15 Affordable Employee Benefits to Help Improve Retention

Feb 19, 2024

affordable employee benefits

Employee benefits are the cornerstone of a thriving organization. Perks and benefits are pivotal in enhancing job satisfaction, attraction and retention rates, employee well-being, and overall workplace morale. While some organizations may feel constrained by budget limitations, numerous low- and no-cost benefits can significantly impact employee happiness and productivity.

Here are 15 budget-friendly employee benefits.

Affordable Benefits That Employees Want

Many of today’s most popular benefits come at little to no cost for employers. As the race for talent remains tight, employers may consider offering the following affordable employee benefits to appeal to workers:

1. Flexible work arrangements

Many of today’s workers desire flexible work hours or the option to work remotely. This flexibility can greatly improve work-life balance and reduce stress levels. Remember that flexible work arrangements require clear policies and communication to ensure accountability and consistency among workers.

2. Flexible vacation policies

Instead of rigid vacation accrual systems, more employers are implementing unlimited or flexible vacation policies. Trusting employees to manage their time off can lead to greater autonomy and responsibility and help reduce burnout. However, flexible policies require trust and accountability from employees and may entail additional coordination to manage leave schedules.

3. Wellness programs

Popular wellness initiatives include yoga classes, meditation sessions, or health challenges. Promoting physical and mental well-being can lead to healthier, happier employees. Wellness programs are trending as a way to foster a positive company culture. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that they often require commitment and resources for planning and implementation.

4. Family-friendly policies

The path to and journey of parenthood are unique. Employers can offer attractive family-friendly policies, such as parental leave, flexible childcare arrangements, generous nursing breaks, or assistance with adoption expenses. Supporting employees in their family responsibilities can improve loyalty and morale.

5. Professional development opportunities

Today’s workers value learning and development programs for their career growth. Investing in employee professional growth opportunities, such as online courses, workshops, or conferences, demonstrates a commitment to their long-term success.

6. Employee recognition programs

Emotional salary, which comprises nonmonetary components contributing to an employee feeling adequately rewarded at work, contributes to higher levels of job satisfaction. Frequent recognition is one such factor of emotional salary that can help keep workers happy. When employees feel valued, recognized, and appreciated for their contributions, they are more likely to enjoy their work and find it fulfilling. Therefore, employers can establish a system for publicly acknowledging and rewarding outstanding performance. Recognition doesn’t always have to come with a monetary reward; a simple “thank you” can go a long way.

7. Employee assistance programs (EAPs)

These programs can help employees save on healthcare expenses, provide tax benefits, and promote financial wellness. While such programs require administrative setup, the payoff can be worth it, as EAPs provide confidential support for employees dealing with personal or work-related issues.

8. Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs)

Even if an organization can’t afford to provide comprehensive health care benefits, offering FSAs or HSAs allows employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for medical expenses, which may reduce their financial burden.

9. Financial education workshops

More workers want guidance to increase their financial literacy. To meet this desire, employers can provide resources or workshops on personal finance management, budgeting, and retirement planning. Empowering employees with financial literacy can alleviate stress and improve overall well-being.

10. Mentorship programs

Mentorship can facilitate knowledge transfer, boost career development and employee engagement, and strengthen the company’s talent pipeline. By offering mentoring resources or pairing junior employees with experienced mentors within the organization, a company can foster professional growth, skill development, and a sense of belonging. A mentorship program can easily be scaled based on employees, roles, and organization.

11. Paid volunteer time

Employers can encourage community engagement by granting paid time off for employees to volunteer with charitable organizations. Giving back to the community fosters a sense of purpose and fulfillment and may even enhance team bonding.

12. Casual dress code

Relaxing the dress code policy can make employees feel more comfortable and increase morale. This option could entail casual Fridays or more lax requirements during the summer. The dress code policy should be clearly defined to avoid confusion.

13. Summer hours

To help boost employee morale and satisfaction during the summer months, employers can offer summer hours, such as closing an hour or two early on Fridays. This perk demonstrates flexibility and trust from the employer and can ultimately help improve employees’ work-life balance during vacation season.

14. Employee discount programs

Employers can offer discounts that appeal to workers’ interests and needs. This perk allows employees to save money on their everyday purchases, which can improve their financial literacy and boost company loyalty. Keep in mind that exclusive discounts hinge on partnerships and negotiation, and they may not be equally beneficial to all employees, depending on their interests and preferences.

15. Health and wellness resources

It may be beneficial to provide access to resources such as mental health hotlines, virtual counseling sessions, or fitness and meditation apps. Prioritizing employee well-being sends a clear message that their health is valued.


Offering employee benefits doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. These low- or no-cost benefits that workers value can enable employers to create a supportive and fulfilling work environment that, in turn, attracts and retains top talent. Investing in employee satisfaction not only boosts morale and productivity but also strengthens the overall success and reputation of the organization.

© 2024 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Are You Offering the Right Employee Benefits?

While offering benefits, in general, helps attract and retain employees, you also want to be sure the benefits you’re offering are relevant and important to your specific workforce. But how do you know if the benefits you provide are the right ones? A cultural review from GTM’s HR consultants gives you an insightful and thorough look at what your employees like about your business and where you can improve, including in the realm of employee benefits. The audit is done confidentially and can be company-wide or designed for specific departments within your organization. Fill out the brief form below to learn more.

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