Company offsites and hefty training budgets: NYC techies choose their favorite perks

by Liz Warren
July 26, 2018

A competitive salary isn’t necessarily the most important factor when you’re deciding on a new job. Perks like flexible work hours, ample vacation time and regular company outings carry their own weight in the decision, too.

With that in mind, we asked around town to learn more about the perks that keep local techies jazzed. From stipends for continued education to annual teamwide retreats, here’s what they had to say.

 

Alphasights-perks
image via alphasights

AlphaSights launched in 2008 and is made up of 500 professionals across nine global offices. CTO Heath Hohwald, who has been with the company since January, talks about the perks of the job — including an annual retreat that brings everyone together in one spot.

We’ve found spending a few days relaxing and enjoying time together outside the office really helps with team bonding.”

What’s the one perk you’re particularly proud to offer?

Given that we’re an international company with nine offices across multiple continents, we gather the whole product and engineering team together once a year for a team offsite. We plan the trip together as a team, deciding where and when to go, as well as what fun activities to hold. We’ve found spending a few days relaxing and enjoying time together outside the office really helps with team bonding!

 

How do employees help shape your company’s perks and benefits?

We are committed to our engineers’ ongoing learning. We have discussed with the team what they find most valuable in terms of company support for their continual development. We agreed as a team that AlphaSights would fully fund coursework, workshops and conference attendance that each engineer decides would be most beneficial to their learning. We particularly encourage all our engineers to attend a conference of their choosing at least once a year so that they can stay at the forefront of changes in the technology landscape.

 

Merrill-perks
image via merrill

Global financial services company Merrill Corporation works with employees to identify both short-term and long-term opportunities to relocate to other offices within the company. For this reason and others, Human Resources Business Partner Maureen Harris has been with the company for the past 25 years. She filled us in on the company’s perks package.

Being a global company allows us to offer both short-term assignments and relocation within Merrill. This translates to so many benefits for our employees and for the business.”

What’s the one perk you’re particularly proud to offer?

Being a global company allows us to offer both short-term assignments and relocation within Merrill. This translates to so many benefits for our employees and for the business. Employees appreciate opportunities that allow them to travel to different locations and meet coworkers from different places — and from a company perspective, sharing our talented workforce internally is just smart.

 

How do employees help shape your company’s perks and benefits?

We have a great employee referral program which was revamped to incentivize all of our employees to recruit friends, former colleagues and family members to Merrill. Our business leaders felt strongly that the best way to fill positions quickly was by asking our existing employees for help and to reward them for their efforts. The program has been a huge success — so many of our employees take advantage of it.

 

Solstice-perks
image via solstice

Software company Solstice already has some great perks in place for employees — including a sizable stipend for professional development — but they’re especially receptive to suggestions for additional perks. Product Consultant Jennifer Fragale walked us through some of the crowdsourced ideas that were put into practice as a result of simply speaking up.

Having $5,000 to spend on the training of your choice shows that Solstice is invested in its employees’ career growth.”

What’s the one perk you’re particularly proud to offer?

The training budget! Having $5,000 to spend on the training of your choice shows that Solstice is invested in its employees’ career growth. Everyone uses their training budget for different things — conferences, SXSW attendance, technical certification programs, online courses, books, non-standard issue tools, etc. Each individual can really make an impact on our future, and we’re empowered to go deep with meaningful education that suits our own individual interests and goals. After training, to spread the love, we’re encouraged to do short presentations highlighting what we’ve learned so our colleagues can also glean some knowledge from our experiences. All of this is on top of the built-in platforms for learning through our regular meeting with our discipline groups, frequent lunch and learns and weekly coffee chats.

 

How do employees help shape your company’s perks and benefits?

The company culture at Solstice vigorously encourages employee feedback. Using regular surveys, the company measures employee happiness and engagement every quarter. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to speak to their mentors about anything they may need or any suggestions they have for improvements. Weekly, anonymous questions are collected, read aloud and answered at the weekly team meeting. All ideas are considered and, when they’re actionable and reasonable, frequently make their way into company policy. A few recent changes that came out of staff suggestions include: one week of paid marriage leave to celebrate your honeymoon without using all your PTO; a policy that makes it easier to work remotely; and updated paternal leave and sick day policies.

 

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