High tech toilets, eliminating bad bosses and the ability to retire a little bit in advance highlight Green Goldfish Top Ten List #4

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The Green Goldfish Project is an attempt to crowdsource 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe for employees. Signature little extras that make a big difference. Companies that put “employees first” to build culture, increase retention and promote positive word of mouth. For every 50 examples collected there is a Top 10 list created.


Without further adieu, here is the fourth list from the Project from Examples #151-200:

10. A fortnight of giving back @patagonia

#188 – Patagonia

The outdoor-apparel maker, gives employees two weeks of full-paid leave per year to work for the green nonprofit of their choice.

Source: Inc.com


9. #166 – Microsoft

Taken from a post by Geek.com:

Working for Microsoft has its advantages. The post came along with a screenshot from speedtest.net showing a staggering speed of 526Mbps down, and 215Mbps up. This is among the fastest connections in the US, and still impressive worldwide.

Just how fast is that? According to speedtest.net’s aggregated data, the average download speed in the US is currently sitting at 10.45Mbps. So the internet speeds at Microsoft are just about 50-times faster.

8. Bracketologists wanted @Thrillist

#176 – Thrillist

Fantasy football and March Madness tournaments are workplace staples. It’s comforting to know that no one’s going to freak out if they catch you checking your brackets.

Source: Mashable

YouTube interview with co-founder Ben Lerer:

7. Everyone rides with this anniversary gift @ClifBar

#152 – Clif Bar

A company that was born on a bike. Every employee receives one on their 20th anniversary:

Cool YouTube video of the unveiling :

6. Equality compensation @google

#179 – Google

Google is giving its employees in same-sex relationships extra cash to cover their partners’ health benefits.

Currently, when receiving partner health care coverage, same-sex domestic partners are subject to an extra tax that straight, married couples don’t have to pay. Google is taking the burden of paying this tax on itself by compensating partnered LGBT employees for the amount of the tax, which comes to a bit more than $1,000 each year.

This benefit will also cover any dependents of the partner in the same-sex couple.

Source: Mashable

YouTube video from London. Google wants to legalize love

5. It’s all about the relationship @Centro_Media

#155 – Centro

Taken from a post by Crains:

Scott Golas, vice president of human resources at Centro LLC, the Chicago-based online advertising buyer that landed at No. 1 on Crain’s Best Places to Work list this year and in 2011, says his company focuses on the manager-employee relationship. Centro spends a lot of time training managers.

“Let’s face it: People leave companies because of their boss,” Mr. Golas says. “We try to remove the typical obstacles (between bosses and employees) by sharing more information, by providing great training and by making sure those bosses have the right skill sets.”

YouTube video on the Centro Way:

4. Power to the Penn @NewAgeInd

#185 – NewAge Industries

After five years at NewAge Industries, a manufacturer of plastic tubing, each employee receives a yearly $720 charge card to use in the restaurant of the William Penn Inn, a 296-year-old landmark near the company’s headquarters in Southampton, Pennsylvania.

Source: Inc.com

3. A benefit straight from the Academy @GetGlue

#170 – Get Glue

This start-up gives movie gift certificates to encourage employees to explore the cinema. A great benefit for a company that’s all about entertainment.

YouTube overview of GetGlue:

2. Allowing a sabbatical to give back @Deloitte

#197 – Deloitte

Employees at New York, NY-based Deloitte don’t have to sacrifice their life’s dream for their careers because they enjoy the benefit of sabbatical leave. Deloitte offers four unpaid weeks off to do whatever they wish, and three to six months (yes, months) of partially paid leave to volunteer or pursue a career-enhancing opportunity.

Source: Salary.com

YouTube video on work that makes a difference at Deloitte:

and the #1 example from the fourth Top Ten List:

1. Retire a little bit at Semco Incorporated

#190 – Semco of Brazil

Retire a little bit

At Semco you don’t need to wait until you’re old to enjoy your retirement. The idea is that you can take advantage of it once a week, from any age.

According to Semco, the “Retire a little bit” project was created based on a life-cycle analysis. In any analysis that we undertake, we will see that we have money when we don’t have time to enjoy it, time when we no longer have financial certainty and the ability to enjoy nature and sports when we no longer have the health to do so.

Thinking along these lines, the program allows the person to do what they plan to do when they retire, once a week, like an art course, play sports in the afternoon or simply spend the day with their kids.

When this project is implemented, the person will have the option to not work one day a week, replacing this day in the future, after they retire, with a proportional salary.

Tremendous interview interview with the CEO. This company is uber progressive:

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra for good measure) – A couple interesting extras from Donlen and Google. Accountability and Japanese toilets:

Leadership puts its money where its heart is at Donlen

#158 – Donlen

Workers provide feedback via a biannual survey, and if employee satisfaction doesn’t meet a certain threshold, compensation for Donlen’s leadership team takes a hit.

Source: ChicagoBusiness.com

Tech toilets @google

#191 – Google

The Lamborghini of toliets. Is it really any wonder that Googlers have access to some of the most high-tech toilets around? These Japanese johns offer washing and drying of your nether regions as well as the mysterious “wand cleaning.” Both the wash water and the seat itself can be warmed or cooled depending on your preference.

Source: Huffington Post

YouTube video of Conan and Andy Richter at Google talking about the toilets:

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