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Five Untraditional Perks in the Workplace

Posted by Jessica Miller-Merrell

untraditional perks

The traditional workplace perks have flown out the window as millenials start making their way into the workforce. No longer do traditional perks like good health benefits or a strong 401K entice top talent, but perks like beer, flexible work schedules, or bringing your pets to work. Since the Silicon Valley tech boom, companies like Google, Hulu, and Apple have been creating perks that you would have seen ten years ago.

If you’re a small tech company looking to attract top talent, it’s important to offer some of these untraditional yet effective workplace perks.

Ability to wear jeans

Most companies don’t associate wearing jeans with a perk in the workplace, but it is. Having a casual dress code is one of the most preferred perks in the workplace, according to a recent survey. Not only does it cost the employer nothing, but it’s a great way to keep employees relaxed and creative. If you work in a more professional environment, try offering jean Fridays for free.

Free rides

One of the most desired perks for those that work at Uber is the amount of credits employees get per month. Uber is one of the most promising companies in the Silicon Valley area and they’re offering unique perks, just like other companies, to attract and retain top talent.

Daily catered lunches

Especially if you have a small team, daily catered lunches can not only increase productivity, but they can also save your employees money on having to buy their lunch or bring it to work. This is also a great way to promote a healthy workplace by offering healthy lunch options.

Nap room

This isn’t as uncommon as one would think. The Huffington Post and Google have created napping rooms or pods in their offices, a perk that 12% of employees wanted the most, according to CareerBuilder. A quick thirty-minute nap after lunch can rejuvenate an employee and help increase productivity in times when most employees are sluggish and not productive anyway.

Beer and snacks

In a creative workspace, employers have found that beer and other snacks are high motivators for employees. Google excels in this type of environment. One blog stated:

Drinking? While working? While you might crack a beer on your desk at 4 p.m. on a Friday, drinking is just part of the job at Google. The software engineer even revealed that “some managers even pressure their teams to drink.” Googlers also celebrate a “TGIF” every Friday, where even more booze flows freely.

Creating an open environment where lunch is served, beer is flowing, and life is fun is an example of a great company culture in the eyes of millenials. When selling your company, it’s important to not only sell them on why you’re the best company compared to your competitors, but to sell them on your perks and what it’s like to work for your company.

Beating the Odds

Hiring employees is only the first step on the way to building a strong and engaged workforce. Employee retention is critical to a successful business, since you cannot achieve your goals without experienced and qualified staff. Retaining the best talent is a real challenge today, and one that requires a complex and careful approach.

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About Jessica Miller-Merrell

Author

Jessica is listed as the 2nd most influential recruiter online and as the 8th most powerful woman on Twitter. She is the author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, a how-to business guide for Twitter users. She also writes for a number of leading publications, including Fortune, HR Magazine, SmartBrief, and HR Executive Magazine.

5 COMMENTS Join the discussion
  • Chris September, 19, 2014

    When it comes to perks, employers should think outside the box, especially when dealing with millennials. They are the nonconformist and creative generation, and employers need to find unique ways to attract them. Millennials are more interested in how the culture of an organization “speaks” to them.

  • Darrel Tyre September, 20, 2014

    If a company wants to impress potential employees and retain the existing ones, it should forget about traditional perks such as the fitness room or the free coffee during breaks. The marketplace is constantly changing, and employees want benefits that can motivate them and make them proud of working for a specific company.

  • Ann Ashley September, 22, 2014

    Making employees more productive can be difficult for organizations, but benefits and perks can help employers to reach their goals. Nontraditional perks can be the dream of every employee, but sometimes they are taking their benefits for granted and perks don’t have a positive impact on them. So, employers should ensure that employees are able to understand the significance of the benefits that are provided to them.

  • Luciana September, 23, 2014

    What’s the ROI I wonder and the (positive?) long term leverage on the health system?The Nap room or power snooze after lunch idea has been around for some time in HR – the truth is it’s good to see it is starting to take off – especially in English speaking countries, let’s hope, where its common even during lunch to work and eat at your desk – then mid afternoon feel drowsy – let’s add a workplace brassiere where space allows – one of the things I enjoyed about working in some of the European countries. Does anyone have or know where we can get any reliable stats on the long term impact of these practices in workplaces? Its time to leave the negative effects of the industrial revolution behind – which is where they originated.

  • marty October, 14, 2014

    My only question is; why are the cops not sitting outside Google writing tickets. Seems stupid to encourage drinking during work and then have employees drive home. Bars get in trouble when they let people drive home drunk, I cannot imagine how much trouble a company would get in for letting employees drive drunk and an accident occurs. both the employee and the person they hit would be suing!

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Guest October, 14, 2014