South-Western - Management  
Creative Perks Help Employers Keep Workers Motivated
Topic Motivation
Key Words Motivation, perks, retention
InfoTrac Reference CJ119168048
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News Story 

Employee perks aren't as common as they were several years ago, but many companies still find that unusual extras help motivate and retain employees in an era marked by worker anxiety and sporadic job growth. One survey found that the number of employees who plan to stay in their jobs has declined, and fewer employees view longevity with a single employer as a key to career success.

Motek, Inc., a software company, brings in lunch daily for its workers so they don't have to take a break to eat. It also allows five weeks of vacation a year and gives employees money to spend on the vacation. If a worker stays with the company 10 years, the company leases a car for them. They have high employee retention.

When companies reward their employees for working hard for them, it's part of a psychological contract between the employee and employer. However, some experts feel that taking employees' ideas seriously and enabling them to feel empowered to make decisions at work will have a greater effect on productivity and commitment. Some companies have found that perks have short term benefits. Generous perks can even be detrimental, keeping a worker from leaving naturally when the job has become a drag.

A manager at Service Net LLC notes they have reduced turnover by looking for unique things to drive productivity, creating an attractive work environment, and creating programs that help retain employees.

Perks are especially useful if a company is trying to recruit a specific category of employee: for instance, if they are targeting single mothers, a day care center would be a good perk.

Questions
1.

What are some ways perks are used to motivate workers in this article? What are other benefits of perks?

2.

What is the downside of using perks in the workplace as motivators?

Source "Creative Perks Help Employers Keep Workers Motivated," The Baltimore Sun, July 11, 2004.
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