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How creative employee benefits could improve your business

creative employee benefits
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Employee benefits could enhance your business performance because they are crucial to current and potential employees.

The best employees will want the best employee benefits, and we exist in a candidate-driven market.

Make sure you have included the top 10 employee benefits as required by law and best practice.

Consider adding more creative employee benefits as a way to attract the best and stand out from your competition.

Implement them properly and market them widely, internally and externally.

Competition might be rife amongst businesses these days, but it is now also higher than ever when it comes to employees. Gone are the days of employees picking one organization in which to spend their careers.

A demand for a better work/life balance and support has led employees to be far pickier when it comes to their workplace. In the GCC, a Hays study found that ‘69% of respondents said they were not satisfied with their current salary and benefits package, and 57% said they were anticipating a move to a new company’. Now, organizations need to be more aware of offering creative employee benefits if they want to attract and retain the best talent.

How do employee benefits come into it?

If your company has the right employees, it will always perform better. If your company engages your employees properly, they will always perform better. More and more companies are catching on to this simple equation as the answer to their future success potential. If you can attract the top talent, your resources are stronger. More importantly, if you can retain that talent, your company will go from strength to strength. The longer an employee is in your organization, the more valuable they become. That is why making sure you offer the best packages to your employees will be a crucial investment and one that could reap huge rewards.

As we can see from the study mentioned above, creative employee benefits are often ranked as important as salary in terms of employee satisfaction. Unique employee benefits ensure your staff feels happier, supported and included in the organization. Also, happy workers are more productive workers, sometimes by up to 20-37%. They feel heard and taken care of, which promotes loyalty in your brand.

With better employee benefits, you can have engaged workers who will be the best marketers of your business. In a 2018 list of the top 25 companies in the UAE, the one thing the winners had in common; happy employees.

What are the top 10 employee benefits?

In the UAE, our unique landscape of companies has fostered the necessity for a specific approach to cemployee benefits.  Due to the diverse nature of our workplaces, employers have to be savvy to compete for the best staff.  Generally, between legally mandated and common-place offerings, these are the top 10 employee benefits:

  • Health Insurance
  • Housing Allowance
  • Spousal Sponsorship
  • Dependant Sponsorship
  • Flights Home
  • Relocation Allowance
  • Transport Allowance
  • Child Education Allowance
  • Paid Vacation
  • End of Service Gratuity

Of course, several of these benefits are required by law, which doesn’t leave much room for ensuring your organisation is offering more than others.  That is why it is so important for your organisation to consider creative employee benefits.  These extra steps are valued extremely highly by modern employees and can make all the difference to your retention figures.  Even if you are a small business worried about budgets, there are more creative employee benefit solutions.  Some of the most appealing employee benefits don’t have to cost you a dirham.  

What are some of the most successful unique employee benefits?

If you are looking to find more creative ways to ensure you have the best employee benefits, then this could be the list for you.  Consider which ones would suit your business and appeal most to your current staff and those you want to hire.


This consistently tops the list of the types of employee benefits that matter most. A recent study found it ranked joint 1st with health.

creative employee benefits

In this candidate-driven market, employees are looking for the chance to live a more balanced and full life. Offering flexibility in terms of hours and even location could make all the difference. Flexible hours could include different start and finish times, perhaps to accommodate a school run. They could also include people to leave early when work has been done or even working from home in a part-time capacity.


Feeling like your hard work goes unnoticed can be toxic for any work environment. Promoting a culture of positive recognition within your business is an excellent way to encourage your employees. Perhaps you could have a monthly awards morning or ask peers to recommend team members for recognition.

Financial Assistance

In this region, many people need large one-off payments for rent, schooling and purchasing a car. A loan to cover those payments that can then be deducted from their monthly salary is a huge draw.


We’ve already established that happy workers perform better, but they also work more when they are healthy. Offering wellness type activities trigger your employee engagement and could result in less sick days. Options could range from office smoothie mornings to lunchtime fitness classes, weight-loss competitions and exercise incentives.


In Dubai, we are always surrounded by promotions of luxury and aspirational activities, but they aren’t always accessible. Utilizing your brand’s position to offer special rewards for good performance will still be well received. Remember it is the gesture that will mean the most, so they don’t always have to be expensive. Options could range from meals out to holidays, helicopter tours to hot air ballooning, food hampers to electronic vouchers or even spa treatments.


Who doesn’t love a discount? As an organization, you are in a unique position to negotiate deals that will appeal. Maybe everyone’s favorite sandwich shop could do a weekly discount? Or even the go-to after-hours hang-out? Perhaps a gym membership?


Every organization should be as efficient as possible, especially as it makes people’s lives easier. That is also how your employees feel. By offering a state-of-the-art HR software system for your employees, they can feel more included in the organization. From dealing with payroll to storing data and providing information 24/7 this type of programme ensures your employees have solutions at the touch of a button.


Creating a fun, inclusive environment in your office will be extremely beneficial to your employee engagement. Consider what will work best for your organization. From a top-end coffee machine to delicious snacks, a game room to the library, playing music to allowing pets, there are lots of options to choose from.

What is the best way to implement creative employee benefits?

Talk to your employees. It’s that simple. Have a conversation have many, about what they would like. Do a survey and find out what is most important to them. The more employees feel they have been able to customize their benefits the more important they will be to them. It will also make them more loyal to the company.

Also, consider the type of talent you might want to attract in the future. What would make you stand out above your competition? Especially when it comes to the nuances of the Middle East. Lastly, make sure you publicize your creative employee benefits – both internally and externally. Currently, employees need to know how valued they are and new ones need to understand why you are the best.

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