Apple’s Blue Sky Is Providing More Employee Perks

It is no secret that Apple has always presented their own unique corporate culture that is far from anything companies like Google surround their employees with. The belief that the opportunity to work for arguably the most innovative tech company in the world, along with competitive pay, was all the culture employees needed.

As of late, CEO Tim Cook, and the company as a whole, are starting to take a look outside the walls of Apple and pay a little more attention to other Silicon Valley companies’ employee benefits, especially because some key employees chose to leave the company on their own accord.

Apple may be taking baby steps in regards to the perks they choose to offer employees – we aren’t talking about a total reversal of culture in a month or anything like that. While other companies offer employees a laundry list of perks like free lunch and gym access, Apple will start off with the Blue Sky program. This program allows for a small group of employees to take a few weeks to work on “pet projects” away from their every day responsibilities.

Current CEO Tim Cook doesn’t believe that the transformation should stop with Blue Sky, so he has implemented some other small perks that Steve Jobs never cared for. Some of these perks include discounts on Apple products, a charitable matching program, and more flexibility in what each employee can work on.

In a direct effort to keep employees from jumping ship, the company has been very aggressive with counter offers, and providing employees with large stock benefits. Most employees see the expanding stock options as a large incentive to stay with Apple, especially as the stock continues to flourish over time. In September, the company achieved a record $658.05 billion market capitalization and earlier became the most valuable corporation in U.S. history.

It will be interesting to see over time if Apple’s new corporate culture and benefits compel employees to stay or if the end of the Jobs era has employees scared. I think it is a healthy transition that Tim Cook is pushing for, and keeping employees happy and motivated is important, yet part of me wonders if the old school methods and military-like structure was what set Apple apart from the rest of the pack?

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About the Author

Ivan Castilho is a citizen of the world; CEO at Mindfield Digital and Executive Director at AppleMagazine, Techlife News and eNews Magazine. Ivan's been an avid Apple user and consumer since 2008, with a major in Marketing and extensive experience in strategic management and consulting for tech companies.
Hobbies: Arts, Photography, Writing, Design and full-time father to a beautiful little girl.