Can your perks compete?

Our local biz journal just released their best places to work issue. (Of course we're not in it... we wouldn't buy a half-page ad.)

Anyway, I opened the issue with great anticipation, expecting to get some great ideas for some new perks that would make working here even more insanely awesome. I was disappointed to see the same old stuff - tuition reimbursement, a wellness program, adoption assistance, blah blah blah.

So, I throw my question to the wolves of the Forum: [B]What is one perk you have that truly sets you apart from your competition?[/B] Maybe something cutting edge, or in tune with Gen Y, or (preferably) free/cheap?

I will construct a [B]special haiku homage[/B] to the suggestion I like best.


  • 13 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • A couple of things I like a lot is our Ceridian flex spending for medical expenses and Purchasing Power, which allows you to buy electronics, appliances or exercise equipment through payroll deduction.
  • It is hard to find things outside the unusual insurance benefits, but I have found sometimes the small things make a big difference.

    We give our employees a free day off to donate their time to a charity/community service project of their choice. We also provide an abundance of free food and snacks, but this does get expensive. I've started a lending library for our readers to share books.

    And then there are the parties. Every 3 or 4 months we have an employee pot luck lunch with games, contests, prizes, etc. Halloween is the best with pumpkin carving and a costume contest. The employees love them, and they costs very little since the employees bring the food. We provide prizes and pay for decorations and such. I saw this initially as more a team and culture building thing, but I've found that about one-third of the candidates I interview have already heard about the great parties we have. It may sound odd that someone would take a job because we give parties, but it speaks to the employee-centric culture we have, so, this has actually become a recruiting tool as well.
  • Here are some of our newer ones:
    --Phased retirement program, with ability to purchase health insurance to age 65
    --Costumes on halloween (no masks -- we work in a bank)
    --Considered pet insurance as an optional insurance, but haven't implemented this yet
    --Gave more options in our clothing program (very popular)
    --Birthday off with 100% participation in United Way (also popular)
  • Frank:

    We have two perks that I think fit that category.

    1. [B]10 Year Day.[/B] When an employee has been here 10 years, we have a day of celebration in their honor. The Honoree gets to suggest an event (subject to approval; flying to L.A. to a Star Trek convention was nixed. ), and company employees are invited. Most times, families are invited, too. We've been to NASCAR races, pro sports (NFL, MLB) as well as other events closer to home, such as zoos, aquariums, and various events in Branson, MO.

    A work day is designated as the "10 Year Day". Cake is served, and a video is streamed to the staff which consists of the Honoree's Biography of sorts, narrated by the President (of our firm), and includes an optional on-camera clip with the President. The Honoree receives a trophy, company jacket, and a gift of his choosing (camera, BBQ grill, saw, swimming pool).

    2. [B]20 Year Trip.[/B] This is for staff celebrating 20 years of employment. We fly the Honoree and a spouse or friend (but not both, ha ha) anywhere in the 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; $975 for lodging, $1,200 in tax free spending money (bookkeeping makes that work by issuing a check for a larger amount, then taking out the taxes on it), and 2 extra days of vacation that year, and each year after.

    The one requirement of the Honoree is that they take a video or photo of themselves on the trip wearing their official 20 year trip hat. Hawaii and Alaska have been the most popular places to go.

    Mine was the first 10 Year Day, and it was low key by today's standards: Dinner at an area restaurant. For my 20 Year Trip, I went to Virginia Beach, VA, where we stayed at a beachfront hotel. Saw some incredible sunrises.

    We also went to Washington, DC. For the heck of it, I requested a meeting with my congressman, and to my surprise, he accepted. He met with my wife and I in his office, then he arranged (it was the congressman's idea) a personal tour of the Capitol building, including the Speaker of the House's private office. It was an awesome tour.


    [QUOTE=ACU Frank;722212]...[B]What is one perk you have that truly sets you apart from your competition?[/B] Maybe something cutting edge, or in tune with Gen Y, or (preferably) free/cheap?

    I will construct a [B]special haiku homage[/B] to the suggestion I like best.
  • Wow! At 20 years, we give you $200 worth of company shirts to wear.
  • Frank,

    I think you've found your winner. Now let's see that haiku.

  • HR Hat:

    Where do you work? Are you hiring? =D>
  • Yes, but unfortunately, not in HR.
  • Telecommuting is one of my favorite perks that my company offers.

    On a similar note, I ran across an interesting survey (MetLife’s 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends) yesterday that reveals how much employees really value benefits/perks. According to the survey, employee loyalty has declined in the past few years, and many employees are hoping to find other jobs. However, the survey revealed that employees who are very satisfied with the benefits offered by their employers are much more likely to be satisfied with their current jobs and be more loyal to their employers.

    If you are interested, you can find the survey results [URL=""]here[/URL] and an article on the survey [URL=""]here[/URL].
  • 2 weeks vacation/ year for first 2 years, 3 beginning on 3rd anniversary and 4 at 5 year anniversary.
    12 days sick leave per year
    11 paid holidays
    at 7 years birthday paid leave to take within 10 days of b-day
    some flexibility in hours and some telecommuting
    celebration day monthly - food/beverage - celebrate anything employees want to celebrate such as birthday, anniversary, wedding, kids graduating, recent vacation photos, whatever.
    long-term disability
    fairly casual dress code but we don't want to see undergarments and footwear of some kind is required
    halloween costumes encouraged and you can wear a mask
    summer employee/family picnic
    end of fiscal year party with adult beverages and excellent catered snacks in nice location

    no long trips for us, bummer.
  • Nice!

    A former employer of mine had bi-weekly pizza parties or barbecues and our summer "picnic" was a rafting trip down the Truckee River.
  • Aw, I miss the Truckee River! Used to live out there - beautiful country!
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