What are the most impactful employee benefits?


I work at a company with some cool benefits (IMO) and have read about things like Netflix's unlimited vacation policy, the Google campus nap pods and cafeterias, and extended parental leave. What are the best non-traditional benefits that you have seen? What are the most cost effective for employers (most value to employee with comparatively lesser cost to employer)? Which are helpful in recruitment or retention? Which ones are people willing to take a lower salary for?

HR Policies
Benefits Strategy
Employee Benefits
Employee Wellness
Rewards & Recognition
Daniel Andrew
50 months ago

5 answers


One of the most attractive and powerful new benefits is partial payments towards student debt for new hires.

Sayed Sadjady
50 months ago

Cool versus competitive benefits have gotten more interesting as it lies in the eyes of the beholder.
Are you just thinking medical benefits, pharmacy benefits, comprehensive benefits around health?
Employee benefits have become one of the largest operating costs for most businesses, not just union employee firms like auto manufacturers. Health care costs and an antiquated benefits along with provider supply chain have contributed to unsustainable year over year cost increases while not creating "value" to the plan sponsor or member.

Randy Vogenberg, PhD
50 months ago

Benefit available in case of relocation (e.g. housing and move allowance, language classes), personal health and wellness programs including gym and other sport facilities, the opportunity to volunteering some days per year

Paolo Beffagnotti
50 months ago

I’m a little late to answering this question but I wanted to add that even though many companies aren’t in a position to give u limited PTO, there are other options they could consider offering. Flexible vacation, the option to put overtime towards time-off, summer hours/Friday’s, an increase in PTO up from the traditional two weeks, paid time off to help sick family members are great benefits that are not deducted from vacation days.

Other benefits that I find impactful are those that help the employees financially, such as financial assistance or bonuses towards continuing education, automatic small raise that match the level of inflation and being able to expense babysitting costs for work-related absences are very impactful.

Juanita S. Carmet
45 months ago

Daniel, This is a great question and insight from you.
I think Sayed's comment is spot on as well.
We should all know that each benefit offering is specific to the company and their operations. For example an unlimited PTO or Flex - time philosophy may work for Netflix or Google (nap time would considered flexible, however not applicable for a large manufacturing or logistics firm. I suspect the most valuable benefit I have seen where employees are willing to reduce salary is a philosphy by the company that "get your work done on time,exceed expectations, attend meetings and we do not care how much time you are online or in the office." I term this as a "life convenience benefit" where millenials and many families need this sort of structure. It is basically a "work to live" vs. a "live to work" mentality.
Other basic benefits that help in financial matters for the company and the employee population consists of team building wellness programs, high company contribution to consumer driven HSA plans and HRA's that help with OOP costs for expensive procedures. Althought not entirely known upfront, these benefits help tremendously to help with employee morale if a significant life event occurs. On the employer side, the cost outlay is minimal. Each party benefits....the employee morale around a colleague's situation is improved knowing the employer is contributing to their wellbeing. As such, the employer looks honorable and noble in the eyes of the employees with minimal outlay.
Is this helpful or was I too ambiguous?
Dan Harrison

Dan Harrison, MS, CSFS
50 months ago

Have some input?