Do You Eliminate Employee Perks During Tough Times?

You’ve got some creative people. You’ve got some loyal people. And, you’ve got some great “worker bees”. If you’re truly fortunate – and you’ve done a lot of hard work – you’ve got the right balance of all of them.

But, every now and then people leave your thriving business for any number of personal or professional reasons.

One of the ways that entrepreneurs use to control employee turnover is by introducing or enhancing “employee perks”. And, these are also the areas that are placed on the “chopping block” during tough economic times.*

But, regardless of what you offer by way of employee perks, you’ve got to think carefully before eliminating them — not because they are necessarily valued — but because of the message it sends.

Employees will interpret your scaling back of perks in one of three general ways:

  • “The company doesn’t care about me as much…”,
  • “The company is on its last legs…” or
  • “The company is punishing me…”.

None of these messages are ones you want your employees to have at anytime.  And, the results can be dramatic when employees do feel this way. In fact, you will experience: lower productivity, employee anxiety, employee churn and longer (i.e. more expensive) recruitment.

Keep in-mind that this is not to say that once an employee perk is in-place that it needs to stay forever. However, if you are going to eliminate, reduce or change employee perks, be open with your staff and explain the reason why they need to be changed. Also find some way to send the message that employees continue to be a truly vital part of your business success. 

*Note: This Autumn, Robert and I are devoting several BusinessCasts to employee perks and retaining highly desirable employees.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

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