If you think your employees only care about salary, think again. You should never underestimate the power of employee perks when it comes to gauging employee satisfaction. In fact, a survey from Glassdoor found that 80 percent of people would rather have new benefits or perks than a pay raise.
So what kind of perks are we talking about? We don't just mean two-week vacations and employee discounts — companies need to go above and beyond to keep their employees engaged and loyal.
Of course, we've all heard of more and more companies offering perks that would have been unthinkable in the working world of yesteryear, like unlimited vacation or free lunches. However, some companies on the cutting-edge are thinking outside of the box to offer unique and unusual perks to their employees to keep them engaged and happy.
Here are some examples of unique employee perks from high-flying companies:
1. Free overnight breast-milk shipping for new moms on business trips at Zillow.
2. Free egg freezing and fertility assistance for Spotify employees.
3. Pet insurance and nap rooms for sleepy pet lovers working at Zappos.
4. On-site medical care, death benefits for deceased employees's spouses, and on site haircuts at Google.
5. One year of paid maternity and paternity leave for new parents at Netflix.
6. Student loan reimbursement at PwC.
7. $4,000 in "Baby Cash" for Facebook employees with newborn children.
8. A free kindle and a $30-per-month book allowance for bibliophiles working at Twilio.
9. On-site improv classes and acupuncture for Twitter staff. Now that's something to tweet about!
10. Paid time off for volunteering and a $1,000 donation to a charity of each Salesforce employee's choice every year.
11. $2,000 a year to travel the world and stay at AirBnB listings for every AirBnB employee.
12. Season ski passes and free "snow days" to go skiing after a snowfall from Burton.
13. Covered gender reassignment for Accenture employees.
14. Team-building courses like macaroon baking at Evernote.
15. A four-week sabbatical for Epic Systems Corp. veterans to pursue their creative talents.
16. Required time off twice a year at Adobe, when the entire company shuts down.
17. Every day is Bring Your Dog to Work day at CLIF Bar & Company. (A few other companies have the same policy, but we think this is just too good to ignore!)
What do you think of these exciting and rare employee perks? Some people criticize "unbelievable" policies, explaining that they make employees feel entitled or take away from working time. But others feel differently and point out that a happy, engaged employee is a productive employee — not to mention that great benefits like these can be great for improving retention and attracting fantastic new talent to the company.
And these kinds of unique perks benefit both the employee and the company. They tend to fall into a few specific categories:
Time to Unwind
Mandatory time off and generous leave policies allow employees to take time to relax and recharge their batteries. Having a "work to live" rather than "live to work" culture may seem counterproductive (after all, your people aren't working if they're on vacation) but many companies find that it makes employees much more productive when they are at work, leading to increased output overall.
Family and Wellness
These perks focus around family and wellness — like the on-site medical care that ensures employees can stay healthy enough to stick around and work hard (with the added benefit of keeping health costs low). Supporting family time is crucial to keeping experienced, engaged employees who will work hard to help the company succeed.
Super-casual dress codes, free food, and letting Fido come to the office, adds a level of comfort to the workplace that just can't be surpassed. It also keeps employees happier (which is definitely a good thing) and discourages staff from heading out early, either to walk Fido or slip into their pajamas after a long day.
When employees are giving their minds a workout with professional development or general education, like with the Twilio book allowance, companies ultimately reap the rewards. Having a well-educated and knowledgeable workforce carries the business to even greater success.
If you read this list and shake your head at how these companies have the time or energy to think of all these awesome perks, contact us! We'll take care of your people so you can focus on everything else going on in your business.