Saturday, March 14, 2009

Perks not sooo sweet?

How can super sweet benefits be a bad thing?

I went to Google NY not too long - ohh so sweet. Among the load of perks, they had an amazing cafeteria, and kiosks around the office with nuts, chips and drinks .... just waiting for me to consume! What could be better?

But what happens if those oh so delicious peanut m&m's disappeared one day?

A friend told me he had a nice lunch at Google Headquarters in CA last week - wonderful salmon. But all his friends just complained about the recent cut backs at the cafeteria and the decreasing number of items on the menu. It reminded of the controversy when Google hiked the prices for their on-site day care. When something is taken away it's worse than if it had never existed.

My first thought: You offer on-site childcare and free delicious salmon and m&ms and it comes across as a negative thing? ouch.

I want to say that I have good advice for Google - but I don't. They give great benefits when they can and sometimes things change.

I think the message is for the rest of us. As soon as you give employees something, they feel entitled and its sad to see it go. Little things have big meaning to employees. A $12 monthly savings in bottled water might make employees think the company doesn't care about their afternoon tea - and their well-being! Worse, they may assume the company is financially melting down and it's time to look for another job.

So proceed with caution.

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