20 companies leading the way when it comes to employee perks and benefits

Perks and benefits matter. These non-salary compensation elements have the potential to make a real difference to recruiting people, especially in a competitive job market, and help with engagement and retention too. Sixty-four percent of millennials say benefits are extremely or very important to company loyalty. Employers recognize the significance of perks and benefits as well: this recent research by HR and Payroll company Moorepay highlights the fact that 83% know their employees are looking for more than just a paycheque.

What kinds of perks and benefits does your company offer – and could it be time to think about what else it could be doing? If you’d like some inspiration, here are 20 companies leading the way when it comes to awesome (and sometimes quirky) perks and benefits for their employees.

1. Hootsuite

We’ve all experienced that post-lunch energy slump… so just imagine working for an employer where the desire to close your eyes and have a doze isn’t only tolerated, it’s actually encouraged. Whether you’ve had a heavy lunch, or last night’s overindulgence and late bedtimes catching you up, Hootsuite’s converted police station office comes equipped with a nap room – and for the more energetic employees, there’s also a yoga studio.

2. Campbell Soup Company

Perks at the company forever immortalized by Andy Warhol include 100% healthcare coverage, free flu shots, and on-site fitness centres. As you might expect from a food company, healthy meal options in the cafeteria are subsidized and healthy cooking lessons are on offer too.

Campbell also aims to make life easier for employees who are parents, providing daycare centers, a full kindergarten and after-school programs for kids up to age 12 as well as a lactation room for nursing mothers.

3. Chesapeake Energy

Energy is the key word here… Chesapeake Energy, one of the US’s biggest natural gas producers, provides employees with an on-site 72,000 square foot fitness center which includes an Olympic-sized pool, sand volleyball court, rock climbing wall, and 400m walking track. Physical trainers are on hand to help employees get the most out of them – and Chesapeake also offers free SCUBA certification to all its employees!

4. Akraya

For people who dread the moment they finally have to get the vacuum out, this fast-growing IT staffing and consulting firm might be the ideal place to work. The company’s keen to help employees achieve work-life balance. So rather than having employees worrying about not having time to stay on top of their housework, the company pays for a professional cleaning service to tidy their homes every fortnight.

5. Burton

Where do we begin with this iconic snowboard company? It makes sure it helps employees live up to its carefree company culture; perks and benefits include in-house yoga sessions, an annual holiday party, summer BBQs and… an annual mountain cleaning day. Employees can take their dogs to work every day as well. And if that wasn’t enough, all employees are given free season passes to hit the slopes and if it snows two feet in 24 hours the company shuts down for the day.

6. Microsoft

It’s not that surprising to see Microsoft make our list – after all, it topped Comparably’s list of large companies with the best perks and benefits this year. It also took top honors in the summer on Just Capital’s list of 100 U.S. companies for its contribution and commitment to creating a healthful workforce, environment, and community. Perks include health cover, flexible work schedules and childcare plus an extensive network of social clubs.

7. Facebook

Also making an appearance on Comparably’s list is Facebook. It took second place on the large companies list (and actually won it last year). Why? Well, take a look at how it treats its interns for example; some of them have reported earning over $7,000 per month in addition to free housing and healthcare cover.

As a parent, Mark Zuckerberg’s keen to support others throughout the company by offering a four-month paid parental leave policy plus a $4,000 “Baby Cash” bonus to employees with a newborn. With a wellness allowance, an arcade full of video games and an on-site barbers shop amongst the other perks on offer, it’s not surprising that Facebook’s acknowledged as a company that really knows how to take care of its employees.

8. Google

Free food on campus; a gym with free workout classes; celebrity talks; cooking classes; massage therapists… the list of perks available at Google is undeniably impressive. While some might be a bit on the quirky side, Google also demonstrates the value of sensitivity to supporting families of employees in the darkest of times too, offering an amazingly generous death benefit by paying a deceased employee’s spouse or partner 50% of their salary for 10 years.

9. Hubspot

There are a whole host of perks available at Hubspot to cater for a comprehensive range of employee preferences. Unlimited holidays, flexible working that fits around other commitments, wellbeing initiatives – plus four weeks extra paid leave for every five years an employee is with Hubspot. The leave can be used in absolutely any way an employee wants.

A love of learning is encouraged with tuition reimbursement for many types of courses including university degrees. The company also aims to support parents – or those who know they might want to become one in the future – with generous parental leave and assistance with the financial costs of egg freezing.

10. Amazon

On top of the more mainstream benefits, Amazon offers perks like assistance with adoption costs and the ability to earn extra time off on top of the standard allowance. And hourly paid employees are given the opportunity to get support in their future career with the company’s innovative ‘Career Choice’ program offering to prepay 95% of the cost of tuition, textbooks and related fees.

11. Airbnb

Glassdoor’s Best Place to Work 2016 has plenty of perks on offer. Its extensive range of options includes paid volunteering time, healthy snacks and generous leave policies. Employees are also encouraged to indulge in the love of travel that probably attracted them to the company in the first place – thanks to a whopping $2,000 annual stipend that can be used for traveling and staying in absolutely any Airbnb location in the world.

12. Netflix

Netflix knows how to do parental benefits… salaried employees can enjoy fully paid, unlimited parental leave with the amount of time away to be agreed with managers as the leave progresses.

The company’s support for employees taking off the time they need doesn’t end there. CEO Reed Hastings takes 6 weeks of holiday every year and encourages employees to make sure they take sufficient time off too. Like some others on this list, the company also recognizes when perks need to go above and beyond; following the death in service of an employee, Netflix provided a $1 million life benefit to the family to help support them. That approach has since become company practice (and the benefit has now increased to $1.5 million).

13. Starbucks

The coffee chain is renowned for treating its employees well. Along with many generous benefits like a ‘family expansion’ reimbursement, tuition reimbursement and extensive healthcare, there are plenty of other perks available. They include free dry cleaning, in-store discounts, Spotify subscriptions and back up care days. And we’d have been disappointed if some tea and coffee wasn’t thrown in there for good measure – employees are given a free pound of coffee (or box of tea if they prefer) every week.

14. Propellernet

Propellernet’s dream balls are a thing of legend.

We’d probably better explain a bit more… every employee adds a ‘dream ball’ (which, as the name suggests, outlines their dream) into the company’s Dream Machine. Whenever Propellernet achieves a major target, a ball’s drawn and the company makes that person’s dream reality. So far they’ve included an epic trek through Africa and staging a sci-fi rock opera.

With 5% of profits placed into the ‘fun fund’ for other activities like pub trips and wellness activities like reflexology sessions too, it’s no surprise the company’s been voted as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces.

15. John Lewis

When you think John Lewis you might think ‘Christmas advert’. You’re probably less likely to think ‘sailing club’. Yet this is one of the benefits available to employees (or partners as they’re referred to) who are given the option of joining the sailing club and making use of five Partnership-owned yachts on the Solent irrespective of sailing ability. If sailing isn’t their thing, employees can still choose to get involved with other sports and entertainment societies. Other perks include subsidized tickets to shows and enjoying a substantial in-store discount within the partnership.

16. Neon Play

Neon Play is a company that’s achieved the almost impossible. While we often refer to the fact that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, Neon Play has confounded us by managing to offer the one perk that will always be universally valued – posh loo roll.

Neon Play guarantees that employees will only encounter the finest quality loo roll as part of its comprehensive package. This is a company that takes a well-rounded approach to thinking about what its employees want. Neon Play has cracked perks and that’s not where it ends either (alright, we’ll stop now). The company has a range of other benefits including a free driving lesson and beer fridge (not be utilized at the same time). A £100 payment is also given to new starters to let them pick out items for the office to help shape it into an environment they’ll love working in.

17. The Body Shop

As a company with a strong ethical emphasis since it began back in the 1970s, it’s no surprise to find that amongst the perks on offer are five paid days each year to carry out voluntary work. As you’d probably expect, alongside a generous benefits package, employees can also enjoy substantial discounts on products, plus take opportunities to receive products by developing knowledge about them through schemes like ‘Learn it to earn it’.

18. ZPG

Property information provider ZPG puts a lot of effort into making sure that its perks are not just ‘off the shelf’ choices. It appreciates that people at different stages of life will value different things and is particularly focused on helping employees with their financial wellbeing, recognizing the problems that financial issues can otherwise create. So to help take the pressure off employees, it offers interest-free loans up to the value of £5000 to help them fund big milestone moments in life.

19. Salesforce

For charitably-minded employees, Salesforce is a company with a lot to offer. They can take up to six days a year of paid volunteering time. Charities can also benefit through a match funding scheme that offers $2,500 in match funding gifts at the start of the fiscal year. Employees can also access an additional $2,500 after completing and logging 56 hours of volunteer time too.

Read more: Wellbeing in the workplace: what does the latest research say?

The company’s also a big supporter of education; it will reimburse the full cost of fees, tuition and books for pre-approved, job-related courses and offers refinancing to help employees with previous student loan obligations.

20. Spotify

Spotify was one of the pioneers in offering fertility benefits to employees, including paying for egg freezing and other forms of fertility assistance. It also provides six months of paid parental leave, plus one month of flexible work options for parents returning to the office. While these kinds of perks might not appeal to everyone, there’s one perk available that you’d expect to appeal to all given Spotify’s music-loving culture: free concerts.