13 Unique Employee Benefits Offered by Top Companies

One thing top employers—including fitness businesses—excel at is learning the needs of their employees. And once they know what benefits, services, and perks their employees are looking for, they take the necessary steps to meet those needs.

Research from Glassdoor found that more than half of employees say benefits and perks are a top consideration in accepting a position, and four out five workers say they would prefer new benefits over a pay raise.

These are the top five benefits ranked by employees:

  1. Healthcare insurance
  2. Vacation/paid time off
  3. Performance bonus
  4. Paid sick days
  5. 401K plan, retirement plan and/or pension

Where does the health club industry rank? The IHRSA Health Club Employee Compensation & Benefits Report states that the industry stacks up pretty well in offering most of the top five benefits.

But in addition to understanding and meeting employees’ basic needs or offering the top ranked benefits, what are leading companies doing to attract and retain employees?

The companies below provide unique benefits and perks that go beyond the basics:

1. Kronos, Aetna, and PwC offer student loan payoffs. This is a developing benefit being offered by some companies to recruit and retain millennials. It’s an interesting trend to watch because not only will it serve as a retention tool, but it also helps solve a crippling debt problem related to student loans.

2. Netflix offers one paid year of maternity and paternity leave. They also allow parents to return part-time or full-time.

3. REI offers “YAY Days” by offering two paid days off a year to encourages employees to get outside and enjoy their favorite activities.

4. Salesforce promotes volunteering. Employees receive six days of paid volunteering in addition to donating $1,000 to a charity of the employee’s choice.

5. Airbnb gives employees an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world.

6. Facebook provides $4,000 in “baby cash” to employees with a newborn.

7. Epic Systems Corporation offers employees a paid four-week sabbatical to pursue other creative interests after five years at the company.

8. Twitter offers three catered meals a day and on-site acupuncture and improv classes.

9. World Wildlife Fund employees take Friday off every other week, also known as “Panda Fridays”.

10. Burton employees receive a season ski pass and snow days to hit the slopes after a big snow fall.

11. Asana employees have access to executive and life coaching services outside the company.

12. Twilio offers employees a Kindle plus $30 a month to purchase books.

13. Evernote hosts classes through “Evernote Academy,” which offers team-building courses like macaroon baking.

You probably noticed that top companies offer benefits that are in line with their company culture and mission. As I mentioned in another post, unique perks and benefits are interesting and thought provoking, but can fall flat if you fail to understand what employees actually want.

Author avatar

Regina Satagaj

Regina Satagaj previously served as IHRSA's Vice President of Human Resources—a position that handled recruitment, compensation, benefits, performance management, and employee relations.