25 Low Cost Employee Benefits for a Healthier Year

Add these Affordable Employee Benefits to Your Total Compensation

••• Employee Benefits Wellness. Depositphotos.com/Jim_Filim

The New Year is an opportune time to start thinking of ways of boosting the corporate benefits package. In order to maintain costs, it's possible to add affordable options that support a healthy year for employees. This is especially critical as younger generations of employees are looking for flexible benefit options that give them more purchasing power.

Company compensation budgets are already stretched thin amidst health care reform, but that doesn’t mean your organization cannot offer an outstanding benefits package. Use the following information to build a generous employee group benefits program for your organization. 

Boost Your Total Compensation with these Top 25 Employee Benefits

Here are 25 low-cost employee benefits you can add to your benefit package that will help your employees stay healthy, happy, and more productive in year (in no particular order): 

  1. Onsite Gym and Fitness Equipment – No more excuses for not having time to exercise. Give your employees the chance to work out onsite with a small corporate gym, a yoga space, walking paths, a basketball court on one end of the parking lot, and bikes for commuting to and from the office.
  2. Company Catering – It can be difficult for employees to eat healthy when they are so busy at work, so you can set up a company catering plan with local restaurants. Make online ordering easy with a payroll deduction option, and have healthy meals delivered right to employee desks.
  1. Relaxed Dress Code – This costs absolutely nothing, but it can be viewed as a major benefit to employees who are sick of the office “fashion show”. Employees who work behind the scenes and don’t have client facing roles don’t need to be dressed up. Instead, allow office casual wear, like jeans and sneakers.
  2. Remote/Telecommuting – Having work life balance can lead to greater employee well-being. The option to work from home a couple times per week is viewed as a major benefit to those who have other responsibilities.
  1. Extra Time Off for Parents – While we are talking about people who have responsibilities, parents need time to care for newborns and therefore a generous time off policy for new moms and dads can be a great low cost benefit.
  2. Financial Wellness Support – Student loans, mortgages, and other consumer debts are burdening many employees today. Having access to financial wellness tools like SmartDollar can be a huge benefit to offer to employees so they can lead a better life.
  3. Flexible Shifts – The ability to have greater flexibility in work shifts is often viewed as a perk for employees. Offer three arrival and leave times so that employees can come in or leave a little late once in a while without causing productivity issues.
  1. Stress-Free Zone – Set up a break area where there is soft seating, low lights, aromatherapy and relaxing music to sooth and calm nerves. This can be a low cost benefit that all employees can enjoy if they are overwhelmed or have a breakdown due to work frustrations.
  2. Corporate Discount Program – Chances are your company has a number of relationships with local vendors, electronics and telecommunication providers, travel companies, and more. Why not pass discounts and exclusive benefits to your employees in a corporate discount program?
  1. Free Chair Massages – There is nothing quite like having a relaxing chair massage after working so hard all week. This can be a great way to give back and support wellness for employees anytime.
  2. Dental and Vision Discount Plans – While your company may not have the budget for standard group plans, it’s possible to buy into lower cost dental, vision, chiropractic care, prescription discount, and other voluntary benefits for employees.
  3. Lunch and Learns – Employers who encourage employees to learn and advance in their careers are often viewed in a more positive way. Bring in experts to teach employees during lunch and learn sessions, on work related topics.
  1. Commuter Credits – Encourage the use of public transportation to cut down on commuter congestion and reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Provide credits for bus rides by handing out bus and subway passes to participating employees. Encourage carpooling and using ride-hailing services with employee bonuses. 
  2. Laundry Services – Having a tidy wardrobe can be tough when one has to be at work all the time. Provide a free dry cleaning laundry pick up service to employees each week so someone else can deal with it.
  1. Referral Bonuses – It’s important to hire the right people, so why not provide an incentive for employees who refer great candidates to your company? Issue a bonus after a referred employee has been on the job for 60 days.
  2. Credit Union Memberships – Choosing a good financial institute can be challenging, especially for new hires or those transferring to a new region. Make it easy with a cash bonus for using a preferred local credit union.
  3. Pregnant Employee Parking Spots – Your pregnant employees will appreciate not having to walk so far into their offices when you assign a few premium parking spots just for them.
  1. Community Service Rewards – Contributing to local causes and improving the community is all part of corporate responsibility nowadays. Be sure to encourage employees who get involved by offering them paid time off for hours spent on community service.
  2. Bring Pets to Work – Many employees will be happy if they can bring their best furry or feathered friends into the office with them once a week, like these pet-friendly workplaces. Host a bring your pet to work day to make this benefit known. 
  3. Family Events – A huge benefit that many employees will appreciate is if the company embraces family and hosts a few family friendly events each year. Try an old-fashioned summertime picnic or a winter holiday gathering complete with entertainment for the kids.
  1. Top Level Technology – Giving employees the chance to get their hands on the latest in technology can be viewed as a benefit too. Make sure you set up work stations that include new technology and software.
  2. Multiple Insurance Plans – There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to employee benefits anymore. Employees want several levels of health benefits when choosing group plans. Provide low-cost supplemental insurance offerings to make your plans more customized. 
  3. Performance Incentives – Say thanks to your employees on a regular basis by boosting salaries, handing out performance-based incentives, and showing your appreciation for their efforts. A monthly celebration of achievement can be a boon to employee morale. 
  1. Information Library – Set up a corporate library that gives all employees access to the information they need to grow in their careers. The library can include courses and company directories.
  2. Life Coaching – It can be hard having a direction in any career and in life, therefore a nice benefit to give employees is access to a certified life coach.

Remember, be creative when it comes to developing a competitive total compensation package for your employees. Think about the things that matter to them and find ways to support them to be a more responsible employer.