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3 min read

In an increasingly competitive marketplace for talent, standard benefits are no longer effective recruiting tools. Here are six of the top creative employee benefits ideas that showcase employers thinking outside the box:

international travel is a creative employee benefit 

1. Offer travel opportunities to your employees.

Encouraging employees to take time out to experience other cultures is an imaginative way to spark personal development. International travel is often the best way to experience new places and people, helping businesses attract adventurous thinkers.

Offering sabbaticals is also a unique way to prevent employee burnout and retain top talent. If you operate a global business, encourage employees to travel between global offices to keep things fresh for them. For many, this will be hugely more valuable than an increase in wage.

lottery is a creative staff benefit

2. All-staff lottery.

Create a buzz with a lottery draw for all staff, with real cash prizes. At Reward Gateway we offer 13 prizes a month: three big money prizes and 10 runners-up, and we film the draw every month as part of our in-house tv production to get staff excited. (The costumes are epic.)

It’s one of the more expensive creative employee benefits, but hands-down the best-loved by our staff. If you have less budget to spend, you could try doing this quarterly or annually instead, or offering fewer top prizes.

 saving money and creative employee benefits

3. Help your employees save money.

Anything you can do to stretch your employee’s paychecks will be thoroughly appreciated by your workforce. A combination of financial advice and well-positioned employee discounts is the best approach to helping them save money, whether that’s helping them budget or easing some of their out-of-pocket expenses. Astonishing shopping discounts (like we offer via our SmartSpending product), subsidized gym memberships, tuition reimbursement and employee-matched savings are just a few possibilities.

 duvet days and creative employee benefits

4. Duvet Days and Duvet Mornings

Duvet days are an innovative way to tackle staff absence. The concept is simple - each employee is given license to take a day or a morning off at last minute notice. If a member of staff is feeling slightly ill or just doesn’t feel up to a hard day’s work, they can call in at very short notice before their shift and ask to take a duvet day.

With millions of bogus “sick days” taken each year, duvet days can help prevent burnoutwith flexible working and save businesses money.

flexitime and creative staff benefits 

5. Flexible working

Leading on from duvet days, flexible working is a growing trend in many sectors of the economy. Successful companies often try to create environments in which staff are empowered to take ownership of their work, and trusting them to direct their own time management and be innovative on their own time is part of that. By letting employees manage their own schedule to whatever extent you can, you can improve employee satisfaction and engagement. 

 thank you and creative employee benefits

6. Creative recognition

Taking the time to say thank you to your colleagues is the easiest form of employee recognition, and is appreciated by people on all levels. One our of favorite ways to say "well done" is through our e-cards, part of our recognition platform. 

Employee recognition is best approached creatively. While bonuses and other monetary recognition is also important, once money is spent, it is quickly forgotten. Creating a culture of gratitude around the frequency of saying thank you is the best way to generate long-lasting positivity, and can be easily done with online e-cards or other forms of recognition. 

Employee turnover and employee motivation both have an immense impact on revenues, on company culture and on talent competition in the marketplace. Unique staff benefits like these can help enhance your employee value proposition and help your business stand out from the crowd.


Megan Gough

Megan Gough
Reward Gateway

As the UK-based Head of Client Communications, Megan has one clear focus; hone the engagement levels of our clients' benefits platforms and carefully tailor the communication to each workforce.

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