What makes for a great employee experience?

What makes for a fantastic employee experience? Think about what you like about the place you work. Is it the free coffee or parking, or the monthly events the staff organizes? Perhaps it’s the collaborative nature of your work environment or the new incentive program that was recently rolled out. Everyone’s idea of ‘fantastic’ is different, of course. I had some fun checking out what perks some of the most innovative companies across the U.S. today are providing for their employees.

There are the simple, more common (but still wonderful!) perks:

  • Game rooms
  • Gyms
  • Subsidized cafeterias
  • Paid maternity/paternity leave
  • Onsite childcare
  • Free parking
  • Entertainment/travel discounts
  • Free phones/devices and service

And then there are the more unique:

  • S.C. Johnson offers employees a concierge service that can take care of personal tasks from picking up dry cleaning to returning library books.
  • Some larger companies such as Netflix and IBM aren’t bothering to count vacation days. Apparently, Netflix doesn’t even track how many days people are out of the office. And before you scoff at that, if you’ve hired right, an effective, trustworthy employee KNOWS when they need to be in the office and when it’s a good time to head to Hawaii.
  • Google reimburses moms up to $500 for takeout meals during the first three months after they have a child.
  • Employees at Loadspring Solutions, an enterprise software firm in Massachusetts, will provide its employees up to $5000 and an extra week off to use towards travel outside the country.
  • Genentech, a biotechnology company, provides an onsite barber and dentist as well as dog-sitting for all its employees.
  • Staffing firm Akraya sends professional cleaners to its employees’ homes every two weeks.
  • The Container Store gives its drivers $5,000 if they make it 10 years without an infraction.
  • Qwiki, an online start-up, helps its employees with their commutes by buying them a bike or paying for their gas.

It’s ok, I’m a little jealous myself. But the real point here is that these companies (and many, many others) are recognizing the importance of taking care of their employees, not just their customers. After all, it’s the employees that help to contribute to a positive customer experience. A happy, well-cared for, valued employee is much more willing to care for the customers they support. Employers, take note!

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