15 Juli 2010

10 Effective Employee Benefit Ideas from Google Headquarters

Google’s founders often state that the company is not serious about anything but search. They built a company around the idea that work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun.

To that end, Google’s culture is unlike any in corporate America, and it’s not because of the whimsical lava lamps and large rubber balls, or the fact that one of the company’s chefs used to cook for the Grateful Dead. In the same way Google puts users first when it comes to online services, Google puts employees first when it comes to daily life in its offices.

“The goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees’ way. We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses – just about anything a hardworking employee might want. Let’s face it: programmers want to program, they don’t want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both.” Eric Schmidt, CEO Google

Benefits Philosophy: We strive to be innovative and unique in all services we provide both to customers and employees, including our benefits and perks offerings. We realize and celebrate that our employees have diverse needs, and that this diversity requires flexible and individually directed support. Our priority is to offer a customizable program that can be tailored to the specific needs of each individual, whether they enjoy ice climbing in Alaska, want to retire by age 40, or plan to adopt 3 children (Google Jobs).

When you take a close look at these employee benefits Google provides, you will see a common thread that indicates how much Google sees their employees as a close-knit family. The thought, consideration and assistance they offer, with their employees' needs being the focus, is the glue that keeps their workers happy, healthy and financially taken care of.

10 Simple and Effective and Effective Employee Benefits You Can Learn from Google:

Here are some of the benefits, other than the standard good health care and retirement plans, that people who work at Google love. Maybe you can incorporate some of these ideas into your Employee Benefits Package:

1. 529 College Savings Plan. Now, this is an incredible benefit that provides a way for employees to save part of their paychecks for post-secondary education for themselves or their children.

This plan is another offering besides Google's Flex Spending Account and their matching 401(k) Plan options.

2. Maternity Leave. Google offers up to 18 weeks off at about 100% of an employee's regular pay. That's especially generous because many large corporations only give up to four weeks' paid.

Check this out: on top of the fantastic paid leave, new moms and dads are able to have take-out meals covered up to $500 during the first 3 months they are home with the new baby.

3. Parental Leave. This is a special benefit for non-primary caregivers. For example, if your sister wound up in the hospital and needed you to fly out to care for your nieces and nephews, you get up to 7 weeks off, paid at approximately 100%.

4. Employee Referral Program. Google's motto is, "Good people know other good people," and encourages recommendations of candidates for openings. If they hire your referral and remains employed at Google for at least two months, the referrer (you) gets a nice bonus.

5. Back-Up Child Care. If your babysitter doesn't show or your daycare suddenly closed its doors one morning, Google will provide five days of free childcare through Children's Creative Learning Center (CCLC), for ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age.

6. Gift-Matching Program. Let it never be said that Google doesn't contribute to charity and go the extra mile to encourage their employees to get more mileage out of their charitable dollars.

Google matches contribution of up to $3000 per year from eligible employees to non-profit organizations, says the Google site. "Bolstering employees contributions to worthy causes with matching gifts doesn't just mean helping hundreds of organizations, both locally and globally, it's also a tangible expression."

7. Adoption assistance. Google assists their employees by offering financial help in the adoption of a child.

Google will reimburse the adoptive parents up to $5,000 for legal expenses, adoption agencies, or any other professional adoption fees. On top of this, parental leave and take-out benefits also apply here.

8. Financial Planning Classes. Google provides their employees with objective and conflict-free financial education courses that are comprehensive and cover a wide variety of financial topics---free.

In addition to these courses, Google offers EAP, an Employee Assistance Program that provides services for employees and their dependents that include free short-term counseling, legal consultations, child care referrals, and even pet care referrals.

9. Great On-Site Services. Google headquarters in Mountain View, California provides their employees with an on-site oil change, car wash, massage therapy, dry cleaning, hair stylist, gym, fitness classes and bicycle repair.

In addition to these services, gourmet chefs create a wide variety of healthy and delicious---and free---lunches and dinners for Google's employees. Google also offers satisfying snacks in between meals.

10. On-Site Doctor. Also at Google's Mountain View headquarters, employees have the convenience of seeing a doctor for medical attention right on-site.

This perk could save having an employee leave the workplace in order to be seen by a medical professional.

Important Points to Remember when Adding Employee Benefits to your Business:

  • Make sure your benefits and rewards match the accomplishments. In other words, a reward does not need to cost a lot of money; what matters is that the benefits is of value to the employee.
  • Center your company benefits around your employees' needs.
  • Be fair with reward systems. Make sure that whatever benefit or reward system you set up can never be construed into “playing favorites.”
  • Don’t let your mood(s) dictate when to offer benefits or rewards to employees for jobs well-done. Employees can detect when an employer is sincere when showing appreciation.
  • Never use benefits or rewards as leverage to get what you want. Don’t put a reward in place for everyone and then use it against everyone---for lack of performance by one or two people---by taking it away. Again, be fair to all.
  • Learn to incorporate and give rewards to the right employees for the right reasons.

Job Info , Jobs , Employment

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