What Do Your Employee Benefits Say About Your Company Culture?

By Jessica Palmeri | 3-min read

Once upon a time, the employee benefits package was (more or less) standardized.

Employees were given a base salary, typically two weeks of vacation, health insurance, and a retirement plan… maybe a year end bonus (if you were lucky)… but times have changed.

Companies that stick to the status quo often find that their “standard” benefits strategy won’t cut it in the competition to recruit (and retain) top talent. Organizations of all shapes and sizes have reevaluated their approach, and allowed their company culture to dictate their benefits decisions.

So how can company culture inform your employee benefits package? When in doubt, look to the experts for inspiration. Here are three companies crafting a competitive approach to employee benefits:

Young Companies that Embrace a New Way of Doing Things

Startups have a reputation for breaking the rules. But these young, successful organizations are not just disrupting technology — they’re creating a whole new status quo for what employees can expect from their company benefits.

Slack is a prime example. Barely four years old, the company’s technology aims to “make work simpler, more pleasant, and more productive.” They’ve taken this simplified approach to work and applied it to their employee benefits strategy…

“We work hard and we play to win… within normal business hours. And then we go home. That balance is important: It enables us to truly do the best work of our lives. As a result, we create a place where all kinds of work happens — and happens well — all while working alongside people we respect and admire.”

That emphasis on work-life balance, and meeting the needs of their employees, has helped Slack grow their team and create a unique office culture that attracts like-minded talent.

Here are just a few of Slack’s awesome benefits:

  • Full health coverage for employees and their family (Slack pays 100% of employee premiums), and a $150/mo fitness and wellness reimbursement
  • Personal and professional development stipends
  • Weekly catered lunch and breakfast, weekly massage therapy, Thursday Socials, and game night

“Old Dogs” Keeping Up with New Tricks

When you think of innovative employee benefits, an accounting practice that originated in London well over a century ago might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has demonstrated that large, established organizations can still be a leader in benefits and compensation strategy…

[At PwC] we offer innovative and inspiring ways to reward our people and we are transparent in the way we talk with our people about pay. Our total rewards package is aimed to deliver the value needed to meet staff’s needs beyond just base compensation.

There’s a reason that PwC consistently ranks on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. The firm knows that to recruit and hire top talent in a competitive industry, they need to keep pace with new approaches to employee benefits — without losing focus on their rich history and core organizational values.

Here are just a few of PwC’s awesome benefits:

  • Student Loan Paydown (SLP) of up to $1,200/yr to help staff pay down their student loan debt
  • Adoption and Surrogacy Assistance of up to $25,000 for adoption-related or surrogacy-related expenses
  • Parental Leave & Phased Return to Work

Values Driven Company Benefits

Some companies “talk the talk” but very few have a reputation for “walking the walk” when it comes to living out organization values. Outdoor footwear company Timberland is one such exception…

At Timberland, we strive to be Earthkeepers in everything we do. We work hard to make our products responsibly, to protect the outdoors, and to serve communities around the globe. We endeavor to make the best possible products and make the world a little better as well.

When organizational values drive culture, it shows. Not just in the way you hire and recruit new talent, but also in the way that those employees are treated and compensated once they join your team.

Here are just a few of Timberland’s awesome benefits:

  • 40 hours paid time off to serve in the community
  • On-site day care center, fitness center, and dry cleaning services
  • Continuous education support and in-house learning opportunities

(Bonus!) Small Changes. Big Morale Boost.

Overhauling benefits and compensation is not a project that happens over night. It can take months of work, fierce negotiations, and several rounds of approval before serious changes can be implemented.

But small changes can also create a big morale boost. For example, a few years ago Hyrell started offering one additional day of PTO to all employees so that they could take off their birthday as a paid holiday. Those eight extra hours of free time demonstrated that work-life balance was important to the management team. It was one small gesture, but it had a big impact.

So if you can’t create sweeping changes overnight, don’t be afraid to fight for small steps in the right direction.

This article originally appeared in Hyrell Blog.

This article was written by Jessica Palmeri from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to