Creative Benefits Options: Small Investment, Big Payoff

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man reading at deskEmployee benefits don’t have to be a staggering expense for employers, but to stand out in today’s market, they must be creative and unique. Reflect on your company’s culture and the things that are important to your employees as you expand your benefits offering.

Casual Dress Code

If it isn’t essential that your employees dress up for work, consider implementing a casual dress code. This is a free, yet potentially very rewarding, benefit that employees may truly appreciate. Comfortable employees are happier and more productive, and you’ll likely see an improvement in morale as well.

Volunteer Time Off

Implementing a paid Volunteer Time Off (VTO) policy is a creative way to reward employees while also investing in your community. A VTO policy might allow employees to donate up to 24 hours per calendar year, with two half-days off for company-sponsored group volunteer activities and 16 hours off for personal volunteering by the employee at 501c3 charitable organizations.

Holiday Savings Clubs

Offer a holiday savings program that allows employees to set aside after-tax dollars from each paycheck that are then paid out to them each November, just in time for holiday shopping. If you can, match participating employees’ contributions up to a specified dollar amount.

Telecommuting or Flex Time
If it’s not essential that your employees be in the office every day, let them work from home one day per week. Another possible perk is implementing “flex time,” where employees work outside conventional business hours, establishing a set schedule that better accommodates their educational pursuits, lengthy commutes, or other regularly scheduled activities. Each participating employee could establish flex hours with his or her supervisor on a yearly, quarterly, or monthly basis.

Creative Approaches

Taking a creative approach to the benefits you provide your employees will set you apart from the competition, and enhance your company culture. You may find that a minimal investment will pay you big dividends.

Wondering which benefits or perks would best fit your company, or how to implement a new program? Consider working with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) to gain access to credentialed HR experts who will guide you through the whole process. An HR specialist can help you conduct employee surveys, implement new programs, and update your employee handbooks to reflect your creative new options.

Contact the author directly at This is the fourteenth post in our 30 Days of HR Outsourcing series. Visit us each day in November for information on HR, payroll, benefits, workers’ comp and risk management topics, or subscribe to be notified instantly when a new post is published.

Photo copyright: Ninann