It’s happening more often now, businesses are popping up in the news announcing weird and wonderful new benefits for their employees. A good marketing push, these stories make headlines around the world, encouraging others to think about introducing their own benefits.
Aside from the benefit of publicity, the employee benefits are leaving workers happier, more enthusiastic about the company they work for and more productive. Here are a couple of recent examples:
While companies consider maternity and shared parental leave, Brewdog went one step further. They decided to roll out their parental leave to new pet owners too.
Brewdog launched their “pawternity” leave which gives all their workers a week’s paid leave if they adopt a rescue puppy or dog.
Anyone who’s had a new pet and needed to spend some time getting them housetrained and settled into their new home will appreciate this policy. Brewdog has always been pet-friendly and also lets workers bring their pets to work with them.
Pet friendly offices are on the rise. A dog in the office can bring everyone’s mood up, be a conversation starter or even keep some people calm.
Last year, the online retailer Boxed announced that they would contribute to the cost of their employees’ weddings. This came after co-founder and boss Chieh Huang spotted that one of his employees was upset about struggling to afford his mother’s medical bills and pay for his own wedding. Huang offered to contribute to the wedding and then decided to roll this policy out to the rest of his company.
Huang said: “I think that day our employees realised that we understand just how much of a commitment they make to us every day, putting in long hours to make this company grow, and that we’re willing to make a commitment to them in return. I really think that resonated with them.”
Half a dozen Boxed workers have taken up Huang’s offer. They say they will pay up to $20,000 for weddings but this will depend on position and time working for the company.
When accused of doing it solely for publicity, Huang said: “There are definitely less expensive ways to get media attention. We definitely do not sit around in a room trying to come up with ideas on how to create buzzworthy corporate benefits.”
Some companies will reimburse tuition fees for some of their employees, like Starbucks does with their College Plan program. Google is currently the winner here with a $12,000 annual tuition reimbursement scheme as well as numerous other company benefits.
Just for publicity?
PR expert, Glenn Selig says that while companies could be genuinely trying to improve the lives of their employees, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t enjoy the publicity that comes with it.
“Companies can both really mean it – want to improve the lives of their employees, and get their names out there,” he said.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if in the C suites [at boardroom level] there was some kind of conversation about what kind of benefit can be offered to employees that would also make the company look good, and could generate positive attention.”
Do you have any unusual company benefits? What would you like to see in the typical office? Please share your thoughts!
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About The Author
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.