Non Monetary Employee benefits

Non Monetary Employee Benefits To Increase Staff Retention

Employees are more and more becoming difficult creatures to understand. Staff retention is difficult as the economy is poor and salary rises are hard to come by for most. The younger generation see work more as part of their life as opposed to ‘just a job’. I preach constantly for the need for organisations to value how their employee’s see the business. Perception is everything in life and in business and if you are perceived to be a forward thinking organisation then the chances are that you will attract the right calibre of worker.

When I look for a role I am fascinated by the non monetary employee benefits an organisation offer. It’s fair to say that these are as important to me, the younger generation as a big fat pay packet. I value my time outside of the working environment and if an organisation places emphasis on the well being of its staff then to me that is a great place to work.

Some non monetary employee benefits require finances to maintain however some are merely ‘good will’ gestures which are appreciated by your staff.  As an employer you should be looking at the list of potential benefits to see which ones you can implement. If you’re a small start up then start small with quirky introductions which could catch a candidate’s eye.

Those looking for a new role should be exploring the ‘benefits’ option in the same breath as they explore the salary. Its all well and good getting a great salary but if you are working in a traditional organisation which a rigid structure then you may become a very unhappy worker very soon. Below are some ‘awesome’ benefits to increase staff retention. There’s no two ways about it. If you show you give a shit to your employees they are more likely to give a shit about you and the organisation. Spreading the love is a two way street.

Work from home opportunities

As a home worker how could I miss off this perk? But in all seriousness the home working solution is becoming a fantastic perk for office workers. An employee at a previous company of mine used to commute 2 ½ hours a day. Not only is this difficult for his work/life balance but it also doesn’t promote productivity in the office after sitting in a car for half the morning.

The company decided to grant him two days home working which increased his productivity, happiness and general well being no end. It was also a great financial saving for him.

I believe all companies should offer some type of home working. It doesn’t have to be 5 days a week but you need to assess the overall benefits it could have to your organisation and staff retention. It’s also a benefit which ticks so many boxes.

House cleaning service

This perk shot to fame when web start up Evernote introduced it. (You can read the article here). After a hard day’s work in the office nobody wants to come home to a bunch of chores or house cleaning. This great incentive by Evernote granted their employees with free house cleaning twice a month. Sure this perk cost the organisation money but it was also great PR for the company (I am writing about it now). House cleaning is something we all have to do but by removing this from an employee’s thought process you essentially gain a happier, more productive member of staff.

Duvet Day

More of a perception building incentive but one which is very simple to implement. A duvet day is essentially a free day off work which you can cash in when you’re feeling glum or had a super tiring weekend. Employees do have to use this sensibly however. Although nothing mind blowing I feel it’s a great perk addition to any job role.

Duvet Day

Sometimes you just need a day off unplanned.

Flu Jab

It’s cold, it’s miserable (In the UK) and EVERYONE around you is sneezing and sniffling. Attendance rates within the office are at an all time low and companies are essentially losing money through drops in work force. Companies have begun an ingenious scheme of offering free flu jabs within the office for those with low immune systems. This incentive is a two way street. The employee lowers their risk of catching any flu viruses and the company attendance stays higher due to this prevention measure.

Birthday off Work

Does this need any explanation? Birthday’s off work show a company cares. A caring company retains staff members.

Unlimited National Holidays

Famed by Netflicks and Evernote and discussed at length in my Unlimited paid vacations post this is a fantastic incentive for those who want to step outside the organisation comfort zone. This incentive is based on productivity and meeting your key deliverables. This is a performance based way of looking at annual leave. Perception wise it’s a masterstroke for organisations and works for hard working employees. Who wouldn’t take a job with this type of incentive?

Free Lunch

One of the ways companies can retain staff members is by removing as many expenses as possible. Free lunch is a great way doing this. Seeing an incentive such as free lunch on the job application is a draw for those applying. One less thing to surely worry about?

On Site Gym/Exercise Classes:

Exercises, exercise, exercise, who wouldn’t want their staff to exercise? Working out is awesome for body and mind and is a great incentive for employees. Classes are expensive, gym memberships are extortionate and by implementing exercise options into your organisation you can save your staff member’s money and promote a healthy lifestyle throughout the office. My previous organisation created an onsite gym which as an addition also promoted fantastic staff morale and increased the volume of applicants for each job opening.


Everybody loves coffee…..right?

Free Coffee

Anybody who has worked in an office will have a fond member of the smell of coffee throughout the building. Coffee is LOVED within the office environment. The addition of free coffee ticks a huge box for office workers. Free coffee = happy, social, productive workers. Simple incentive of free coffee will get the work flowing.

Sabbatical after long service

Rewarding long service, loyalty, respect and great performance should be the norm. Sabbatical opportunities give valued, long serving employees a much needed break from the business while knowing their job is retained. By having this as an incentive option you are promoting staff retention and rewarding staff retention. Employees are more likely to stay somewhere they feel warm and tingly.

Company Discount

No explanation required. If you offer a service or product then give your employees great discount. I work within the travel industry so therefore I have discounted travel. It was a huge incentive for taking the role and is something people always ask me when they find out about my role. Incentives inspire.

Flexible working hours

Relationships outside of work improve with flexible working hours. That’s the general consensus and why millions of companies are adopting this approach. For the busy family man or the overstretched Mum it’s an incentive to work with an organisation. Furthermore you may just be more productive early in the morning or later at night. Again this incentive works both ways and should be a standard addition to a company’s incentives scheme. Help your employee’s and also help yourself.

Child Care Aid

The Co-Operative offer fantastic child care aid to their members of staff which can save them approximately £933 a year. Not only is this benefit a huge appeal to the working parents it also helps significantly with staff retention. Incentives including child care aid and flexible working hours could be the difference between a prized member of staff becoming a full time Mum or staying on with the organisation. This type of benefit is only short term per employee but the positive perception is forever.

Free Parking

Free Parking Employee Incentive

A mere thing of the past!

Many people take this perk for granted but if you’ve worked in the city centre then believe me it’s a huge perk. City centre parking can cost as much as £150 a month which over the year is nearly £2000 of your salary wiped. Either you need to be compensated for this or you should look at companies who offer free parking as an incentive. It’s great to be earning an extremely competitive salary but if the incentives are minimal then you may be spending that extra salary faster than you earned it.

Travel/Conference Budget

Everybody loves to learn on the job and sometimes you want to learn away from the office. Conferences are a fantastic way of securing knowledge from external sources. Sometimes it may just act as a reaffirmation that you are implementing the correct strategy.

I’ve been to so many jobs where I have been promised extensive training and budget for travel yet nothing has been delivered. A fantastic incentive would be to assign a specific travel/conference budget to each member of staff so as part of their employment they were guaranteed regular training or conference time. Training should not be underestimated as a strong training budget could lead to long term financial/role returns.

Care to share?

Work for a company with an amazing incentive scheme? Have some really exceptional non pay based incentives I’ve missed from my list. Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below so we can build the ULTIMATE list of non monetary incentive based schemes. You can use your Facebook log in so adding a comment couldn’t be easier.

About the author

Ryan Gibson

Hey! I'm a 28 year old digital marketing guy residing in Leeds, England. My skill is in search marketing and I have gathered over 6 years experience of working on large multilingual campaigns for a number of FTSE 250 Organisations. After accepting a role with a business based in Singapore I began questioning traditional business practice and employee retention. This blog was therefore born with focus on Y in the workplace. A millennial child at heart I aim to provide a voice for the 'misunderstood' generation and my goal is simply to change perception and corporate mind set on work/life attitudes; inspiring companies and individuals to seek change.


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