Private chefs. Pet insurance. Fully paid sabbatical years. When it comes to employee benefits and perks, companies are pulling out all the stops—and with good reason. According to a recent Metlife report, 73% of employees believe that employers have a responsibility to address the health and wellbeing of their employees.
It’s no surprise, then, that nearly one-fifth of HR professionals alter their benefits programs to retain employees. Experts can talk all they want about one-off benefits and trendy employee perks. But what will actually make a positive impact on an employer’s workforce?
A strategy that fosters total wellness. A holistic approach to employee benefits includes addresses all areas of wellbeing, including financial wellness (including financial literacy), physical wellness (the traditional wellness program with the benefit plan), emotional wellness (employee assistance and mental health programs) and social wellness (team building, corporate volunteerism).
There are so many possible benefits to include in holistic wellness programs. To help get you started, we’ve come up with 101 ideas for employee benefits and perks that appeal to a diverse, multigenerational workforce.
Financial Wellness Benefits
1. 401K Matching
Your employees make contributions to their 401ks. You match them (up to a certain percentage), and their contributions are doubled. It’s just that simple.
2. Student Loan Repayment Plans
The average student loan debt in 2019 was $31,172 (not to mention the cost of the stress that comes with debt). You could make a real difference in their lives by setting up a student loan repayment program.
3. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
FSAs allow employees to put part of their salaries towards medical costs for their families, providing significant tax advantages.
4. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
If your employees’ health insurance plans have high deductibles, HSAs let them save for qualified medical expenses in a tax-advantaged account.
5. HSA employer match contribution:
Similar to a traditional HSA, but you match your employees’ contributions (up to a certain amount).
6. Discounts on Travel + Ridesharing
More than three-quarters of employees drive to work alone. Commuting can come with significant stress—take some of the financial pressure off your employees’ commutes and help build comradery by offering shared transit.
7. Discounted Family Cell Phone Plans
Cell phones are now as necessary as heat and electricity. Make it easier for your employees and their families to stay in touch and up-to-date.
8. Tuition Reimbursement
Invest in your employees by giving them a chance to get a formal education (like an MBA). Oftentimes, this benefit includes a contract requiring the employee to stay with their company for a certain number of years after graduating.
9. Professional Development Fund
Set aside a quota for continued education through approved development opportunities.
10. Pet Insurance
People love their pets—but pets can get expensive. Pet insurance means Fluffy can stay healthy and happy (and Fluffy’s owner can, too).
11. Childcare Reimbursement
It’s a tough choice for many parents: Do I stay home with the kids, or do I work and leave them at a daycare? Childcare reimbursement can help give your employees the peace of mind that their children are cared for while they’re at the office.
12. Child Care and Education Stipend
Parents typically spend a lot of their salary on their children’s care and education. A stipend means a little less financial weight on your employee’s back.
13. Restaurant Vouchers
This is a great reward for small successes in the office (especially if it’s a new, trendy eatery everyone’s been dying to try).
14. Employee Prize Catalogue:
An employee prize catalogue offers unique bonuses, which can be anything from PTO, experiences, or prizes, based on their performance.
15. Employee Referral Program
Streamline recruiting by incentivizing your employees to refer top talent to your organization.
16. Financial Literacy Program
Help employees and their families meet their financial goals, whether it’s saving up for a new car or paying their child’s college tuition, with a financial literacy program like Goalsetter.
17. Employee Rewards Program
In addition to more traditional wellness benefits, employee rewards programs like Staff Treats help employees save on things like technology, groceries, and clothing.
18. Technology Reimbursement
Top-of-the-line laptop computer. Multiple monitors. High-speed internet connection. Purchasing tech for on-the-road and at-home work use can be a significant personal expense. Tech reimbursement can be a great add-on.
19. Investment Programs
Help employees build equity with smart investment programs. Computershare, for instance, is a fractional ownership program that lets employees buy “pieces” of otherwise high-value shares that they wouldn’t have access to.
20. Gas Reimbursement
In the U.S., the average commute is 26.1 minutes. Factor that in twice a day, and that’s a lot of gas (and a lot of money out of pocket) used to get to work. Gas reimbursement programs can mitigate the financial and psychological stress of commuting.
21. Complimentary Company Parking Space
The worst part of driving (especially in a city)? It’s the parking. It’s usually expensive, inconvenient, and time-consuming. Complimentary parking means all those troubles go away.
22. Complimentary Car Wash/Car Detailing
Imagine how happy your employees will be when they walk out of work and see their (formerly mud-covered) cars all shiny and clean.
23. Diapers + Wipes Subscription
A new baby can use up to 2,700 diapers in a year, coming in at about $550. And that’s just diapers. Such a subscription can help wipe away those financial worries.
24. Home Buying Assistance
On the list of significant adult milestones, few are bigger than buying your first home. Being the company that supports their employees in doing this? That’s sure to earn you points.
25. Summer Camp for employees’ children
Kids need campfires and ghost stories. And if it’s on the company’s dollar, it’s just that much easier.
26. Retirement Planning
For some, retirement is a long way off. For others, it’s right around the corner. Whatever the situation, you don’t want to go into retirement with uncertainty. Planning can help you go in with a smart, sustainable strategy.
27. Egg Freezing
More women are choosing to focus on their career when they’re young but don’t want to sacrifice motherhood. Egg freezing empowers female employees to have both career and family ambitions.
28. New Baby Fund
Employee has a new baby? Provide them with a set amount of funds to welcome the new life into the world.
29. Free Wearable Swag
If both Steve Jobs and Barack Obama didn’t waste brain power deciding what to wear neither should your employees. You can remove this distraction for them by stocking their closets with cool, company-branded gear.
Don’t have time to read through this entire list? Download the 101 Unique Employee Benefits Ideas!
Physical Wellness Benefits
30. Fitness Classes
Active employees are engaged employees. By providing employees with affordable, flexible fitness options, they’ll be happier and healthier. Gympass offers a network of over 50,000 fitness facilities in 14 countries around the world.
31. Wellness Reimbursement
Reimburse your employees for achieving certain wellness goals, like taking 10,000 steps a day or checking in at the gym 3 times a week.
32. On-Site Gym
Physically active employees have 31% higher rates of productivity. Having exercise facilities on-site means employees are more likely to work out (plus, they don’t have to commute to a gym or pay for membership). Everyone wins.
33. On-Site Health and Wellness Facilities:
Need to speak with a therapist about some problems going on at home? Or a nurse to check if that cut really is infected? On-site health and wellness facilities help employees save time and money, setting them up for success in the workplace.
34. Free Flu Shots
Not only do free flu shots keep everyone healthy, they also help protect your employees and their families from getting sick, as well.
35. Treadmill Desks
Some people just can’t sit still. Treadmill desks can do wonders for stress and productivity. Rather than sitting in a chair for hours on end, your employees can hop on a treadmill and get moving.
36. Fitness Reimbursement Plan
Hit fitness goals, get rewarded. Thanks to technology like FitBit, companies are giving employees incentives for staying healthy, from putting in time at the gym or the park to meeting daily step count goals.
37. Screen Protectors
Your employees’ vision is a valuable commodity—both for you and for them. Extended exposure to blue light from staring at screens can lead to vision problems, migraines, and a slew of other issues. A screen protector, like the EyeJust Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector is a quick and easy fix to mitigate eye strain.
38. Transgender-Inclusive Healthcare Benefits
One of the key aspects of a successful health benefits program is inclusivity. Employees who are transgender may have medical costs that aren’t covered by some insurance companies. Offering health plans with transgender-inclusive benefits can help reduce the cost and stress of going to the doctor.
39. Unlimited Sick Days
Everyone hates being forced to ration sick days. Limiting an employee’s allotted sick days can lead to all sorts of problems, from using vacation time to cover illness to getting the entire office sick because an employee has no sick days left. An unlimited sick day policy makes employees feel respected, comfortable, and trusted with their time.
40. Vouchers for Massages, Osteopath and Chiropractor Appointments
Half of all American employees complain about back pain. Imagine how thankful they would be for a voucher for any of the above.
41. In Vitro Fertility Treatment Coverage
For employees who want children but are having trouble conceiving, in vitro fertility is a great option… if they can afford it. Fertility treatments can cost upwards of $15,000. Offering coverage for this treatment can mean the world to your employees.
42. Breastfeeding Rooms with Hospital-Grade Pumps
Pumping breast milk (especially at work) is taxing, and commercial-grade pumps can often leave a lot to be desired. A proper breastfeeding room gives new mothers both the equipment and privacy they need.
43. Biometric Screening
Taking your employees’ biometric measurements, such as blood pressure, height, weight, and cholesterol, can help them be aware and take control of their overall health.
44. Eldercare Services
Families with elderly parents and relatives often face limited, highly expensive options for live-in care. Removing the financial burden from this decision can help make for an easier transition.
45. Family-Building Benefits for All
A new baby is both incredible and an incredible amount of work, especially when you have to balance a job with it. The better your family-building benefits, the better your employees can get situated with their baby.
46. Cycle-to-Work Program
Reduce your carbon footprint. Get in a workout. Get rewarded by your employer. Why not give your employees benefits for using their legs to get to work?
47. Designated Parking for Expectant Mothers
Pregnant women have a laundry list of new issues to deal with, among them: walking places. Getting them a parking spot close to the office entrance is a small gesture that will feel like a grand kindness.
48. In-office Massages
Whether your employees spend the majority of their days at their desks or on their feet, a relaxing massage is always a welcome treat to help reduce stress. Even if it’s only once a quarter, this rejuvenating reward can be just what the doctor ordered.
Don’t have time to read through this entire list? Download the 101 Unique Employee Benefits Ideas!
Emotional Wellness Benefits
49. Paid Bereavement Leave
Losing a loved one takes not only a severe emotional toll—it takes a financial one, as well. Having proper time to mourn the loss of a loved one with the knowledge that you’re still being compensated is a welcome kindness in a tough time.
50. Mental Health Workshops
40% of employees find their jobs extremely stressful, and one-quarter said work was the single biggest source of stress in their lives. Interactive workshops can help everyone find healthier ways of achieving work-life balance.
51. Mental Health App Subscription
Mental health apps allow your employees to take control of their well-being with accessible options like texting and video chatting with licensed therapists. These kind of interactions can be game-changing, especially in light of rising depression rates amongst Millennials since 2013.
52. Mindfulness App/Facilities
Stress is a powerful force in offices. A subscription to a meditation app (coupled with an office meditation room) can show a commitment to positive employee mindfulness.
53. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
EAPs do not fall neatly into one box—they can help with a wide range of problems, from psychological disorders and substance abuse to stress and emotional well-being. EAPs can help employees with everything from short-term counseling to establishing strategies for long-term wellness treatments.
54. Sleep Pods
Consider this: a 40-minute nap can boost job performance by 34%. Who wouldn’t benefit from a quick power nap after lunch? Sleep pods are a valuable investment for both companies and their employees.
55. Mental Health Days
Companies often give employees a set number of physical sick days , but what about mental health days? Mental health is just as important as physical health, and should be treated as such.
56. “Get Out of Your Comfort Zone” Allowance
Ever hear the expression, “Do one thing every day that scares you”? You could give your employees a budget to try just that. (Maybe not daily, but at least once a quarter.)
57. Remote Work Program
Maybe your employee wants to spend a year in Sri Lanka or Japan or Uruguay. Why stop them as long as they’re still working for you? A smart remote work program can keep everyone happy.
58. Travel Benefits
Show your employees you want them to get out and take that European vacation by giving them travel benefits, or offering them an annual budget to go out and see the world.
59. “Fur-ternity” Leave
Employee has a new kitten or puppy? It’s a lot in the beginning. There’s pet-proofing, house training, and of course, time to get to know one another. Fur-ternity leave can give employees up to a week off to get everything situated for their new furry friend.
60. Military Leave
Military leave is about more than just securing their job, it’s about knowing they can return to the life they once had.
61. On-Site Daycare
Covering childcare for your employees is great, but having childcare at the office means your employees are physically that much closer to their children. Plus, it could ultimately save your company money, over covering childcare for multiple employees.
62. Adoption Assistance
The adoption process can take over a year. It’s filled with complicated paperwork, intense interviews, and certain frustrations. Adoptive assistance can help aspiring parents to navigate this sometimes difficult process.
63. Free Travel Companion for New Moms
New moms need backup everywhere they can get it, especially when breastfeeding. This could be a relative, a nanny, or any person accompanying a new mom and her baby on a business trip.
64. Complimentary Breastmilk Shipping
This complimentary service lets women send their breast milk home for free.
65. On-Ramping Programs for Parents Re-Entering the Workforce
Going from full-time baby duty back to full time-employee isn’t always the smoothest transition. Smooth out the process with an on-ramping program.
66. Gender-Reassignment Assistance
Gender reassignment process is a complex journey. As an employer, you can make easier by offering access to financial, legal, medical, and emotional support.
Social Wellness Benefits
67. Culture Pass
Art. Music. Theatre. Literature. Dance. Give your employees free admission to some of the best cultural experiences in town.
68. Movie Night
Sometimes, everyone needs to unwind with a good film and some movie theater popcorn. Up the appeal by adding decorations and prizes tied to the movie you’re showing.
69. Company Book Club
A great way to promote learning, communication, and team-building. Earn higher engagement by putting aside an hour of work time each month to discuss the current book.
70. In-House Mentorship Program
All employees (but especially young and new employees, in particular) can benefit from having a guide to help navigate their professional landscape.
71. Paid Industry Certifications
Paid industry certifications are an absolute win-win. Employees earn proof of new skills and employers build a more accredited team.
72. Unconscious Bias + Diversity training
We all need to be respectful to one another. Classes can help your employees gain valuable insights into both their conscious and unconscious behavior.
73. College Coach program
Help employees navigate their children’s college admissions process and financing process by giving them access to a College Coach program.
74. LGBT Awareness Training
Much like with diversity training, kindness and understanding is critical in the workplace. Education and awareness can help foster acceptance and inclusivity.
75. Charitable Contributions
Make a point of supporting social causes and charities, and make it a mission around the office to achieve goals connected to these organizations.
76. In-Office Volunteer Opportunities
Whether it’s a mentoring program or a virtual class taught via webcam, there are countless opportunities for volunteering from the office.
77. Out-Of-Office Volunteer Opportunities
Get your employees involved in their community by partnering with volunteer groups for social and environmental causes.
78. Additional PTO for Charity Work
Your employees are busy. Maybe they want to volunteer, but just can’t find the time. Providing special PTO for charity work can give them the time (and incentive) to do good.
79. Monthly Team Activities
Want to form stronger bonds between your employees? Get them involved in non-work team activities to help them get to know each other outside the office.
80. Unlimited PTO
More and more companies now provide unlimited vacation time. Focusing on getting work done efficiently—rather than being at the office when there’s nothing to do—can have a powerful effect on your employees’ focus, productivity, and overall well-being.
81. Agile Fridays
Everyone knows that Friday is the best day of the week. Work from home Fridays can mean and having less meetings can mean time to focus on complex projects, prepare reports, or get the next week squared away.
82. Lunchtime Speaker Sessions
Everyone’s got to eat. Why not provide a catered lunch with some inspiration or thought leadership? It’s a fantastic way to keep employees engaged (and eating well).
83. Summer Fridays
When summer comes, employees will want to get outside and enjoy the nice weather. Let them! Half-day Fridays throughout the summer is something everyone can look forward to.
84. Birthday PTO
Getting a cake in the office on your birthday is nice. Spending the day doing whatever you want and getting paid for it is even better. Birthday PTO is an invaluable perk that shows your employees how much they’re appreciated.
85. Paid Sabbaticals
Employee burnout is real. If you want to retain employees, sometimes you need to let them spend some time discovering their passions by teaching yoga, volunteering abroad, or learning how to make wine. Sabbaticals are shown to decrease stress and increase life satisfaction.
86. No Official Work Hours
Much like unlimited PTO, if your company believes in just “getting the work done,” you don’t need to instate official work hours. Some people want to sleep in, while others want to burn the midnight oil. Some may even want to work from halfway across the world. Giving employers the freedom to work when they’re most productive will reduce stress and increase job satisfaction.
87. 4-Day Work Week
With studies showing a 40% boost in worker productivity, a 4-day work week lets employees focus more while they’re working and take more time to relax and unwind when they’re not.
88. Kids Care Schedule
Parents don’t want to sacrifice time with their kids to work. Let them work around their kids with a kid care schedule. It’s a great way to keep them happy and boost retention.
89. Traveling Briefcase Program
A perk for top-performing employees: You provide airfare and accommodations for an employee and one guest to visit another company office and provide their expertise there for a week. It’s a great way to learn from other teams, develop new skills, and even practice different languages.
90. Game Rooms
Want to play some foosball? Pool? Ping pong? A game room makes a great social, low-pressure outlet for stress in any office.
91. Team Off-Sites
This is a chance to get away from the office for a day or a week and have meaningful discussions about strategy and the future of the organization.
92. Dress-Up Day
Sure, it’s silly. But dressing up for Halloween or any day can bring an intangible fun to the workplace, especially if there are prizes involved.
93. Bring Your Pet to Work Day
As long as you get the okay from any allergic employees, bringing your pet to work can be a fun way to see the furry, scaled, and four-legged children of your employees.
94. Job Shadowing
Send your employees to be part of another team inside your company for a day to a week. Not only will this serve as a platform to learn new skills, but it will also give them valuable insight into the corporate structure and operations of a completely different team.
95. Bring Your Kid to Work Day
It’s a great relationship-building exercise between coworkers and families, plus it’s just a lot of fun in general.
96. Child-Friendly Holiday Parties
There’s nothing wrong with renting out a bar for an office holiday party. But one that’s fun for the whole family? That’s likely to yield a better turnout and more bonding across the board.
97. In-House Barista / On-Site Coffeeshop
Employees can spend a lot of time on coffee breaks outside the office. Having something on-site will not only be a treat for their wallets; it will also save them time (and, by extension, save you time as well).
98. Catered Lunches & Snacks
Much like an on-site coffee shop, in-house lunch means convenience, saving money, and focus.
99. Free Drinks After 5 PM
A couple of cold ones after a long workday can be a much-needed release and promote some good, old-fashioned happy hour bonding.
100. Complimentary Food Delivery
To save your employees time from going to pick up their food, offer complimentary food delivery. You cover the costs so they can spend more time handling business.
101. Grocery Delivery
When you’re working nine to five (or six… or seven), there’s not a lot of time left for grocery shopping. Company-sponsored grocery delivery can give your employees the free time they crave.