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Many companies can claim bragging rights for their generous salaries and above average benefits packages. However, not every company goes the extra mile when it comes to employee incentives. Here are five companies that have the whole package, where employees actually look forward to starting their workday.
Ten miles off the Las Vegas strip lies the Zappos headquarters. This online shoe company offers free and paid tours. They host around 1,200 visitors a month who want to sneak a peek at the inside of this employee haven. What’s so great about Zappos? The atmosphere! It’s a fun and high-energy place with employees who actually like working there.
New employees have a random hat thrown on them and their photo taken without warning. The cubicles are decorated with streamers, toys, Mardi Gras beads, and fake jungle foliage. Executives sit in what is called “monkey row”, picture open cubicles under a fake tree, blow up monkeys, and fake bananas; and everyone has an open door policy.
- Need inspiration? Zappos has an open library stocked with inspiring books. Employees, and even visitors, can pick up a good book anytime.
- Sleepy? Like Google, this company has high-tech napping pods, massage chairs, and a calm and quiet room to relax in.
- Need a break? Employees can head over to the Dance Dance Revolution machine and get their groove on.
- Need to lose a few pounds? This company holds Weight Watchers meetings on site and has a reimbursement program! There is also an on-site fitness center that is open 24/7.
- Hungry? There are free salads, soups, sandwiches, fruits, drinks, ice cream, cereals, and more just waiting for hungry employees to come along.
- Breastfeeding? There is a room for that, can you guess what it is called; the nursing room!
On the job, work is a party. Off the job, the employee perks continue.
- Medical coverage has no deductible for in-network utilization and all primary, routine, and preventative care is covered at 100 percent.
- Employees looking into adoption or having fertility issues can receive $6,000 per year in benefits and services.
- Everyone needs shoes (lots and lots of pretty shoes in EVERY color!) and employees get a whopping 40% off at the Zappos.com website!
- There are company paid events to get the whole family involved, like the company picnic and “Take your kids to work” days. On Halloween day, the office is turned into a haunted house and children can trick or treat indoors.
Another company that goes above and beyond for their employees is Valve Software. And like Zappos, they boast a laid-back work environment and perks that extend beyond the office.
Employee benefits include:
- Laundry services! After a hard day’s work, who wants to do laundry? Employees at this company can drop off their stinky duds at the on-site laundry service and pick them up when they are clean.
- Employees can keep in shape and loosen up at the on-site gym.
- The “snack room” (which resembles an extreme couponers warehouse of free food goodness) is filled to the brim with food for any employee that needs a snack break. There is also fancy espresso for those needing a caffeine fix.
- Thursdays are company lunch days, where Valve Software brings in food and everyone gets together and chats in the enormous lunch room.
- “Free Massage Fridays” – At Valve Software, Fridays just got that much better.
- Even when employees feel the need to hide out in the bathroom, songs by Scorpion, Poison, and Queen are known to blast through the bathroom speakers and get employees pumped to return to work. Who would not be motivated after singing “We Are The Champions” while washing their hands!?!
- All men and women are created equal; there are no bosses or supervisors, and no need to fear failure. Seriously, the handbook states that even if an employee makes an expensive and publicly embarrassing mistake, they don’t have to worry about being fired. Instead, mistakes are used as a learning opportunity.
- Once a year, Valve Software host an all-expenses paid vacation for all employees. The trip starts with a chartered airplane and ends at an exotic location with a beach and a swimming pool.
Want to see the AMAZING employee handbook? The PDF version has super important need to know instructions, like what to do if a snowflake falls from the sky and how to roll your desk (all desks have wheels, see the handbook for more info).
Red Frog Events
Chicago, IL is the home of Red Frog Events. Employees here work at “Camp Red Frog,” a camp themed building designed by the same architects who designed Google’s fancy and fun workplace.
While at work, employees enjoy:
- An adult sized playground with conference rooms in a tree house. When the meeting is over, take the slide down to the ground floor.
- Zip lines, a rock climbing wall, foosball tables, adult sized trikes and more keep the atmosphere lighthearted and can offer a break to employees who need some down time. There is also a bar with kegs and a flat screen that plays sports.
- For entertainment purposes, movies are constantly played on the big screen and a dance party can break out at any time.
- To go along with the lighthearted mood, Camp Red Frog has a dress code that rivals popular summer camps; think comfortable shorts and t-shirts.
- The food fits the camp theme too. On the wall are graham cracker, marshmallow, and chocolate dispensers. There are candy machines that offer employees unlimited free sweets, as well as an endless supply of Redbull and soda.
Outside of the office, the benefits keep going:
- Like Zappos, employees enjoy unlimited vacation days and they are encouraged to actually use vacation time.
- Employees work from home at least one day a week.
- After five years of working for the company, employees (plus one guest) can choose to travel to Africa, Asia, Europe or South America for an all-inclusive four-week sabbatical trip.
- Are you ready for this one, free employee health insurance, with absolutely no individual and no family co-pay!
Can you guess how many employees have decided to leave Red Frog Events? One. Since their creation in 2007, only one single employee decided to leave. What were they thinking!?!
Groupon is the daily deal company, famous for their witty and humorous deal descriptions. Potential employees waiting for an interview are passed a used notebook and told they can doodle up a self-portrait to go along with the other self-portraits already in the book.
Once a person makes the cut and becomes a Groupon employee, they are introduced to a work style probably unlike any other they have experienced before:
- Groupon employees receive unlimited paid vacation days.
- There are “Employee Appreciation Days” where goofy employee made videos are watched and employees are celebrated for going above and beyond.
- Each week, one superstar employee has their photo placed on the wall along with the label “Bad A$$ of the Week.” (Edited for little readers.) There is also another wall known as the headshot wall. Many of the employees are aspiring actors and models, and any employee can put their headshot with the many others in this space.
- “Michael’s Room” is a fake bedroom setup with a story that goes along with it. Employees are told how a guy named Michael lived in the office before Groupon came, and they allowed him to stay. There are sealed candy boxes in the toilet, a bike that plays music when you turn the wheels, and lots of goofy ridiculous room décor. Michael’s Room helps set the mood at the workplace; lighthearted and funny.
- Massage chairs are available. Employees can sit in the down facing chairs and enjoy a professional massage when they need a break.
Awesome off the clock benefits include:
- Those expecting a bundle of joy receive four weeks of paid leave once their bundle arrives with what Groupon calls the “ New Parent Leave Program.”
- There are reimbursement programs for both fitness and public transportation.
Dropbox is number five on our list of 5 companies that go the extra mile for employees.
Dropbox perks include:
- Flexible hours and schedules to accommodate employees with real life obligations. Each employee receives eighteen days of paid vacation and eleven paid holidays annually. Employees feeling under the weather are encouraged to stay home.
- Fridays have a theme; Whiskey Fridays! The title is self-explanatory.
- Employees needing a work break can “join the band” as it is called. Dropbox is a cool company equipped with a full music studio and equipment.
- Want a break but not feeling musical? Dropbox has game rooms with Starcraft, Dance Dance Revolution, ping pong, and more!
- Each and every day at work employees enjoy free breakfast, free lunch, and free dinner. Also available are tons of free snacks and drinks.
- Perks off the clock include subsidized gym and commuter programs. The company also has a shuttle service.
The companies listed and others like them exemplify the paradigm shift towards better treatment of human capital. Many companies come close with their benefits package, but lack in defining an enjoyable culture at the office. What can startups and even big businesses learn from these five superstars? Salary and dental only go so far, as employees need a workplace that they look forward to each morning. These employers treat adults like adults, and trust them to balance work and play. Each of these five companies are strong and thriving, which proves that their way of operating not only works, but works well.