Employee benefits have traditionally been about health, vision, dental and 401(k)s—maybe a gym membership, too. But increasingly, companies are using one-of-a-kind, creative incentives to attract and retain a new pool of talent—millenials. A 2017 Gallup survey found that members of this newest generation to enter the workforce want benefits that help them lead a better life.
With perks like paid time off for volunteering, free healthy snacks and meals, unique paternity leave options and more, today’s benefits packages do just that. What’s more, these creative perks also offer employers an opportunity to reinforce their company culture.
Companies with culture-centric employee benefits
At Burlington, Vermont-based Burton Snowboards, employees get a season ski pass and flexible work options so they can snowboard when conditions are ideal. There’s also an annual ride day, where staff takes off to snowboard together. The goal, the company says, is not just free snowboarding, but fostering camaraderie and community among its employees.
At Kiva, a nonprofit micro-lender based in San Francisco, employees get all the traditional benefits one could expect plus some unexpected perks—like the opportunity to visit any of their partner organizations located in 83 countries. With millennials comprising 60 percent of the organization’s staff, the company has found a meaningful way to appeal to their desire to give back and make an impact.
In some cases, the benefits don’t have to cost a thing. For example, last November after the XMI Thanksgiving celebration, our company leaders encouraged us to package up the leftovers and share them with our city’s homeless population. United Way giving campaigns are also a common occurrence around here. These types of gestures are a direct reflection of the company culture our leaders have established.
Here are some other ideas for creative benefits:
- Paid time off for school programs.
- Bring your dog to work days.
- On-site dry-cleaning drop-off and delivery.
- Monthly staff potlucks.
Every company is different, so your employee benefits can be, too
What appeals to your workers and reflects your company culture might not work for the next business. So, don’t get bogged down in the details. Instead, commit to reviewing your benefits package and determining what’s missing that could appeal to your team.
The rule of thumb used to be “Work hard, play later.” But increasingly today’s workers are embracing the now mindset. They want to make a difference now. They want to experience life now. Do your benefits help them do that?