Perks at work—a topic employees and potential candidates discuss when considering the total value of a company. People talk about job perks with their friends, mention it on social media, and might even consider a new job solely because the perks are so awesome. Perks help improve workplace culture and can be useful for building stronger partnerships with other brands.
So what exactly IS a work perk? A work perk might be free pizza Friday, business partnerships that offer discounts on products or services for employees or even prizes such as gift cards, electronics and vacation getaways. Leadership often look for new ways to enhance culture and adding perks for employees can boost morale within a team or a company. Now, pizza Friday or prize giveaways may not be new to you or your organization, but perhaps your organization lacks the kind of perks at work that create positive buzz and improved culture. Let us help inspire you with these:
This unusual but awesome company perk is sure to get you chatting. iCracked was founded by college students who couldn’t afford to fix their broken devices. The company fixes broken smart phone and smart device screens at a lower price point. Located in San Francisco, CA, the building is near a body of water with a dock that includes a company yacht. Employees are encouraged to take it out to relax and enjoy the Redwood Shores of the Bay Area. You read it right, a company Yacht for employees. Unusual perk but true. Awesome, right? I’m sure they have a good yacht insurance policy and a professional to navigate waters on their behalf. iCracked also provides catered meals for employees, meaning no more sack lunches! You may not have a company yacht, let alone an office near a body of water, but this is sure to get your perk inspiration juices flowing.
Yet another unusual but awesome company perk. Boost Media optimizes digital marketing platforms for leading brands around the world. Their services include the creation, testing, and optimization of digital advertising across search engines, social, and display media platforms. Boost Media supplies their clients with unique insights about which advertisements work with each audience. If your idea of a perk is festivals and employee retreats, Boost Media is a good example. The company schedules camping trips which include beach clean-ups for a philanthropic twist, and minding the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility goals for a cleaner Earth. That’s not all: the company is known for their holiday parties featuring a beer pong tournament where the winners are awarded a championship belt. Sure beats your average company outing.
When you work at a ride sharing company like Lyft, you assume that free rides come with the perks, and that's exactly what Lyft offers their employees. Every month, employees are given a $100 Lyft credit. To top it off, employees also enjoy catered healthy lunch options 5 days a week.
Sourcegraph, based in San Francisco, offers a search code platform to transform the way programmers discover, explore, and review code. Sourcegraph utilizes a savvy business strategy with their perks. They organize and sponsor regular meetups with programmers in Silicon Valley. Sourcegraph connects top software engineering talent in the community to expand its existing network. Not only is this a great strategy for improving their software engineering network, it is also a great strategy to market their services to the core of Tech Valley. Are we warming up your creative perk juices yet?
DropBox, a cloud-based platform allows users to update files from a computer, phone, or tablet and automatically push those updates to the other devices within their network. Their perk is a jamming good time. DropBox offers employees a music room where employees can jam out. For those of you who are gifted musicians, or wanting to learn a new skill to show off at campsite sing-a-longs, this perk is sure to get employees talking. A study found that music programs resulted in reduced stress at work and saved more than $300,000 per year from burnout.
Want to get away? No, this is not Southwest Airlines, but you could book with Southwest when you work for Airbnb. Airbnb, the travel accommodations company offers its employees an annual $2,000 travel budget. Some studies have shown that travel can reduce the risk of heart attacks. Your employees will hoist you on their shoulders in celebration if you can get the big boss to approve this perk.
Patagonia, the outdoor equipment and clothing retailer offers its employees on-site child care. Patagonia reported that 100% of the women that work there over the past 5 years have returned to work, compared to the 79% national average. According to a survey from Care.com, 7 out of 10 families in the US are unable to afford monthly child care services. Additionally, 1 in 3 families spend 20% or more of their annual income on child care. Now this is a perk worth discussing, wouldn’t you say?
Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer based in Las Vegas, NV offers yet another unusual but awesome perk at work. Zappos offers its employees life coaches to boost employee confidence and office culture. A recent study shows that 80% of life coach clients have said that working with a life coach has helped boost their confidence and reduce their anxiety. Coach me up, I’m game for Zappos perks at work!
Some basic perks are things like health care, 401(k), vacation, and paid time off. Beyond that, some companies do catered company lunches once week, free snacks and beverages stocked in the kitchen, employee outings once per quarter, and continuing education classes. For example, if you're passionate about photography, some companies will pay for you to take a photography class.
It can get confusing, but a benefit is usually something like health care or a 401(k) contribution that's rolled into what an employee receives each month. A work perk is usually a little "extra" that companies provide in order to develop company culture. This could include things like a catered lunch each week, an all-company retreat or event (yoga class, cooking class, painting party), a stipend for continuing education, a dedicated nap room or a nursing room, and more.
Turnover can be a tough task to overcome, as there may be several different reasons your organization is experiencing increasing turnover rates. Perks can definitely help lower turnover, as employees will see that the organization cares about their well being and work efforts. Contact your HR department and find out what current perks are available and ask if a survey can be implemented. A survey may help uncover the real reason for increasing turnover if not already known. Perhaps lack of perks at work is the culprit. List out potential perks to see what people like, and have the employees come up with perk ideas. Maintaining employee happiness is part of being a good leader and helps boost production. Everyone benefits from perks.
This is unfortunate but it happens often, as there may be budgetary reasons or lack of buy-in when it comes to "extras." If you can't get perks approved at the management level, try coordinating with your own team outside of the organization. Perhaps you have a team spending account, you could order pizza for the group after a big week, or take the team out for a movie as a job well done. You can also incorporate fun activities such as a Team Building Kit mystery murder game after working hours.
Perks do not have to be of monetary value. Often times, businesses will partner with one another by providing discounts on products or services, gaining new customers, potential testimonials and cross promoting each others businesses. Company gatherings at parks, campgrounds and employee potlucks are just a few options for your organization if there is little to no budget.
There are many companies that specialize in company perks including Next Jump, who offers a free perk platform for employees and employers in the United States and England. Next Jump has over 30,000 discounts from some of the most popular brands and the ability for employers to integrate tools that improve workplace culture. In the end, that’s what perks are for, improving workplace culture, boosting production and increasing employee satisfaction.