What unique benefits do companies offer their employees worldwide?

Nowadays, most companies understand the importance of offering employee benefits. After all, employee benefits have been found to increase employee engagement, productivity and motivation and are an effective recruitment and retention tool.

Glassdoors employment confidence survey from 2015 reveals that for about 60% of people, benefits play an important role in their decision making when considering a job offer. The survey also reveals that nearly 80% of employees would prefer additional benefits over a pay increase.

But these days, just any benefits won't do. Companies need to rethink their benefits offering. In addition to benefits flexibility, today's leading companies recognize the importance of offering unique benefits that help them stand out in the war for talent.

Benefits that reflect the corporate culture

When thinking about unique benefits, we highlight the importance of offering benefits that reflect your employer brand in 4 tips for building an effective global benefits strategy.

For example, let's say you are a multinational company and one of your corporate values is sustainability. To express this value, you could implement sustainable mobility benefits across the board and across borders, but with local differences. For example, in one country the benefit might be a bicycle allowance, while in another there might be discounts for public transportation. In this approach, your benefits reflect your company values and help shape your employer brand on a global level, but make it work on a local level.

Benefits selection based on the benefits pyramid

The pyramid illustration you see here provides a simple model to start designing a strategic benefits offering.


The base of the pyramid consists of benefits that today's employees most often take for granted, such as company pension plans and insurance policies. In the middle, you see things that are often "nice-to-have" benefits, such as meal allowances or massages at work. At the top of the pyramid, you should have something that is unique to your company and reflects the values of your employer brand.

In terms of the benefits you can offer, the sky's the limit. Below, we take a look at some examples of unique benefits and benefits models used by companies around the world.

Here's an overview of various benefits around the world:



Finland – employees receive a wellness and culture allowance from their employer, which they can use for a wide range of wellness and cultural activities. In addition, some companies offer their employees a rental housing benefit. Employees find housing and then pay their rent via payroll deduction.

Norway – employees can use the booking program in their employee portal to book cabins for summer vacations. Like in finland, some companies also offer their employees a rental housing benefit.

Sweden – employees receive a health and wellness contribution from their employer that they can use for a wide range of health and wellness activities, such as gym memberships and massages.

Denmark – employees can choose their own smartphone and have the option to upgrade it via a monthly payroll deduction. Other companies buy tickets to concerts and events, which are then offered to employees for free.

France – A small portion of an employee's gross salary is donated to a charity chosen by the employer based on and reflecting the company's values. Other companies give employees a bonus of 1.EUR 000 if the employee gets married or has a child.

Netherlands – employers offer their employees a flexible benefits budget that they can use to buy more vacation days, cash out, or use for health benefits such as a bicycle.

Germany – through a flexible benefits model, employees can choose from a variety of pre-tax deduction offerings to create a benefits package that best meets their needs. Flexibility could include, for example, choice of supplier or choice of mobility (for example, bicycle, public transport, etc.).) or the use of a booking program within their portal for employee benefits to rent a car be.

Botswana – A so-called "milk allowance" is given to employees who work in certain industries to buy milk.

Nigeria – employers provide employees with a grant to compensate for a generator in case of power outages.

Russia – companies offer their employees interest-free loans for private car purchases. Other companies finance passes for workers to the airport business lounge, where they can enjoy free food and drinks and relax at the moscow airport.

India – employers offer employees a severance package of up to $22 when they leave the company.

Colombia – through a tuition reimbursement benefit, employees can enroll in a qualifying degree program outside of work and then receive a partial reimbursement.

Argentina – just like in colombia, companies offer a tuition reimbursement benefit where employees can enroll in a qualifying degree program and then receive a partial reimbursement.

Mexico – employees are automatically enrolled in a short-term savings plan where a percentage of their salary is deducted each month and deposited into a savings account. In addition, as in argentina and colombia, some mexican companies offer a tuition reimbursement benefit.

Latin american countries – many companies offer voucher benefits such as meal vouchers, gas vouchers and grocery vouchers. Workers receive a card that is loaded each month with money to spend at restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores and department stores.

You want to find out what benefits your employees actually want? We have 19.000 HR professionals and employees surveyed. You can find the results in our e-book, the "employee happiness index 2019".