When it comes to how we want our professional lives to be, many of us concur with Steve Jobs – “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” The onus is on us to find the kind of work we’d enjoy doing. But employers too need to come half way and keep the workforce engaged in an organizational culture comprising of varied benefits.

We say varied, because sometimes, just a paycheck is not enough to keep employees motivated.

In an earlier post, we had explored how some intangible cultural practices of mentoring, appreciation and inclusivity, make an organization irresistible. In this post, we’d like to explore the tangible side of things – the perks and the policies. Here’s how organizations around the world are doing it right.

  1. At Netflix, the only thing that is measured is what people get done. As long as employees do their work, it doesn’t matter when or for how long they’re in the office. They even get unlimited vacation! The belief behind this – reward performance, not effort. Reed Hastings, CEO, says, companies ought to raise their standards of talent and freedom for employees, thus remaining flexible to respond to internal and external environments.
  2. Facebook and Apple have been in the headlines for offering an unusual benefit – paying for their female employees to freeze their eggs. This came at a time where the trend of women quitting their jobs to pursue motherhood, led to imbalances in the workplace ecosystem. The solution – give them a choice to do both, when they please.
  3. Catering to the social consciousness that millennials nurture, companies like Zimbra, Salesforce and The Goddard School offer paid time off to their employees to volunteer for causes they support. Infact, Zimbra CEO Patrick Brandt believes that civic engagement is a necessity in the modern workplace, and ultimately boosts the morale of a company’s staff.
  4. DreamWorks Animation is committed to fostering a culture that embraces innovation, creativity, collaboration, and a solid dose of fun. Throughout the year, the company offers its employees art shows, craft fairs, movie screenings, family get-togethers, art classes and lectures. Thus, employees not only get a chance to build work skills, but also hone personal hobbies.
  5. Zynga and The Nerdery go so far as to welcome the pets of their employees into workplaces. Right from grooming sessions, to birthday celebrations, pet parties and family day, employees can get their furry friends in and have a great time! Each Thursday, the Nerdery is opened for Puppy Fight Club, where the nerds’ fluffy friends can frolic unleashed.

Many might feel that such perks take away from employees’ focus. But the truth is that these practices allow more freedom for employees to bring their whole self into work – a key tenet of human potential development. As a result, people are happier, and feel valued. Which offbeat perk would you suggest to achieve this?

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