Jun 9, 2017

The top 5 most over-the-top employee benefits from tech companies

The top 5 most over-the-top employee benefits from tech companies
Image: Shutterstock / Rawpixel.com
By Carolyn Betts

I’ve seen my fair share of company benefits after 10+ years recruiting for tech companies. Tech Startups in San Francisco are known for having extensive benefits from daily lunches to paid gym memberships or free monthly massages. Before I share some of the coolest benefits I’ve come across, I have a word of advice for new companies…

Before offering

I’ve learned from experience working with small startups and from founding Betts that benefits can become a tricky subject.

When you are deciding which benefits to offer, keep in mind that as a company scales, the cost of benefits will increase too. Covering the cost of gym memberships for 10 employees becomes a drastically different cost when your team grows to 100.

Also, be sure to think through the benefits you are offering. As fun as Summer Fridays sound, they can set your team up for a rough wake-up call come fall.

Looking for some benefit inspiration? These tech companies go above and beyond.

1. Elevated benefits

We’ve heard of companies paying for their gym membership. We’ve seen Instagrams of a friend’s team working at a food bank for an annual volunteering day. But having a $100 Wellness Credit to spend on whichever self-care tactic feels most personally effective? Now that’s interesting.

SalesforceIQ knows that people have different ways of relaxing, whether it’s a round of golf, a Zumba class at the gym, or hiking in the National Parks. SalesforceIQ takes a similar approach to their volunteering program, and lets employees pick the cause they’d like to spend their time on.

They offer 6 paid volunteering days annually, and a monthly $100 stipend for wellness. Though I do believe that spending a day volunteering or running a 5k can be a great team building activity, being able to choose the specifics within a broader benefit is a great way to ensure individual satisfaction.

2. Need a day? Take a day.

Have you heard of unlimited PTO? It’s a trend in benefits that’s becoming increasingly popular in the benefits suite offered by tech companies.

Atlassian’s version is called “Vacay Your Way.” Instead of watching your hours painstakingly accrue, unlimited PTO plans allow employees take time off when they need it. The theory behind this is that life happens, and usually not at the exact time you have accrued the perfect amount of PTO.

If you need to take time off to care for family, recover from an injury, or just plain need a mental health day, these plans allow for that. The expectation is that work will be handled appropriately before taking an extended vacation, but it truly is the kind of benefit that treats employees as the responsible adults they are (… or should be!).

3. Health, handled

Though insurance may not seem like the most exciting benefit, having extensive coverage can be a literal lifesaver.

Indeed offers emergency insurance that sends an air ambulance anywhere in the world. While it’s not something you would necessarily plan for, having a speedy pick-up after falling on a hike in the Australian Outback could absolutely be a lifesaver.

Want to have children, but not quite ready yet? Google, LinkedIn, Intel, Spotify, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and Wayfair are all reported to offer fully paid coverage for IVF and egg freezing. The initial process can cost upwards of $10k, with an annual storage fee of $800.

While the idea sounds great to empower women’s choices about having children, a scrappy start up may want to think twice before offering this as it would be extremely costly to scale.

4. The list goes on and on!

Imagine working in an office with a Zen room for meditating and receiving complimentary massages. What if I told you that same company would also send you to one conference of your choice annually, and keep your bookshelf stocked with the help of Amazon book gift cards? Not to mention the onsite “OctoDojo” gym… Github’s benefit suite truly does go above and beyond.

5. Beach house

Perhaps one of the more creative benefits I’ve seen, Y Media recently announced that it rented a home in Hawaii indefinitely for all employees to use.

With 10 bedrooms, and similar homes going for $10k a week on Airbnb, this beach house seems like a luxurious getaway. Every employee, no matter their title or length of tenure at Y Media, can book a week vacation there. Talk about vacation envy!

Having major FOMO?

Glamorous trips and company Zen gardens aside, not all benefits have to be encrusted in gold to feel plentiful.

Some of the best perks turn out to be relatively inexpensive. Recently at Betts Recruiting, we had a beer pong tournament to celebrate the team crushing their quotas at the end of the quarter. The office ended up hustling more for a BP tournament than for a Spiff with awesome seats at a Chance the Rapper concert!

Having random partners and a bracket on a whiteboard turned out to be the perfect way for people to get to know each other better, and definitely raised some healthy competition.

Carolyn Betts Fleming is the Founder and CEO of Betts Recruiting, the leading global recruitment firm specializing in matching revenue-generating talent with the world’s most innovative companies.

Original source: http://mashable.com/2017/06/08/the-top-5-most-over-the-top-employee-benefits/#phunzPPWCEqz

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