When it comes to recruiting top talent, competitive health insurance and gym membership reimbursement may not cut it anymore. Facebook and Apple recently made headlines with the news that they will now offer financial support for female employees who wish to freeze their eggs.
Employee benefits can be defined in many different ways and there is a growing trend of employers offering more than just money to attract the best and brightest employees. Having a culture of wellness can be the difference between a prospective employee accepting a job offer or turning it down in favor of one from a competitor. According to a study conducted by Virgin Health Miles/Workforce Magazine, 87 percent of employees say they consider health and wellness packages when choosing an employer.
Innovative perks from top U.S. companies keep employees happy and engaged, while keeping them healthy. For example, at Kaiser Permanente their Instant Recess campaign promotes 10-minute physical fitness breaks in the middle of the day. At Accenture, employees have access to a concierge service that can help them find personal trainers and pet sitters. And last year, Yahoo provided free branded Jawbone UP activity trackers for a program called the "100 mile challenge.” Here are a few other perks we’ve seen:
- Company bike rides and sponsored 5K runs to encourage movement
- On-site fitness classes and massage services
- Hiking and skiing trips
- Catered meals by in-house chefs
- Farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Memberships
- Nap rooms or other designated relaxation spots
- Travel stipends to encourage employees to use paid time off
- On-site medical clinics and free biometric screenings
- Tables for ping pong and foosball to encourage social interactions
- Color-coded choices in cafeteria to encourage more plant-based eating
- Video-chats with physicians 24/7 to obtain a quick diagnosis
- Matched employee donations to charities and volunteer hours
- Half-day Fridays
Many of these examples show that it doesn't take an extensive budget to make employees happy. The key is to align wellness perks with your organizational culture, for example a company who has eco-friendly roots may provide incentives for carpooling or biking to work. Programs like these not only contribute to greater health, but they can also improve employee morale and create a more engaged workforce.
No matter what the industry or the state of the economy, top-notch talent is always hard to come by. So when putting together benefit packages, you'll want to include things that make your company a great place to work - including your culture, perks, mission and vision. Just think how awesome it would be if your culture of wellness helps make it an easy choice for job candidates to work for you.