HR & People | 7 Min Read

Top 20 Unique Employee Benefits in 2021

author Written by Amit Ghodasara December 31, 2020

Top 20 Unique Employee Benefits in 2021

The core of every company and every business are its employees. Without their hard work, dedication, and ideas, organizations would hardly stay afloat, especially in the COVID-19 era. Their performance and motivation keep the business going and ensure goals accomplishment.

Yet, many leaders and CEOs aren't aware of how important employee satisfaction is for their objectives and corporate priorities. If a hire is unmotivated and unhappy, that will affect their productivity and engagement. Further, that results in average results, loss of revenues, and turnover. 

Employee retention and happiness significance double during the tumultuous times that require maximum effort and reaching full potential. Those times are the ones we are going through now as we navigate through the aftermaths and restrictions of an on-going pandemic. With remote work and uncertainties, employees might feel emotional distress and isolation. If they haven't been happy at their workplace before the coronavirus hit, their dissatisfaction may double now.

But there is a safe method to boost retention and help your employees feel cared for, validated, and satisfied. Employee benefits are the perks every company provides to their staff that makes their work and life seamless.

job seekers study

Hence, it's not surprising that 69 percent of employees say that "having a wider array of benefits would increase loyalty to their employer." Thus, Glassdoor's Employment Confidence study shows that for 60 percent of job seekers, benefits are an essential factor when deciding whether to accept a job offer.

These are our top 20 unique employee benefits for 2021.

1. Rewards and discounts

Employees, especially millennials and Generation Z, love perks that give a sense of a particular lifestyle. Indeed, 80 percent of workers prefer those kinds of benefits over a pay raise. During the pandemic, it is even more significant to have perks that allow employees digital access via online catalogues.

Employee benefits


2. Affordable healthcare

Health matters, and today, human well-being is a hot topic, which is why you should offer a generous health insurance plan and reduced prescription drug costs for your employees. 

3. Student loan repayment plan

Student loans are one of the worst pains of every young adult trying to build an independent life. If you decide to set up a student loan repayment program, you will make a big difference in the worker's life and help them have a clean slate.

4. Care gifts

Everyone loves personalized presents that show genuine care and recognition that goes beyond standard perks. In an era of remote work and social distancing, such gifts will encourage a sense of connection and belonging. Therefore, consider care gifts made of healthy snacks, natural cosmetics, and environment-friendly products.

5. In-house professional growth and development

Most people dream of starting from low positions and later climbing the ladders due to their exceptional skills and hard work. Offer training programs that can make that dream a reality and nurture in-house employee development that can also save you from hiring costs and additional onboarding training.

6. Free (E)books

Since the early days of the pandemic, many people have found comfort in reading and escaping from an uncertain reality to a fantasy realm. Whether your employees are avid readers or you want to entice their reading skills and knowledge, collaborate with bookstores to allow free book delivery and e-books downloads. 

7. Appreciation programs

Employees need to feel that their work is cherished and recognized more than ever. The virtual setting can make them feel disconnected and unimportant. Offer a virtual appreciation program to express gratitude and value your team members.

Employee Referral Program

8. Team gatherings

Although complying with the social distancing measures is preventing us from close human contact and interactions, you can still ensure that employees get together by organizing online team buildings, coffee time, and entertaining ice-breakers.

9. Equipment support

No matter the job description, remote work may require amenities that not every employee has. Show your understanding and care by providing all your staff with the necessary free equipment and delivery. Thus, consider reimbursing their connectivity charges to alleviate their finances.

10. Learning opportunities

Having to spend most of the time at home where their private and work life collides can be tiring and depressing for the employees. Introduce joy and novelty into their lives by providing them with free online courses and workshops on a topic of their choice.

11. Wellness benefits

As stated earlier, well-being and wellness are this year's top priorities, and your employee benefits shouldn't overlook that fact. Ensure that your workers can lead healthy lifestyles by creating an online hire wellness platform that assigns various health challenges and tasks to the users to boost their physical activity. Thus, you can gift them with yoga and massage coupons once the situation allows.

Wellness Benefits


12. Gym membership

Although going to the gym might not go well with the current restrictive measures, consider early New Year gifts that will ensure your employees have a free gym membership in 2021.

13. Childcare and family members benefits

No matter how much they love their work, family and kids are probably on top of the list of your staff. Show that you care too and extend the perks to their family members by allowing additional free days for spending time with them or paying for online classes for the kids.

14. Entertainment subscriptions

No, it is not silly to gift your employees with free access to Netflix or Amazon. It is not enough to only cover the health and learning perks; make sure that your staff can have fun too through a monthly subscription to entertainment platforms.

15. Home services

Work-life balance is endangered as the remote work interferes with private time. Make it easier for them by providing them with free services, such as grocery delivery, cleaning, or laundry.

16. Paid sick days

Employees often fear getting sick because they might lose work, or their boss might perceive them as weak or avoidant. That fear is especially present with a widespread virus. Hence, implement paid sick days that also covers mental distress.

17. Retirement plan

Many employees, especially the young ones, fear the future due to uncertain pensions and finances. By introducing precise and transparent retirement plans, you will help them have peace of mind and plan their future with more ease.

18. Flexible schedules

Telework can be confusing as it is hard to draw a clear line between playtime and work time. Hires might feel guilty if they are not working all the time. Consider allowing employees to choose their schedules and tailor it to their personal lives, which can boost productivity.

19. Tuition help plan

Many hard-working young professionals work and study at the same time. Applaud their ambition and goals by introducing tuition reimbursement.

20. Pet insurance

Furry friends are not only pets anymore; in modern society, they are family members. But they can be quite expensive. Support the animal lovers in your team by offering pet insurance and gifts. 

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