20 Top Employee Benefits, Perks for 2017
You might not pick a job solely based on the perks and benefits the company offers, but you have to admit that some temptations are more compelling than others — and, when push comes to shove, the benefits can make the difference when choosing one company over another.
In fact, according to a Glassdoor compilation of employee benefits reviews posted by workers at its site, there are some pretty unusual temptations out there to woo prospective employees.
But while some may be particularly tempting, they’re more like dessert after dinner: the main courses are the ones that stick with employees.
The ones that really count, says Glassdoor, are health insurance; vacation and paid time off; a pension, 401(k) or other retirement plan; dental insurance; maternity and paternity leave; sick days; vision insurance; and paid holidays.
In addition, the company warns, although the substance and quality of the benefits package matters, what makes employees “engaged and satisfied” instead of just sticking it out for the insurance or other benefits are other things: Glassdoor Economic Research says “culture and values, career opportunities and senior leadership are the most important factors leading to employee satisfaction.”
Still, no one’s going to deny that benefits and perks can certainly enhance a job’s appeal. To that end, Glassdoor compiled a list “in no particular order” of 20 companies that have succeeded in offering the most unusual benefits that “go beyond the basics and enter legendary status.”
Read on to see which companies and benefits hit that high bar.
The furniture giant provides up to four months of paid parental leave — not just to full-timers, but to part-timers, too, if they have at least one year of experience at the company. And it doesn’t matter whether they’re working at corporate headquarters or at one of the firm’s retail stores.
But that’s not all. From an employee review: “The building itself is a major benefit: lockers & showers, computer rooms, quiet/prayer room, coworker-only restaurant that serves a different meal each day for only $3. Some locations have gyms and free bicycles to rent, lactation rooms for new moms, etc.”
Finding it hard to keep up with your own personal fitness goals? If you work at Reebok, the company will help, with an on-site gym with CrossFit classes.
And the company is really serious about it. From an employee review: “It’s ok to take an hour for fitness throughout the day and fitness events are encouraged to participate in.”
18. Bain & Company
Speaking of sports, although Bain is far from a sporting goods firm, it holds an annual two-day, global “Bain World Cup” soccer tournament open to all employees.
And when they say “world cup,” they mean it; while this year’s event will be in L.A., last year’s event was in Brussels.
17. Goldman Sachs
This particular benefit is not only unusual, when the company first offered it, it was ahead of its time compared with the rest of the business world.
Goldman offers coverage for gender reassignment surgery, a benefit it has offered its employees since 2008.
While lots of companies don’t even pay their interns, Facebook goes the other way, offering healthcare coverage and free housing for interns.
In addition, many Facebook interns report earning more than $7,000 per month. From an employee review: “The worst thing is that there are so many perks and benefits you may not know about all of them.”
15. Scripps Health
Animal lovers, take note: Scripps offers pet health insurance for employees’ cats and dogs.
The company goes further than that. From an employee review: “Good benefits, especially the Wellness program, which if all requirements are met, the employee’s benefits are at no-cost for the next year. Lots of additional benefits available; pet insurance, legal assistance, etc. if you want to purchase those.”
Missed out on that degree? A place at Starbucks can fix that, since the company provides full tuition reimbursement for its employees, covering an online bachelor’s degree program through Arizona State University.
Employees are also enthused about being offered stock options.
13. American Express
The company’s parental leave policy offers up to five months of fully paid leave for both mothers and fathers.
What makes this policy stand out are its additional features: birthing mothers generally receive an additional 6–8 weeks under salary continuation for medical leave. Parents are also given access to a 24-hour lactation consultant, and mothers traveling for business can ship their breast milk home for free.
Health is big here, with the company offering its employees a monthly $60 wellness stipend that they can use on everything from gym dues to juice cleanses.
Employees also praise the company’s culture, which, according to an employee review, makes them feel that the company “truly cares for their employees in each department.”
11. Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods, also known as “Whole Paycheck,” comes in for a lot of ribbing from the public for its high prices, which led it to launch a lower-priced group of stores.
Perhaps not coincidentally its most talked-about employee perk is the 20 percent store discount it provides to all employees, including full-timers and part-timers. Employee reviews also mention “great benefits” as something they love about working there.
Employees can treat themselves to a free Double-Double burger and fries during each shift.
Not only do employees praise the “free meal every day that you work,” but also that the company is “[e]xtremely flexible with scheduling.”
Deloitte offers its employees two sabbatical programs. One is an unpaid one-month sabbatical that can be taken for any reason, and the other is a three- to six-month sabbatical that can be taken to pursue personal or professional growth opportunities with 40 percent pay.
From an employee review: “Collaborative environment in which experienced hires will not be left out. Partners will actively support your career progress.”
8. Gap Inc.
Gap Inc., and all of its brands, provide free access to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to corporate employees.
Employees also praise flexible hours, a “laid-back” dress code and a “great employee discount.”
Microsoft offers an annual $800 “StayFit” reimbursement program to help cover the cost of gym memberships and fitness programs.
But there are monetary benefits, too. From an employee review: “The best things were the 401[(k)] (Microsoft would match up to 50 percent of max) and the employee stock purchase plan.”
6. Swiss Re
Insurance company Swiss Re’s “Own the Way You Work” program encourages employees to embrace flexibility with their schedules and work remotely.
Other benefits are also popular. From an employee review: “[G]ood benefits, encourage horizontal and vertical moves, good global opportunities, professional, canteen food…”
Two programs are offered for new parents: Leave Share allows employees to share paid leave with their partner if the partner’s company does not offer paid leave, while Ramp Back provides new mothers more control over easing back into work. All perks are available for corporate, customer service and fulfillment center employees.
Employees also praise the company’s medical coverage.
USAA stands out for its 401(k) program, which offers an unusually generous 8 percent match. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, on average, U.S. companies only match 6 percent.
Workers are happy about other things, too. From an employee review: “Great benefits, work-life balance, and excellent coworkers to work alongside.”
Southwest offers all its employees and their dependents access to Clear Skies, an employee assistance program providing confidential counseling, work-life services and legal consultations.
Employers also praise the company’s “competitive salary, awesome benefits, cash bonus offered for reaching certain metrics.”
It’s home away from home: Genentech offers employees “unique on-site amenities, including car washes, haircuts, childcare center, mobile spa and dentist.”
The company is also popular for offering work opportunities “locally and globally.”
Public-spirited employees ought to check this out. Timberland employees can take up to 40 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer.
In addition to being surrounded by colleagues who share their “community service-minded” philosophy, employees also praise the company’s “great work environment with lots of perks.”
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