A Case study covering a New York City investment bank and its employee benefits
The Challenge HR has with Providing Compelling Perks to Employees
The Bank's Expectations
Our client, a New York investment bank was clear on what it wanted to do: Provide their staff with many of the basic set of work benefits and provide some extra, specific and valuable benefits but did not want to bog their employee with time-wasting, weak and less-compelling benefits. The bank did not want to make this mistake that some other banks had prescribed to, like using a service like "Working Advantage" and many others like it - That provide over 10,000 offers which are mostly already publicly available. A service like this does not provide any additional intrinsic value to the employer or their employees. The bank realizes that by bringing poor quality offers to their staff it was not only a poor choice for their employees, but also made them look bad by duplicating existing public offers and encouraging their employees to "shop at work". The modern and progressive approach is to think through what extra-curricular benefits you want to provide them and stick to the list - always getting the very best for your employees and pulling out anything they can get for themselves without you - after all, you are supposed to provide things that make them want to stay working for you company, if they can get these offers from anywhere, then have failed in your task as an employee benefit provider.
The Basic Set Of Employee Perks
Clearly the basic set of employee perks for any New York investment back will include payroll, subsidized 401k, medical insurance, life insurance and paid vacation. But recently, there has been a shift by employers to start providing perks that are not necessarily directly related to work. These can include anything that adds value to the employee's work life balance and have often included: free dry cleaning, health club membership, free health screening, car rides home from work, free transportation, etc.
The Lehman Brothers Employee Concierge Succeeded Even Though The Company Did Not
The Lehman Brothers financial demise was swift and harsh, but during the course of business Lehman had discovered that their employees were wasting millions of hours a year on "personal" matters. In their analysis they found that a central team could handle many of those tasks far more efficiently. The HR team at Lehman set up a team that managed many of their employees work and non-work problems, dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, getting Broadway tickets for staff and clients, finding a plumber for a leak at home, finding a good baby-sitter with very little notice, contracting with a roofer to fix a leak and many more things that dragged employees away from what they should really be doing, working. This model endures at a few other companies around town that have realized the value of a corporate employee concierge, but when it comes time to cut staff, management cannot wait to cut this role due the very fact that the savings in time and cost are hidden and CFO's are not very good at seeing the bigger benefit picture.
Choosing a Smaller, More Valuable Set Of Employee Benefits
The valuable set of offers that the bank approved ended up being about ten in total and included a stellar deal with a local dry cleaner - 50% discount on all services, an amazing deal with a local gym - all visitors get free access and employees were 50% off all memberships and a stellar deal at 3 local eateries, where all employees had priority access to tables and a large discount on the bill. These were the kind of of extra curricular benefits that really made employees feel that they were getting some value by working for the bank.
Generic and Public Offers Does HR a Disservice
When a 20% discount offer for 1-800-FLOWERS is duplicated all over the internet, what value does it bring to offer that to your employees? – It depends on what you want to say to your employees. Progressive employers want to say “I want to bring you benefits that you cannot get elsewhere, making you want to stay working here – while keeping a tight control on costs” – while others may just want to say “I will bring you benefits, that are not really that good, but If I stack them high enough it will appear that they are something special” After a while employees see the poor value in this approach and will reject the body of work, even though the HR professional has in fact ticked the box in the annual review for their delivery of corporate perks, albeit weak.
Employees Are Quick To Spot The Fakes
Sophisticated employees spot the second approach in a heartbeat and realize that the overall value to them is not a only minimal, but anything that could be good is obfuscated by the dirge. Having said that many of the employees may think that what they are getting is something special, but as time goes on you may find a reduction in traffic and interest as the employee roster determines that it’s a weak proposition and goes elsewhere to get “real” value.
One of the more interesting solutions is to use a service like Nextjump (we are not affiliated) that will tailor the employee offers for the sweet spot for your employee roster and only provide things that work for them, if one particular offer is not’t generating sales it gets pulled and its replace by something that employees do want.
Adopting A New Employee Approach
CorporateOffers.com provides consultation to major corporations to help them deliver regular and extra-curricular benefits to their employees. From our diverse experiences and market knowledge we are able to share valuable insights into what works and what does not work in the world of corporate perks. We can help most companies adopt the adage:“Working here gets you access to some very exclusive things – so work here, do a great job and we will make it very hard for you to decide to leave”