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What are the top non-monetary benefits for employees?

In a perfect world, your employees would all be super motivated and hardworking top performers. While every business will have its share of top performers, the reality is that most employees will be, well, average. The key struggle for many business owners and HR teams is in motivating these employees.

In some cases, money will be the main motivator, but in recent years, and with Gen Z becoming increasingly integrated into all levels of business, companies are finding that compensation is not the top motivator, benefits are. Here, we take a look at some of the top non-monetary benefits for employees.

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What exactly are non-monetary benefits?

Before we take a look into the top non-monetary benefits, it would be beneficial to first define what they are. Generally speaking, these are benefits that do not provide employees with compensation, and, as such, you might also see these called non-cash benefits.

At Pacific Prime, however, we prefer to narrow this benefit a little. First off, when we discuss employee benefits, we are focusing on those benefits that are focused on insurance, health, wellness, and more. This is because our experience has taught us that the most successful employee benefit solutions are built around health and other insurance solutions.

Insurance (health and other) also makes up a large portion of benefit expenditures. For example, this document from the US Department of Labor looks at the relative importance of employer costs for employee compensation. It reports that insurance and health make up the two highest expenditures aside from wages – 8.7% and 8.2% respectively.

Due to this, we define non-monetary benefits as any benefits that do not directly put money into an employee’s bank account. Where this differs from the general definition is that we do include certain benefits that have a monetary value i.e., a benefit that provides employees with USD $500 for health checkups, as non-monetary.

From this, you can further divide non-monetary benefits into three separate categories:

  • Psychological – benefits that support your employee’s mental and psychological health.
  • Medical – benefits that support your employee’s physical health.
  • Lifestyle – benefits that support your employee’s lifestyle.

To that end, let’s take a look at non-monetary benefits that are being requested by, and we have implemented for, companies around the world.

Psychological benefits

Mental health is becoming an important issue in an increasing number of countries. Yes, many countries in Asia have a long way to go to catch up to where some Western countries are, but steps are being made by governments and companies alike to provide more support to their citizens and employees.

Common benefits we and our partners have worked to implement include:

  • Mental health cover
  • Psychologist network
  • Mental health education
  • Mental health wellness programs
  • Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

In many cases, employers are looking at including coverage of visits to psychologists and even therapists in their health insurance package.

We are also seeing stronger demand for education, and support resources that companies can share with employees. This can be multifaceted, but the most popular requests have been around providing written material such as articles, checklists, etc., and lists of professionals who can help with specific issues, such as psychologists who will accept direct billing from the company’s insurer.

Another emerging, yet incredibly useful, benefit is the Employee Assistance Program. These are designed to help support your employees in times of crisis and are starting to become requested by larger companies in many markets. Some common issues that these programs can address include:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Child care needs
  • Stress and/or burnout
  • Financial problems
  • Relationship problems

Lifestyle benefits

As the name suggests, these are non-monetary benefits that focus on supporting an employee’s lifestyle. This is a very broad topic that in many cases will largely depend on where your offices are located, the people you hire, budget, and more.

Interestingly, this is often where we see companies differ the most in terms of the top non-monetary benefits they choose to offer. That said, there are some of the most commonly requested benefits that we have seen regardless of industry or location. These include:

  • Flexible working arrangement
  • Gym passes/yoga classes
  • Childcare support
  • Domestic helper coverage
  • Healthy eating initiatives
  • Preventative health
  • Life insurance

We’ve seen in the past few years increasing interest from companies to include certain lifestyle-related benefits in their employee benefits solutions. The most common have been preventative health-related, like health education, healthy eating initiatives, and checkups.

For companies with multiple offices around the world, we have seen continued requests for benefits that support expat staff. These include things such as support for moving, and benefits covering the whole family in the new country, including those listed above.

Medical benefits

Medical-related benefits are arguably the single most important non-monetary benefit as, in many cases, employers use health insurance plans to build their benefits solution off of. Not to mention the fact that offering medical insurance is still one of the best attraction and retention strategies that can be employed by businesses of any size to give them an edge.

When it comes to medical-related benefits, the top non-monetary employee benefits we are seeing being requested include:

  • Health insurance (inpatient and outpatient)
  • Maternity insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Family coverage

Health and medical benefits will always remain a large part of effective employee benefits solutions, and, when implemented and rolled out correctly, companies can reap huge benefits in terms of higher retention, productivity, and attracting talent.

If you are looking to implement or improve your employee benefits solution, take a look at our video on the top 3 non-monetary employee benefits from employers to consider.

For more insight into the latest employee benefits trends, download your free copy of our Global Employee Benefits Trends Report 2020 today.

Looking for the ideal employee benefits package for your company? Our team of dedicated experts can work with you to identify your needs and the solutions that will meet them. On top of that, they can even manage the whole program from start to finish. Contact us today to learn how.

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Content Strategist at Pacific Prime
Jessica Lindeman is a Content Strategist at Pacific Prime. She comes to work every day living and breathing the motto of "simplifying insurance", and injects her unbridled enthusiasm for health and insurance related topics into every article and piece of content she creates for Pacific Prime.

When she's not typing away on her keyboard, she's reading poetry, fueling her insatiable wanderlust, getting her coffee fix, and perpetually browsing animal Instagram accounts.