With the shortage in talents, it is more important than ever to pamper your employees. And you won’t keep them satisfied with a few extras once in a while on top of their base salary. Today, you need to be inventive in order to stand out on the job market, creating a unique benefits programme. To give you some ideas, here are 10 original benefits offered by innovative companies that decided to think outside the box.
1- Unlimited holidays
Get rid of holiday quotas and encourage your employees to take as much time off as they want. They will be less stressed and more productive. Netflix blazed the trail in 2004 in the United States, then other companies followed, including Indeed and General Electric. The French company OpenClassroom goes even further, offering a 1,000-euro bonus to employees who take more than 2 weeks off.
2- Salary à la carte
Like the French start-up Fasterize, Smarkets in London took a chance on the employee benefit that revolutionised the job market: it allows employees to set their own salary. In the current context, this concept is a serious advantage for boosting employee motivation. Don’t think that employees will ask for exorbitant sums. On the contrary, they use common sense and compare their work to that of their colleagues to judge how much their daily efforts are worth.
3- Longer maternity and paternity leave
The arrival of a baby upsets daily life, even for a well-oiled machine. This is why, at Netflix, you can take unlimited holidays during the first year. That way, you can spend as much time as possible with your newborn and take time off for emergencies. Spotify and Facebook are heading in the same direction, with up to 24 and 17 weeks of leave, respectively.
4- Baby cash
And what if you took a page out of Facebook? This American company gives young parents a hand with 4,000 dollars in baby cash. Zillow, a real estate specialist, covers delivery fees for breast milk when moms have to travel for work.
5- Company scooters
Transportation is a headache for most employees. What’s new? Some companies, like Orangina-Schweppes Group, are trying out electric scooters as company vehicles to improve sustainability, make commuting easier and give employees greater independence.
6- Paid volunteering
Paying your employees to volunteer is a strange concept. This is, however, what the software developer Salesforce has done to encourage employees to volunteer. Not only do employees get 6 days of paid leave to volunteer, but the company also makes a 1,000-dollar donation to the non-profit of their choice if they use all of their paid volunteering time.
7- Free travel and recreation
Offering free travel to your employees will make your competitors turn green with envy. At Airbnb, employees get a 2,000-dollar bonus for travel, as long as they use one of the company’s accommodations. CFF chose another option, providing unlimited train travel throughout all of Switzerland. A great way to see the country! The Walt Disney Company offers free entrance to their amusement parks, while the sporting goods company Burton Snowboards gives away ski trips to reward employee investment and encourage loyalty to the company.
8- Benefits for pets
More and more employers allow their employees to bring their pets to work. The Japanese group Ferry Corporation even offers a stipend of the equivalent of 35 euros per month to encourage employees to bring their cats to work, which are natural stress relievers. Google has pet daycare, while PetSmart and Zynga offer discounts on veterinary products and health insurance for cats and dogs.
9- Whiskey day
What employee benefit brings colleagues together? Try Dropbox’s Whiskey Friday. Colleagues get together once per week and relax with a drink. Apple sets the bar even higher with beer nights featuring celebrities.
10- Company yachts
J.M. Family Enterprises, a car manufacturer, sails on luxury benefits. It gives its best employees access to its fleet of yachts on the weekends. A serious advantage to compensate employee investment, especially if they have their sea legs.
In short, remember that a happy employee is 31% more productive and 55% more creative, according to a 2018 MIT and Harvard study. So be inventive with your benefits to keep your employees happy. You have everything to gain!