Modern benefits for your employees - explanation, examples and strategy

Benefits are becoming increasingly important in the competition for skilled workers. Modern benefits are suitable for a strong and future-oriented employer brand. These are benefits that take social developments and trends into account. They are perceived by many employees as innovative and special, which increases your attractiveness as an employer. Some examples are measures that have a positive impact on work-life balance, health or the mobility behavior of your team. The choice for or against an offer should always be made as a team. The checklist and the discussion with your team are suitable for this.

Steven Knaack

June 23, 2023

 - · 

5 min read

Do you want to attract skilled workers, motivate your team and do it as efficiently as possible? Then modern employee benefits are exactly what you need! What at first glance looks like another cost item turns out to be a growth booster for your business upon closer inspection. A parking space or free fruit no longer attract applicants from the reserve. Modern employee benefits make you a magnet for skilled workers and give you an edge over other companies.

Employee benefits: an optional gesture or must-have?

Extending your vacation by a week of remote work, taking your job bike out into nature, or going to sports at a reduced price. These benefits may not be vital to your team's survival, but they're still very popular. And they have a significant impact on the success of the company. 

Because they show how you support your team. And that's important for skilled workers on the labor market as well as employee retention and team motivation:

1. attract the best talent:

Professionals can choose their desired job. But they will choose you if they see a unique benefit. Especially benefits that support hobbies, families or travel plans put your job posting in pole position.

2. strengthen team spirit and increase employee loyalty:

Benefits such as team outings or sports allowances make work more relaxed and take the pressure off everyday life. A change of job is always associated with restrictions because the benefits are no longer available. In times of weekly LinkedIn job offers, this strong employee loyalty is worth its weight in gold.

3. keep the motivation high: 

According to a new LinkedIN study, Gen-Z is happy to work harder if the conditions are right. For one-third of those surveyed, the team feeling and a good work-life balance are among them. Company events, joint lunches or vacation days for voluntary work influence precisely these areas. In addition, a training budget motivates your team to learn new skills. This is the most cost-effective way to initiate innovation processes, fill vacancies or make the team fit for the future.

A benefit for all cases: The effects using the example of sabbaticals

A long trip is a big dream for many people, for which they also quit. As a result, companies lose experienced team members and have to fill positions at great expense. A sabbatical is therefore a modern benefit that is popular on both sides and fulfills all three functions:

  • You already show in the job advertisement that you support the plans of your employees. This increases the attractiveness of the company and leads to more applications. 
  • Change offers are no longer so tempting. A sabbatical is often only possible after 3-5 years of service and is not welcomed everywhere.
  • Your employees are more motivated because you support them in their dreams and plans. 


In summary, it's a good deal for your employees and you. Your team doesn't have to leave the job and can enjoy the trip without having to apply from abroad. You get more applications and get your most valuable resource: a motivated team!

Benefits vs. salary increase - a situational decision

Benefits are not compensation for an unfair salary or a poor corporate culture. As the name suggests, they come on top. This means that they are only perceived as positive when the other framework conditions are right.

There is no general answer to the question of whether you should offer your team a salary increase or benefits. It is worthwhile to discuss this with your team, because salary increases also have disadvantages in some cases. 

For some employees, a salary increase may not be attractive at all. This is the case when a new tax rate applies or entitlements to other benefits, such as BAföG for the children, cease. That's why benefits are often the better choice.

Benefits reduce your employees' expenses. As a result, they have more money at the end of the month. This is because part of their costs are covered by your training budget, the flat-rate meal allowance or the job ticket. These expenses are also tax deductible for your company. 

Another great advantage is the flexibility. Benefits are an add-on and can therefore be individually selected and adapted. One employee is happy about a meal allowance, a colleague about a job bike and a third person about a discounted sports offer. No matter how your team is set up, there are suitable benefits for every situation.

What are modern employee benefits?

Modern benefits take into account contemporary work cultures and social trends. In the past, company cars or dedicated parking spaces were fashionable. Today, however, job bikes, public transport subsidies and mobility budgets are very popular. The option for remote work, i.e. working outside the office, is also an often-listed benefit. This is where opinions differ:

Remote work is definitely beneficial for employees and part of the "work-life balance" trend. On the other hand, location-independent working is standard in many industries. At the latest since the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that this model works. Therefore, remote work is not a modern benefit in this list. However, new benefits are developing from this, which in turn are then considered modern.

One example is the subsidy for home office equipment. The contemporary remote culture is leading to more and more people working from home. This saves companies office costs and gives them access to a larger pool of applicants. This trend is encouraged by many workers with allowances for technology or furniture. This relieves the burden on workers who would otherwise have to purchase the expensive equipment themselves. 

For a better understanding I have collected four upper ranges:

1. work-life balance: work and free time can no longer be so sharply separated. Many employers therefore support their team in organizing their daily routine. This makes for satisfied and balanced employees.

  1. Home office furnishings: A height-adjustable desk, ergonomic chairs or a second monitor make work in the home office easier. The allowance relieves your employees financially. In addition, they have more opportunities to organize their daily lives because they save on commuting to work. 
  2. Sabbatical: Allows your employees to realize their dream of traveling. And without losing valuable experience. There are many ways to arrange this. The employee can take unpaid leave, receive half salary in advance if full time and the 2nd half is paid during the sabbatical or the employment contract is paused for the time. 
  1. Workations: The dream of the beach office. The team travels together and works, for example, from accommodation near the beach. Free time can be spent individually, but also used for team activities. Admittedly, this is a costly benefit. The cohesion will show in the team feeling and motivation in the long run. 
  2. Company daycare (places): Especially in large cities, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find suitable childcare options. Let alone the daycare center is closed due to illness. This is where the employer can help. Either the necessary freedom is granted, or a company offer is even established (e.g. in cooperation with other local companies).

2. health: Due to the increasing attention to physical and mental health, this area is also represented in the modern benefits. 

  1. Yoga: Turning a meeting room into a yoga studio once a week? Works wonders for the health and cohesion of the team. Youtube tutorials are the low-budget, remote option. If you like it more exclusive, you can get a professional to lead the course. Drink or goat yoga is also suitable as a team event.
  2. Fitness budget: Sporting activity is the ideal balance to office jobs. A subsidy for club or studio membership is motivating and appreciated. Each team member can thereby pursue their own hobby.
  3. Food: Meal vouchers or joint lunches happen and have a particularly positive effect on team spirit. This relieves the burden on your employees and encourages new encounters. 
  4. Massage: An exotic benefit that is guaranteed to be loved. Whether for couch potatoes or jocks, a massage increases well-being and does you good.
  5. Mental health: In these offerings, an atmosphere of trust and an open climate are the basic prerequisites. Ideas include regular coaching offers, individual wellness days or counseling programs.

3. sustainable mobility: Depending on the situation of the employees, car commuters can of course also be subsidized. For modern companies, however, it makes sense to promote the sustainable mobility of the team as much as possible. This can start with a simple idea such as internal car pooling.

  1. Job bike: The beauty of the bike is that your employees also benefits from it privately. Because the job bikes can also be used privately. You are not only contributing to nature conservation, but also to the health and satisfaction of your employees. 
  2. Public transport allowance: This benefit works wonders, especially in metropolitan areas and on well-developed public transport routes. Here, too, your employees will benefit on the weekend. Depending on acceptance, you can do without expensive company parking spaces.
  3. Rent out your (electric) fleet: Are the vehicles in your fleet just sitting around on weekends? Then make them available to your team for an excursion, a move or a short trip. Maybe you save some people the cost of owning a car.

4. coaching & continuing education: The topic of continuing education is always in fashion. However, the increasing number of courses on offer means that there needs to be room for maneuver in the selection process. Your team knows best which training programs will help them advance. Educational programs outside your industry are also valuable. Training as a yoga coach is a great balance to an office job and creates new opportunities. Who knows, maybe your team will soon enjoy regular yoga sessions? Relaxation breaks definitely increase productivity. Talk to your team and weigh in for support.

  1. Training in your own industry: For you the most favorable opportunity to bring new ability into the team and to promote motivated employees . Qualified personnel can expand your product portfolio, fill vacancies and increase the quality of your offer.
  2. Further education outside the industry: Your employees want to learn and develop? Consider yourself lucky! Support them in their interests and you will notice that the mood, motivation and willingness increases.  

You see, benefits are more than free soda and a remote option. The modern benefits jungle is dense. But don't worry, not every benefit fits your company or is desired by your employees. So here are a few tips on how to find modern benefits for your employees.

Here's how to find the right benefits for your team:

You are motivated and already have an idea what you would like to offer your team? Great! Before you get started, I would like to give you 4 important points. Then the project "Benefit" is guaranteed to be a success.

1. exchange information with your team:  

Benefits are first and foremost about your employees. Of course, they also contribute to your employer brand, but they are still intended for the team. The first step is therefore an exchange with your team. Workshops or one-on-one meetings with team leads and individual employees are a good way to do this. This gives you an insight into the team. 

2. make sure that everyone benefits: 

Modern benefits take into account different work circumstances and professional constellations. If only part of your team is in the office, your team events will only bring that part of the team together. The same goes for joint lunches. Instead, a short workation, individual allowances or, in moderation, remote events may be suitable. 

3. check if it fits into the corporate culture: 

If the first two points are fulfilled, see if the benefit fits the corporate culture and values. This is a big lever for your employer brand and attractiveness on the job market. Many companies have made sustainability one of their core values. Show that you are serious and support your team in living this value.

4. be creative and try things out: 

There are no limits to your imagination! A company from Mannheim (SNOCKS) brings a hairdresser into the office once a week. Unconventional, but ingenious. If it works, it's right. You can also get your inspiration from outside the company. Your team will help you choose the right modern benefits. 


Benefits are a gesture of appreciation for your most valuable asset, your employees. They help your company grow by attracting and motivating new professionals. It is important that you discuss and select different benefits together with your team. If everyone benefits and the benefits fit the company, you've hit the bull's eye. 

Modern benefits take social trends and developments into account. This makes you attractive, especially to young professionals, and positions your company for the future. Sooner or later, modern benefits will become more normal and more widely offered. Remote working is a good example of this. Five years ago, location-independent working was still a unique selling point. Today, this freedom is standard in many industries and is also seen as such by many professionals. 

Benefits that affect the work-life balance, health and mobility of your team are considered modern. This is because these areas have also become more socially present. Coaching and further training are also modern benefits. Through subsidies, you retain and promote motivated employees and provide incentives for further training. The choice of offerings grows daily, so it makes sense to give your team some leeway. Even if the training is not in your line of business, it's worth supporting your employees and finding a solution together.

The best strategy for implementing modern employee benefits is to talk to your team now. Listen to their ideas, gather examples and decide as a team. There are no limits to your creativity, as the examples show. You'll feel the new energy just from the conversations.


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