Benefits – The key to the best place to work?

In 2008, according to FORTUNE magazine, Genentech was again voted one of the 100 Best Places to Work. This year they are in 5th place. To give you an idea of ​​the immensity of this ranking, a total of 100,000 workers from 446 companies evaluated their employers.

Instead of just creating an entire benefits and compensation plan, it’s far better to study why they’ve done it right and learn from them.

Job profile:

Research and develop drugs that cure diseases.


  • Have a clear sense of purpose in their jobs, which is to develop safer and more effective therapies through their drug discovery efforts, especially in serious or life-threatening diseases. This clarity of vision is constantly conveyed to remind all staff, including custodians, that they have a purpose to reach that goal.
  • Causal work environment; Every day is “Dress Down” day. Even the CEO wears jeans and tennis shoes. Encourage the freedom to take risks intelligently.
  • Employees can ask any questions “Why” and “Why not?”
  • They celebrate important milestones or wins in their company, sometimes even with celebrity bands.
  • Support employee community service and donations.
  • Posters of their patients are posted throughout the workplace to remind employees of their mission.


  • Staff receive an average of 160 hours/year of professional training
  • Complimentary access to the full concierge service that can provide a variety of services, such as planning celebrations and finding hard-to-get tickets.
  • On-site childcare.
  • Dog daycare.
  • Nursery and nursing rooms.
  • Company store on campus.
  • Free parking.
  • Staff receive up to 20% of their work week to complete their pet projects.
  • 6 weeks paid sabbatical for every six years of service.
  • Gym on site.
  • Free coffee and iced tea.
  • Ho-Hos party every Friday night to socialize with co-workers or meet new friends.
  • Tuition Assistance Program, where 100% of costs are reimbursed up to $10,000/year.
  • Bring your daughters and sons to work day is celebrated regularly.
  • 95% of employees are shareholders.
  • Weekly surveys are conducted to ensure complaints are raised and things are running smoothly in the company. They are usually treated quickly.


  • Employee referral programs of up to $2,000 are awarded to employees who refer new hires.
  • Additional cash bonus in recognition of key employees who contribute well above their responsibilities.

I understand that not all companies can afford the same benefits that Genentech offers because having these systems in place is expensive. However, they can be a great reason for your staff to stay with you for the long haul, especially when they know you care about them.

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