10 Lessons You Can Learn From Companies’ Best Employee Perks

employee-perksOur month-long look at Employee Retention and Happiness continues.

You hear a lot these days about all the unique perks companies like Google, Facebook, and more are offering their employees: free food, laundry services, and pet-friendly work environments are all benefits companies are providing to help make their employees happier.

These kinds of perks can be effective retention strategies, but not everyone has the financial resources of a Fortune 500. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things to be learned from the extensive benefits they offer.

We gathered together a list of ten of the best company perks to show what lessons can be applied to help your employees be happy and stick around.

1.  Johnson and Johnson

Perks: The company behind cleaning products like Glade, Pledge, and Windex essentially offers its employees their own personal Mary Poppins. An on-site concierge service is on-hand to tackle peoples’ chores, whether its dropping off a package, grabbing milk for home, or returning an overdue library book.

Lesson: The real benefit of this perk is it promotes ease of mind. There’s less worrying at work about the huge list of chores that need to be done at home. That means less distraction, which means more focus. It also means there’s less to do after work so employees can relax sooner. You might not be able to provide your employees with a courier, but you can adopt the spirit: find ways that allow stresses to disappear from employees’ minds.

2. Deloitte

Perks: Ever felt like two week of vacation just isn’t enough? The professional services firm not only offers their workers four weeks of unpaid vacation to do whatever they want. They let you take three to six months of partly paid leave to pursue whatever passions you have outside of your job. 

Lesson: We all have a “What if?” or a “If only I had the time…” Things we want to try, but don’t have the time, money, or luxury to give a shot. Deloitte understands that, and their policy emphasizes the importance of helping your employees do the things they’ve always dreamed of doing. So, find ways to encourage your peoples’ passions. It will show you care and go a long way towards your employees being happier all around.

3. Google

Perks: As you’d expect, Google offers no shortage of perks. There’s free breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s on-site gym, pool, game rooms, laundry, dry cleaning, massages, yoga, hair cuts, medical staff. Especially noteworthy is that they’ll give you $12,000 a year in tuition reimbursement, and offer 18 paid weeks of maternity leave, plus six paid weeks of paternity leave.

Lessons: In the words of Google CEO Larry Page, providing perks (of any kind) has an important impact. “When you treat people [well] … you get better productivity… We should continue to innovate in our relationship with our employees and figure out the best things we can do for them … Our people have also been a lot happier and more productive, which is much more important.”

LoadSpring Solutions

Perks: LoadSpring Solutions (a project management cloud solutions company) encourages its employees to explore other cultures by offering its people an extra week off to travel abroad and – here’s the kicker – up to $5,000.

Lesson: Finding ways to think outside of the box is a proven way to produce great work. LoadSprings incentive allows for that: employees inevitably return with new experiences and perspectives that will inform their work. Even if you can’t afford an extra $5000 cash, the lesson here is find ways to expose your employees to experiences that bless them with a fresh perspective. It will not only make them happy, but inspire a new passion in them that will find its way into their work.


Perks: The social discovery company offers its workers this: transparency. Tagged shares all their financials once a month with their workers, along with any information about any major decision – like acquisitions.

Lesson: Compared to the other perks on this list, this might not sound like the most exciting perk in the world. But it’s a perfect example of something Alex Chepovetsky alluded to in his recent interview with us: the best way to achieve employee retention is to “coalesce around a vision.” Tagged’s transparency allows employees to feel truly connected to the company’s efforts and thereby their own. It’s a valuable strategy: the best way to get employees invested in their work and company, is to enable better ways for them to be invested.

6. Facebook

Perks: Facebook loves its new families. New parents can get four months of paid leave, a $4,000 cheque once their child is born, and reimbursement for any adoption or day care fees.

Lesson: Deciding to start a family can be a big, difficult decision. Supporting that decision can go a long way towards ensuring the family-minded folks in your company feel appreciated. Yes, these policies mean you’re losing your workers for a time, but they’ll come back appreciative for your work-life balance support during the most joyous/sleep-deprived days of their lives. The lesson? The way to an employees’ heart is their bundle of joys.

7. Zappos

Perks: The shoe company provides pet insurance, excellent medical/dental/vision coverage, hefty product discounts, free food, and – our personal favorite – nap rooms. Zappos has received a lot of attention for another unique offer: it will pay you $3000 to quit after your first four weeks of training.

Lesson: Everyone should have nap rooms. Everyone. But okay, there’s another lesson here. The idea of paying someone to quit might seem strange, but consider: a

worker who is passionate about their work and your company is the greatest money-making asset you have. A worker who isn’t? Can lose you money. Making sure the employees really care from the start doesn’t just help the company, it also helps the employee be happier in their work right away, increasing the chances they’ll want to stick around.

8. MorrisCore

Perks: Most people who feel bored, unchallenged, or unmotivated in their work would head for the door. This web and marketing solutions company asks its workers to consider another option: the opportunity to customize a new job or position. (They also only have to work 35 hours per week to be considered full-time).

Lesson: This is something we constantly stress at Ari Agency. One of the best ways to retain an employee is to help them remain professionally challenged and satisfied. If an employee decides they want their career to go somewhere else, as Alex Chepovetsky said in his interview, it’s your job as a manager to listen (as MorrisCore does). Do your best to help them realize their new career goals by shifting them to, for example, another department or position. 

9. Zynga

Perks: Not surprisingly, the makers of Farmville and Words with Friends provide their people with loads of gaming opportunities via rooms full of Nintendos, arcade games, Xboxes and Playstations. They’re also a mecca for dog lovers: employees are allowed to bring their furry friends to work.

Lesson: If you’re a dog lover, you’re heart probably melted just reading that last sentence. That’s a feeling managers should seek to promote in their employees all the time. An employee that feels good at their workplace and is having fun – whether it’s because of video games or the presence of Fido – will be a loyal employee.

10. The J.M. Sucker Company

Perks: The jam company offers a sweet perk (pun intended): welcome baskets for every new employee, delivered to their home. But its good treatment doesn’t just end with workers’ arrival. The company will reimburse 100% of your tuition expenses with – here’s the really big deal – absolutely no limit.

Lesson: Few things inspire more gratitude and loyalty than companies that give employees the sense that they’re career aspirations are supported – especially when it comes to tuition reimbursement. Help your workers continue to learn and develop and they’ll appreciate the professional satisfaction you helped them achieve.