Truly enlightened companies understand that their employees not only want to work and pay their bills—they also want to do good for their communities and others. Today's workforce wants to find a sense of purpose at work, and one way to do that is by increasing options to give back to the local community.
Paid time off to volunteer is an increasingly common perk among employers (55 companies on Fortune's annual list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For offer it), but only a select few have distinguished themselves by giving employees at least five full days per year. That investment in helping employees channel their need for purpose into giving back is paying off: many have amazing accomplishments and projects to show for it, and the companies are seeing reduced turnover because of it.
Here are the top eight Best Companies that provide the most paid time off for volunteering.
Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company, takes the top prize when it comes to providing employees with paid time off to volunteer with a whopping 80 hours (10 days) per year. Community engagement is baked into the company, with various programs and resources to help employees give back. For example, most company offsite meetings have a community service component built into them, and there's even a Novo Nordisk Social Awareness Team in charge of organizing community service projects. In 2014, the company even debuted a portal to track and help employees find volunteering opportunities.
At NuStar Energy, the San Antonio, Texas-based liquids terminal and pipeline operator, giving back is a core value. Every year, employees can use up to 60 hours (7.5 days) of paid time to volunteer. One project near and dear to the company is its annual charity golf tournament that benefits Haven of Hope, a local organization that provides resources to the homeless. NuStar employees organize the entire event, from getting sponsorships, to creating the decorations, to assembling the gift bags, to directing the tournament, to coordinating a welcome dinner for more than 800 guests, and more. Over the past eight years, the tournament has raised more than $27 million.
As the originator of the “1-1-1” model of corporate giving, it's no surprise that Salesforce lets its employees take as much as 56 total paid hours (seven days) for volunteering every year. And for those who do complete all seven days of volunteering within a year, Salesforce throws in a $1,000 grant they can donate to a non-profit of their choice. One particular cause many of Salesforce's employees have dedicated themselves to is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk. Inspired by Salesforce VP of customer centric enginerring John Greene and his own fight against leukemia, hundreds of employees have participated in the Light the Night Walk, raising a collective $1 million in the last few years.
Employees at the global management consulting firm get up to 48 hours of paid time to volunteer and enrich communities every year. Deloitte offers a variety of channels and programs to help them do so, including Impact Day, the company's annual day of service. Deloitte also does significant pro bono and other skills-based volunteering every year, allowing its employees to put their skills and talent to use for non-profits and other causes. Additionally, the company has programs for fundraising for organizations and causes, and encourages employees to serve on the boards of non-profit organizations.
At Autodesk, the maker of design software, giving back not only to its local community but also the world, is of utmost importance. The company lets full-time employees spend up to 48 hours per year (five days) to volunteer in schools or non-profits. Beyond employee's own volunteering and projects, Autodesk itself has long been committed to sustainability efforts and other design areas. The company has helped with projects ranging from energy-efficient stoves to affordable prosthetics.
At VMware, the provider of virtualization software, volunteering has a special name: service learning. The company believes giving back to others is a two-way relationship and just as much about enriching the employee's life and experiences as it is about their contributions. Employees get up to 40 hours (five days) of paid time for this every year. One great example of this approach is VMware's Good Gigs program, which spans three months and includes three phases. Each time, participating employees team up with a non-profit, usually to provide tech resources and help, and following the trip, they share their experiences and lessons with the rest of the company—the “learning” side of VMware's approach to volunteering.
Every year, employees at Michigan-based medical technologies company Stryker get up to 40 hours (five days) in paid volunteering time. One particular cause the company is quite fond of, not surprisingly, is Operation Smile. Since its founding in 1982, the organization has provided more than 240,000 free surgical procedures to children needing surgery for cleft lip and cleft palate. Last year, the company sent a team of its employees on a mission with Operation Smile in Bolivia, paying for all expenses participating Stryker employees. The trip resulted in 115 new smiles for patients, and a supporting fundraising campaign organized by Stryker has raised funds for 160 surgeries.
For electronic design and engineering company Cadence, giving back to the community is so important that every year, employees can take up to 40 paid hours (five days) to volunteer. Last year, 27 Cadence employees for the company's headquarters in San Jose, Calif. worked with Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley to help repaint the house of the 94-year-old widow of a decorated army vet who shared stories and laughs with the team throughout the day. Other projects from Cadence employees have included collecting items for homeless veterans in Florida, mentoring Scottish students in math and science, volunteering at a children's village in Germany, picking kohlrabi for Israel's national food bank, and fundraising for a primary school in China.
To see the full list of this year’s best employers in the U.S., visit fortune.com/best-companies, where you can also find job searching tips, career advice, and secrets from recruiters on how to get hired.