Engagement

10 Unusual Employee Perks

Companies are always looking for the right balance of perks and benefits to keep their employees engaged, since 95 percent of employees consider them before making a decision to stay with or leave an organization. But what works for one company may not work for the next and it’s always a matter of finding the right fit for your culture. To that end, here is a list of some of the most creative and unusual perks and benefits organizations are offering employees today:

  1. Concierge Service – How would you like having a personal assistant to pick up your dry cleaning and run your errands while you’re at work? SC Johnson, manufacturer of several popular home cleaning products, offers a full concierge service to its employees to assist them with balancing work and life.
  2. Private Shopping Mall – Getting to the mall can be a hassle, and it’s just another thing for employees to stress about. That’s why Microsoft built employees their very own shopping mall on campus. Known as “The Commons”, the mall features everything you’d expect – restaurants, a credit union office, a post office, and dozens of boutique stores – and no forgetting where you parked!
  3. Formal Fridays – It’s fun to dress up, just not completely necessary to do your job. That’s why sublet giant Airbnb turns the corporate dress code on its head with Formal Fridays. Employees dress casual all week, saving the ties and pant-suits for Friday. Sometimes they even do themed dress-up days, the most popular being Mad Men (naturally).
  4. Company Beer – Online t-shirt seller Threadless went one step beyond Thirsty Thursdays, teaming up with brewers at Finch’s Beer to create a special Threadless IPA. They always have a keg handy in the break room, and employees get a great sense of pride and ownership from it.
  5. Video Game TournamentsFundable, a business crowdfunding firm, shuts down operations every weekday at 5:30 p.m. to hold an NBA Jam tournament for the last hour of the day on an old-school arcade unit. Competition breeds excellence, camaraderie, and teamwork.
  6. Grooming Budget – Some companies cover cost-of-living expenses as a perk, but engineering service provider 2HB makes a point to offer $50 per month to help cover manicures, pedicures, and haircuts, so employees get that extra confidence boost from looking good and feeling fresh.
  7. Company YachtiCracked, a company that helps people repair and sell used Apple devices, has a company yacht, and the keys are basically up for grabs on the weekends, kind of like your uncle’s time share in Reno. Except that it’s free for employees and they can take it for a cruise anytime they want to see California’s lovely Redwood Shores.
  8. Free Laundry – If your employees are working hard, getting the laundry done can turn into just another stressor for them to deal with. At California-based JibJab Media, employees enjoy free fluff-and-fold service on Monday mornings. All employees get a laundry bag when they get hired, and can get as much as they can fit into it washed and returned by the next day.
  9. Put the Boss to Work DayMoneycrashers, a financial consultant firm, have a novel competition every week: If the staff reaches a certain sales goal or benchmark, the management team agrees to perform the more menial duties of staff members, providing excellent motivation that engenders a great deal of mutual respect.
  10. No Official Work Hours – Who needs the 9 to 5 grind? Not the employees at Netflix’s California headquarters, where working hours and vacation time simply aren’t tracked. Netflix only keeps tabs on what employees accomplish every day, and lets them come and go as they please – but you do have to actually show up.

Meaningful Rewards

These unusual perks give you an idea of how some organizations are doing the unexpected to keep their employees engaged and happy. However, few companies are able to build an entire shopping mall or offer concierge service at their workplace, so check out our Guide to Employee Appreciation eBook for some more perks and celebration ideas, and give your employees rewards and side benefits that are meaningful to your culture.


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