11+ Types of Employee Benefits You Should Be Offering Staff

Reviewed by Chris Leitch

Illustration of a contract surrounded by currency, medical and holiday symbols

Having a team of satisfied employees is a worthy goal for every business, no matter the type or size of company you operate.

A satisfied workforce may be more motivated, productive and loyal, all of which are essential to the success of your business.

Obviously, paying employees well is one of the best ways to create a satisfied workforce. However, there are additional benefits you can offer besides a monthly wage, many of which will boost employee morale and increase their happiness.

These include the programmes that employers use to support the financial compensation their employees receive, which, aside from increasing job satisfaction, are also designed to provide security for employees – and even their families.

Some of the many types of employee benefits that businesses can offer include:

1. Insurance plans

Some of the most popular employee benefits you can offer regard insurance coverage, which can also extend to spouses and children.

Options include:

  • Hospital insurance, such as doctors’ and hospital visits, as well as prescription drug coverage, eye care appointments and dental visits
  • Accident insurance, which typically protects employees when accidents occur in the workplace but can often be extended to include leisure time or remote working
  • Critical illness insurance/specific disease coverage insurance, which provides additional coverage for serious medical conditions or emergencies
  • Life insurance, which provides payment to beneficiaries after a plan holder dies
  • Accidental death insurance, which pays benefits to the beneficiaries if the cause of death is an accident
  • Travel insurance, which covers unforeseen losses while travelling and is ideal if employees have to travel out of the country regularly
  • Travel accident insurance, which essentially acts as life insurance and insurance against accidental death and dismemberment in the case of a travel accident
  • Home insurance, which covers losses or damage to an employee’s house and assets in their home
  • Car insurance, which provides financial protection against physical damage or bodily injury resulting from a car accident
  • Pet insurance, which typically covers veterinary treatments for ill or injured pets

Offering any type of insurance coverage increases your business’ competition, as it helps you attract more qualified candidates. It’s also a great way of reducing operational costs, as employees are more likely to accept a position at a lower salary when a range of insurance benefits are provided.

2. Wellness programmes

Employee wellness programmes are designed to support better mental and physical health in the workplace.

Some examples of wellness programmes include:

  • Health risk assessments
  • Biometric screenings
  • On-site fitness centres
  • Health and fitness classes, such as yoga and meditation
  • The availability of lunch and healthy snacks
  • Pet-friendly workplaces

Employee wellness programmes possess countless benefits. For example, they’ve been proven to improve employee health behaviours, reduce health risks and decrease absenteeism. They also help to bring employees closer together and elevate your corporate culture.

3. Employee assistance programmes

Wellness doesn’t simply refer to taking care of the physical body but the mind, too. Some companies provide employee assistance programmes that cover a wide range of issues including stress, anxiety, depression and substance abuse. Others provide counselling services, legal services and financial services.

This is a great way to show you support your employees both within and outside the workplace, and that you are there to help them manage a range of challenges that may affect their work performance.

This boosts their confidence, thus leading to greater happiness, satisfaction and productivity.

4. Special working arrangements

Flexible working hours are a huge motivator because they help employees to address their work-life balance. Flexible hours can include everything from remote office working and telecommuting – where the employee works from home for specific periods – to flexible hours at the office and job sharing.

Certain industries, particularly those in the creative field, could also consider offering flexible scheduling – for example, by increasing working hours Monday to Thursday but closing the office on a Friday.

5. Opportunity benefits

One way to motivate your employees is to provide them with opportunity benefits that inspire them to grow at work. At the most basic level, this includes paying them above minimum wage and enabling them to earn a good salary.

You could also offer periodic pay increases based on their performance, as well as career advancement opportunities, tuition assistance and educational benefits.

6. Disability benefits

Disability benefits help to support employees when they can’t work because of an illness or disability. These can include sick time, workers’ compensation, short-term disability insurance and long-term disability insurance.

Since any disability benefits programme will affect you financially, administratively and operationally, it’s important that the programme introduced meets both your business’s and employees’ needs. You’ll first need to select which types of disability benefits to offer before coordinating with insurance vendors, establishing the duration of your benefits and clearly communicating policies to your staff.

7. Savings

Traditionally, stock options were an easy way to draw in major talent to many up-and-coming companies, particularly in the late 1990s when the internet peaked in popularity. Today, profit sharing and stock options do form part of some companies’ packages but not by new or emerging companies. Stock options are certainly a perk but should never replace a competitive salary.

Aside from stock options, you could offer bonuses, particularly when certain departments reach their goals. Another option is to offer pay incentives, which you could offer following a performance review. This helps to quantifiably praise your highest performers, retain your strongest staff and eliminate underperformers.

8. Paid time off

Offering incentives such as double pay on national holidays, paid holidays, bereavement pay and jury duty pay shows your employees that you are appreciative of them and can make you more competitive in the workforce.

9. Legal/Financial benefits

Legal and financial planning services can include consultations with financial advisors, assistance with budgeting, will-writing services, adoption assistance and identity theft protection. This demonstrates that you care about the wellbeing of both your employees and your company and understand what it takes to recruit and retain top talent.

10. Transport support

Providing a company car is a fantastic benefit for employees, especially those with children. It gives them more flexibility when it comes to reaching the workplace, eliminates the need to rely on public transport and saves them a great deal of money. It also shows that you care about them and value the work that they’re doing in your company. Transport support can also be extended to include moving expenses if employees have to relocate.

11. Recognition and professional development

If you run a small business, or raises or bonuses are simply not within your immediate budget, there are plenty of options that won’t damage your bottom line. One low-cost option includes recognition and professional development.

Recognise top performers and reward them, whether with a thank you note, an achievement award or a public acknowledgement. Spotlighting employee achievement can be incredibly motivating while showing your staff that they are appreciated.

12. Other types of employee benefits

These, of course, are not the only benefits you can offer employees. There are many other things that you can offer to help both you and your employees save money, including:

  • Paid sick leave
  • Retirement benefits
  • Student loan repayments
  • On-site childcare centre
  • College grants and scholarships
  • Company mobile phone
  • Company car

Attracting top talent is never easy, so by offering a robust benefits package, this increases your appeal as an employer, differentiates you from your competitors and creates a solid foundation for your business. It helps you to attract and retain top talent, reducing the likelihood of them quitting.

Above all else, always choose benefits that are right for your company. Your objective should be to demonstrate that you not only care about employees’ overall health but that you are also invested in their future.

When choosing benefits to offer employees, consider the following questions:

  • How much can you afford to invest in your team and culture?
  • What HR benefits will have the biggest payoff?
  • Are you at risk of losing money or reducing productivity based on any workplace benefits and perks?
  • Can you change your culture with the benefits you offer?

What employee benefits have you incorporated in your workplace? Let us know in the comments section below!