Absolutely, and that is why HR departments should think long and hard about what ones they offer. (I have a list of the ones I want--let's start with telecommuting!) I just read in the New York Times that because government workers get free parking in NYC, 35% of them drive to work. Have you ever driven in Manhattan? I have. It falls into the "extremely unpleasant" category. But, hey, you have to pay to park at the train station, you have to pay for the train, but you get free parking? Might as well drive. That's an impact, all right.
One little perk, I have (which has kept me bound not only to my company, but to my particular department) is the ability to come in a little late every morning. I have an hour commute and a child in daycare and a husband who can't find his wallet in the morning, so I usually arrive around 9:15. In some departments that would mean a sure firing. My boss has two children in school and a husband--although I don't know if he loses his wallet regularly--so she understands. Huge perk (and it doesn't cost the company a penny.)
I've written about Best Buy's Results Oriented Work Environment before. Employees get to set their own schedules--work from home (or a coffee shop, or a ski lodge) if they desire. The result of this perk?
Since the program's implementation, average voluntary turnover has fallen drastically, CultureRx says. Meanwhile, Best Buy notes that productivity is up an average 35% in departments that have switched to ROWE. Employee engagement, which measures employee satisfaction and is often a barometer for retention, is way up too, according to the Gallup Organization, which audits corporate cultures.
Turnover is down, productivity is up, as is employee satisfaction. Are you listening HR departments? They didn't increase salaries, they increased non-monetary perks. (And I would imagine with telecommuting, you cut down on office space costs, which can be tremendous!)
Another company with fabulous perks is the SAS Institute.
It started with free M&M’s. Now there’s a country club, on-site Montessori daycare, on-site doctors and nurses, 35-hour work week, live piano music during lunch, 50.000 square foot fitness center, swimming pools, no dress-code, masseur, on-site car detailing. And more. If you need assistance in adopting a child or finding a college for your child or a nursing home for a parent, they have people to help you with that too.
Boy, you could definately get my loyalty for free M&Ms. (I'm starting to think--I just might be a little too focused on candy. Can you tell that I'm back on my diet?)
What perks does your company have, and what perks would you love to see added?