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The Coolest Employee Perks that Businesses Offer

December 29, 2016

company perks you wish you had

Offering cool employee perks is an effective way to differentiate your company’s culture, attract talent and reduce employee burnout/attrition. Perks can take nearly any form you can think of and, unless you go really over-board, the cost of providing perks is always made up for by a happier, more productive workforce.

When it comes to deciding the specific employee perks/benefits for your company, you should always think about the type of work environment you’re trying to create and about the desires/needs of your employees. Getting buy-in from employees, HR and management is essential, and, though you may get a flood of requests/demands opening up for suggestions will help to show you which perks will be most popular at your company.

Your budget will always decide which perks you can provide, but cool perks have massive appeal for job seekers and existing employees. For instance, maybe your company can’t afford to construct an on-site gym, but offering a monthly credit for gym memberships could be in the realm of possibility.  For you ROI focused individuals out there, perks should be viewed as an investment in retention, engagement, employer branding and the wellbeing/productivity of employees.

Here are some of the coolest employee perks we’ve come across this year and the companies that offer them:

Time Off

Everyone needs time off. Companies in Europe have been offering generous PTO plans for years, and industry leaders around the world are recognizing the benefits generous plans have for employee retention and effectiveness. A generous PTO plan will also be a huge draw for talent.

  • Paid 4-month sabbatical for 5+ year employees to pursue their creative talents- Epic Systems
  • The option to take off every-other Friday: “Panda Fridays”- World Wildlife Fund
  • Company shuts down for 1 week in December and 1 week in the Summer for paid time off- Adobe
  • Unlimited Paid Time Off- Twitter and more.
  • PTO on your birthday- AIRBNB
  • Telecommute options- Google, Cisco, and many more.
  • Supporting Telecommute (video/voice communication technologies for home office)- Cisco

Health

Investing in employee health perks is beneficial for both company and employee. Fit, healthy employees will take less sick days than unhealthy employees and will incur less costs on the company health plan. Supporting the health of your employees will also improve their work-life balance.

  • On-Site Acupuncture, Mediation and Yoga- Twitter
  • On-Site Gym/ Health Center- Google, Cisco, and others.
  • Gym Membership Re-imbursement- Twitter
  • Organizes on-site sporting events: softball, basketball, volleyball, bike rides, etc. –Yahoo, Hallmark

Family

Family perks are crucial for attracting talented employees who are raising a family or plans to raise a family. Supporting the child-rearing of employees will make those employees feel a large debt of gratitude toward their employer and more effectively manage their work while looking after their children.

  • Paid breast milk shipping – Twitter, Zillow
  • 8 weeks of paid paternal leave and 16 weeks of maternal leave- Zillow
  • 4000$ in “Baby Cash” for employees with newborns – Facebook
  • 3 months maternity PTO and 1 month transition back into work with part time hours and work re-entry planning sessions – Pinterest
  • Paid time off for child-care absences (parent teacher conferences, field trips, etc.) – Mattel

Development/Education

The most passionate professionals are always thinking about the next step in their career. Development/education perks support the most driven employees in their pursuit of greater skill, and empowering them to learn will ensure their loyalty. 

  • Access to executive and life coaching services outside of the company – Asana
  • Full tuition re-imbursement- J.M. Smucker Company
  • 12,000 per-year in tuition re-imbursement- Google
  • Free graduate level education for courses related to the employee’s work – Boeing

Travel

Taking the strain off of your employees’ morning commute will go miles toward winning them over. Additionally, empowering employees to do some traveling will help to win-over employees who like to see the world in their off-time.

  • 2000$ annual stipend to travel and stay at any AIR BNB location in the world – AIRBNB
  • Uber benefits and commuter benefits – Asana
  • Carpooling in company sponsored vans – Hallmark
  • Discounts to ski resorts and theme parks – Yahoo
  • Giving employees 2000$ to do 1 week of work from anywhere in the world, as long as they work normal work hours – Quinn Emanuel

Charity

Charity benefits are perfect for companies that are involved with charitable giving or charitable organizations. Offering time off to volunteer and other charity benefits will attract hard working, compassionate people to your company and open up all of your employees to the joy of giving back to your community.

  • 6 days of paid volunteer days per-year and 1000 per-year to the charity of their choice- Salesforce
  • Donates 250 for each 10 hours an employee works of a charity- Adobe

Culture

Cultural benefits are the kind that really make a difference in the day-to-day work experience of your employees. Whether it’s a pack of support dogs, facilitating weekly basketball games or video games in the break room, cultural perks help to make your company a unique, fun place to work.

  • Gift baskets for all new hires- J.M. Smucker Company
  • “Pet friendly” workplace- Salesforce
  • Flexible Work Hours- Google, and many others.
  • Free Lunch and Dinner- Google and others.
  • Pancake breakfasts – kCura and others.
  • Hosting an “Influential Speakers Series” – Yahoo
  • On-Site employee concierge that grocery shops, takes your car to be serviced, makes deliveries to family members, stands in line for you, etc. –  Racine- SC Johnson & Son
VP of Marketing at Digital Astronauts

Ronny Cheng is one of the Co-Founder’s of Digital Astronauts and has helped drive lead generation in the software industry for organizations of all sizes — from start-ups to Fortune 500’s. He helped build one of the first online software review websites, specializing in CRM, ERP, and HR software. He’s a nationally published author with extensive experience working with the HR/Recruiting industries largest brands. In his spare time, you can catch him on Instagram doing his best food blogger impersonation.

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