Let's talk perks: 3 techies share the employee benefits that matter most

by John Siegel
February 15, 2018

To both attract and retain talented employees, tech companies around the world are constantly revamping their benefits packages to offer things like unlimited PTO, comprehensive healthcare packages and even daily catered lunches. To the employees, however, some perks matter more than others. Built In LA spoke with employees from three local tech companies about what perks matter most, which matter least, and how the benefits their company offers show they care.

 

bcg digital ventures manhattan beach

Health is important to Joe Takai, partner and head of the BCG Digital Ventures Manhattan Beach Center. While the company’s comprehensive healthcare has come in clutch for the tech veteran, the opportunity to travel the world and work with a number of different cultures is something he values, both personally and professionally.

 

When you’re researching a position within a company, what role does the benefits package play?

While it definitely shouldn’t be all you look at when evaluating a job, benefits are a huge part of the overall offering that a company provides when you’re considering working for them. Given the state of healthcare these days, it’s becoming even more important.

 

In your opinion, what does a company’s benefits package say about company culture?

A company’s benefits package absolutely emphasizes the value they place on each member of their team. It is a huge opportunity for a company to express support for employees and their families. 

 

What was one employee benefit that jumped off the page to you at DV and why?

We cover 100 percent of healthcare premiums for our employees and their families. The way we engage with our healthcare provider makes it so much easier to take care of yourself; we have a line we can call that takes us directly to the Aetna BCG representative if you are part of the BCG or BCG Digital Ventures family.

In addition to offering health, dental, vision and more, the other major benefit we offer is called the Profit Sharing Retirement Fund — it’s basically a contribution to a 401(k) on your behalf, on top of your existing salary. It truly makes a difference. You can still make your normal 401(k) contribution, but the company basically comes in and drops a bundle of cash into the account at the end of each year.

 

In your time with the company, is there one perk that you have really embraced?

For me, it’s always been the healthcare. It’s been there every time I’ve needed something. From physical therapy to surgery, it really takes care of me and my family. I’ve also had the opportunity to see the world and work with dozens of different cultures and business styles, from Japan to Italy. 

 

inspire cleantech startup los angeles

For Inspire Full Stack Developer Brian Wyant, the size of the company’s benefits package didn’t play a factor in him eventually choosing the company. Rather, it was the company’s ability to focus and customize its perks to fit his needs that proved to be the most attractive.

 

When you’re researching a position within a company, what role does the benefits package play?

When I'm researching companies, I look to see if anyone is commenting favorably on the benefits package. Beyond that, I prefer employers that take some leadership on this front and refine the number of packages offered — when there are too many choices, it can be overwhelming. With a more targeted benefits package, I trust that HR has considered what works well for everyone. I like having the option of a personalized benefits package.

 

In your opinion, what does a company’s benefits package say about company culture?

A company that offers good benefits signals that it cares about its employees' lives and success. I appreciate that Inspire doesn’t have a ‘one-size-fit-all’ benefits strategy, and lets you choose a package that works for your lifestyle — like a comprehensive plan for families, or high-deductible plans for younger employees.

 

What was one employee benefit that jumped off the page to you and why?

Benefits aren’t something I’ve focused on much before, beyond the basics. If someone signed up with Betterment or similar robo-advisors for their 401(k) package, though, that would catch my attention.

 

In your time with the company, is there one perk that you have really embraced?

I did have a nice trip out to Utah in my first month at Inspire. Having a culture that embraces in-person communication and offsite experiences is pretty awesome.

 

ChowNow Foodtech Los Angeles Startup holiday party

Playa Vista-based ChowNow offers its employees, among other perks, student loan assistance, commuter benefits and an employee stock incentive plan, but for Digital Content Coordinator Kristy Mai, it’s the company’s health insurance package that’s really exciting.

 

When you’re researching a position within a company, what role does the benefits package play?

I first look into the company culture and work environment. I look at LinkedIn blog posts written by employees, testimonials and reviews. I personally don’t go out of my way to search solely for companies that offer certain benefits — unlimited PTO, cold brew on tap or stocked kitchens, for example — but the benefits package is definitely a great cherry on top.

 

In your opinion, what does a company’s benefits package say about company culture?

In my opinion, a company’s benefits package implies how much the company cherishes their employees. A company isn’t required to offer benefit packages but if a company goes out of their way to budget their finances to offer certain benefits — that signifies a lot. That means the company truly cares for their employees to grow not only as an individual but also with the company as a whole.

 

What was one employee benefit that jumped off the page to you and why?

One employee benefit that stood out to me was the unlimited PTO. There aren’t many companies that give employees the freedom to choose the number of vacation days and I respect that. It reflects how hard-working all the employees are and everyone takes the motto “work hard and play hard” seriously.

 

In your time with the company, is there one perk that you have really embraced?

One employee benefit that I’ve truly embraced is the health insurance. I’ve always been on my parent's health insurance that only covered the bare minimum and required a high copay every visit. The fact that ChowNow offers affordable medical, vision and dental insurance plans is amazing.

 

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