What’s the most important thing to you, when it comes to your job?
Salary? Culture? Benefits?
Innovative businesses like Virgin, Google, Facebook and Apple are always finding new ways to engage, motivate and inspire their staff and they’re certainly not the only ones!
Check out the 20 most weird and wonderful employee perks used to engage, motivate and inspire employees across the globe…
1. Apple (and Facebook)
In October last year, Apple announced (following in Facebook’s footsteps) the addition of a new perk for their US workforce…up to $20,000 (roughly £13,000) towards egg freezing for their female employees.
Although a very generous offer, the perk has been received negatively by many businesswomen, who feel that it is an unfair way of pressuring female staff into having children later on (and thus not distracting from their work life).
2. Munich Re
This German reinsurance company caused a real commotion in 2007, when they admitted to organising an orgy for successful, hardworking salesmen. Each participant was rewarded with a prostitute with whom they could do ‘whatever they liked’ but. Try not to feel too disgusted though…according to someone involved, the entire affair was dealt with in a very ‘civilised’ manner!
We’ve all heard of dress down Fridays, but have you ever been invited to take part in ‘Naked Fridays‘? Marketing firm, onebestway in Newcastle figured that this would be a great way to engage their employees and build trust within the team. If you’re a passionate nudist who likes to write…this could be your dream job!
From a young age, most of us were taught that beauty is only skin-deep, but when it comes to business and the workplace, certain standards of appearance are expected. Have these businesses taken it too far?
4. 2HB Incorporated
This Systems and Software Engineering company clearly appreciate a more groomed appearance from their staff, offering them a monthly $50 beauty budget to spend solely on manicures, pedicures and haircuts.
5. Chesapeake Energy
The oil and gas producers have a entire booklet, dedicated to employee benefits and they’re certainly not biased towards natural beauty, offering onsite facilities for Botox injections and tanning beds (as well as a range of other medical services.)
6. Umpqua Bank
This US financial holding company expect staff to dress to impress and are willing to pay for it. They offer staff members a clothing advance of $500 to build a fabulous business wardrobe!
Under the influence!
Drinking alcohol in the office would feel completely unnatural to most business people, in fact, most employee contracts would expressly forbid it…emphasis on ‘most’.
The ‘beer people’ are understandably passionate about beer, so really it’s no surprise that they’ve built onsite pubs, offering 13 different varieties of the good stuff (for free) to employees in Chicago and Milwaukee…in fact they even go out of their way to encourage the newest team members to taste test their brands!
8. DPR Construction
Similarly, this construction firm have opened an ultra suave and sophisticated free wine bar in the middle of their bustling office. Staff are highly complimentary of the perk, but do testify that it’s only on rare occasions that people opt for a wine at lunchtime (and as the wine flows, so does the water).
9. Advanced Medical
Slightly less controversial, but great fun all the same, Advanced Medical host a special ‘beer cart Friday‘ tradition, allowing employees to help themselves to a beer every Friday afternoon. This trend is becoming steadily more popular these days, especially among the smaller businesses with less money to flaunt.
On a slightly more healthy note, some companies are genuinely committed to their employees’ mental and physical wellbeing…
10. Institute for Integrative Nutrition
You’d obviously expect any nutrition business to be passionate about the health of their employees and IIN certainly don’t disappoint. Biweekly chair massages, in-house yoga sessions and an organic (free) lunchtime prepared by a professional chef every day…sounds fantastic.
The outdoor equipment company focus more on the sport and leisure side of a healthy life, actively encouraging their employees to head out at lunchtime to go for a surf; reception staff even make daily announcements about the weather conditions for surfing!
Do you have pets that you’re particularly fond of? Are you holding back from buying a pooch because you don’t want them left at home all day? These three businesses have got the solution! (Honestly, how do they get any work done!)
12. Scripps Health
Scripps may be famous for their human healthcare, but they’ve also proved themselves to be animal lovers too, offering pet insurance for all their employees’ furry little friends. (Considering how much vet bills cost, that’s no cheap deal!
This innovative and creative tech start-up has it’s own designated “Puppytorium“! Staff are encouraged to bring their pet pooches into the office. The ten cute pups even got to choose their favourite room to hang out in – which turned out to be the library.
Cut the chores!
After a hard day’s work, it’s really tiring to face the household chores and daily duties of our personal lives. Smart companies have realised that employees are likely to perform better after they’ve had a chance to refresh and relax, rather than dash around without a substantial break.
14. S.C Johnson
A family brand who treat their employees exceptionally well, S.C Johnson offer their entire workforce (some 12,000 people) access to a concierge service who fulfill all of those little chores and annoying hassles, from sending packages to picking up the dry cleaning. At the end of the day, staff go home to relax and refuel for another productive day at work.
Weebly have also taken up this trend, offering their staff $50 credit a month toward the services of a company called ‘Exec’ who’ll run errands, clean homes and any other little chores you might be dreading.
Engagement via Entertainment!
A lot of companies will put on special forms entertainment (other than dog-cuddling, drinking and sports) to engage their employees. This is a pretty smooth tactic, as the more excited someone is about their workplace, the more likely they’ll stick around and the more likely they’ll boast to their friends about how fantastic their company is.
Let’s face it, you’d be pretty disappointed if a a company who invents games for a living didn’t know how to entertain their staff. Of course, Zynga don’t fail to impress with their lunchtime relaxation rooms filled with all kinds of games consoles, old and new, as well as arcade machines. What a great way to unwind at work!
17. JM Family Enterprises
Possibly one of the most extravagant employee perks on our list, JM Family Enterprises, an automotive firm, allow lucky and successful employees free use of their company fleet of yachts.
I genuinely couldn’t help but chuckle when I read about Zappos.com’s amazing ‘tank top Tuesdays‘ and ‘Laughter Yoga’ sessions; entertaining, without the major expense, it seems that the online retailers definitely know how to have a laugh!
19. Freeborn and Peters
When you join the “Freeborn family”, you’re privy to a wide range of benefits, but one in particular comes to mind…the ‘luggage party‘. On an annual basis, all staff are told to bring a packed suitcase into work and then a few are picked at random to go on an all-expenses paid holiday to Las Vegas…right there and then.
The King of Employee Benefits!
I simply couldn’t write a blog post about weird and wonderful employee perks and benefits, without mentioning Google…it just wouldn’t be right.
The masters of staff happiness, if you end up working for these internet giants, you can expect some of the following legendary, onsite perks:
Bocce courts, free never-ending food, physical therapy, rainbow slides, a masseuse, laundry facilities, haircuts, swimming pools, a gym, ping pong tables, pool, video games, technology testing (sneak peaks) 24-7 tech support, free rides to and from work, dogs are always welcome, free access to scooters in the office…
…the list really is endless.
- Mark Wilkinson
Recruiter Pro Tip
Employee engagement is steadily becoming one of hottest topics regarding successful (and sustainable) business growth and those who really wish to draw the best out of their team and keep hold of their star employees are using technique like those shown above to do it.
Granted, most companies aren’t exactly going to be able to pull off Google-style slides and I’m not sure anyone should ever offer benefits of a sexual nature, but as we’ve discussed in our previous blog there are plenty of solutions out there for businesses great and small (look out for them during your next jobsearch).