All Articles Leadership Strategy 10 companies on a benefit policy that works for them

10 companies on a benefit policy that works for them

Younger entrepreneurs share a benefit they offer that isn't the norm but is producing results.

4 min read



The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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1. Education advancement 

We offer all employees 52 hours of free tutoring for themselves (or to share throughout their family) each year. This allows every member of the team to focus on professional advancement or simply learn a new skill. Investing in your employees and their family members helps foster an innovative work environment and may improve your company culture. — Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

2. Monthly home cleaning 

Our company is remote so every employee works from home all or part of the time. At one company retreat we were brainstorming about what would make working from home easier and a few people brought up that seeing their messy home while they can feel stressful. Right then and there we had the idea to add home cleaning as a monthly perk. Now our employees have one less thing to stress about!– Laura Roeder,

3. Creativity stipend

At ZinePak, we have a twice-a-year creativity stipend that employees use for things completely unrelated to work. From guitar lessons to pottery class, the choices have been wide with the only requirement being you must report back to everyone else what you did and what your favorite part was. As a creative company, allowing employees to explore new things has proven to be a huge asset to us.– Kim Kaupe, ZinePak

4. Morning shout-outs

It is important for our team to live up to our core values. During our daily huddle, anyone can give someone else on the team who has demonstrated one of our core values a “shout out” to recognize them. Each shout out is worth a small dollar amount. During Chinese New Year, we count up the shout outs and give each team member a red envelope as a token of gratitude and good fortune. — Michael Hsu, DeepSky

5. Friday Freedays

Every Friday afternoon, everyone in the company works on something completely outside of their normal scope of work. This might be a side project, an idea for an off-the-wall new feature or just learning some new technology. As long as it is something that stimulates creative thinking then it has a place on Friday Freedays. — James Simpson, GoldFire Studios

6. Travel stipend

I once received a travel stipend to go spend time on the road and away from my comfort zone. All that was asked was that I schedule the trip in advance so they could fill in for me while I was gone and do something that I believed added to my knowledge or skills that could then be employed within the company upon my return. It was one of the coolest benefits I ever received and I miss it. — Drew Hendricks, Buttercup

7. 401(k) match

At EVENTup, we have a 401(k) match. I feel it really sets our employees up for success in the future and shows that we’re here for them in the long haul. — Jayna Cooke, EVENTup


8. Fuzzy Math Fridays

We have a “Fuzzy Math Friday” once every six weeks or so where we schedule half-day (or more) out-of-the-office activities for the entire gang. These have included architecture tours, canoeing, mini golf, a trip to the neighborhood bar, among others. These are a great way for the team to get to know each other, experience something new, have fun, and de-stress in a way that doesn’t use up PTO. — Benjamin Ihnchak, Fuzzy Math

9. 8-for-8 Policy

We have a monthly day of service with our team. All team members that participate in those eight hours of volunteer work in our local community receive an additional eight hours of PTO to use at a charity of their choice. This allows our employees to invest in the causes they care about and we in turn attract talent that works well with our culture of service. — Jennifer Mellon, Trustify

10. Goal-based team vacations and getaways

At the beginning of the year, we set three different financial goals per quarter (silver, gold, platinum). Depending on the goal hit, we plan a three- to seven-day retreat for the team, all expenses paid. Last year we spent a week at a villa in Bali. Last week our team took a five day trip to Macau and Hong Kong. — Justin Cooke, Empire Flippers