What Extra Benefits Can You Offer to Create a Better Workplace?

This is an excerpt from our new ebook collaboration with BambooHR, “Your Total Rewards Questions: Answered.” The ebook is based on a panel discussion in which industry thought leaders offered their insights and tips on the biggest, most frequent concerns around total rewards. Get the full publication here.

From “paid, paid vacations” to merely saying thank you, there are a wide variety of things you can offer outside of pay to sweeten the deal for employees. Some of the most effective:

Two-Way Communication

While maybe not what comes to mind when you think of “benefits,” having two-way communication channels is a marker of a great workplace. Many leaders are accustomed to pushing out information, but pulling it in is equally important. Setting up systems in which employees feel they can provide honest feedback (you can make it anonymous) is conducive to an ever-improving environment.

Work/Life Balance

As we all know: Enabling work/life balance — whatever that means to your organization and your employees — is huge. This can take many forms: generous or unlimited PTO, flexible schedules, a liberal work-from-home policy — there’s even the notion of paid, paid vacations, in which the employer will refund your vacation expenses, as a way of encouraging you to get away and recharge. Do what makes sense for your company, but definitely give your work/life benefits some real thought and effort.


A little recognition can go really far. In Gallup’s annual global employee poll, they asked what employees want most to feel recognized. Seventy-six percent of respondents said they just wanted to hear the words “thank you.” Simple. Easy. Free!

How can you create a culture of what you might call “rampant recognition,” where it’s not just top performers being recognized by leadership, but everyone acknowledging each other? You could do a recognition wall, start a tradition of celebrating wins with a big round of applause, make thank you cards available, whatever. Recognition programs can be relatively low effort, with huge impact.

Development Opportunities

Employees who feel invested in are more likely to return the investment. Offering professional and leadership development opportunities is a win-win: While as the employer, you benefit from stronger employees, the individual picks up skills they can take with them beyond their current role. That’s hugely motivating — and rewarding.

Fun Extras

Find little ways to show you care about your employees as human beings. Have them bring their dogs or kids into work, open up your space for game-watching parties, plan regular team outings, etc. Make it about fun; not about work.

Curious to know what recommendations the panel had for other common questions about total rewards? Grab the ebook today!

Tell Us What You Think

What extra benefits have made the biggest difference for your organization? We want to hear from you. Tell us your story in the comments.

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