Lars Miller Assesses Unusual Company Perks

Benefits such as stock options, retirement plans, expense accounts, health insurance, and so on have become almost commonplace in the general business environment. Currently, many companies are vying to captivate potential talent in more unusual ways by getting creative. Office environments and cultures are quickly shifting.  Based on trends and feedback of a newer generation of employees as well as the current evolution of the workplace, these companies are attempting to appeal to the notions that a job fits into a lifestyle and balance is key.

Inc.com compiled a list of 15 companies who enlist perks as a major part of their talent attraction and retention strategies. Some of them are super cool in my opinion and some are very strange. As Protis Global’s Talent Attraction Manager and as we move into 2019 full force, I wanted to know which legitimate benefits were taking. There are some smart and intentional benefits and then there are some that seemed almost too strange to even be a “benefit.”

Let’s see if any of these perks added true value and which of these perks were random and potentially even a waste of resources.

Will and Estate Planning

M2 Consulting gives their employees “will and estate planning, work-life-solutions counseling, legal support, child care assistance, and even a 24-hour gym.”

THOUGHTS

  • This is a nice little perk for sure. I think Protis might offer something like this through our Benefits portal as well – at least it’s free legal advice.
  • Digging more in M2 Strategy the counseling, legal support, child care assistance and 24-hour gym are all amazing perks.
  • A gym or some sort of wellness program is huge, in my opinion, for Millennials in whatever form that takes – reimbursement, onsite gym, etc.
  • I think it’s important to mention that all of these seem to be focused around helping individuals in ways that allow them to be healthier and in turn more productive. Seems like a win/win to me!

Hybrid Car Reimbursements

Enterprise Knowledge helps with tuition, gym, and phones as well as  “reimburses employees up to $3,000 for the purchase of a hybrid car.”

THOUGHTS

  • This company has a lot to unpack here that’s amazing!
  • First they offer the $3k reimbursement for hybrid cars which is awesome perk to hopefully encourage people to make a better environmentally friendly car purchase and hopefully make it more affordable.
  • Educating your employees and incentivizing ongoing education is amazing – this would be a major selling point if I was in TA for this company – “we will reimburse your tuition to a certain extent” would be so valuable.
  • Company cell phones and gym memberships are beneficial extras too.
  • This seems like an awesome company that cares about its employees well being and ongoing development. Super Cool.

Charity: Water

This nonprofit has a Slack channel called “High Five” for recognizing employees who push harder and do more.

THOUGHTS

  • High five slack channel for recognition.
  • I am not a huge fan of recognition for recognition sake and this seems like it would be rife with just congrats for normal tasks, BUT if it helps morale and works, then it’s awesome.
  • Less of a perk or selling point from a TA perspective than just an added benefit in my opinion.

Salons & Skis

Jane.com is an “online fashion and home decor retailer.” They have “an in-house, full service barbershop for employees” as well as “daily ski passes.” One of the most striking benefits of Jane.com is that “new parents can bring kids up to 9 months old to work.”

THOUGHTS

  • This is actually an incredible benefit that probably often gets overlooked.
  • Finding time to get your haircut during the week or waiting until the weekend is often an annoyance to me personally so being able to just go downstairs or down the hallway would be extremely convenient and nice.
  • Ski-passes would be sweet – is there a limit on this? Would be a great team building event!
  • Being able to bring your kid to work for 9 months is pretty clutch as well. But 9 months seems like an odd cut off. But still very helpful.

Free Phones

“Embark adds employees to its cell phone plan after their first year and buys them new iPhones after their second year.”

THOUGHTS

  • Taking care of phone and phone service from the employees. That’s HUGE.
  • This would be a selling point for candidates in TA. Not a major one, but definitely one I’d mention frequently during my conversations.

Perks for Parents

Outreach allows its employees to “work half of their hours at home in the eight weeks after” returning from maternity/paternity leave. Additionally, Outreach offers to pay for a “night nurse on weekdays and dinner delivery twice a week” during that time period.

THOUGHTS

  • This is legitimately awesome.
  • Free Dinner two nights of the week – that’s time and money you’re saving and just a nice thing for a new parent.
  • Working from home is always useful for flexibility.
  • My only problem with these perks is they are only available to new parents?
    • Is there any sort of extra perk like this for non parents or parents who don’t have newborns?

Stress Busters

Pro Athlete is a sporting good retailer that houses an “in-house spa with a massage therapist, plus a sauna and free breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

THOUGHTS

  • This goes back to employee wellness programs I mentioned earlier.
  • This is a huge perk!
  • Less stress around finding the time to cook if you don’t have the time.
  • Massages to help with stress are major.
  • This is awesome, functional, and something I would definitely use to sell my company to potential candidates.

Unlimited E-Books

Buffer offers all new employees and their partners “a kindle and unlimited e-books.”

THOUGHTS

  • Now this a totally awesome perk! It’s very useful and functional.
  • Channel for ongoing development on your own terms.
  • You can use it for entertainment or education.
  • Would also be a great tool for team building! #BufferBookClub
  • LOVE THIS and I would totally use it this with candidates too!

Overall with company perks I think as we move forward Millennials care less about wild & extravagant “perks” such as Flight lessons, ping pong tables, kegs on tap, etc and more about functional ones such as remote policy, flex hours, legal advice/support, and wellness programs. From a TA perspective These functional benefits are much greater selling point and can grow deeper to build a culture that fosters growth and retention – you treat your employees well and really care about their well-being and personal development and they will stay.

I see 3 particular benefit buckets as the best: wellness programs, personal development programs, and flexibility. Would any of these perks affect which company you were considering working at? Let us know which of these perks actually interested you! We’d also love to hear about any unusual perks you have encountered or even accepted  that we may not have touched on! Tell us what you think in the comments!

If you have any questions or want to know more about internal opportunities, I would love to hear from you! Reach out here or via my LinkedIn.

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