Creative Benefits Tie Employees to the Company

CASE: Creative Benefits Tie Employees to the Company Offering employee benefits can be a cost-effective way to attract and motivate high-quality talent. Some companies have discovered that benefits can be a creative way to connect their employees to the company, and in the process they improve employee retention, engagement, and productivity. Gaia Online allows employees to unleash their creative potential by decorating their office space in any way they choose. The company employs many artists and creative types, so this is a natural extension of their personalities and skills. This low-cost benefit leads to more engaged and happier employees because they can express themselves and customize their work space to their tastes.Food and energy products company, Clif Bar, helps employees commute to work in environmentally friendly ways. The company will pay a worker $500 toward the cost of a commuter bicycle for travel to work. Employees who buy hybrid, biodiesel, or natural gas engine automobiles can get up to $6,500 from the company. The company philosophy includes making employees healthier and more relaxed, an extension of its product line of healthy foods and snacks.Imagine hanging fabulous art in your home for a fraction of its cost. If you work at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities’ Weisman Art Museum, you can rent artwork for $40 per year and hang it in your home to enjoy. The museum makes pieces available to students and employees so that it can be appreciated and valued. It’s a small price to pay for building the connections between employees and the museum.Netflix empowers employees to manage their work schedules without micro-managing their time. Unlimited vacation is provided to employees with the requirement that they get their work done. Performance isn’t measured by hours in the seat, but by end results. Employees must work effectively and produce expected outcomes. But no one makes them track hours or come to the office for “face time”. Netflix management demands outstanding performance in exchange for this flexibility and routinely terminates employees who are “adequate” performers.These are examples of unique benefits that companies have implemented to more closely tie employees to the company’s mission and strategy. Creative benefits can be designed in ways that reflect the company’s culture and philosophy. By offering employees benefits that reinforce the company’s values and strategies, employees are more likely to remain engaged and productive.69QUESTIONS1.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of offering unique and creative benefits to employees?2.  How would an organization determine the types of benefits that employees might want? What methods of collecting this information would you recommend a company use if the goal is to enhance the employer’s ability to attract and retain high-quality talent?3. What are the pros and cons of allowing individual managers to design and offer creative benefits to their employee group? How would it impact overall company morale if the benefit offerings are not universal?

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