Just for Fun

5 Companies That Win at Employee Appreciation

Joseph Patterson | March 2, 2018

How these employers make caring look cool (and what you can learn from them)

Today is Employee Appreciation Day. And here at TSheets by QuickBooks, we <3 employees. It’s the motto we live and work by. We love employees who give every task their full attention and enthusiasm. We love employees who make work interesting, whether through random acts of kindness or Oscar-worthy PowerPoints. We love every employee who’s ever used their time at the coffeemaker to brainstorm and problem-solve with co-workers. And we love employers who love their employees. We’re not the first ones to say it, and we won’t be the last: Your employees are the lifeblood of your company. There are many ways to show employees you appreciate everything they do — free catered lunches at company meetings, all-day employee appreciation events, the list goes on! As an Intuit company ourselves (recently voted the 13th best company to work for in 2018 by Fortune), we know what it’s like to be part of a corporation set on spoiling its most valuable assets.But this year, in honor of Employee Appreciation Day, we’re looking outside our own ranks to see what others are doing to show their employees a little love. These are companies that don’t settle for once-a-year perks. Rather, they’ve put policies in place to make their people feel special year-round. If you’ve been looking for a few ideas to make your employees know how valued they truly are, here are five companies doing it up right!  

1. Salesforce

There’s a reason they were voted the No. 1 company to work for in 2018. Salesforce is all about the happiness and wellbeing of their employees. The company’s benefits page lists such perks as the opportunity to refinance student debt, automatic emergency travel assistance, and matching gifts. For every dollar employees give to charity, Salesforce matches it, up to $2,500. That number goes up to $5,000 when employees use their full 56 hours of company-paid volunteer time. It’s tough to put a number on employee satisfaction, but Salesforce does a pretty good job, with average salaries of $183,055, unlimited PTO after one year of employment, and 130 days job-protected maternity AND paternity leave for all parents (including those who’ve adopted). 

2. Workday

There must be something in the water near San Francisco! Workday is another Bay Area-based software company that knows how to show their employees they care. Voted No. 7 on Fortune’s best places to work list, Workday spoils their employees with unlimited time off and on-site services like manicures, massages, and oil changes. Plus, they’re family-friendly, with perks like discounted childcare and Bring Your Child/Dog/Parent to Work Day — their doors are open to everyone. No benefit is too big or too small. In their offices, you’ll find everything from treadmill desks to free ice cream every week during National Ice Cream Month. 

3. Edward Jones

Edward Jones may not be No. 1 on Fortune’s list (they’re actually No. 5), but given they’ve made the list 19 times, it’s fair to say their employees love where they work. According to the company’s Great Place to Work review, 96 percent of Edward Jones employees believe they have great bosses, and another 96 percent say they’re proud to tell others where they work. So how does Edward Jones keep their 42,950 US employees happy? The company offers career-long development and mentoring, which makes for confident, secure employees. They actually boast a 7 percent voluntary employee turnover rate, which is unheard of for a company of that size! New mothers receive 120 days paid maternity leave, and same-sex couples who adopt also receive job-protected parental leave. 

4. The Cheesecake Factory

Bet you didn’t see this one coming. The Cheesecake Factory is one of the few (if not the only) restaurant chains that made Fortune’s list. Part of that comes from the growth opportunities offered to employees. According to their Fortune profile page, “More than 40 percent of management positions were filled internally in the past year, and senior restaurant manager roles went to current employees 100 percent of the time.” Best of all, the company takes care of its shift and part-time employees, offering full health insurance benefits to staff working at least 25 hours a week. And don’t forget the free cheesecake every worker gets to take home during the holidays. Now that’s a unique way to show appreciation! 

5. REI

REI takes employee appreciation to a whole new level. While many companies would certainly accept (and welcome) transgender employees, REI offers to cover gender reassignment surgery for those who want it. In addition, REI strives to embody its overall message, empowering employees to spend time in the great outdoors. All employees are given a “yay day” every six months. It’s a paid day off to “go outside and get inspired — no strings attached.” Plus, employees who work with the company for 15 years or longer receive sabbaticals. REI’s sabbatical is four consecutive weeks of paid time off, and employees are free to combine that time with any saved vacation hours. After their first sabbatical, employees are eligible for another four-week sabbatical every five years.  Today and every day, don’t forget to show your outstanding people a little love. And better yet, keep that train going with great programs and perks all year long!  

How are you showing employees you care? Tell us in the comments below.

A little about Joseph Patterson

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