Employees: Your favorite perk/benefit?

Well, you could pay for a membership to the Straight Dope, but I fear productivity would grind to a halt!

Hot damn, that’s brilliant. I would DIE if our CEO did something like that. Die laughing, that is. :cool:

A company I used to work for had a raffle type thing benefitting the United Way. If you won, you got your birthday off, paid. Could your company give that for five year veterans?

Yeah, it’s legal. At least I assume it is, because my company’s doing it. We had one level of company match; this year as a cost-cutting measure, they went to two levels: one for new hires, one for 10+ years of service.

Not sure how others think, but I would rank perks as follows:

  1. Cash

  2. Paid time off (vacation)

  3. Money-that’s-not-cash (401K - I’d jump at that - $50 per month is nothing to sneeze at)

  4. Memberships - but probably more towards health clubs than Costco, where I’d just spend more money

  5. Weekly massages

  6. Catalog thingy (bleh)

It doesn’t sound like this would work in your industry, but at my place of work everyone gets ‘Summer Hours’ from July thru Labor Day. Means that if we want (and if circumstances apply, no Friday afternoon deadlines etc.) we can put in an extra hour per day Mon-Thu, and leave at noon or so on Friday. Really extends the weekend during the summer (and if you want a three-day weekend, it’s only 4 hours of vacation used up).

Maybe something like that as a benefit? More flexible scheduling? Maybe they don’t even have to make up the extra 4 hours?

I’m possibly different that most.

I got a $300 bonus recently - it was nice to get the recognition, but I could care less about the money. I have about $150 worth of gift certificates sitting next to my computer that have gone unused - appreciation gifts for different projects I’ve worked on or lent a hand.

I do like the employee ESOP we have - that’s pretty cool - but a small company couldn’t do it. Brainiac4’s best is stock grants - really cool, but once again, a small company couldn’t do it and the reason its cool is that its a really significant amount of money.

The 401k match really appeals to me. Or, for the more immediate, the vacation match.

Do you get sick time? I used to work for a company that would pay out unused accrued sick time at the end of the year (it was a use it or loose it situation). That was great - and a win-win. The employees got a check they normally wouldn’t get, and absenteeism went down.

Brainiac4 gets “summer hours” You get half a day off once a week or one day off every other week during the summer. Very cool in Minnesota with the short season of good weather. You are “supposed to” have made up the time by stretching the hours the rest of the week - but as long as you get your work done…

The company I work for (about 1500 employees) has the most amazing benefits I’ve ever, ever seen.

They offer just about every benefit mentioned in the OP.

As a recognition program they use OC Tanner for 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 and so on years of service.

As the years of service go up, the catalog of choices gets better. I just chose a set of dishes for my 3 years of service.

We also receive a small gold pin-the logo of our company. It has a small precious stone set in it signifying years of service.

I was very pleased with the choices in the OC Tanner catalog, check 'em out.
My personal favorite perk of the company I work for; free holiday wine!


Au contraire: my company is small (around 200 employees) and instituted an ESOP over a year ago (that’s ‘employee stock option plan,’ for anyone who hasn’t the foggiest idea what we’re talking about).

Like psycat90’s company, mine – though much smaller – also offers very cool, competitive benefits: 401(k) matching; your choice of an HMO or PPO for health insurance; separate dental insurance; $50 donations to any charity you volunteer with for at least 8 hours; an on-site happy hour every Friday; free sodas; tuition and computer loans; an off-site company picnic and holiday party every year; flexible work schedules; etc. (And now anyone from my company who reads this board is thinking “hey, who the heck is this?!” ;))

At 5 years you get a nice watch (or something else in the same price range), and at 10 years you get a Waterford crystal bowl plus a gift of your choice in what seems to be the $600-1000 price range. The company has only been around for 17 years, so it will be interesting to see what the directors come up with when people start hitting 20-year anniversaries.

Our leave policy is a little unusual: instead of getting separate vacation, sick, and holiday time, we get one big pool of leave that we use as we see fit. We never have to pretend we’re sick, and the company is never officially closed so people take holidays off or work them as they choose (and we’re a pretty diverse bunch, so it works out). For the first three years you get 25 days off per year (you earn 8 hours of leave per pay period, plus 8 hours on your anniversary), which I think is comparable to other companies. I’m approaching my 3-year anniversary, and am looking forward to earning a little more leave every pay period (I don’t remember how much more, I just know it’s more).

In short, I think my company rocks. :cool:

My company has a few nice benefits.

  1. After 6pm, alcohol is allowed. I quit drinking last year, though, so it’s not as useful to me as it once was. Plus, it tends to make people more inclined to let those meetings that are already going past 9pm draaaaag even longer.

  2. I can say things here that in America would get me fired, sued and quite possibly arrested. This is partly a language issue and partly one of general attitudes.

  3. Half my health insurance is paid for, and all my commuting expenses.

  4. No dress code.

  5. When the year’s profits are good, which they were last year, we get company trips with spouses and kids invited. Last year, we all went to Saipan.

  6. Best of all, cash. Our boss divvies up the year’s profits to everyone based on seniority and performance. Last year, my bonus was about 5 months’ salary.

I think cash in hand has some tax problems, I think this is why the CEO is againest it.
Americans have famously lousey holidays, so time off I think would be the thing.

My company changed our workweeks so that we get every other Friday off. They (as much as possible) lined these up with the various holidays so that most (Mem day, Labor day, July 4th, etc.) now end up being 4-day weekends. I regard this as the best employee benefit they’ve come up with, ever. jmo.

It’s hard to find that one thing that appeals to everybody. Personally, I’d love the extra bucks in my 401k but then again, I’m socking all I can into it cause I’d love to retire by age 60 if possible.

Extra paid time off seems to be something that appeals to a lot of people. If you have to go with just one, that’d be my choice.

Just bear this in mind. No matter what choice or choices you finally decide on there are going to be some people who won’t like whatever it is. Then again, those people are getting their reward, which is something new to bitch about. :smiley:


My favorite perk at my current company is checks that don’t bounce, frankly. I’ve been here four years and I’m still not over the check drama from my prior employeer.

But things aren’t the same since they took the keg away.

Be that as it may,

The doctor co-pay thing could bankrupt ya. I’d say a no on that one.

Amex GCs can be used like cash (at places with non-stupid employees). WOuld this get around the no-cash thing?

I’d go for compensation with extra paid time off (that can be converted to cash, instead, straight away rather than at the end of the year).

We have the standard health, dental, and 401k benefits.

We also have free lfe insurance available to employees equal to 1.5x the salary, with more available at a lowered rate. You can also purchase life insurance on your spouse.

Tuition reimbursement, adoption assistance, and after five years of employment you get 3 weeks vacation. Our benefits liason here has been tireless in getting us discounts on everything from area restaurants to golf courses.

But my favorite is free digital cable and free high-speed internet (where available, of course. I’m one of the lucky few where it’s available.)

Someone threw out the massage idea…I don’t know if that would really work for all your locations. Plus, it might not be a good thing to say only people with 5+ years could have it.

Here at my office we have a massage therapist come in every other week for anybody interested and the company picks up the tab.

On Fridays, you can drink in the office after 4:00 pm. Fridays are also jeans day so no business attire that day.

Every holiday weekend we close at noon so people can get home or get on the road if they are traveling.

There is a guy that does basic errands for you for a small fee. He will get your shoes shined, take your car and get it cleaned, pick up or drop off dry cleaning…any basic errand.

I’m thinking your best bets are going to be the VISA gift cards or the 401 k deal.

But the vacation fund sounds interesting too. :slight_smile:

The problem with a massage, trip to Disney World, etc is that these things don’t appeal to everybody. Established awards for superior performance need to be things that everyone will find desirable.

Time off with pay, cash awards and the 401K contribution are rewards that anybody will want, and should strive to earn.

401 matching - hands down.

other perks that I’ve loved: gym membership at a very, very nice gym (or for those who didn’t want gym membership, an amazon gift certificate every month). Paid parking (which matters in some cities).

Had a brief discussion with the CEO this morning.

He likes the 401(k) contribution idea, although we might have to structure it as a “company match” rather than a direct contribution. He’s also thrown out the idea of birthdays off with no penalty in vacation time. No word yet on any of the other suggestions.

Our company doesn’t have “sick time;” if you’re sick, you take time off. If you’re sick a lot and miss tons of work, at some point your supervisor will sit down with you and work out an arrangement regarding the use of vacation time to cover some of the sick time.

Our vacation time isn’t that hot, though. You get one week (five days) after working here six months. From six months to five years, you get two weeks. Five years to ten years, three weeks. Maybe employees recognized by this program could be eligible for two or three “extra” vacation days a year.

Summer is actually the beginning of our “busy time;” the second half of the year is always busier than the first half for us. So instituting “summer hours” wouldn’t be much of a perk. Plus, some of our employees are truck drivers, and they can’t really take a half-day off if they’re on their route.

We’re a Sub-S corporation, so ESOPs aren’t really an option, unfortunately.

I’m gonna float the bonus idea again. I think a yearly (or semi-annual) bonus based on the company’s performance would really be a big hit with employees who qualify. Frankly, I’m mystified as to why that’s being dismissed out of hand.

Instead of summer hours, spring hours?

Vacation time is a nice perk. We get X number of hours every two weeks added to your bank with a cap of Y hours. X and Y depend on your length of service, but I’m at 7.7 hours per two weeks with a cap of 316 hours. Plus 4 hours per pay of sick leave with no cap.

Some shops give employees their birthday off and others even throw in the first day of deer season.

We also get to choose a gift from a catalog after each 5 years of service. The longer the service, the nicer the selections are. I just got a blender/food processor for 25 years.