Perked up – Exploring the modern benefits package

It’s what makes many employees love their jobs, some may even enjoy it more than their paycheck. This may seem crazy, but what’s crazier are some of the benefits we are seeing popping up in businesses these days, such as unlimited vacation time, pet insurance, or simply a free beer every Friday. Let’s take a dive into what a modern benefits package looks like so you can negotiate for what you really need next time.

BusinessCollective’s Zain Hasan says a comprehensive benefits package is the differentiator for onboarding and retaining great talent versus those less passionate. He has told many of his clients over and over again the best way to remedy low talent retention is by encouraging transparency, simplifying HR administration, informing about healthcare, and promoting health programs.

One of the most common benefits we see from businesses today is a healthcare plan, and we can only expect this perk to become more generous, according to Fortune. Of 402 HR departments that partook in a survey from the Society of Human Resources Management, 35 percent said they would be improving healthcare benefits in 2015, a 7 percent increase from the previous year.

Additionally, About.com’s Susan M. Heathfield says some other important benefits to keep businesses today competitive include paid time off, disability insurance, and a 401(k) retirement plan. While these benefits can seem standard, it’s important to note they are not necessarily required of employers, so there’s a chance you could come across a business without some or any of these benefits.

If you ever become curious which company has the most lavish benefits, look to the folks at places like Google, Yahoo! and Scripps Health. According to Salary.com’s lineup of the 14 companies with incredible perks, Google comes in at number one offering up paid lunch and dinner as well as massages, $12,000 annually for tuition reimbursement, and much more.

It may come as surprising news to some that the best benefits I’ve ever received came from my part-time job as a Starbucks barista. At this gig, I was given paid education opportunities, paid time off, matching 401(k), health insurance, and all sorts of discounts to various retailers. I guess this is why Starbucks is regularly hailed as one of the top companies to work for year after year.

What sort of benefits would you like to see? Maybe you too can get them negotiated into your current or next employment