In many companies, employees have been given perks – those little extras that may not seem like much, but they often are significant additions to the traditional compensation package and have been a great help in keeping people from leaving.
Why do perks motivate people to stay on a job? Why not give the employees cash bonuses and let them purchase or lease their own car, pay their own dues to the country club, or buy what they wish? Companies have found that most employees like receiving perks. If they did get cash equivalent, they would probably use it to pay bills or fritter it away. Perks keep reminding them that the company is giving them something. Every time they step into the company car, it reinforces their loyalty to the company. Every time they pass the day care bill to the accounting department, they thank the company for taking that burden off them.
Perks shouldn’t be confused with benefits. Benefits such as pensions, health care, and life insurance are part of the compensation package. Today almost all large companies provide these standard benefits. Perks usually are add-ons to make life more pleasant for employees.
Company perks vary. Here are some of the more commonly provided perks:
- Company cars: Cars are leased for executives, sales people, and sometimes other staff members.
- Memberships in professional associations: To encourage technical and specialized personnel to keep up with the state of the art in their fields, the company will pay their dues in appropriate associations.
- Subscriptions to professional and technical journals: Offered for the same reason as memberships in associations.
- Membership in social clubs: Because much business is conducted on the golf course or over a meal, for years many companies have paid die enrollment fees and annual dues for country clubs and dining clubs for executives and sales representatives. In recent years, such memberships have been extended to other employees as an added incentive.
- Subsidized lunchrooms: I recently had lunch in the cafeteria of a large insurance company. The bill for a salad, entree, coffee, and dessert was less than half of what is normally charged at a restaurant. This is a great savings for employees.
- Child care: With the great number of families in which both parents are working, child care is a major problem. Some companies have childcare facilities right on premises or arrange for child care at nearby facilities and subsidize the cost.
- Transportation: Vans or buses are made available to employees to bring them to and from work. It’s cheaper for the employees to use the company’s transportation than to take public transportation or drive one’s own car. Some companies will take employees to and from the nearest railroad station or bus depot at no cost to them.
- Reward longevity: Give loyalty bonuses to employees who have completed long-term projects or years of service. Let employees know you appreciate their tenure.
- Tuition: Companies often pick up the entire bill for courses taken by employeesâ€”even if not specific to their job training. If the company doesn’t pay in full, it may pay a portion of the cost of education.
- Scholarships: Some companies provide funds for college scholarships for children of employees.