types of phone-based representatives.

Health and Wellness

Your employees may also appreciate perks that show that you are invested in their overall health and emotional wellness.

Ideas here might include offering benefits that pay for fitness classes, such as MMA, karate, and Judo, or a company-paid gym membership.

In the office, consider stocking the refrigerator and break room with healthy snack options. Bottled water, tea, coffee, and sports drinks will all be appreciated as will individual packs of peanuts, beef jerky, or granola.

There are plenty of portable foods that will keep your team powered through the day without them having to resort to hitting the drive-through for a midday snack.

Prioritizing your employees' health also means making sure that their mental health does not go neglected. Consider offering counseling, substance abuse, and other types of therapy as part of your comprehensive benefits package.

A Helping Hand

Sometimes, your employees may need a bit of a helping hand in both their professional and personal lives. A common benefit is tuition reimbursement.

This is a significant draw, particularly for young workers without a degree. But, don’t be shy about extending your educational offerings to include certifications and training workshops.

You do not have to limit this to professional training, and offering to pay for personal development programs will benefit your employees as well.

Two other potential opportunities to consider here are offering childcare and legal counseling. On-site childcare, while rare, is a benefit that many major corporations, including Dollar General, have begun offering.

This allows parents and children to be on the same schedule and have the extra time together on the commute to and from work/daycare each day.

If you choose to offer legal insurance as an employee benefit, know that this is one of the “most powerful ways to retain top talent,” according to Legal Resources.

Your employees may enjoy no-cost assistance with estate planning, divorce and family law, identity theft, and credit protection.

How To Choose The Right Perks

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all guide that can tell you how to pick the right perks for your company. A great place to start is by checking with your employees personally to ask what they feel your company is lacking.

It may be as simple as providing more benefits for time away from work, like tickets to a concert or a Dodgers game. You can also take a look at your competition to see what benefits they have that might lure your employees away.

Your employees are your greatest asset. Treat them well, and they will pay you back in productivity and better work quality. This doesn’t mean you have to pay them an over-the-top salary.

Showing your people that you are invested in them is meaningful and valuable and may just be exactly what your organization needs to attract and keep the best in your industry.

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