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Are company perks now a key motivator for job loyalty?

by LLB Reporter
19th Jan 18 3:42 pm

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Perusing job listings will reveal that many companies, who are looking for new talent, now offer a range of perks in the hope that they will entice a better calibre of applicant. These added extras may well be attractive to potential employees, but how much of a role do they play in helping retain staff who are already working for the company in question? Here we explore whether, or not, perks are a key motivator when it comes to job loyalty.

The company car

Historically, being given a company car has been seen as a key motivator where job loyalty was concerned and the better the car offered, the more kudos the employee earned. In addition to that, of course, being given a company car was like being given a significant boost in salary – no need to buy, service and fuel your own car if the company you worked for would do this for you.

While company cars are still, to some degree, seen as incentives, there are now many more potential perks.

An attractive package

The list of perks that may be included as part of an attractive package, while not inexhaustible, is long. Private health and dental care is commonly included in an individual’s terms of employment and one could argue that as the employee gets older, this becomes more valuable and hence one good reason to remain with the company. With so many companies now offer this, however, the evidence for this is a little flimsy.

Flexible working arrangements is another perk that is commonly offered by employees. This is great for people with young families or who have, for example, difficult commutes. Being able, to some extent, choose when you work and where you work from can be invaluable.

An article written in the Guardian in 2017, examined the pros and cons of flexible working hours. In the article Natalie Pancheri, HR Policy Adviser at the London School of Economics (LSE), explains that companies offer flexible working hours as a way of “attracting, retaining and developing the best possible workforce.”

The article also highlighted, however, that only 10 per cent of job listings actually mention flexible working hours.

Company events are now also among the perks that are offered by employers and are often sold as a way to celebrate success or as mechanisms to help employees wind down after a long week in work. Often, such events will be lavish affairs, held at stylish venues, offer champagne and other expensive treats as rewards for hitting targets or winning new contracts.

The evidence for company events acting as an incentive for staff retention is conflicting. For some, these events act as a great incentive and enrich the culture in which they work. Others, view the events with more cynicism, “They’re seduced by the carefree party-oriented culture, but quickly realise that they can barely afford to eat and pay rent.” – reported one salesman in the New York Post.

In the same article one worker, Nicole stated “At the end of the day, I would rather have not had [the perks] and just had a reasonable workload and hours.”

So if perks are not the answer, or the whole answer, to good staff retention, then what is?

This is not just a job

Fortune recently conducted a survey among employees in the list of 100 best companies to work for. The companies involved have a reputation for great benefits, employee training programmes and working cultures.

When asked what the key to good staff retention was, employees at the company came up with several theories, but the most common was that their work was special to them – “this is not just a job.”

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