Retaining talent in today's competitive job market often boils down to offering your employees something that other companies don't. In fact, paying the highest salary may not be enough; chances are, your employees want a solid benefits package that covers everything from healthcare to retirement savings to paid time off.

But if you really want to give your business an edge on the retention front, it pays to think outside the box as far as benefits go. Here are a few unique perks your employees are bound to appreciate.

1. Mental health days

It's common practice to offer vacation days for travel, personal days for things like having to attend a funeral, and sick days for those times when your employees are too ill or germ-ridden to come to work. But here's a new time-off category it pays to focus on: mental health days. So many workers today risk falling victim to burnout, and while vacation days can certainly provide a break, they often don't allow workers the option to just chill out and relax. By designating mental health days, you can give employees a chance to truly recharge and come back to work stronger.

Smiling woman in professional attire, with men at computers in the background


2. Time off to adopt a pet

Some companies offer generous parental leave policies that extend to the adoption of a child. Along these lines, it pays to consider giving your employees time off to bring home a new pet -- especially those pets that need to be house-trained. Having a few extra days to bond with a new pet is something your workers will no doubt appreciate as well.

3. A wellness allowance

These days, a growing number of companies are taking steps to help their employees boost their well-being. A good way to send the message that you care about your workers' health is to dish out an allowance specifically earmarked for this purpose. You can offer your employees money toward things like massages, acupuncture, yoga classes, or aromatherapy -- anything that lends to stress relief.

4. The gift of fitness

The better shape your employees are in, the fewer health problems they're likely to encounter. That's why it pays to help your workers maintain a physical fitness routine. You can achieve this goal in a number of ways. You can offer your employees a fully paid gym membership, but take things one step further by giving out additional incentives for attendance (say, a $100 gift card per 20 gym visits within two months). You can also provide equipment that helps employees stay in shape, like wearable fitness trackers or "deskercise" balls that help them work out while plugging away at the office.

If your goal is to give your employees reasons to stay on board for the long haul, you'll need to get creative as far as your benefits go. In addition to the options above, keep thinking of interesting, offbeat perks that make your workers happier and more content on the whole. A little creativity could be your ticket to added loyalty.