Radical Benefits: 11 Awesome Ways Companies Are Showing Employee Appreciation
Wouldn't it be nice if Employee Appreciation Day were every day? At some companies, the benefits are so sweet, they give employees the warm and fuzzies all year round. From $4,000 in "Baby Cash" for new parents to in-house meditation sessions to monthly book-buying stipends, lots of companies are getting creative with their tactics for keeping employees happy. Keep scrolling to find out what "Panda Fridays" are and why you'll want to have them at your company.
Ski passes for employees and their families
There are a bunch of cool benefits at Chatbooks (a Utah-based company that prints photo books from photos on your phone or social channels), including office hoverboards, a 3D printer, a green smoothie bar, and "life skills" classes. But perhaps the nicest perk is the ability to ski for free with corporate passes to Sundance Ski Resort for employees and their families.
REI offers a similar perk in that employees enjoy two paid days off per year for dedicated outdoorsy time. They're called "Yay Days," for obvious reasons.
Free Kindle and $30 per month for books
Now this is some employee enrichment we can get behind. At Twilio, workers who build and present a Twilio app are rewarded with a Kindle and a $30 monthly stipend for purchasing books.
As you might expect from the tech giant, Twitter's benefits offerings are impressive, boasting unlimited vacation days, an on-site gym, multiple meals per day, acupuncture services, and generous parental leave (20 weeks!). And to encourage employees to free their creativity: the occasional improv class.
Four-week paid sabbatical
After working at Epic Systems Corporation in Wisconsin for five years, you'll earn a four-week paid sabbatical, which many people use for traveling. What's more, if you'd like to spend the sabbatical in a country you've never visited, Epic will help fund the trip for you and a guest. That's a big incentive to be a jet-setter instead of a job-hopper.
Monthly housekeeping services
The women who own and run MATI Energy (an all-natural energy beverage company) seem to understand that household demands eat into that old work-life balance thing everyone's always chasing, so MATI provides a monthly reimbursement to employees for housekeeping services.
Every other Friday off
Adorably labeled "Panda Fridays," the World Wildlife Fund offers employees every other Friday off, which is a tactic that seems to do wonders for companies' productivity and employee satisfaction.
$4,000 in "Baby Cash"
It may not be surprising that behemoth tech companies like Facebook provide handsomely for their workers, but it's still pretty cool. Among a bunch of other perks that have become commonplace for Silicon Valley workers, Facebook employees who have babies can receive $4,000 in "Baby Cash" to pimp their cribs.
Twice-daily group meditation sessions
OK, yes, Headspace is a meditation app, but still, how cool is it that the company provides two group meditation sessions per day? There are also singular meditation pods available for some individual head-space time. It's almost like the company cares about its employees' health and well-being or something!
$1,200 per year for student loan payments
With the staggering amount of student loan debt most people are carrying postcollege, this incentive is hugely appealing, especially for younger employees who aren't yet making large salaries but are still putting as much money toward their loans each month as they are paying in rent. At PwC, eligible employees are given $1,200 per year for student loan repayment for up to six years. And when repaying debt, every little bit counts.
50 percent of a deceased employee's salary for their surviving partner for 10 years
At Google, when an employee passes away, their partner or spouse will be given 50 percent of their Google salary for 10 years after the employee's passing. It's one of the more compassionate workplace benefits out there.
Named the No. 1 company to work for in the US for 2017, Airbnb is walking the talk by giving employees $2,000 per year to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing. That is a pretty big bump to your yearly vacation fund!
Similarly, Travelzoo provides its employees with the "Travelzoo Experience" by handing each worker $1,500 per year to use on traveling. As the CEO put it in 2015, "we need people to obsess about travel. . . . It also attracts candidates who love travel and are very excited about joining the company."