Think Outside the Box with Non-Traditional Benefits

Julie Checknita, Employer Services | September-28-11


In a recent blog posting: Improve Productivity with Employees Nap time & Unlimited Vacation Time, I wrote about some of the out-of-the-box benefits and practices popping up in workplaces around the globe. These unconventional perks seemed to be yielding desirable results with an evident ROI.

As a second part to this post, I thought I would share a few of my favorite out-of-the-box benefits and practices being offered by Canadian environmental organizations. 

Vacation Vouchers:
To reward staff for their outstanding effort and achievements, TERA Environmental Consultants presents each employee with a $500 vacation voucher and an extra paid day off. The only stipulation for the bonus is that it has to be used towards something “restful.”  This is further encouraged through a follow-up contest that recognizes employees who use their vacation voucher most creatively.

Workplace Social Hours:
To improve organizational communication while providing a light-hearted environment for employees to build personal relationships and celebrate their ongoing achievements Fielding Chemical Technologies offers a monthly ‘Social Hour’.

Each ‘Social Hour’ recognizes new and departing employees, and announces upcoming staff birthdays. Following these highlights, employees have the opportunity to socialize, and enjoy refreshments.

Often, Social Hours take on a unique cultural theme that allows employees to learn more about the backgrounds of their colleagues. For example, Fielding employees celebrated the Chinese New Year in their February meeting with traditional decorations, food, music, and group festivities.

Green Purchase Rebate:
To demonstrate the company’s commitment to environmental change and sustainability, Rescan Environmental has implemented a unique rebate program. The Green Rebate, initiated by the company’s internal “Green Ideas Committee”, encourages employees to ‘live green’ by subsidizing environmental consumer choices.

Each year, the committee reviews and creates a list of qualifying purchases that are considered environmentally friendly. When employees purchase items on this list, they have the opportunity to be reimbursed by 25% for purchases up to a maximum of $250/annum.

One of my favorite unconventional perks, here at ECO Canada is our ECO Long Weekends – An added benefit that gives staff the Friday before all long weekends (for the period starting at Easter and ending on September Long) off. This is a great opportunity to take short vacations or just really relax and unwind following a busy work week.

Does your organization offer any original benefits?  What practice makes your organization unique?  We would love to hear from you!