36 creative employee perks


With cash bonuses and big raises becoming more rare, many business owners are turning to creative perks as motivational tools. We were curious what kind of non-monetary benefits were being offered, so we asked business owners.

Why offer perks?

Hiring is expensive, takes forever, and a big pain in the butt. Perks help attract and retain employees, make your company more attractive in the marketplace, provide higher moral levels of staff members, and create stronger loyalty to the company. Companies rated the best places to work feature crazy awesome perks. Just check out CNN Money’s best company’s to work for, and you’ll see how company’s like Google boast how their perks help improve productivity. They offer free haircuts, billards, swim-in-place pools, video games, dry cleaning, just to name a few.

Besides benefits like health insurance and 401Ks, we wanted to know what small business owners like you were doing when it comes to employee perks. Small businesses can’t always offer the big, shiny, expensive benefits plans like big dogs Boston Consulting or Google’s, but these small businesses owners have some great, cheap, creative (and some questionable) perks your employees will appreciate and love.

Check ’em out:

–       Ice cream Thursdays

–       TED.com Mondays

–       Friday Happy Hour

–       Jeans on Fridays

–       Birthday celebrations

–       Holiday parties

–       Company lunches

–       Table Tennis/Wii

–       Company outings

–       Free conferences & training

–       Books for professional development

–       Extended vacation time

–       Paid holidays & birthdays

–       Paid volunteer days

–       Company guacamole contest

–       Lunch & learns once a month (presented by staff member)

–       Half-day Fridays in July

–       Paid dinner if you stay late

–       Once a month peer-peer appreciation program

–       My charm (this was actually said)

–       Pop & Beer in the fridge, free snacks

–       Free gym membership/Free Yoga

–       Occasional telecommuting

–       Animals (cats and dogs) allowed in the office

–       Free personal training

–       Netflix subscription

–       Beer on Thursdays/Beer tab on Fridays

–       Productivity consulting

–       Fridays off in the summer

–       Free sponsored gear

–       Discounted technology

–       Free software for personal use

–       Massage Fridays 

–       Surprise gift cards

–       CTA Passes (public transportation)

–       Company cell phone

Do you offer perks for your employees?

Why or why not?  Let us know in the comments below!  We have a lot more data from research we’ve conducted on small businesses. Take it here to compare yourself to other business owners, and get a copy of the full report.

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Devan Perine

Devan Perine works with small business owners on their marketing and multimedia efforts. She's passionate about helping businesses build their presence online, and giving Gen Y a voice in the workplace. When she's not working, she loves to make a mess in the kitchen, and play with her band around Chicago. She loves to chat! Give her a shout on Google+, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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