For a long time, CEOs and executives have viewed their employees as simply cogs in a machine. Their sole purpose is to work for your company, and all that matters is their output. However, that ideology is rapidly being disproven. Instead, it seems the companies that go above and beyond to make their employees comfortable and provide them with a few perks see better productivity than those that don’t. Here are just a few reasons why.
1. It motivates employees.
Most companies are quick to let their employees know when they’re doing something wrong. But how fast do they recognize when an employee is doing something right? If employees are punished or chastised for doing poorly but not rewarded for doing well, then their only real motivation at work is not to get yelled at. However, rewards, recognition or even simple acknowledgement of employees who do well will inspire your staff to go above and beyond. Knowing they’re appreciated will encourage them work harder and be more productive in the long run.
The best part is that this type of pampering doesn’t cost much. You don’t necessarily have to be surrounded by amenities to make employees feel good. You can be operating your business out of a storage unit (as long as it’s legal). But if you make your employees feel good about what they’re doing, they’ll feel like they’re working in luxury, and be more motivated to work hard.
2. It helps recruitment.
Of course, there’s something to be said for working in luxury as well. Why does everyone want to work at Google? They do provide competitive pay and the chance to work with and develop cutting edge technology. But they also have a slide in the middle of the office. They provide free food in their cafeterias made by gourmet chefs. They have massage rooms, nap pods, haircuts and more.
It’s perks like these that entice the top people in their fields to apply to Google. Thanks to their pampering practices, they can pretty much have their pick of the brightest and most talented people in the job market. Everyone knows that Google treats its employees well. Plenty of other companies offer competitive pay and cutting edge technological opportunities. But how many of them offer nap pods and a slide?
3. It improves employee retention.
Mina Blackburn has been a technical writer at Lumesse for over a dozen years. Why? “I could get better pay elsewhere for what I do,” she says, “But I wouldn’t have a free juice bar or weekly massage. Expectations here are high, but so are the rewards.”
When you treat your employees well the best and brightest want to work at your company and they are more likely to stick around. If you’re keeping them happy and challenged, why would they look for work anywhere else?
4. It improves marketing.
Your workplace environment and how you treat your employees play a major role in how people see your brand. Google, as we’ve seen, has a great reputation. And that’s an important part of the positive image that people have of the company as a whole.
Meanwhile, companies including Walmart and Comcast have terrible reputations for how they treat their employees. As a result, the general public tends to have a very low opinion of them and what they do. Treating your employees well shows the public that you’re successful, stable and caring. In the eyes of many people, that makes you worth doing business with.
5. It’s tax deductible.
Pampering employees sounds great on paper, but the issue is money. Can you really afford to put a massage table and a pinball machine in the office? Well, leaving aside the fact that these perks can improve productivity and ultimately help your bottom line, there’s another factor. Spending all of this money on your business and your employees is tax deductible. You’re shelling out money this year but you’ll get it back next year when you file. There’s really no reason NOT to splurge on pampering your employees.
One final thought: Avoid building a ‘Potemkin village’ at your startup. Some companies make a big deal of the benefits they offer their employees, but when all is said and done, they have no real value. For example, the top performer this month gets a scratch-off lottery ticket. Or the department with the best productivity gets entered into a drawing for a slim chance to win a prize. Rather than hyping up a lot of empty promises, make sure that the benefits and perks you’re offering employees are real and tangible. It’s the best way to motivate, the best way to improve productivity, and the best way to improve your company’s image.