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7 Unique Company Perks and Benefits (and Why Your Organization Needs Them)

Have you updated your perks and benefits recently? If not, now is the time to review them. In today's competitive job market, a decent salary is no longer enough to retain employees. Employees are looking for more from their compensation package, and if your company's benefits don't stand out, you risk losing top talent to the competition. Learn about seven perks that will give your company the edge in today's market and ensure you stay ahead of the competition.

Company perks and benefits have evolved, and today’s employees have clear expectations. They want to work with organizations that value them and want more from their compensation package than just salary.

The challenge? Many employers offer very similar benefits that have become the industry standard. If your company’s perks don’t stand out, you may lose your edge in the market.

To help you stay ahead of the curve, below are seven unique and desirable perks for employees. They’ll help you give your team members what they want from their compensation package and help you stay ahead of the curve when hiring. Check them out below, and consider which perks you could incorporate for your team.

1. Tripbeat Travel Benefits

Tripbeat is an online travel club that helps you save on local and global travel experiences. By offering Tripbeat benefits to your employees, you’ll give them up to 25% off at 600,000 hotels worldwide, 5-10% savings on car rentals, and access to tours, activities, and airlines worldwide. 

Chances are, your employees are using at least some of their PTO to travel—or they’d like to. Tripbeat is an excellent option to help them stack those benefits together and maximize every travel experience.

As a bonus, Tripbeat benefits are free for you and all your company employees when you partner with Merritt Business Solutions. We love to help you invest in HR excellence in more ways than one!

2. Lifestyle Spending Accounts

Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSA) allow you to cover miscellaneous “wellness” costs, which can pay for everything from home office budgets and gym memberships to tuition reimbursement. Think of LSAs as the account for health and wellness costs outside a typical health insurance plan.

You can choose which expenses to reimburse with your LSA and establish the reimbursement limit as the employer. You’ll then fund the account for employees to use on eligible costs. Remember that employees get taxed on the funds after using them.

On the employee side, there’s also a ton of flexibility to use the funds meaningfully individually. Employees can choose the most effective use of their health and wellness funds if the established scope covers the expenses. 

3. Pet Insurance and Pets in Office

Pet insurance and a pet office policy are beneficial for employees with pets. As of 2023, 66% of US households own at least one pet. In addition, pet insurance has more than doubled in growth from 2018 to 2021. Subsidizing that cost for employees is a welcome addition to any benefits plan. 

Consider allowing pets in the office if your employees work a hybrid or in-office model. Many employees with pets—especially dogs—worry about leaving them home alone all day, so bringing them to work eliminates that concern. It also bypasses the need to hire a pet sitter or dog walker for some interaction during the workday.

4. Dependent Care Assistance

Dependent Care Assistance helps caregivers cover costs associated with dependents, including children and elderly household members who may need support. Like the Lifestyle Spending Accounts mentioned above, Dependent Care Assistance is a flexible spending account (FSA) that employees can use for qualified expenses. Also, unlike Lifestyle Spending Accounts above, an FSA is a pre-tax expense which means it comes out of your wages before it’s taxed, reducing your taxable income. 

As the employer, you’ll decide the minimum and maximum contribution an employee can make in addition to your contribution to the FSA. The IRS has established that up to $5,000 per household can be used tax-free, while any amount over $5,000 is considered taxable income. Care costs can become a significant burden for employees, and this benefit is a great way to offer support. 

5. Workplace Flexibility

A new study from UKG’s Workforce Institute found that almost half (42%) middle managers planned to quit their jobs next year due to stress and anxiety. Letting employees have some control over when, where, and how they work is one way to ease their stress. 

Consider options like a four-day workweek, remote or hybrid work models, flexible work hours, or summer hours (like “Summer Friday” half-days) to offer more balance between employees’ work and home lives. If you’re unsure how to provide flexibility, talk to your employees to see what they prioritize most. 

Are you looking to offer hybrid work to your employees but need help figuring out where to start? Learn about five tech tools and tips on sustaining a hybrid work model here.

6. Recognition Programs

Employee recognition programs are helping to make sure employee contributions are noticed, especially for remote or hybrid teams. For example, some platforms allow employees to choose their reward for a well-done job, so they can pick the bonus they’re most excited to use. 

While there are many ways to recognize your employees, some are more effective in maintaining morale and production than others. Find out what we recommend and what you should avoid here

Invest in employee recognition even if you do not opt for a platform that does the heavy lifting. People like to work for companies that value their contributions! 

7. Volunteer PTO and Donation Matching

Encouraging your employees to give back to their communities and support causes they care about can be a win-win for your company and your staff.

Two excellent ways to achieve this are through volunteer PTO and donation matching. Volunteer PTO provides your employees paid time off for volunteering, allowing them to give back while still receiving regular pay. This benefit can boost morale and encourage community involvement.

Similarly, donation matching enables your employees to support their favorite charities with your company’s support. By matching some or all of your employee’s donations, you can amplify the impact of their contributions and make them feel valued and heard. With these powerful benefits, you can show your employees that you care about their passions and support their commitment to making a difference.

Support for All Your HR Needs

Employee benefits are significant, but they don’t have to be a source of stress for your HR team. Reference the perks above next time you’re changing or expanding your benefits plan, and take a moment to consider which unique perks your employees would appreciate most. 

Remember that younger generations are educating themselves about employee perks and HR—and they’re smarter than you might think! So make sure you have an HR consultant in your back pocket so you’re prepared to answer their questions. Contact our team of experts to help you navigate the benefits process easily and offer a competitive package that will work for your business.

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