Competitive Company Benefits & Perks: A study of companies that are winning in the war of attracting, engaging and retaining talent

Happy New Year HR friends. I hope you’re all off to a great start to 2017. Some of you may be putting the final touches on your 2017 budgets while others are reviewing opportunities to refresh your People programs. Either way, there is nothing like a new year to give us a refreshed perspective on what our companies did well in the past and what we can do better in 2017. What are you going to do better in 2017? Have you considered how HR will strategically focus on talent management and development?

Attract. Engage. Retain.  These three words have been popping up in all the Human Resources and People Operations articles that have been flooding my inbox and appearing on glossy magazine pages by way of  SHRM’s HR Magazine, Harvard Business Review, BLR’s HR Forum and various LinkedIn articles. As someone who loves talking to business partners in all functions of organizations, I think it’s critical to understand what our organizations are doing today, both in the realm of success and failure, and continue to look for ways to increase employee satisfaction and expand our reach as organizations that attract, engage and retain top talent.

This dive into a better understanding of how our organizations compare to others begs the question of “what are the most attractive organizations doing differently by way of ATTRACTING, ENGAGING and RETAINING top talent?” I’ve flushed out a few organizations that are killing the game when it comes to offering unique work experiences and benefits/perks to attract new talent, keep employees engaged day in and day out and retain the type of talent that makes companies successful.

Two Originative Organizations Pushing Traditional Boundaries

Steelhouse and the Monthly 3-Day Weekend Phenomenom: CEO Mark Douglas challenges the American obsession of working harder not smarter by offering a 3-day weekend each month to his team! He directly challenges the status quo of companies who passively-aggressively promote the idea that working longer hours means you are working harder. Douglas’ perspective is that giving team members an extra day off each month gives them additional time to recharge and promotes their overall happiness and readiness for work. This is a first step in Douglas’ review on a move to a possible 4-day workweek in the future. Steelhouse was already using unique retention tools like offering each employee an annual $2,000 vacation budget to maintain the company’s high level of employee happiness (engagement and retention). Since 2013, only 5 people have left Steelhouse. The organization has essentially ZERO turnover! Check out what the employees have to say about working with Steelhouse over on Glassdoor.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the 1 year Paid Parental Leave Policy: I don’t think I need to go into too much detail of what this incredibly generous parental leave policy entails, suffice it to say that employees who have kiddos or are planning on expanding their families in the future are over the moon about this company benefit! I love that Melinda Gates has taken the time to study the benefits behind increased parental leave on early childhood development. Her dedication to creating a work environment that is conducive to supporting parents and families is inspiring and in good company with the likes of Netflix, Adobe and Microsoft.

Alternative Employee Benefits – the inspiring WTF’s of benefit and perks offerings

There are few organizations who have blown up the traditional company benefits and perks offerings with new and relevant offerings. Here are some of my favorites:

Twitter: Get out those breast-pumps all you new moms. In addition to unlimited paid time off, on-site acupuncture, meditation and yoga classes, Twitter offers free breast-milk shipping for traveling  moms.

Salesforce: This company walks the talk with their commitment to charitable works by offering 6 days of Paid Volunteer Time Off (PVTO) to all of their employees. Alongside the paid time off team members can use for volunteering, the company has agreed to donate $1,000 each year to the charity of each employee’s choice.

Adobe Systems: This company believes that people need time to recharge. In their commitment to offering a strong work-life balance for their employees, Adobe shuts down the entire company for 1 week in December and 1 week over the summer to give team members much needed, and fully paid, time off to recharge. Like Salesforce, Adobe also believes that community service and charitable works are an important part of a well-rounded employee’s work-life balance. For every 10 hours an employee donates to their community, Adobe gives back $250 to be donated to the nonprofit of your choice!

Alphabet (Google): Did your partner work for Google and pass away? No worries, Alphabet (Google) has you covered. The company provides the surviving partner 50% of the deceased employee’s salary for 10 years. This benefit is a jaw-dropper. Google is sending a clear message to employees that the organization cares about each individual team member and the well-being of their family.

Facebook: We all know that babies are f*$king expensive. Facebook helps out by throwing a little cash, $4,000 to be exact, at new parents to put towards the surmounting costs of diapers, bibs, binkies and baby toys. The company also offers 4 months of paid parental leave and a program to subsidize daycare. This is a pretty rad way to set up new parents for success and quelch some of their fears of returning to work.

Asana: This organization may be king when it comes to benefit offerings and employee perks. From executive and life coaching to 12 weeks of paid parental leave to healthy chefs onsite to whip up the vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free meal of your dreams, Asana is killing the game of company benefits and perks. You can check out additional details over on their Glassdoor page.

After checking out what the companies mentioned have to offer, it’s time to look back at our own benefit and perks offerings and evaluate how your offerings fit into our strategy of attracting, engaging and retaining top talent in a market that is extremely competitive. What changes are you looking to make in 2017?








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