“Employee engagement” and “company culture” are real buzzwords at the moment in the business world.
Hiring managers across the globe are desperate to know – ‘how can I make my staff happy’?
And it’s easy to see why! Happy staff are more loyal, inspired, appealing to customers and creative.
Now, over the years, businesses have come up with some pretty jazzy ways to engage their staff, using a range of weird and wonderful employee perks.
We’ve compiled a list of our 10 favourites; if you get a chance to work for these companies, grab it!
1. Sleepovers With the Boss – Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market get a great rep from previous and current employees.
Is it all down to sleepovers with the boss?
“I know this sounds weird, but there’s something about sleeping in the same house and then fixing breakfast or dinner together that is very much a bonding experience,” says John Mackey, Chief Executive and founder of the company. (BBC News)
Probably not… they also offer discounts, language classes and cap executive salaries so all employees know that no one person gets overpaid. (I personally think this is a great way to build trust and loyalty.)
For more info on why it’s amazing to work for Whole Foods Market (minus the sleepovers) check out this Fortune article.
2. The Concierge Service – S.C Johnson
I don’t like chores. No one does really!
So – what is a fantastic way to engage employees, whilst freeing up more of their time to devote to your business? A Concierge Service, of course.
S.C Johnson offer their entire workforce (some 12,000 people) free access to a facility who’ll fulfill all 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 before another productive day at work.
Seems like a win-win situation to me.
3. Duvet Days! – Various
We’ve all done it… waking up on a weekday morning after a slightly-too-heavy night out and wishing beyond hope that we could ignore the alarm clock and go back to the land of nod.
Many employees would pull a sickie – but you’re too stubborn – you brought this on yourself and you must face the consequences.
Besides, everyone in the office knows that you went out after work!
Enter “Duvet Days;” dedicated to those last-minute, can’t-quite-make-it-into-the-office situations.
This little perk is easy-to-implement – just add a couple of days onto the annual leave entitlement – and everyone loves it… although you will have to consider the pros and cons for your particular business situation.
You don’t want an empty office the day after a staff-night-out! And you don’t want important meetings to be missed, just because employees can.
4. Free Wine – DPR Construction
OK – plenty of businesses now offer some kind of ‘Beer Friday’ where employees can either leave early to go to the pub or are allowed a beer at their desk…
But DPR Construction took it a step further, by opening a suave, sophisticated free wine bar in the middle of their office.
Staff obviously love the perk, but do testify that only on rare occasions will they drink wine at lunchtime (or for breakfast, I assume)!
5. A Shopping Centre – Microsoft
Have you ever thought to yourself… “do you know what we need at our business, to make my life easier? A shopping centre.”
Probably not – it seems pretty unreasonable to expect a company to create an entire mall, filled with shops and restaurants for their staff – doesn’t it?
Amazingly, that’s exactly what Microsoft did at their headquarters!
6. Biweekly Massages – Institute for Integrative Nutrition
After a tough, stressful day at the office, those shoulders can get a little tense.
So how about a biweekly massage, at your desk, to de-stress and untie those knots?
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 epic!
7. Unlimited Holidays – Netflix
Last year, Richard Branson (following in Netflix’s footsteps) announced the implementation of a new perk… unlimited annual leave!
Apparently, companies who’ve adopted this brave new idea have realised an “upward spike in everything – morale, creativity and productivity have gone through the roof!”
Recruiter Pro Tip.
Before you start proposing this for your business, you should seriously consider the pros and cons.
The perk’s success relies heavily on the trust, commitment and loyalty of your staff.
For further considerations, check out this interesting HR Magazine article.
Of course, I’m sure Richard’s policy (or lack of) goes hand in hand with an understanding that anyone who starts taking advantage will be shown the door.
8. A ‘Puppytorium’- Chartbeat
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?
Chartbeat have the BEST solution… (Honestly, how do they get any work done!)
The innovative and creative tech start-up has it’s own designated “Puppytorium!”
Staff are encouraged to bring their pet pooches into the office and the ten cute pups even got to choose their favourite room to hang out in – the library.
Click here to discover more pet-friendly companies.
9. Relaxation Rooms – Zynga
A lot of companies will put on special events to engage their employees (surely you’ve been on one of those ‘team-building’ things?)
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 “fantastically amazing” their company is.
Zynga, the game-inventors took a slightly different tact, introducing fun into their actual office by creating ‘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!
10. Everything you’d ever need – Google
No one could write a blog post about wonderful employee perks, 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.
Ready to Make Your Employees Happy?!
Whether you’re a manager or not, the employee perks and engagement strategies we’ve outlined above are definitely pretty appealing. (Well mostly).
And increasing staff happiness is genuinely the best way to make people care about a business.
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 techniques 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 sleepovers as a benefit, but as we’ve discussed in our previous blog there are plenty of solutions out there for businesses great and small.
If you’re currently looking for a job – don’t forget to check out the perks before accepting.
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Happy Friday!- Charles Trivett