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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bonus Workplace Perks - Do They Really Attract and Retain Talent?

Silicon Valley has caught the world by storm. As the home to companies like Facebook and Google, it is a magnet for top talent and a place of envy for recruiters at many of America’s largest corporations.

As companies look to attract young candidates, it is no wonder that they have turned toward Silicon Valley for guidance. Workplaces everywhere are mimicking its startup culture by introducing perks and slashing rules. They are modernizing office spaces, abandoning strict vacation policies, and even stocking their fridges full of booze. But are these workplace perks what employees really want?

A recent study from found that only one in five American workers report office perks as among the most important workplace benefits. While the perks might be useful for getting talent through the door, it is not what is keeping them inside.

Turns out, elaborate benefits can motivate already engaged employees to give that extra effort, however, they will be ineffective if just tacked on to a work environment that is otherwise lackluster.

This begs the question: how do you create a work environment that keeps employees feeling motivated? Creative? Inspired? It comes down to how these policies (or lack thereof) make the employees feel.

Encourage a company culture with the following dimensions. This will ensure that you build a company that not only entices top talent to join, but to stay, to work hard, and to succeed.  

  • Respect from bosses and colleagues - Respect others. It shows them that they matter. Employees will feel more at ease contributing and collaborating in an environment where they feel valued.
  • Work that is meaningful - As a talent manager, it is important to focus on making an employee’s work meaningful. This is ultimately what will build a positive work environment where employees will want to remain.
  • Access to resources - Starting a project just to have it shut down is frustrating and can kill motivation. The more frequently people accomplish goals, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run.   
  • Ability to make steady progress - Even small wins during the workday can ignite employees’ emotions, fuel their motivation, and trigger insight and creative flow. Ultimately, this will have a major impact on motivation and productivity.

Before you go ahead and stock the fridge with snacks or let dogs roam the office, first, stop and think. Ask yourself, what do these perks really represent?

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