In the last year, workplaces have seen a significant increase in work benefits and perks. According to the 2017 Employee Benefits Survey (SHRM), one third of the surveyed organisations increased employee benefits over the past 12 months. Employee benefits are a great tool not only to attract talents but also for employee retention. In fact, better benefits is the second reason why people want to change jobs, after better salary.
Benefits are surely great, and they represent a nice extra that can make a worker’s life easier. The most common benefits include healthcare coverage, wellness programs, and financial contribution to repay student loans. However, their greatest value is in that they reflect the way a company sees their employees and, therefore, they play a fundamental role for employee satisfaction. Here are some examples of how a work environment can be improved with employee benefits.
1. Benefits for gender equality
Facebook, Apple, and Spotify appear among those companies that upped their healthcare game by offering to freeze their female employees’ eggs. Accenture includes coverage for gender reassignment operations in their healthcare benefits. Paid parental leaves for both mothers and fathers, or paying for shipping employees’ breastmilk while they are away for work are other examples. These initiatives are meant to make the workplace truly equal by easing the obstacles that often determine one gender to be disadvantaged in certain work environments.
2. Benefits to improve work by not working
Another common benefit that some companies have taken to the next level is paid vacation: Ask.com and Red Frog Events offer unlimited vacation days to their employees. In their vision, allowing workers to take as many days off as they want fosters a healthy work culture where everyone feels responsible for their own work and is motivated to deliver results. At Freeborn, every year a ‘luggage party’ is held, where all the workers come in to work with a packed luggage and four are selected to go on an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas. REI offers ‘Yay days’ to the employees for them to go enjoy the outdoors and The World Wildlife Fund invented ‘Panda fridays.’ Every other friday the WWF offices close to help preserve their employees’ work-life balance.
3. Benefits for pups, because they matter too
Pet-friendly workplaces are great, and many companies have adopted pet-friendly policies. In particular, some companies have come up with great names for their pet-friendly programs. For example, at The Nerdery, 20 to 30 dogs come to the office every day. Every thursday a ‘Puppy Fight Club’ takes place where dogs can hang out and play in the office arena. At Chartbeat, the back library room is called ‘Puppytorium’ because that is where all the pups spend their days and where employees can go play with them.
4. Benefits to give back
Workplaces often encourage their workers to grow and improve as people, and some companies offer something more than just encouragement. For example, Umpqua Regional Bank offers its employees 40 hours a year of paid leave to do voluntary work. Salesforce, besides giving its workers seven paid days a year for volunteering, also gives them $1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice.