Back before I fell in love with organizational behavior, mentoring and success strategies, I worked in a corporate office for a short time. The company I worked for allowed employees to bring their pets to work on Friday’s. This fringe benefit failed to account for equity theory in the work place. While some employees loved bringing their “babies” to work others turned their noses up at the pet shop their work environment had become. I don’t know that the company ever caught on to the inequity but they did realize that productivity was taking a nose-dive with all the cooing and ooohhing, and Bring Your Pet Friday came to an end.
Today’s employees are too smart to fall for Casual Dress Friday trickery. And companies are unwilling to give fringe benefits that will damage productivity. Both employers and their employees are focused on the bottom line. How does this change/addition affect me?
In May of 2011 I wrote a blog entry entitled: Undercover Boss: CEO or Santa Claus. The comment below left by Nicole Uy was particularly impressive. In it she provides a link to a clip about the fringe benefits being provided by Google. Google has several programs that could be a considered an evolution in fringe benefits. Programs that provide needed resources with an attached financial/bottom line value for both employer and employee.
Free breakfast and lunch: By providing complimentary meals to employees Google keeps its employees on campus, interacting and brainstorming which promises increased productivity. And employees can do the simple math to figure out how much those meals are shaving off their monthly budget.
Here is my challenge to you. Read Nicole’s response and watch the video clip, then in comments section tell me what additional benefits companies could offer that would meet the needs of equity theory and the bottom line of both company and its employees.
You are a creative bunch. I know your responses will be great!
Nicole Uy says:
April 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm
Personally, I love watching Undercover Boss too. I’ve watched different episodes featuring the CEOs of Hooters, 7-Eleven, Choice Hotels Int’l, Great Wolf Lodge and etc. While I believe that these CEOs who have volunteered to go undercover have good and honest intentions, I think that the “temporary/ one-time rewards” they offer to some employees are not necessarily beneficial. Aside from the fact that these rewards are only given to a select few, I don’t think the CEOs can really improve the condition of their companies unless they truly address the main issue: treat employees/ human capital better by offering more benefits and perks. Although it may be costly for companies, we have learned in class that the benefits definitely outweigh the burdens. When employees are being treated well and when they are satisfied, there is higher productivity, better customer service, and generally, a happy and warm atmosphere.
Aside from companies like SAS and Zappos that we have discussed in class, Google also treats its employees well. The video clip I found talks about just some of the numerous perks of working at Google, which is currently the 4th best company to work for. As you can see from the video, Google definitely spoils its employees. Not only does Google provide gourmet food, free laundry services, free massages, and gym facilities, it also provides free bus services to the office! Therefore, I think that by truly focusing on the wellness and happiness of employees, Google is able to utilize them to their full potential, as well as benefit from their various skills and knowledge. Additionally, unlike the ones offered in Undercover Boss, these benefits are long-term and permanent. Also, they are available to every single employee, from the lower levels to the highest levels.
Thus, by offering these types of benefits to employees, they can become fully motivated and eager to work. Additionally, all of people’s needs are being fully satisfied according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory.