Silicon Valley Employment Benefits To Inspire Even The SMBs

Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s most successful tech businesses, all offering bigger and better perks than most of us could dream of. While their massive budgets might stretch to millions and helicopter rides with the CEO are par for the course, there’s also a lot to learn from some of the benefits they offer. In fact many of the employee benefits offered by the companies housed in the infamous Silicon Valley don’t have to break the bank, and even the smallest business can take learn from and use them.

Fun And Games

While large companies like Zynga offer employees access to an onsite arcade, there are plenty of less costly ways for your employees to enjoy themselves during their lunch breaks. Providing games like table football, a pool table or, if there’s budget, a games console, won’t break the bank and will prove to be great fun for employees, helping them to take some downtime and unwind away from their desks.

Wellness Program

Private health and dental care is a benefit that many look for in a job and is a tax-deductible business expense. Although companies like Facebook extend their healthcare benefits to offer fertility treatment, this isn’t an option for every business. However, offering help when it comes to health, fitness, stress, and general wellbeing, can be beneficial to staff, and help to improve productivity as well as reduce absenteeism.

Birthday Leave

Giving employees their birthday as vacation is a great incentive that most individuals would be grateful for and is a perk utilised by the likes of Thrillist. An extra day of holiday to be taken during the individual’s birthday week is simple, yet effective.

Bring Your Pet To Work

As part of their employee benefits package Eventbrite allows its staff to bring their dog to work. If your office environment permits, this can be a great low-cost perk for staff and having a pet companion on site can help reduce stress in employees.

Free Snacks

It might seem like a fairly basic ‘perk’, but providing employees with free snacks, drinks or even entire meals is something offered as standard by many of Silicon Valley’s residents, such as Google, Microsoft and Dropbox. Fortunately, free food of some sort is something that most businesses can implement, whether in the form of communal drinks supplies, fruit bowls or a monthly team lunch.

Flexi-Time

Companies like Ask offer an open vacation policy which enables employees to take as much holiday as they wish. Realistically this isn’t a viable option for most other companies; however it is possible for most businesses to offer flexible working. Flexible working is fast becoming an expected employment benefit, so companies that can offer it should give it due consideration.

Volunteering

While companies like Microsoft can allow their staff to spend several days doing voluntary work in the community, or offer sponsorship to charities, small businesses can offer their own equivalent. Allowing your employees one day a year to volunteer for a local charity will give them the chance to try something different and to give back to the community.

Nap Pods

Another of Google’s many perks allows employees to head to a designated area with sleep in mind. The nap pods allow employees to do just that! While the pods in the Google offices might be costly, that needn’t be the case for every office. Simply enabling your staff to take naps at lunch time or if they are working late will be met with gratitude – and probably a few snores of delight.

Group Outings

Team outings and activities inject fun and a sense of camaraderie into a business, and for companies like Eventbrite team breakfasts or outings to the trampoline park are standard practice. Smaller businesses can channel this idea by arranging quarterly get-togethers, whether for a team drink or meal, or something more exciting like a trip to the beach or group cinema night. Allowing employees the chance to socialise with one another outside of the office environment can help to promote bonds and encourage a positive work environment.

Discounts

Employees at Twitter are entitled to several discounts, including with Zipcar, which is something many other businesses can offer. Agreeing on discounts for employees with businesses you have an existing relationship will be beneficial for all involved.

Tools

Many companies, such as Pinterest, like to ensure that all employees have the tools they need to perform their job to the best of their ability. Although it might be too costly to offer this exact benefit, giving your employees a say on what pieces of technology best suit their role will help to ensure that they are happy and productive.

As you’ve seen, employee benefits needn’t break the bank and can be tweaked to suit businesses of all sizes. While we might all lust over certain perks offered to Silicon Valley employees, the majority of these can be replicated on a smaller scale – allowing your employees to experience a range of interesting benefits that’ll help improve employee satisfaction.

Photo Credit: Big Stock Images

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