Perk – up!

This is an ongoing discussion on CiteHR

In search of employee satisfaction, benefits are bundled targeting the area covering the needs of employees. Maslow’s Need Hierarchy directs us to design compensation structures including different offering that can appeal across the continuum. Certain offerings such as Company leased accommodation or Car benefits no sooner or later, shifts to be a hygiene factor. At this juncture  perks are innovated to cushion and offer higher equity to the employee. 

‘Perk’, the word stands for the cluster of addendum over and above the compensation offered to the employees. The core idea is to enhance loyalty, increase morale and reduce stress.  At the point of consideration, an in-depth study on the employee needs is done. This results in recommendations which are matched to the budget and taxation guidelines. A bevy of monetary and non- monetary offerings are implemented. This covers the need for acknowledgement and other perquisites of the employees. During implementation special care needs to be taken to communicate. Managing expectation around the perks would be a deciding factor to the success of the program. Information including, the parameters to avail, the time limit if applicable and contact points needs to communicated. Incase there is a cul-de-sac scenario, hybrid can be be considered. For e.g. : If the employees are supposed to be eligible for tuition fee of their children, a limit of the amount to be reimbursed needs to  be mentioned along with the condition that it would be applicable for the two first born children of the employees. The employee would be eligible post-probation. Incase the employee‘s first two born’s have completed their education and the employee requests for support for other wards. Such a request can be considered if the policy for this benefit includes a clause mentioning a fixed amount for the tuition fees or the actual, whichever that is lower. Finally the perks would need regular monitoring to measure their effectiveness . It includes focussing the performance area for the perks to show improvement.

There are different industry practices as shared in the discussion across the nations. Here’s few more as shared on BNET , Recession friendly employee perks , July 2008 .JS communication offers two days of “I don’t want to get up from the bed” to avoid employees making fake excuses to get a free day. New Belgium Brewery’s flagship ale, the Fort Collins, Colorado-based brewery offers a customised bike on one year completion of the employee , as an initiation to the tribe that promote cycling . Kimpton Movement at Harbour court practices distribution of poker chip of two dollars to be redeemed at the end of the month. Flexitime and telecommute is another popular perks offered to the employees.

While designing  these perks its imperative to maintain that it does not go over-the top . Sustainability and scalabity are the main areas to be kept in mind. If the organization have geographically located centres the feasibility to implement these benefits across different locations, needs to be weighed. Incase due to organizational policy change, these perks are reversed or redesigned it will affect adversely with a dip in employee morale. 

The integration of need and offering would keep shifting dimensions from compensation and perks offered to create the meaningful job experience  and a career path beyond the job within the organization. As stated by Zig Zagler Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company. Hence we continue our journey in search of Holy Grail of employee satisfaction with initiative that corresponds to the emerging needs of the employee.