In my role, I speak with candidates all day long and I can assure you that the War for Talent is truly on. As a prospective employer, you may be wondering how you can make yourself stand out amongst the crowd. Instead of touting a fast-paced work environment or a family dynamic in the office, focus on the benefits you offer – specifically the benefits that prospective hires are interested in and will truly benefit from. 

With 66% of HR leaders actively hiring, and 42% of employees likely to look for a new employer in the next year, the war for talent is truly on. Organizations are looking to battle competition for unique ways to to stand out in a competitive market and win the war on talent. Some of these ways include:

  • Financial security
  • Fulfillment
  • Sense of purpose
  • Happiness

You have to ask yourself as an HR leader, how can I provide what people are seeking so that employee retention, productivity and wellbeing remain high? 

But what are these benefits? And how do you provide them? Consider offering employees these seven creative benefits.

1. A flexible work environment

remote employeeAs we continue adjusting to the workplace due to the ongoing pandemic, it’s clear just how important a flexible work environment is.

Remaining at a desk for eight hours is viewed as a relic of the past. A progressive employer of choice for many people is one that actively offers flexibility and various work modes. This means allowing employees to work from home, permitting them to change their work hours depending upon need and making PTO more accessible. 

Keep in mind, flexibility goes beyond where employees work, but includes how and when as well. This flexibility in the workplace helps people feel that they’re a part of something bigger, and that their work has meaning. Their lives matter beyond their output, which ups employee morale and wellbeing. 

Discover more ideas and insight into the next era of work in Reward Gateway's  new Reset Report »

2. Recognition and rewards

88% of HR leaders agree that attracting and retaining talent is critical. To manage unwanted turnover, consider increasing reward and recognition. 73% of employees planning to leave their current job reported that these benefits would make them stay. 

HR leaders are in agreement – 96% report that employee reward and recognition is vital to retaining employees. 

thank you festival signShowing your employees you care is a necessity. If you are an employer looking to inspire your team, you may be looking for some examples of employee rewards and recognition. Here are some ideas to help you show some love to those who work so hard for your company.

Take time to recognize and thank colleagues for what they do by offering rewards. Feeling appreciated at work can lead to positive effects, such as: 

  • Higher output
  • Strengthened employee relationships
  • Better work/life balance
  • Better mental health overall

A creative way to show gratitude, spread positivity and promote encouragement is to use branded eCards, which anyone within your organization can send and receive. These eCards can reflect anything you choose, from showcasing your company values to hitting a company goal.

Creating a culture of appreciation around the frequency of praising and giving thanks is the best way to generate positivity and stand out as a great place to work.

3. New opportunities to connect

Allowing employees to take time to travel to different offices and experience other cultures is a fun and creative benefit that also invests in personal development. Traveling is a great way to have new experiences, meet new people and see new places. The world’s various cultures make for more ambitious, adventurous and cultured workers. 

employees connecting conceptBut with the pandemic’s challenges and restrictions, traveling isn’t as easy as it once was. You may be looking for new ways to promote connection and culture across locations, with employees spread out across the globe.

That’s exactly what Henley Properties Group, a Reward Gateway client, was facing. The team committed to improving employee communications by increasing blog frequency on the company’s engagement platform, the "Henley Hub." They made it more inviting and exciting for employees to log in, read and engage with the content.

"We can confidently say Henley Hub is the one place employees can go to find what they need,” said Emily Day, People and Culture Advisor at Henley Homes. “When somebody comes to us with an important update or an idea that will help other employees at work, we’re able to publish it really quickly and easily."

By upgrading to digital communications tools, HR leaders can give their people what they crave in the moment and boost connections from any location, at any time.

4. Meaningful discounts

Stretching disposable income is a key differentiator for employers in today’s crowded landscape. It’s key to help employees save big on the items or experiences they’re already buying. 


For example, providing employee discounts or vouchers to their favorite restaurants gives them a nice way to save money and enjoy themselves. They might do this on their lunch break, at dinner with family or during company lunches.

What's more, employees can access these discounts with a mobile app at the palm of their hands, to make these savings immediately impactful. 

5. A focus on employee wellbeing

Employee wellbeing is more important than ever. Organizations that prioritize their employees’ mental, physical and financial wellbeing will stand out amongst a sea of competitors. In fact, according to a recent study of 3,809 employees and senior HR decision-makers across the UK, U.S. and Australia, 44% of employees would like their employers to increase spending on employee wellbeing in the next year as a top investment.

wellbeing conceptMacmillan Cancer Support has focused on employee wellbeing as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19, where hundreds of its nurses and healthcare professionals were facing disrupted work routines, uncertainty and employee burnout because of elevated workloads.

MacMillan wanted to shine a spotlight on mental health and provide extra support to keep employees connected. With the introduction of "Top Banana," the company’s all-in-one employee engagement platform, the team has seen fast results. More than 25% of employees have engaged with the new platform, with 30% using the Wellbeing Center resources. Employees get full access to hundreds of videos and articles on improving physical, mental and financial wellbeing.

Supporting wellbeing isn’t just a nice perk anymore – it’s a must-have as many employees are on the verge of burnout. Leaders must find ways to improve employee wellbeing, especially when their people need it most.

Learn more about Macmillan Cancer Support's engagement and wellbeing journey »

6. Sabbaticals and family leave

Whether an employee just had a baby, is heading back to school, is dealing with a bereavement in the family or is experiencing a mental health crisis, time off is one of the greatest benefits they can receive. 

Many people worry about taking time off because of the financial insecurity it may bring. They push through illness, crises and major life events to put their job first.

Life happens, but a significant life change shouldn’t force someone to choose between their job versus family, health or wellness. 

Offering sabbaticals and family leave as a steady benefit is a great way to improve your EVP and your chances as being a top pick among job searchers. By providing paid time off, employees are better able to take care of themselves and their families, which results in more effective time management, better mental health and higher quality work.

7. Volunteer opportunities

Giving your people dedicated paid time off days is a surefire way to boost morale, while encouraging them to connect to their local community. Organizations that support their people, their interests and their skills outside of work will stand out as an employer that promotes a healthy work-life balance. Here are some ideas for volunteer days:

  • Blood donor days
  • Group volunteer days
  • Beach clean up days
  • Skilled-based volunteer days

Understanding what your people value and creating unique staff benefits can enhance your Employee Value Proposition and help your organization stand out as an employer of choice.

Interested in learning more about creative perks you can offer employees? Get in touch with an Employee Engagement Specialist today.

Request a conversation »

Carla Sutherland

Carla Sutherland is an HR Business Partner at Reward Gateway and adores her two French bulldogs, Pickles and Pesto.

HR Business Partner

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