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Top Employee Perks and What's Coming (Part 2)
By Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist
Tuesday, 4th November 2014
 

Last week, we talked about three areas of the top employee perks: Food, Game Rooms, and Physical Health/Wellness.

Dedicated Rooms. Besides the numerous perks we mentioned for Dropbox last week, it offers a plush music room, equipped with instruments and big soft couches arranged, in a lounge/bar atmosphere.  

The last time I visited Malaysia, The Hilton Kuala Lumpur, the property offered its employees dedicated rooms for fun play and serious work. The Chill Out Room features board games, computers for play, and electronic massage chairs.

On the other hand, The Think Tank is a learning environment with several computers, including two for doing homework and four for accessing the Hilton online training database. Tame by US standards, these perks are really meaningful for employees in Malaysia.

Mental Health. Employees at the Palo Alto-based firm Medallia receive cash are given cash to "seek out and overcome their fears, whether business-related or personal".  Medallia employees have taken all kinds of classes, including professional boxing, singing or dancing lessons, and even stand-up comedy. 

Time Off. You have probably heard that a growing number of companies, including Netflix, Virgin America, and Hubspot, are now offering unlimited vacation days. But this arrangement doesn't approach what Motek, a software company in the inventory management field, used to offer and now Moz offers to its valued workers.

Motek gave its employees one month off and a bonus of $5000 to use for transportation, food, lodging, and entertainment. Moz offers three weeks off and $3000 bonus.

Some companies are experimenting with alternative work schedules. At Boogie, employees work four days/week. They start work at 8am and break for a two-hour lunch at 1pm, then work from 3pm to 7pm.(We're not sure how this schedule would work for families who have children who go to bed at 7pm?)

And of course, each employee enjoys an extra 52 days off/year. And paid sabbaticals seem to be coming back. While large companies like Microsoft and American Express never stopped offering them, now Capterra offers a five-week, fully paid sabbatical every five years. 

Free Stuff. While most companies offer their employees free or at-cost versions of whatever they sell (including classes, memberships, furniture, cars, etc.), many companies in other businesses offer a variety of free goodies unrelated to their companies.

Before we became virtual, we at The Herman Group offered symphony and theatre tickets, Entertainment® Discount Coupon books, and American Automobile Association (AAA) memberships.

Other examples of what companies offer include Netflix and magazine subscriptions, customized shoes (usually Nikes or Converse), make-up or spa services, babysitting, petsitting, and technology products (MacBook Airs,
iPads, iPhones, iPods, and LED Monitors were the most popular).

Costing relatively little, these ideas are perfect for new companies trying to differentiate themselves, increase loyalty, and build team spirit. While we covered many perks in the last two weeks, we have only scratched the surface of what is available. 

With increasing pressure to recruit the best employees, organizations will once more find themselves looking for ways to add value that don't break the bank. The key will be to find what has a high-perceived value for employees and a relatively low cost to the employer. When you consider that replacing a Gen Y employee is estimated at $20,000, these investments make a lot of sense.

Read part 1 HERE

© Copyright 1998-2014 by The Herman Group of Companies, Inc., all rights reserved. From 'The Herman Trend Alert,' by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. (800) 227-3566 or www.hermangroup.com

The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group of Companies, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

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