Do Your Company Perks Make You Appear Altruistic?

I’ll always remember the fancy Christmas dinner party my first full-time employer staged for all of us employees and spouses. I was overwhelmed with gratitude and felt like they had my best interest at heart. Clearly, my bosses had put some thought into what would make us employees feel special and appreciated, because it worked.

Recently, Starbucks has taken company perks to a whole new level. According to The Washington Post, Starbucks’ CEO, Howard Schultz, just unveiled the company’s newest and very generous employee perk: full tuition reimbursement for employees who attend Arizona State University’s online program in their junior and senior years. This is a value of $15,000 per year. Workers who attend in their freshman and sophomore years will also be eligible for partial tuition reimbursement. What makes this perk remarkable is that the IRS sets a limit of $5,250 for corporate tuition reimbursement before it’s taxed as income.

That approach should help retain workers in an industry that’s known for high turnover. “Starbucks is not an altruistic organization,” says Bruce Elliott, the manager of compensation and benefits for the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). “There’s got to be a business reason behind it.” He says the design of the program, to his knowledge, is unique and shows that Starbucks is “looking to retain people and reduce their turnover. They’re putting some money up front, but they’re backloading the investment.”

Do your company perks make you appear altruistic? As much as we’d all like to be motivated by altruism, realistically, we are actually capitalists who need to make money to stay in business! Yet, this offering by Starbucks certainly makes the company appear altruistic to its employees, doesn’t it? Employees’ perception will be that Starbucks cares enough about its employees to offer them a college education! (By the way, I’m sure that actual care and concern for employees does exist at an individual store level.)

But one size does not fit all–what works for Starbucks isn’t necessarily going to cure your company’s employee turnover woes and make you more profitable. For you to hire right and retain your best employees, you must study your company’s unique culture, goals, and weak areas. Do your employees value fitness, gourmet food, tuition help, social opportunities, or childcare more? Are your managers compassionate or aloof? Only by analyzing your company’s strengths and weaknesses can you figure out meaningful ways to attract and retain your best employees–perks that make your organization appear altruistic! When you consider what perks to offer your employees, your choices have to be as strategic as Starbucks’.

Do your company perks make you appear altruistic? If not, study your company culture, analyze what makes your employees love or leave you, brainstorm with your leadership team to figure out one great perk to offer your employees–then implement it today! There’s no better feeling than coming to work to grateful employees who can’t wait to impress you.

Having trouble finding the right employee? Read these hiring tips from proven leaders.

By Marcianne Kuethen

Amtec Bitz Newsletters

Essential industry highlights & expert insights every month.

Related Posts

View all posts