1. Money, Money, Money
A lot of companies are finding ways to compensate employees outside the usual salary, IRA and 401k routes. To wit: The Fishtown-based Web design and development firm YIKES Inc. offers free SEPTA TransPasses; PwC has a student-loan reimbursement program ($100 a month, every month, for six years); and Manayunk’s Intuitive Company, a digital design, research and development firm, promises extra cash in the form of profit sharing as well as performance and employee referral bonuses.
“That’s really how we’ve grown the business,” says Intuitive’s relationship strategist, David Naples. “If a new hire brings business, they’re entitled to the commission. It works out: We like to work with great people, for great clients.”
2. Child-Care Help
Not every company can go as far as Camden-based Campbell Soup Company does, with on-site child care from daycare up through kindergarten. But the Philly branch of behemoth accounting firm PwC holds its own: In addition to six weeks’ paid maternity and paternity leave (on top of the government-mandated FLMA), the firm offers an adoption assistance reimbursement program, emergency backup child-care reimbursement, a program that includes discounted pumping supplies and breastfeeding counseling, and a parental-leave part-time transition period.
3. Continued Education
Di Bruno Bros. educates the old-fashioned (and awesome) way — by sending handfuls of employees off to make, eat and shop for cheese all over Europe. (They also sponsor entry for three cheesemongers a year into the intense process of certified cheese professional accreditation — a sort of PhD of cheese.) Meantime, in the world of live-brand experience, the nearly century-old Sparks in the Northeast offers an extensive advancement program that allows employees to attend conferences, attain new certifications, even pursue master’s degrees — all on the company. Sparks subsidizes one job-related class per semester (up to $1,800 a year) and allows time during the workday to attend classes. It’s about mental well-being and attracting smart people, says in-house marketing guru Kristy Elosian: “We have all the fun stuff you’re seeing everywhere else, and that’s huge. But if you’re a highly talented person choosing between two companies, you ask: What’s really going to do it for you long-term?”
4. Quality of Office Life
At BuLogics, a tech start-up based in East Falls, staffers enjoy (free) yoga classes, a standing-desk allowance, movie nights, a nap room, unlimited snacks and beer, and dinner on the company (for employees and guests) if they’re working late. “Any friction that we can reduce for people, we do,” says CEO Felicite Moorman. “We’re competing with the Silicon Valley. We think anything we can offer on-site contributes to productivity, to happy people.” This is a theme among tech firms in particular: Old City’s Wildbit offers a family-style gourmet lunch every day and a kids’ room for parents with progeny in tow; AmerisourceBergen — a giant company — has an on-site convenience store and car-washing services.
5. Personal Time
Anymore, it’s hard to find companies that don’t promise some type of flex time to employees in that never-ending quest to attain “work/life balance.” But some firms, like the Gayborhood-based software firm Zivtech, kick it up a notch, with the flexibility to work at home as well as 30 days of paid time off. Tech and data firm LeadiD in Ambler has done away with a vacation policy of any type — if employees need time, they take it. And pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline takes another route, continuing to pay up to six months of employees’ salaries while they volunteer at a nonprofit.
6. Health Care
Modern health-care coverage has gone holistic at a lot of firms. Take Center City’s Medical Guardian, which boasts healthy snacks and monthly on-site breakfasts, lunches and dinners as well as two free monthly fitness classes on-site. Ad firm Red Tettemer O’Connell + Partners has free weekly workouts on the roof, and also pays employee entrance fees into marathons and Tough Mudders; Vynamic, a Center City health-care industry management consultant, offers healthy snacks, yoga sessions, treadmill or bike desks, walking meetings that take place around a “track,” and a work-sponsored Fitbit challenge. Franklin Square Capital Partners, a financial firm in the Navy Yard, has an integrated training and nutrition program (with full-time trainers and a nutritionist!), a health-focused cafe, and an in-house gym with group classes before, during and after work.
Published as part of “Philly’s New Working World” in the November 2015 issue of Philadelphia magazine.
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