IT’S EASY TO GET discouraged when you hear about giant companies offering employees drool-worthy benefits. After all, can you really afford to give a whole year of paid parental leave, as Netflix recently did?
If you can’t, that means you’re like most companies. For small, cash constrained businesses, it’s just not possible to offer to freeze employees’ eggs (Apple), or to give new parents $4,000 in “baby cash” (Facebook). But that doesn’t mean you can’t add pizzazz to your benefits list.
Even on a more modest scale,providing volunteering opportunities, fitness stipends, or spa services can help attract and retain workers. “Implementing these types of programs shows employees that their company is prioritizing their well-being and investing in their careers,” says Great Place to Work’s Michael C. Bush. Moreover, the right employee benefits can strengthen the corporate culture and mission, as these examples demonstrate.
CATER TO EMPLOYEES’ TASTES
The specialty wholesale coffee supplier Counter Culture Coffee offers to match employee investments up to $500 annually in personal, environmental, or social projects, from the installation of home rain barrels to gym memberships. Last year, the Durham, North Carolina–based company matched more than $10,500 worth of employee projects. In addition, it gives workers subsidized half-shares of produce from local community sponsored agriculture programs. Counter Culture also offers each employee one annual paid-volunteer day.
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