From fresh vegetables to pet insurance, companies go beyond the usual benefits

Human resources is all about benefits these days, especially when it comes to young workers in this year’s best workplaces.

At CardConnect in King of Prussia, locally grown fresh produce is delivered to company headquarters every two weeks during the growing season. When the 100 boxes of free food come through the doors, employees line up to be taken.

“It’s like Black Friday here when the boxes pop up,” said Jen Ireland, vice president of human resources. The offerings are so popular that employees are now sharing recipes, especially for unusual vegetables and fruits they’ve never tried before.

The payment processing company, which has 475 employees nationwide, also offers gym memberships and on-site yoga, acupuncture and massage as part of its benefits package.

Clemens Food Group, producer of Hatfield Quality Meats, not only has basketball and volleyball courts, but also a wellness center, with a doctor to care for employees and their families. “It’s very convenient for team members,” said Keith Stahler, director of communications. Doctor’s appointments are usually cheaper than at an outside provider, and the company offers free blood work and other lab tests, he added.

Pet insurance is also a popular benefit. At Brinker Capital in Berwyn, pawternity leave allows employees to take three paid days off to care for a new pet. The program just started in January and already three employees have taken advantage of it. “Pets are part of the family,” said Sharon Horvath, Brinker’s vice president of human resources.

“Most couples have dual incomes,” Horvath noted, so the stress of also caring for young children or elderly parents can be high. “To attract talent, you have to offer a culture that balances work and private life.”

And that includes more vacation opportunities or time to work from home when needed, as well as attractive medical, dental and other insurance packages. Stock options and retirement benefits are also important. But it’s the little extras that can attract a new employee or keep a long-time worker from leaving.

Many companies offer free meals or dessert days, as well as on-site gyms or gym memberships. Table tennis and cornhole tournaments, as well as free tickets to sports matches or concerts, are also popular. And more and more companies are allowing employees to take paid time off to volunteer.

Top Workplaces offers all sorts of benefits in addition to traditional insurance and investment options. Here is a sample:

The company develops commercial modeling and analysis software to plan missions and monitor land, sea, air and space objects. Its 244 employees enjoy a host of additional perks, including free breakfast, lunch and dinner — “three free meals a day that you can take with you,” said Maggie Handler, marketing communications specialist at ACT. Drop-off and pickup of dry cleaning, on-site haircuts, oil changes and on-site auto detailing help employees focus on work instead of chores.

“It’s good. We attract top talent,” Handler said. “It creates a very family-oriented, friend-oriented culture that a lot of people enjoy.”

The systems integrator/engineering company that develops automation and information solutions for the food, beverage and other industries offers its 60 American employees a ping-pong league, 14 annual parties and flexible work arrangements with no maximum number of paid days off, said Mary Negron, head of human resources and administration.

The specialty engineering services company offers an annual incentive to employees for meeting the requirements of its wellness program, money that is applied to their health care or flexible spending account. The company also hosts monthly lunch and learn sessions on wellness topics, and employees can speak with a nutritionist and health advocate. The company offers pet insurance and reimbursement for commuters, and its social committee organizes activities such as outings to the Phillies, a fall picnic and nature walks.

In addition to the staff’s primary care physician, Clemens’ CFS Cares provides chaplains, counselors and a benevolent fund to help employees facing difficult situations, said Keith Stahler, director of communications.

The communications and media giant offers a variety of traditional benefits, including medical, financial planning and insurance programs, including pet insurance. Its central location near public transport makes it easy for employees to get around. A very popular benefit is the free XFINITY TV and Internet service, as well as discounts on other communication products. Comcast NBCUniversal employees also have access to emergency childcare programs and four free tickets a year to a Universal Studios theme park. “We’re big on providing tools to solve work/life balance for [employees] and the people they love,” said Bill Strahan, executive vice president of human resources, Comcast Cable.

During tax season and the fall — the two busiest seasons for the accounting firm’s 187 employees — free dinners are available Monday through Thursday and Saturday. As part of its multi-faceted benefits package, the company also offers flexible hours adjusted around a base five-hour day to meet customer needs. For example, on summer Friday afternoons, employees can start their weekends earlier. The company also offers cash incentives for participating in wellness programs, dry cleaning service, and free Netflix movie rentals.

Do you have too many vacations or not enough? In addition to its health plans and investment options, the maker of specialty lubricants for metal fabrication allows employees to purchase additional vacation weeks or sell them back to the company, said Melissa McClain, communications officer. Quaker also offers two days of paid time off for volunteering and has a free gym and cafeteria with hot meals for its 145 local employees, out of 2,400 workers worldwide.

A flexible work schedule is one of the standout features of TD Bank’s benefits package. Its Job Partnership program “enables two staff members to share responsibility for a full-time position,” said Jamie Mosser, TD’s human resources associate at the bank’s US headquarters in Cherry Hill. Other options include telecommuting, a condensed or extended workweek, and part-time employment. The bank, which employs 85,000 people worldwide, including 26,000 in the United States, also offers up to 16 weeks of paid maternity or adoption leave to either parent.

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