Companies today want to keep employees happy, which often times translates into fancy onsite amenities. But the question is, do employees really need over-the-top perks to keep them happy in their job?
The Today Show highlights one company on the Fortune’s list of 2014. Only second to Google, SAS Institute, based in North Carolina, is named on this year’s list, and for good reason too. Check out this video (direct link) about some surprising aspects of some workplaces.
There’s no denying the fact that working at SAS has some great benefits. But, as The Methodology Blog has discussed before, distinguishing between beneficial and distracting perks on the job isn’t easy. So while an onsite pharmacy and watch repair shop are enticing, they are factors that could potentially keep employees on campus and in the office rather than in their homes or with their families. Not to mention, all these things cost loads of money. Whose to say those employees wouldn’t rather just be paid more?
Yet, given our views on expensive, over-the-top benefits, there is something remarkable that is seen within SAS’s vast wonderland. The company’s employee turn around rate is less than 3% in comparison to the national average of 20%. And as the video mentions, this 3% typically reflects employees who retire. So, what can be made from this statistic? Simple. Beneath all the fancy amenities, SAS employees are truly happy and satisfied with their jobs and growth potential. At least, that’s what we have to assume because at the end of the day, dissatisfied employees don’t hang on to a job for decades simply because there’s live music in the cafeteria.
Not all companies can afford to build state-of-the-art gymnasiums or have daycare facilities on their properties, but it doesn’t take loads of money to show employees they are valued. In fact, there are ways to provide satisfaction that, in the long term, prove more valuable to your employees than expensive amenities. Consider that the following benefits are spectacular in their own right:
- Freedom to set working hours
- Freedom to work from home or telecommute
- Financial plans such as tuition reimbursement, 401K, Flex spending, etc.
- Onsite seminars, courses and/or mentoring programs provided for continued education
According to Robby Slaughter, a principal with AccelaWork, spending time on employee engagement may be the best perk of them all:
Focus on connecting and respecting your employees. Find out what they want, what they need and what they believe. Show them you care about their careers enough to focus on long-term growth rather than short-term tokens and trinkets.
It’s easy to get bogged down by regulations at work. When an employee stresses about fitting in a doctor’s appointment over their lunch hour, or frets about taking a sick day, it inevitably affects their work. After all, stress and feeling undervalued are two factors that can hinder employee productivity and motivation. Not only that, but feeling trapped by a lengthy set of rules that limit freedom can also create dissatisfaction; thereby causing distraction, resentment and inevitably, a strong will to leave.
Work towards a better future for you and your employees. If you want satisfaction in the office, start by respecting your employees. Provide them with meaningful benefits (like: ones they want) that actually enhance their own knowledge, experience, and financial future.