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Make a perk work with Philip Delves Broughton

Business and management expert Philip Delves Broughton’s latest column in the Financial Times is an interesting read. Philip talks about work perks following French bank Crédit Agricole’s decision to dramatically reduce travel and entertainments costs which has induced employees’ rage. He claims that this reaction “reflected the diminution in status of investment bankers more generally… they are having to adapt to the reduced perks of more ordinary corporate executives.”

Philip believes that perks not only a powerful tool within a business, but are also reflective of a company’s health and their attitude to workers.

In his article, he compares the perks offered by a variety of companies; including Google and Facebook in the technology sector who use their huge budgets to create “corporate Disneylands from which employees need never venture.” Even smaller start-ups appear to compete with these giants by allowing dogs to be brought into the office and providing top quality beverages.

To discover whether these work Philip looks to Sociometric Solutions, a company whose research identifies two categories of perks: those which benefit an individual and those which encourage socialisation. Nevertheless, it seems that companies themselves need to measure effectiveness and activity as for some businesses socialising is positive yet for some too much can be detrimental to sales and thus profit.

Philip quotes Professor Robard who argues that the most important thing is not what the company offers but how these perks are perceived by employees.

His conclusion is interesting: “Perks..need to be consistent with the broader values of the company, as once you give them, they can be very hard to change.”

Click here to read the article in full

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