Ten companies with perks you wish you got

While paying for top talent is important, studies consistently show that money isn’t the only thing that makes people happy at work.

The savviest companies today have figured out that offering awesome perks can help them get, and keep, the very best employees.

Here are 10 major US companies that understand the value of rewarding their staff, and do it in some of the coolest ways possible.

Google has free food, a bowling alley and a barber shop

There's a reason Google has been ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine's list of the '100 Best Companies to Work For' each of the past three years. The company has incredible offices around the world that offer, among other benefits, free food at gourmet, on-site cafes.

Meanwhile, employees don't even have to leave work to partake in a range of recreational activities - Google's Mountain View, California headquarters has a gym, a bowling alley, a game room, and basketball courts.

For chores, there's also a barber shop, a massage parlor, and a laundromat.

Cisco Systems offers physical therapy and acupuncture

Cisco's LifeConnections Health Centre is more than just a fitness centre; it also offers primary care, physical therapy, acupuncture, and even a pharmacy.

The company believes in supporting a healthy work-life balance, and provides employees with telecommuting technologies such as data and voice services to create a home office experience.


S.C. Johnson offers private concierge services

Cleaning products company S.C. Johnson gives employees help with their chores via access to a concierge service that does everything from returning overdue library books to making sure the drycleaning gets picked up on time.

The company also offers childcare for parent employees, paternity and maternity leave, and paid sabbaticals.

Southwest Airlines employees get free flights

Southwest Airlines employees get free flights when they fly with their employer, and they can also give the hook-up to friends and family. Employees also receive discounts with a handful of other airlines, as well as a number of hotels, theme parks, and rental car companies.

When they're not travelling, workers can participate in events such as an annual chilli cook-off contest, and a Halloween party when Southwest turns its Dallas offices into the 'Haunted Headquarters'.

Yahoo offers discounts to ski resorts and amusement parks

Yahoo offers perks to its employees both in and out of the office. The Yahoo offices have on-site fitness centres with yoga, cardio-kickboxing, pilates and golf classes. The offices are also equipped with ergonomic support chairs and healthy snacks and drinks on every floor.

Outside the office, Yahoo offers discounts to ski resorts and California theme parks, and hosts an annual Oktoberfest party. The company will even throw you a baby shower if you become a parent.

Boeing gives 12 paid holidays and a winter recess

New employees won't feel alone at Boeing, which connects new hires through what it calls the 'REACH program', which sets employees up with community service and social activities.

Best of all, the aerospace and defence company gives its workers 12 paid holidays, and a winter recess between Christmas and New Year's Day.

Mattel offers paid time off to attend school excursions

Mattel says it is is devoted to the happiness and futures of employees' children. That's why it offers a program that defrays the cost of adopting a child, and has a policy that offers 16 hours of paid time off for school-related absences such as parent-teacher conferences or excursions. And the children will love that their parents get discounts on toys sold by Mattel.

In addition, the toy company has its own non-profit organisation -- The Mattel Children's Foundation -- that offers volunteer opportunities to Mattel employees.

Microsoft has generous paid maternity and paternity leave

The Microsoft Corporation gives new parents maternity and paternity leave, but what sets Microsoft apart from many other companies is that the leave is paid, rather than unpaid.

Microsoft also provides a network of support systems, such as mentoring programs and health care coverage for Applied Behavioural Analysis therapy, which treats autism. Microsoft is the first major US corporation to offer this benefit.

The World Wildlife Fund lets workers take every other Friday off

The World Wildlife Fund is home to what it calls 'Panda Fridays,' the Washington Post reports, through which employees work a little extra during the week to take every alternate Friday off.

In addition to giving workers a breather, shutting down the non-profit's Washington D.C. office saves energy and reduces its carbon footprint. The office is extremely well designed, and of course, environmentally friendly.

3M helps employees lose weight, stop smoking and manage stress

3M may be known for Scotch Tape and office products, but as an employer it is known for fair benefits. The company offers life insurance and retirement plans on top of the standard medical, dental and vision health - and extends those benefits to same-sex couples in domestic partnerships.

The family-oriented company offers child and elder care consulting services, a smoking cessation program, weight management reimbursement, and stress management coaching.

This article first appeared on BUSINESS INSIDER

twitter.jpg Follow Executive Style