This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

October 29, 2014

Top Employee Perks and What's Coming (Part 2)

Last week, we talked about three areas of the top employee perks: Food, Game Rooms, and Physical Health/Wellness. To read that Herman Trend Alert, visit https://www.hermangroup.com/alert/archive_10-15-2014.html.

Dedicated Rooms. Besides the numerous perks we mentioned for Dropbox last week, it offers a plush music room, equipped with instruments and big soft couches arranged, in a lounge/bar atmosphere.

The last time Joyce visited Malaysia, The Hilton Kuala Lumpur, the property offered its employees dedicated rooms for fun play and serious work. The Chill Out Room features board games, computers for play, and electronic massage chairs. On the other hand, The Think Tank is a learning environment with several computers, including two for doing homework and four for accessing the Hilton online training database. Tame by US standards, these perks are really meaningful for employees in Malaysia.

Mental Health. Employees at the Palo Alto-based firm Medallia receive cash are given cash to "seek out and overcome their fears, whether business-related or personal". Medallia employees have taken all kinds of classes, including professional boxing, singing or dancing lessons, and even stand-up comedy.

Time Off. You have probably heard that a growing number of companies, including Netflix, Virgin America, and Hubspot, are now offering unlimited vacation days. But this arrangement doesn't approach what Motek, a software company in the inventory management field, used to offer and now Moz offers to its valued workers. Motek gave its employees one month off and a bonus of $5000 to use for transportation, food, lodging, and entertainment. Moz offers three weeks off and $3000 bonus.

Some companies are experimenting with alternative work schedules. At Boogie, employees work four days/week. They start work at 8am and break for a two-hour lunch at 1pm, then work from 3pm to 7pm. And of course, each employee enjoys an extra 52 days off/year. And paid sabbaticals see to be coming back. While large companies like Microsoft and American Express never stopped offering them, now Capterra offers a five-week, fully paid sabbatical every five years.

Free Stuff. While most companies offer their employees free or at-cost versions of whatever they sell (including classes, memberships, furniture, cars, etc.), many companies in other businesses offer a variety of free goodies unrelated to their companies. Before we became virtual, we at The Herman Group offered symphony and theatre tickets, Entertainment¨ Discount Coupon books, and American Automobile Association (AAA) memberships. Other examples of what companies offer include Netflix and magazine subscriptions, customized shoes (usually Nikes or Converse), make-up or spa services, babysitting petsitting, and technology products (MacBook Airs, iPads, iPhones, iPods, and LED Monitors were the most popular).

Costing relatively little, these ideas are perfect for new companies trying to differentiate themselves, increase loyalty, and build team spirit. While we covered many perks in the last two weeks, we have only scratched the surface of what is available.

With increasing pressure to recruit the best employees, organizations will once more find themselves looking for ways to add value that don't break the bank. The key is to find what has a high-perceived value for employees and a low cost to the employer.


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