Awesome Employee Perks You've Never Heard Of / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Travel funds, snowboard passes, and unlimited time off: See how these employee perks pay big dividends for businesses.

While traditional employee incentive programs are important, they just don't pack the punch that perks do. According to MetLife's 10th annual survey of employee benefits trends, there's a strong correlation between satisfaction with benefits and overall job satisfaction. Employees in various roles and companies all placed a high value on personalized benefits, for which they are even willing to pay for.

At the end of the report, researchers cautioned that an economic recovery could result in "unanticipated setbacks for retention and productivity" for many employers unless they start ramping up their incentive programs. Basically, if you want your employees to work hard and stay engaged and loyal, you better start treating them well. Very well. 

The concept of incentivizing and retaining employees with incredible perks isn't new to some industries, like the tech scene in Silicon Valley. Big name companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple blazed an employee incentive trail that played a big hand in creating for competitive recruitment.

In an effort to make their companies even more desirable place to work, these top Silicon Valley players have continued to pull out all the stops to make sure that their employees stay happy. Google’s insane perks have long been referenced as some of the most impressive, but plenty of other companies give them a run for their money.

Read: What Makes Employees Happy? 3 Ways to Make Your Business a Great Place to Work

And for good reason; Fortune Magazine’s Leigh Gallagher, who oversees creation the of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, says that “power perks can produce happier employees who "work harder, are more engaged, have stronger feelings of attachment to the company and are less likely to leave. They pay dividends in so many ways."

Here are some of the companies around the world that are effectively participating in “perk wars” with the incredible benefits they offer their employees, and what those incentives are. Get your résumés ready...


On the top of our list of incredible perks is the revolutionary accommodation company, Airbnb. In addition to some other cool perks like a pet-friendly office and daily meals and snacks, Airbnb’s lucky employees get a $2,000 travel credit to explore the world as they see fit.

Yes, please!

Zappos has long been known as a company that works for it’s employees, not the other way around. In fact, employee happiness is one the online retailer’s top priorities. Not only does the company give their employees daily meals, have an onsite gym and Weight Watchers meetings, but they also have game and nap rooms to be enjoyed while at work.

You read that right—sleeping on the job is now a good thing.

Clif Bar

Clif Bar’s tagline is “Feed Your Adventure” and when it comes their employees, they make sure to do just that. Their insanely cool HQ office features a 40-foot rock climbing wall and a state-of-the-art fitness center, and what’s more—they pay their employees to workout. Each employee gets 2.5 hours of paid time to exercise each week.

Read: How to Give Your Company's Wellness Program a Boost

Plus, if you stay with the company longer than seven years, you can take a six- to eight-week sabbatical. Seven years hardly seems a task when working for a company like Clif Bar.


Snowboarding culture is a pretty cool one, so it goes without saying that the iconic, leading brand Burton has a company culture to match. Their Vermont headquarters is conveniently located near some of the country’s best ski spots, so when it snows more than two feet, the office gets a “snow day” and employees head to slopes, armed with their free season pass c/o Burton.

No snow? You’ll just have to enjoy the skate park in the back of the office.

What’s a way to make employees super happy, you ask? just might have the answer. Sure, they have the standard free snacks, tuition reimbursement, and pet insurance, but it’s their paid time off policy, or lack there off, that is a major differentiator.

Read: How to Make Performance Reviews More Relevant for Employees

In their own words, “We believe the best measure of success is what you accomplish, so we don’t need to measure how much time you take off to enjoy life.”

Takeaway: As a small- to medium- size business owner, some of these perks may probably not within your wheelhouse of providing, and that’s okay.

Providing simple perks like free snacks and a car wash once a quarter, for example, are great ways to show your employees that you appreciate the work they do for you. In turn, watch the morale and loyalty skyrocket.

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