HR Strange But True

Want to Retain Top Talent? ‘Panda Fridays’ and Other Benefits Could Be the Key

Want to attract and retain top talent? Who doesn’t these days? According to some, your benefits package is the key to getting great talent in the door, but how can you compete with the Googles and the Apples? Try offering some unique and exotic work perks!

Glassdoor® compiled a list of the most unique and surprising benefits and perks that companies are offering to its employees. Here are a few of the most outlandish perks being offered:

  • Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)—an outdoor equipment retailer—offers 2 ‘Yay Days’ a year. ‘Yay Days’ were designed to encourage REI employees to get out and enjoy their favorite outdoor activity. Who doesn’t love a paid day off to go skiing or hiking?
  • Salesforce, a customer relationship management platform, offers its employees 6 days off (with pay) to volunteer. If an employee uses all 6 days by the end of the year, the employee will receive a $1,000 grant to donate to a charity of their choice.
  • World Wildlife Fund offers “Panda Fridays” to its employees, meaning employees are allowed to take every other Friday off.
  • Airbnb offers an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) offers its employees $1,200 per year for student loan debt reimbursement.
  • Pinterest takes the cake when it comes to parental leave policies. It provides 4 months of paid time off, plus an additional month of part-time hours, as well as two counseling sessions to create a plan to reenter the workplace.
  • Burton—a snowboard manufacturer—offers its employees season ski passes and “snow days” to hit the slopes after a big snowfall.
  • Twitter offers improv classes, on-site acupuncture, and three catered meals a day.
  • Accenture, a professional services company, covers gender reassignment for its employees as part of their commitment to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (and/or questioning) rights and diversity.
  • Epic Systems Corporation offers employees a paid 4-week sabbatical to pursue their creative talents after 5 years at the company.
  • Zillow pays for employees who are traveling to ship their breast milk.
  • Google provides the surviving spouse or partner of a deceased employee 50 percent of their salary for the next 10 years.

It’s no wonder some of these companies have been named the Best Places to Work! Do you offer any unusual or unique work perks? Share it in our comments section below, or e-mail us, and it could be featured in the next HRSBT!

If you’d like credit for your story, include your Facebook or Twitter handle and we’ll mention you in the article and on social media.

Note: We reserve the right to edit submissions for clarity, anonymity, and so forth.