#HR Trends and Insights

Put the Power of Unique Employee Benefits to Work

December 20, 2023

Employee expectations are shifting, and traditional employee benefits packages aren’t what they used to be.

A mix of traditional employee benefits and non-traditional benefits will create the perfect comprehensive benefits package to serve up to the top talent you want to acquire and retain current employees.

Forbes Advisor found that 40% of employers say workers quit their jobs to find a role offering better employee benefits.

What Is a Traditional Employee Benefit?

What financial wellness benefits is the modern workforce looking for?

There are a few major types of employee benefits, generally considered traditional benefits, which include:

  • Paid time off.
  • Vacation time.
  • Retirement plans.
  • Health benefits.
  • Disability.
  • Life insurance.

According to Katie Mahoney, Vice President of Health Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Employees value their employer-sponsored health coverage, and they believe it is fundamentally important for employers to offer it.”

Health benefits are considered “extremely important” (83%) or “very important” (13%) by 96% of employees.

Add in an employee’s salary and bonuses and therein lies the foundation of a typical compensation package.

Without the basics, job seekers aremore likely to look elsewhere, but that’s not enough to keep today’s talent on your team—1 in 10 workers would even take a pay cut for better benefits.

What Is a Non-Traditional Employee Benefit?

With more than 60% of businesses changing their packages in the last year, being traditional isn’t really working for the modern workforce.

Companies are looking to expand their offerings beyond the norm to entice today’s workers and curb employee turnover, even into the realm of pet insurance.

Some other less-than-traditional employee perks include the following:

These perks are all currently in great demand. Among these, childcare options and pet care are also highly favored.

What Are Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSA)?

Lifestyle Spending Accounts differ from Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA):

  • HSA sets aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualifying medical expenses.
  • FSA puts pre-tax payroll deductions into a special account to pay for out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
  • LSA,or Lifestyle Spending Accounts, are employee referral programs, not used solely for medical costs but as one of the most flexible employee assistance programs.

Lifestyle Spending Accounts can be used to pay for mental and physical health, fitness, and more to improve employees’ overall general healthand well-being.

LSA positively impacts both employees and employers, helping reduce stress and increase morale and productivity.

Lifestyle Spending Accounts let your employees save and access funds for things they enjoy.

By setting up unique spending controls and a Multi-Benefit Card with an employee referral program, funds can be added monthly or quarterly and used on predetermined items, giving control to employees and their employers.

TIP: Use Edenred to upgrade your current benefits package, and learn more about using LSA to improve your benefits package.

8 Unique (And Budget-Friendly) Employee Benefits

Not every company has big tech money to spend, but more economic ways exist to make employees feel valued.

Even smaller businesses can do creative things to reduce employee turnover, increase employee engagement, and retain employees they value.

Here’s a list of our favorite unique employee perks:

1. Install a Lending Library

Ask employees to bring in books they no longer use, purchase a few to add, put up a bookshelf, and there’s a company lending library ready to go!

Add in industry-specific books employees can borrow to increase their professional development.

2. Services They Won’t Soon Forget

Offering massages, facials, and haircuts is a great way to help employees meet their self-care needs.

Your company can also bring in a mechanic to do oil checks or schedule a dry-cleaning pick-up from a nearby service. Employees can just bring their dirty clothing items with them and not have to make another stop on the way to or from work!

3. Provide Free Snacks

Everyone appreciates a good snack when they’re working. Promote employee wellness and boost morale with healthy, tasty snacks for the workforce.

The cost is controllable, and employees will know they’re being thought of and cared for.

4. Create a Relaxation Room

Another way to promote a positive company culture is by installing a relaxation room. Redecorate an empty office to make a space for meditating, lounging, or even napping.

Put together comfortable seats, cushions, bean bags, and blankets to economically build an attractive benefit employees can take advantage of.

5. Run Mental Health Workshops

Many employees place a great value on mental health, which is why employers should consider running mental health workshops.

These workshops can help employees conquer work-related anxiety and stress. Focus on things like job pressure, team motivation, and specific issues your workforce faces.

Boosting employee wellness is always a positive thing!

6. Start a Seasonal Group Activity

Summer calls for picnics, and fall is ripe for hay bale mazes and pumpkin patch visits.

Make it an employee-only trip to bump up morale and bond or invite the families to make it extra memorable and improve company culture.

7. Flexibility

Closed office doors and uninviting cubicles don’t do much to promote unity or creativity in the workplace.

Try creating flexible workspaces like standing desks, treadmill desks, or multiple desk options to promote collaboration.

8. Take Your Dog to Work

Burton offers this as a job perk, and their employees take advantage of that option every day.

Allowing pets at work requires a bit of setup and employee cooperation, but this is a benefit the modern workforce places great value on.

Seventy percent of American households have furry friends they hate leaving at home.

Take time to think about the things that would most help your workforce:

  • What would make their lives easier?
  • What would make them feel special, seen, and appreciated?

Each group is different, so putting a finger on the pulse of a team will help create a more comprehensive benefits package.

What Benefits Are Most Attractive to Employees?

The employee rewards programs and benefits that are most desirable are in a constant state of flux. As the times change, so too do the benefits craved.

Understandably, patterns emerge in employee rewards programs that seem to fall along the lines of generations.

Here are the most attractive benefits to working-aged people:

1. Gen Z (1997-2012)

This group values employee access to a hybrid or remote work environment, tuition reimbursement or student loan repayment plans, flexible paid time off (PTO), health care coverage, and access to Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).

2. Millennials/Gen Y (1981-1996)

The largest generation currently in the workforce places greater importance on a flexible work schedule, mental health days and resources, student loan repayment assistance, maternity leave, and a healthy work-life balance.

3. Gen X (1965-1980)

Money is always an issue for this “sandwich” generation, simultaneously paying student loan debt, elder care, and childcare.

This group desires flexible work options, paid time off, paid parental leave and childcare, assistance with student loan debt, matching contributions to retirement plans, mental health coverage, and wellness programs.

4. Baby Boomers (1946-1964)

This generation prioritizes health care benefits, placing medical insurance (vision insurance and dental insurance) at the top of the list, along with life insurance, health screening, wellness programs, financial wellness programs and benefits, health savings accounts, and an employer-matched 401(k).

Contact Edenred

A unique benefits package helps define an organization and makes a company stand out from the competition.

Potential hires and current employees will see the time and effort spent crafting something that makes them feel seen, needed, and cared for.

Paramount to employee wellness is a benefits package that puts the physical and mental health of the workforce first but also provides them with easy ways to have a solid work-life balance.

If your current package needs some attention, schedule a meeting with us to learn how to efficiently and effectively modernize it!

Are you interested in our solutions?

Latest articles

Explore Relevant Topics

Here’s a couple of other relevant topics that you might be looking for. If you’re looking for something else feel free to search for it below.

Commuter Benefits

Financial Well-being

Health + Nutrition


Trends + Insights




New York



Lifestyle Spending Accounts


San Francisco



Ticket Restaurant

All Topics