These days, most companies understand the importance of offering employee benefits. After all, employee benefits have been shown to increase employee engagement, productivity and motivation and are an effective recruitment and retention tool.
Glassdoors Employment Confidence Survey from 2015 reveals that for about 60% of people, benefits play an important role in their decision-making when considering a job offer. The survey also reveals that nearly 80% of employees would prefer additional benefits over a pay raise.
But these days, just any benefits aren't enough. Companies need to rethink their benefits offering. In addition to benefits flexibility, today's leading companies recognize the importance of offering unique benefits that help them excel in the war for talent.
Benefits that reflect corporate culture
When thinking about unique benefits, we highlight the importance of offering benefits that reflect your employer brand in 4 Tips for Building an Effective Global Benefits Strategy.
For example, let's say you are a multinational company and one of your corporate values is sustainability. To express this value, you could implement sustainable mobility benefits across the board and across borders, but with local differences. In one country, the benefit might be a bike subsidy, for example, while in another country there might be discounts for public transportation. With this approach, your benefits reflect your company values and help shape your employer brand on a global level, but make it work on a local level.
Benefits selection based on the benefits pyramid
The pyramid illustration you see here provides a simple model to start designing a strategic benefits offering.
The base of the pyramid is made up of benefits that today's workers most often take for granted, such as company pensions and insurance. In the middle, you see things that are often "nice-to-have" benefits, such as meal allowances or massages at work. At the top of the pyramid, you should have something that is unique to your company and reflects the values of your employer brand.
The sky's the limit in terms of the benefits you can offer. Below, we take a look at some examples of unique benefits and benefits models used by companies around the world.
Here's an overview of various benefits around the world:
Finland – Employees receive a wellness and culture allowance from their employer that they can use for a wide range of wellness and cultural activities. Additionally, some companies offer a rental housing benefit to their employees. Employees look for a place to live and then pay their rent via payroll deduction.
Norway – employees can use the booking program in their employee portal to book cabins for summer vacations. As in Finland, some companies also offer a rental housing benefit to their employees.
Sweden – Employees receive a health and wellness contribution from their employer, which they can use for a wide range of health and wellness activities such as gym memberships and massages.
Denmark – employees can choose their own smartphone and have the option to upgrade it via a monthly payroll deduction. Other companies buy tickets to concerts and events, which are then offered to employees for free.
France – A small portion of an employee's gross salary is donated to a charity chosen by the employer based on and reflecting the company's values. Other companies give employees a bonus of 1.EUR 000 when the employee gets married or has a child.
Netherlands – Employers offer their employees a flexible benefits budget that they can use to buy more vacation days, cash out, or use for health benefits like a bike.
Germany – Through a flexible benefits model, employees can choose from a variety of pre-tax deduction offerings to create a benefits package that best meets their needs. Flexibility could include, for example, choice of provider or choice of mobility (for example, bicycle, public transportation, etc.).) or using a booking program within their employee benefits portal to rent a car can be.
Botswana – A so-called "milk allowance" is provided to employees who work in certain industries to purchase milk.
Nigeria – Employers provide a subsidy to employees to compensate for a generator during power outages.
Russia – companies offer their employees interest-free loans for private car purchases. Other companies fund passes for workers to the airport business lounge, where they can enjoy free food and drinks and relax at the Moscow airport.
India – employers offer their employees severance pay of up to $22 when they leave the company.
Colombia – Through a tuition reimbursement benefit, employees can enroll in a qualifying degree program outside of work and then receive a partial reimbursement.
Argentina – Just as in Colombia, companies offer a tuition reimbursement benefit where employees can enroll in a qualifying degree program and then receive a partial reimbursement.
Mexico – Employees are automatically enrolled in a short-term savings plan in which a percentage of their salary is deducted each month and deposited into a savings account. Additionally, as in Argentina and Colombia, some Mexican companies offer a tuition reimbursement benefit.
Latin American countries – Many companies offer voucher benefits such as meal vouchers, gas vouchers and food coupons. Employees receive a card that is loaded each month with money to spend at restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and department stores.
You want to find out what benefits your employees actually want? We have 19.000 HR professionals and employees surveyed. Find the results in our e-book, the "Employee Happiness Index 2019".