In a tight labor market, retaining employees is about more than just compensation. The most sought-after talent wants to work in an amazing location, get great benefits, and even brag to their friends about their office’s snack selection. And paying attention to employee satisfaction can yield big dividends for your organization.
After a year of Zoom calls in our pajamas, we wanted to look at some of the top employee perks out there, whether location-based or something that can be enjoyed by remote workers as well.
Location, Location, Location
While the pandemic has changed many people’s thinking about where they live and work (from home), New York, San Francisco, Miami and Los Angeles are all highly desirable locations and for that reason, a number of companies have set up shop in those locations in order to take advantage of built-in amenities.
And while tech companies like Twitter and Facebook are currently allowing a number of employees to work from home, they are also maintaining their leases in desirable neighborhoods. As vaccination rates rise and some people are given the opportunity to return to work, we expect to see major companies expand their presence in desirable locales all over the country, including the increasingly hot market of Miami.
Many of the world’s biggest corporations invest millions of dollars in making their headquarters more than just an office but a place that employees love to spend time — and have impressive campuses with myriad amenities to show for it.
- The Apple “spaceship” in Cupertino, California is justly renowned for its 2.8 million square foot circular building encasing a 25 acre park complete with fruit trees and water features.
- Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle have three biodomes that grow lush flora amidst the rainy city, including one dome that is five stories high.
- Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, OR naturally host a number of state-of-the-art sporting facilities such as a large gym, a tennis court, a putting green, and a long running path through the area’s scenic greenery.
Parental leave and incentives can encourage talented workers to stay committed their employer and therefore we see more and more major companies like Citigroup, Facebook, TD Ameritrade and others offering four months of paid parental leave, with some companies, like Facebook, offering “baby cash” bonuses to new parents.
Campbell Soup wants parents to feel at home at work and therefore provides daycare centers, a full kindergarten and after-school programs for kids up to age 12 as well as a lactation room for nursing mothers.
Paid Time Off
A surprising number of companies are instituting unlimited paid time off, including Netflix and LinkedIn. The idea of the policy to entrust employees with the discretion for their vacation time, and not arbitrarily enforce a certain number of days.
Airbnb offers a $2,000 yearly travel stipend (though it must be used on Airbnb properties, to help employees become more familiar with the company’s properties). Outdoor retailer REI offers two “yay days” a year, those are days that are completely paid for that encourage employees to enjoy the great outdoors. Additionally, REI employees can apply for an “REI Challenge Grant” that is there to fund epic adventures like mountain climbing and white water rafting.
WordPress has always been fully remote, but they ask employees to be able to travel to one location for a company-wide get-together each year.
And wild horses?
The New York Times recently reported on a new high in employee perks, at the 5.3 million Tesla “Gigafactory” outside of Reno, Nevada: a group of wild horses that roam the grounds and potentially serve as water cooler fodder — and once of the most unusual employee perks around.