5 Companies That Offer Seriously Cool Employee Rewards

Sep 21, 2012 -
Get our best career advice delivered to your inbox. Sign up today! Snow days, yoga studios and watermelons, oh my! It turns out some of your job-seeking competition are no longer exclusively focusing their job search on traditional benefits like high-paying salaries, excellent health care coverage and the likeliness a position will lead to career satisfaction. Instead, they’re looking for employee rewards. From small startups to large corporations, companies nowadays are offering seriously cool rewards to entice you to apply for jobs at their companies, to increase loyalty among the employees they already have and to save a few bucks by forgoing cash rewards (which are taxed twice). These rewards are way cooler than the offer of free meals on late work nights and gift baskets during the holidays. Here are five companies doing right by their employees by offering some pretty awesome rewards:

1. Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee has 585 locations in 21 states and nine international locations. At the store level, baristas are encouraged to come up with their own games to interact with customers and make work fun. At the corporate level, CEO Mike Tattersfield awards top-performing employees who have really used their “melons” with watermelons instead of certificates, plaques or trophies. Winners of the watermelons, known as “Melonheads,” are also given the opportunity to design their own personalized Chuck Taylor shoes.

2. FullContact

FullContact, a company that provides cloud-based contact management solutions for businesses, developers and individuals, recently introduced a radical idea into the employee rewards realm: “paid, paid vacation,” where employees are given $7,500 to go on vacation. Co-founder Bart Lorang explained the company’s decision to implement paid, paid vacation in a post on the company’s blog. There are no rules on where employees must go for their paid, paid vacations. The only rules are that, to keep the money, employees must go on vacation, and they must disconnect entirely while there—no work can be completed while taking a paid, paid vacation. Pretty great, right?

3. Clif Bar

Clif Bar, producer of nourishing energy bars and chews, offers its employees just about everything anyone needs to have a pleasant, worry-free day at work. Its 115,000-square-foot workspace has four atrium gardens, repurposed bikes, kayaks, paddles and surfboards suspended from the ceiling, and a 40-foot rock wall and fitness center with a yoga room, dance studio, two massage rooms, shower and locker room facilities, plus access to five certified trainers and nutritionists. Not to mention every employee gets two-and-a-half hours of paid gym time per week and is granted a $350 stipend to cover entry costs for races, events and competitions.

4. Asana

Silicon Valley startup Asana runs by re-imagining how teams get things done, so it’s no surprise the company that’s building the modern way to work together has a unique approach to employee rewards. Along with the usual health, dental and vision insurance, Asana offers employees in-house yoga group sessions twice a week that are open to all employees plus one friend, organic lunch and dinner served every day customized to each employee’s diet preferences and up to $10,000 for each employee to construct their perfect workspaces.

5. Burton

With laid-back decorated Winter Olympian Shaun White as a spokesperson, it’s no surprise snowboarding giant Burton has some very cool rewards and an atmosphere ideal for its snowboard-loving employees. Burton encourages employees to wear jeans, flip-flops and t-shirts to its dog-friendly workplaces, which include fireplaces and couches. Employees and immediate family members are given 50-60 percent discounts on all Burton products, which they can wear when they hit their slope of choice with their free season passes and free lessons. Burton offices close for all employees whenever it snows two feet or more, and in the summer, employees can take off early on Fridays to get a jumpstart on their weekends. If you’re job hunting, why not check out these companies’ career pages to see if you’re qualified for available positions? Or look into the seriously cool rewards your potential employers offer. And let us know in the comments about any good ones you find! Sudy Bharadwaj is a co-founder and the CEO of Jackalope Jobs, a job-seeker-focused platform making the job search social, fast and easy. Learn how Sudy and Jackalope Jobs obsess over job seekers by connecting with them on Twitter.