Innovative Fringe Benefits: How Companies Are Redefining Employee Rewards and Recognition

Employee recognition is critical to building a culture of appreciation. From recognizing new hires to celebrating milestones, creating a recognition program that spans the employee life cycle can drive engagement and retention.

Fringe benefits are perks that companies offer to their employees in addition to their core benefit offerings. Some of these fringe benefits may be taxable, meaning the recipient must include the benefit’s fair market value in their tax return.

Creating a Culture of Appreciation

Employees want to feel that their companies care about them, and it’s not just the salary. A strong culture of appreciation is critical to building loyalty and reducing turnover.

Creating an appreciation culture isn’t just about giving recognition; it’s also about knowing your employees and tailoring rewards to their individual needs. This involves evaluating your existing benefits and incentives to determine what matters to them and reallocating resources to areas with a high ROI.

Employee fringe benefits are a great way to show your employees that you’re thinking of them and value their work. They can range from the more traditional (like free meals and cafeteria subsidies) to the more unusual (like pet insurance, childcare reimbursement, or subsidized gym memberships). While many of these benefits are taxable, they’re still an excellent way to show your team that you care about them as people, not just about their paychecks.

Creating a Culture of Accountability

Providing fringe benefits like tuition assistance, fitness incentives, and even company-sponsored life insurance shows employees that the business cares about their well-being. This can boost employee morale and make them more productive and engaged in the work at hand. Plus, the perks can help minimize employee turnover, saving companies from the cost of recruiting and training new hires.

Employees who are happy at work will be more productive, as they’ll solve problems faster and work harder to achieve their goals. That’s why it is essential to keep them happy through fringe benefits like pet-friendly workplaces, subsidized lunches and below-market loan programs, yoga classes, ice cream on Fridays, and more.

Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) are also a great way to show that the company appreciates its employees. However, these benefits must be structured in a way that doesn’t violate federal laws based on gender, race, or other protected categories. That’s why it’s a good idea to consult with someone familiar with tax law when designing accountable plans.

Creating a Culture of Growth

Fringe benefits are perks that companies choose to offer their employees. They are usually not required by law, but they help boost employee satisfaction and loyalty. They can also be a key component in career advancements, as they help employees acquire new skills that lead to organizational promotions. For example, tuition reimbursement is a common fringe benefit that allows employees to further their education. Other fringe benefits, such as ESOPs, help to instill a sense of ownership among employees and create a culture of growth.

Traditionally, employee recognition has focused on praising employees for meeting or exceeding specific criteria, such as tenure or sales targets. Increasingly, however, organizations are shifting to a culture of growth by offering incentives for personal and professional development. For example, many companies now offer free gym memberships, free meals at the cafeteria, and discounted clothing stores. Some even offer childcare and commuter assistance. Additionally, democratizing the award nomination process using self-nomination and peer-nomination workflows can help reduce bias in reward selection.

Creating a Culture of Innovation

For a company to flourish and succeed, it must encourage innovation. Innovative companies can provide a better customer experience, increase efficiency, and build stronger relationships. It also helps to have a supportive team. Employees are more creative when they feel tethered to the company’s mission and goals.

Fringe benefits help to motivate employees and create a sense of community in the workplace. 

While these benefits aren’t required by law, they can be an excellent way to attract and retain top talent. Plus, they can help to boost morale and create a culture of recognition and appreciation. Most importantly, they can help a company become more competitive and stay ahead of the curve.