How Important Are Job Perks for Job Satisfaction?
We’ve all heard of the crazy in-office perks that you get at tech companies such as Google and Facebook. From video games and nap rooms to onsite hair salon and free massages, these places seem like a dreamland for those who spend 2/3 of their day at the office.
Working with celebrities, travelling to exotic places and fine dining are some of the perks popular with marketing communications and PR professionals. But do these perks really make a difference when it comes to an employee’s job satisfaction?
Not so much. A recent survey conducted by Glassdoor has shown that only 1 in 5 (21%) employees considered office perks such as free food and drink, and casual dress “extremely important”. When asked what benefits are the most significant, besides salary and compensation, 76% claim that medical coverage is key.
Truth is these perks may help boost a work culture, but only if you have a good culture established in the first place! An interesting survey with Google employees concluded that even those who work remotely – and do not have the chance to enjoy their infamous perks – are highly satisfied and happy to be part of the team. Why? Because they are extremely engaged and believe their contribution is meaningful to the company. And this happens only because of three basic things: good pay, good people and interesting work.
Payment is the essence when your make an offer. Your employee is investing their time in your company and expects to receive the right compensation. if you can’t afford a high wage, you could negotiate a base-salary plus benefits, stock options or end-of-year bonuses, for example.
Good people equals great work environment. The best companies are those who see themselves as a living organism where all their workers are essential to its survival. Coworkers that help each other engage deeply with the company’s culture by sharing knowledge, expectations and experiences mutually, which can only result in growth for both the company and its workers.
“I love working with the media and industry analysts and with my corporate team mates. I enjoy working with people that are passionate about their products and can tell a compelling story”, says Agnes Toan, a Global Communications Manager for Atmel Corporation.
Interesting work is hard to define, and it goes hand-in-hand with personal motivation – and as an employer, you can help. Provide challenging projects with tangible goals, listen to your employees suggestions, make room for them to develop different skills through courses, workshops. Those insights give your workers the chance to improve themselves professionally and are much more important than office perks.
PR positions offer some of the most interesting and challenging environments with fast pace, high pressure and creativity. This kind of dynamism is what attracted Jessica Kleinman, a PR Account Manager at Cognito: ”One moment I’m drafting a press release and the next I’m working on social media strategy, or client messaging.”
How about recruiting? With so much competition, if you want to attract the best talent for your company, you should throw in some different perks to stand out, right? Well, if you’re looking for people who will stick around for the long run, job perks don’t count as much as you’d expect. They tend to allure those looking for immediate satisfaction, according to Dr. Bob Nelson, author of “1,501 Ways to Reward Employees”.
Even if you’re not a multimillionaire Silicon Valley startup, you can still surprise your employees with simple gestures. Make coffee, soda and tea available for free, take your team out for lunch, pay a round for everyone at the bar, or give a day off on their birthday. In the end, in-office perks and social gatherings are nice, but are not what make a job worth staying at. They are a way to celebrate and thank your employees for great performance, and remind them they are working for a company that has a work culture worth celebrating.