Could your practice offer Google-worthy perks?

Could your practice offer Google-worthy perks?

Google's benefits are amazing—and amazingly costly.
Oct 20, 2008
By staff
Online-search company Google earned the No. 1 spot on Fortune's 2007 list of "100 Best Companies to Work For." Part of what makes Google so attractive are the out-of-this-world benefits its employees enjoy. The company offers standard-issue benefits, as well as those the company deems "beyond the basics" and "way beyond the basics." Here are a few of the perks listed on the company's Web site:

Beyond the basics
• People interested in further their education get a tuition reimbursement of $8,000 per calendar year for classes in which they earn a grade of "B" or better.
• California employees are allowed five free days of back-up daycare.
• Staff members trying to adopt a child receive a $5,000 to help pay for related legal and agency services.

Way beyond the basics
• Everyone eats gourmet lunch and dinner, plus snacks, every day for free.
• Employees at Google's Mountain View, Calif., company headquarters enjoy the most extras, including on-site oil change, medical doctor, hair stylist, bike repair, dry cleaning, and massage therapy.
• Billed as "other great benefits," Google says it also provides a ski trip, a company movie day, roller hockey, and more.

Sound too good to be true? For most veterinary practices, it is. The Web site Silicon Alley Insider did some estimating and calculating and determined that to cover Google's free food benefit alone, the company shells out $72 million a year. Consider that Google's 2007 earnings topped out at $4.2 billion, according to the same site, and that figure sounds doable.

Even though veterinary team members can't expect the same royal treatment, veterinary practices can take a cue from the benefits king. Creativity and special perks go a long way in satisfying employees. Potential proof: Google's voluntary turnover rate for full-time employees in 2007 was just 2.6 percent.