If necessity truly is the mother of invention, then it shouldn’t come as a shock that so many employers are working to craft solutions to the problems plaguing the labor market.
Whether it’s inflationary pressures, rising health care costs, equity concerns, supply chain constraints, or employee attraction and retention woes, employers have no shortage of challenges at the moment. But all that necessity has led to plenty of invention, with numerous employers setting a new standard for benefits innovation.
In fact, one Mercer study found that 70% of large companies in the United States plan to expand their benefits in 2023. With HR leaders currently rolling out new offerings to solve the problems of today—and tomorrow—it’s a great time to look at some of the companies raising the bar when it comes to benefits.
U.S. Headquarters: Arlington, Virginia
Number of Employees: ~140,000
Ensuring quality care and employee growth
Beyond directly contracting with health care providers to ensure employees get high-quality care—and get it as early as possible—the multinational corporation also started offering fertility benefits with many Boeing-sponsored medical plans starting in 2022.
In addition to ensuring quality health care, the aircraft manufacturing titan is also focused on the development of its team members and their families. Boeing offers employees tuition assistance at hundreds of accredited colleges and universities, and employees are eligible for the program on the first day of the month after they are hired. Team members pursuing degrees or certificates in STEM fields enjoy no annual limit on tuition assistance, and the company also offers scholarship opportunities for their dependents.
The company pays for up to 80 hours of tutoring for school-age children, including extra resources that encourage learning and help students connect.
U.S. Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Number of Employees: ~90,000
A holistic commitment to DEI
Medtronic has a number of progressive policies, including flexible working arrangements, paid family care leave for time spent with a new child or family member who needs assistance, and reimbursements for adoption and surrogacy, to name a few. But the medical device company truly stands out for its strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Actions speak louder than words, and Medtronic has taken steps to bring its DEI focus from vision to reality.
Medtronic’s holistic DEI strategy includes management representation goals for 2026, pay equity across gender and ethnic diversity lines, and strategic investments in diverse talent through differentiated development and sponsorship. The company has even tied annual incentive compensation for its top executives to DEI results, truly strengthening DEI as a priority for Medtronic’s senior leadership. This focus is why Medtronic has been placed on DiversityInc’s list of Top 50 Companies for Diversity, as well as the Human Rights Campaign’s Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality.
U.S. Headquarters: Seattle, Washington
Number of Employees: ~1.5 million
A truly pet-friendly workplace
In terms of pet-friendly environments, it’s hard to top Amazon. In its Seattle-based headquarters, the company says employees share the workspace with as many as 7,000 dogs on a given day. The company accommodates these thousands of furry friends with an on-campus dog park, designated dog relief areas, and treats at every reception desk.
Beyond having plenty of canine companionship in the company’s fully pet-friendly office, Amazon employees enjoy other pet-focused benefits. They’re able to purchase discounted pet insurance benefits through Amazon, helping team members keep their pet care costs under control.
U.S. Headquarters: Los Gatos, California
Number of Employees: ~11,300
An unlimited approach to parental leave
While many companies offer generous parental leave, Netflix takes it to another level. Building on its unlimited vacation policy, the company empowers its employees to take as much parental leave as they need within the first year of their child’s birth or adoption.
The company facilitates discussions between employees, their managers, and an HR Business Partner to figure out the amount of time that supports the needs of the employee, their family, and their Netflix team members. As each employee’s parental experience is entirely unique, their paid leave is also designed to meet their situation.
U.S. Headquarters: San Francisco, California
Number of Employees: ~13,500
Prioritizing mental health and inclusive care
Genentech provides extensive mental health support, including on-site mental health clinicians at its headquarters in addition to coaching and counseling support, resiliency training, and sleep tools. Moreover, hundreds of employees from a variety of geographic locations, departments, and backgrounds volunteer their time as mental health champions to model support for mental health and help raise awareness of the company’s mental health resources.
Genentech also stands out for its efforts to provide more inclusive health care. To create a more equitable care experience that meets every employee’s needs, it works with Included Health to provide specialized care guidance for employees and eligible dependents who identify as Black and/or LGBTQ+. Genentech employees benefit from culturally competent care, including a dedicated care coordinator from the first appointment to the final bill.
U.S. Headquarters: San Jose, California
Number of Employees: ~28,000
A holistic approach to well-being
Adobe works to address emotional, financial, and mental well-being with a variety of programs, but it truly stands out for its family-focused benefits. Adobe offers services like a family concierge to help with common care challenges families might face, offering customized care plans, coaching, and backup care for children as well as adults. Adobe also provides generous adoption and surrogacy assistance—with up the $25,000 in reimbursements available to employees to help with adoption or surrogacy costs.
A few years ago, Adobe also expanded its parental leave policy. The company now offers either parent up to 16 weeks of paid parental leave during the first six months of a child’s life. But it goes a step further for birthing parents, who also get up to 10 weeks of medical leave paid at 100%. By stacking this leave on top of the standard parental leave, birthing parents are able to get up to 26 weeks of fully paid leave.
U.S. Headquarters: Newport Beach, California
Number of Employees: ~100,000
Expert guidance for navigating health care
Health care and insurance can be complicated to navigate, and Chipotle recognizes these challenges. The company offers a free advocacy service to answer employees’ benefits questions, research cost and care options, and even schedule appointments. This confidential discussion can answer any care questions employees might have, taking the burden of health care off the employee’s shoulders by bringing in expert advice.
Beyond helping employees get the care they need, these advocates are also available to consult with workers on the payment side of health care.
“Rather than going to speak with the doctor and maybe fighting with the insurance carrier to even understand what is going on, I can engage that advocacy service,” says Daniel Banks, Chipotle’s director of global benefits. “They can do all of that on my behalf. They will talk with the provider. They’ll actually negotiate on my behalf to try and get that bill down to a more manageable level or get that bill to disappear entirely.”
U.S. Headquarters: New York, New York
Number of Employees: ~276,000
A reimagined employee experience
PricewaterhouseCoopers is investing $2.4 billion in creating My+, the company’s “biggest and boldest reimagination” of its people experience, over the next three years. The reimagined employee experience is designed to give PwC team members the freedom to personalize their careers, choosing the types of assignments they’ll tackle, the benefits they need, and when and where they will work.
As part of My+, PwC gives employees the option to work in person, fully virtual, or in a hybrid model. The company also gave employees more protected time off work, implementing weeklong company-wide shutdowns each year in July and December.
U.S. Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio
Number of Employees: ~420,000
Free financial counseling for all associates
Kroger recently expanded its benefits to include personal financial counseling for its associates. The service is completely free for Kroger employees and is being piloted in partnership with Goldman Sachs Ayco.
The grocery chain is giving both salaried and hourly associates free access to financial coaches and supportive programming. These coaches will be available to help associates get a better picture of their finances and provide advice on financial decisions. Associates will be able to get help working toward a variety of goals, such as buying a home or managing estate planning.
In a statement, company leadership said Kroger is the first retailer in the nation to offer this kind of benefit to hourly workers.
“We know financial wellness is essential to all of us,” said Theresa Monti, vice president of Total Rewards at Kroger. “This is an important way we are improving our associate experience, empowering anyone to thrive and grow at Kroger.”
U.S. Headquarters: Dallas, Texas
Number of Employees: ~203,000
Taking care of caregivers
Whether they’re taking care of aging relatives or their own children—or sometimes both—a growing number of workers are juggling work duties with caregiving challenges at home. AT&T has put some significant resources behind caregivers on its team, with 12 weeks of paid parental leave for new parents, as well as 15 days of paid time off for employees to care for loved ones who are ill.
This benefit can be used for any family member who might need help, whether it’s a child, a parent, a grandparent, or a sibling. It can also be taken at whatever increment an employee needs, whether it’s a couple of weeks off at once or just a couple of hours.