Beyond the Basics: Innovative Work Benefits that Drive Employee Retention 

While companies never fail to evaluate employee metrics, they often miss out on the most crucial factor—employee retention. The year 2022 and 2023 proved that retaining the workforce will be harder than ever. Characterised as the “great resignation,” people willingly leave their old jobs to look for one that offers better balance and job satisfaction. 

As people get excited about new career opportunities and are moved by additional perks and benefits offered by companies, “work-life balance” has become the primary need for employees. Companies willing to retain talent must incorporate valuable benefits into their salary packages and policies. Innovative work benefits, for example, a structured orientation program will motivate the person to stay at the company for at least three more years, and that is more likely by 69%.

Instead of sitting on your hands and watching them go, you should do something about it. It’ll be imperative to improve the overall employee experience, prioritising employee satisfaction. To better strategy your employee benefits programs, this blog will provide innovative ways for you to incorporate. 

The Changing Landscape of Work Benefits

One of the major differences between the older workforces and today’s workforce is diversity in work benefits expectations. Today’s workforce consists of five distinct generations, each with unique requirements:

GenerationWork Benefit Expectations
TraditionalistsRetirement plans 
Baby boomers and GenXHealthcare and retirement plans
MillennialsFamily leaves, low-cost insurance, and 401(k)s
GenZLifestyle benefits, personal and professional growth, immediate compensation

While employees still care about the benefits of traditional work, recent studies show that most employees want more than standard perks. 

  • 85% of millennials deem flexible healthcare benefits as essential
  • 91% of Gen Z think employers should offer mental health benefits

Additionally, since the pandemic, there has been a shift in the workplace, with flexibility becoming increasingly important. Employees seek remote or hybrid work options as major decision-makers when joining a workforce. They also seek meaningful work and prioritize positive relationships and environment. 

This highlights the rising relevance of a full employee benefits package. Research shows that providing high-quality benefits increases employee satisfaction and loyalty to the firm. These days, more than 80% of employers provide innovative perks, such as pet coverage and identity theft protection.


Understanding Employee Retention

Employee retention entails implementing measures to discourage employees from willingly quitting the company. After around six months on the job, one-third of new hires leave. High turnover rates cause: 

  • Workflow disruption
  • Decreased productivity
  • High recruiting and training expenses

Companies often lose about 33% of an employee’s yearly income when they leave. 

By creating a welcoming and encouraging workplace, companies want to retain their most valuable assets—their employees—and lower the turnover rate. Employees who have been around for a while are usually better able to handle problems and devise solutions, making everyday operations smooth. They know the business’s methods, systems, and values. Experienced employees contribute to a healthy work environment and help with knowledge transfer. 

Innovative Work Benefits: A Game Changer

Employee benefits have never been more complex or significant than they are now due to factors like escalating healthcare expenses, a shrinking job market, and a workforce that spans many generations. 

Benefits packages may take various forms in today’s dynamic workforce, but attracting top personnel always requires competitive offerings. The customary benefits are necessary, but they aren’t sufficient. Even strong conventional benefits won’t make you stand out since most organizations have recently upgraded their benefits packages.

Providing for workers’ fundamental needs isn’t cutting it in today’s competitive employment market. Businesses should go above and beyond by offering innovative, appealing, and relevant perks.

Types of Innovative Work Benefits

Employee retention tactics are worth the investment whether you are losing top talent or just looking to prevent future turnover problems. Here are five innovative work benefits to offer in 2024: 

Flexibility in Work Arrangements

The ability to work remotely or with a flexible schedule has been a popular perk since the pandemic and the advent of hybrid and remote work. 

According to a study, 87% of employees will opt for more flexible work schedules due to the growing need for a better work-life balance. As a result, businesses that offer flexible work arrangements show a 12% reduction in turnover rate. 

Take inspiration from Colgate-Palmolive. The company ranks among the 25 best big companies due to its finest employee benefits, including flexible work hours.


Professional Development Opportunities

94% of employees would remain with a company if the employer committed to their long-term education. Professional development is an effective retention technique because it shows employees the connection between their work and success. How can you do that? In the following three ways: 

  • Formal training – Help your staff members grow professionally with skills and education to take on more responsibility now and in the future.
  • Mentorship programs – Pair employees with experienced mentors to enable the exchange of knowledge and foster personal and professional development. 
  • Tuition assistance – Encourage employees to pursue further education by offering tuition assistance for certification. 

A good example of a company that invests in professional development is Dolby. To assist managers in developing high-performing teams, they provide various tools, including classroom teaching (in-person and online), self-paced learning materials, and individual coaching. Dolby received an honorary mention in Muse 2022 VIBE Awards for being one of the best companies for professional development.


Health and Wellness Initiatives

Healthcare benefits are a norm, with 67% of employees accessing healthcare perks from their employer. Most employers provide high-deductible health plans with HSA supplements to meet the demands of their employees while keeping costs down.

Go beyond traditional healthcare perks and weave good health behaviors within the workspace and office culture with innovative wellness program ideas, such as: 

  • Promoting a culture of healthy eating among workers via rewards and recognition 
  • Offering gym subscriptions or providing online health courses
  • Providing wearable tech 
  • Offering classes or free therapy to encourage mental health

The Muse recognises Salesforce as one of the top companies taking employee health and wellness seriously. The company partnered with Lyra Health to offer employees and their families free therapy. In addition, they offer inclusive healthcare solutions, medical reimbursements, and a generous leave policy to ensure their employees’ health and wellness. 


Financial Well-being Programs

There are several advantages for both companies and their employees when the workplace promotes financial health. Employees whose companies provide wellness programs to help them manage their money are 50% less likely to suffer from financial stress. Because of this, output goes up, absenteeism goes down, and employees are happier and healthier overall. 

For strong and innovative financial well-being programs, in addition to 401(k)s, you can offer resources such as:

  • Emergency savings funds
  • Financial education and planning resources
  • Student loan assistance
  •  Family-related financial assistance
  • College fund assistance

And more.

Take inspiration from Asensus Surgical, a small health tech business offering employees a generous stock option plan with 401(k)s.


Recognition and Rewards

An effective method of employee retention is establishing a system of rewards and recognition that publicly recognises and rewards employees for their efforts and fosters an environment of gratitude. 

Although monetary incentives are crucial, innovative strategies beyond remuneration might provide much better results. Public expressions of appreciation may all go a long way toward making employees feel valued. For example:

  • Praise them at team meetings
  • Gift personalised expressions of gratitude, such as custom mugs or custom hoodies
  • Highlight features in team interactions.

Companies might go beyond verbal appreciation with perks like more scheduling leeway, more vacation time, or special treatment. Take, for example, Zappos, an Amazon subsidiary with a unique peer-to-peer employee recognition. Employees can earn Zollars (play money) at the Zollar store to buy merch, such as custom tote bags.


The Impact on Employee Retention

78% of employees cite favorable benefits as a reason to remain with an employer. Organisations place a high value on employee retention since it directly correlates with increased production and continuity. Retaining great personnel is important for a steady and experienced staff to minimise workflow interruptions and ensure constant performance. 

Innovative employee benefits help businesses offer perks that cater to their employees’ requirements. Companies that provide competitive and comprehensive compensation benefits can recruit and retain satisfied talents that contribute to the following: 

  • A stronger company culture
  • Higher employee engagement
  • Better retainment of institutional knowledge
  • Lesser training costs
  • Higher revenue
  • Lower hiring and recruiting costs
  • Better customer experience

Overcoming Challenges in Implementing Innovative Benefits

Implementing an innovative benefits package sounds all good on paper, but it comes with a common set of challenges, such as: 

  • Balancing cost and value: Consider all costs related to benefits offered, such as compliance costs, taxes, premiums, etc. Weigh them against the impact on retention, performance, and productivity from the benefits.
  • Aligning them with the strategy: A company’s benefits package should reflect its beliefs, goals, and culture while bolstering the employer brand. 
  • Communicating and educating employees: Ensure employees are aware of and happy with your perks. Address any questions and seek feedback about your innovative benefits.
  • Evolving employee expectations: Collect and analyse data from several sources, including employee surveys, interviews, focus groups, reviews, and analytics, to create a feedback loop. Ask your staff for their thoughts and preferences throughout the innovative benefits design phase.
  • Maintaining compliance and regulatory changes: Familiarise yourself with the tax consequences, reporting standards, eligibility requirements, and disclosure laws that may affect new benefits. If necessary, seek the advice of professionals and specialists, such as accountants, consultants, and attorneys.


Employee retention must be a top priority if you want to build a productive, enthusiastic, and successful team. Conduct frequent employee-centric assessments of the company to determine what your employees need to foster a positive relationship with your brand. You must take proactive steps to create an environment where employees want to stay long-term and contribute to the company’s success. 

Incorporate these innovative employee benefits outlined in this article into your compensation package to attract and retain top talent for your business. 

Author: Filip Nikoloski – Outreach Specialist, Printify

Photo credit: StockCake

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