4 Perks Your Business Can Offer to Motivate Employees and Boost Retention

Sure, health and dental are nice perks of employment, and some people truly still do get excited about 401(k) matches. Yet, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to motivate and retain employees with these traditional offerings. If you know all too well about the struggle associated with attracting, impressing, and retaining top talent, it may be time to think outside the box to come up with a creative benefits package. Take your cues from the likes of Chipotle, Lowes, and CVS and give your employees what they really want — a mix of perks they can enjoy now and benefit from long into the future.

Paid Birthdays

It may seem like a trivial perk, but the truth is that Americans want their birthdays off. While they haven’t said this in so many words, the findings from an Ipsos Reid survey point to this conclusion. Per the survey, 89% of American adults say that it’s “very important” to spend birthdays with friends and loved ones. Of survey respondents, 79% agree that it’s more important to celebrate simple moments, such as one’s birthday, as life gets more complicated.

The bottom line is, your employees love their birthdays. Giving each employee a paid day off each year so they can celebrate is a small price to pay for a major boost in employee morale.

Student Loan Repayment Assistance

You do not need to pay off your employees’ student loans to notice an impact from this benefit — you simply need to help with the repayment process. An employee benefits survey found that the number of workers in positions that offer student loan repayment assistance doubled from 2018 to 2019. “Assistance” can take many forms, including the following:

  • Loan repayments in exchange for employees not taking paid time off
  • Making 401(k) contributions that match employees’ student loan repayments
  • Facilitating payments through payroll deferral
  • Offering onsite financial advice

The more assistance you can provide, the better. People want and need student loan assistance, and many are willing to structure their careers around companies that offer it.

Tuition Reimbursement

Whether you struggle with acquisition, retention, or both, tuition reimbursement may be just the solution you need to change that. Per the findings in one survey, 45% of millennials said they would change jobs for tuition reimbursement benefits. Most would be willing to stay with an employer who offers tuition reimbursement, even if another better offer came along. If you’re wondering how you can afford tuition reimbursement, the answer is, you don’t have to.

Federal tax law allows employers to reimburse employees up to $5,250 in tuition each year. In exchange, employers receive up to $5,250 back from the government per employee helped.

In addition to receiving remuneration, you also benefit from your employees’ higher education. As employees receive additional training and education, they become better equipped to do their jobs. Though you cannot force employees to go to a certain school, encourage them to take online courses, as online courses offer flexibility to balance school, work, and family life.

Relaxing Workspaces

Though not necessarily a part of the benefits package, creating a relaxing work environment that is devoid of the dreaded cubicle and beige walls and that is full of collaboration, color and life can significantly boost employee morale and retention. If anything, change up your workspace so that it’s open and inviting, and work your way up from there.

Benefits programs are becoming increasingly creative. If you want to stay competitive as an employer, it’s time to turn your innovative eye to new and fresh employee incentives. 

Somers HR Solutions, LLC can help businesses diagnose and overcome the challenges of leading and managing people in the workplace. To learn how our strategies can help you accelerate growth, book an introductory discussion.


  1. Avatar Marc Kroll on May 5, 2022 at 8:58 AM

    This has been the proverbial question among HR practitioners and consultants down through my career. The “tangibles” provide a base and entree for an employee to consider working for an organization. The decision to stay, I believe depends on the “intangibles”….your boss, your work peers, the culture/work environment, the industry and last but not least your job and how it evolves (or not).
    My son, who has worked for an on-line gaming organization for five years and says the industry is experiencing high growth and his job responsibilities are always changing. He works with VIP clients and is dealing with different challenges each day—that is what keeps him retained. Is the grass always greener? Yes. However, he also realizes what he may lose in terms of the above intangibles.

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