New York Investment Bank Employee Benefits
The Challenge: Provide Compelling Extra Curricular Perks To Employees
The Bank's Expectation:
Our client, a New York investment bank was clear on what it wanted to do: Provide their staff with many of the basic set of work benefits and provide some extra, specific and valuable benefits but did not want to bog their employee with time-wasting, weak and less-compelling benefits.
The bank did not want to make this mistake that some other banks had prescribed to, like using a service like "Working Advantage" and many others like it - That provide over 10,000 offers which are mostly already publicly available. A service like this does not provide any additional intrinsic value to the employer or their employees. The bank realizes that by bringing poor quality offers to their staff it was not only a poor choice for their employees, but also made them look bad by duplicating existing public offers and encouraging their employees to "shop at work".
Basic Set Of Employee Perks:
Clearly the basic set of employee perks for any New York investment back will include payroll, subsidized 401k, medical insurance,
life insurance and paid vacation. But recently, there has been a shift by employers to start providing perks that are not necessarily directly related to work. These can include anything that adds value to the employee's work life balance and have often included: free dry cleaning, health club membership, free health screening, car rides home from work, free transportation etc.
The Lehman Brothers Employee Concierge Succeeded Even Though The Company Did Not
The Lehman Brothers financial demise was swift and harsh, but during the course of business Lehman had discovered that their employees were wasting millions of hours a year on "personal" matters. In their analysis they found that a central team could handle many of those tasks far more efficiently. The HR team at Lehman set up a team that managed many of their employees work and non-work problems, dropping off and picking up dry cleaning, getting Broadway tickets for staff and clients, finding a plumber for a leak at home, finding a good baby-sitter with very little notice, contracting with a roofer to fix a leak and many more things that dragged employees away from what they should really be doing, working. This model endures at a few other companies around town that have realized the value of a corporate employee concierge, but when it comes time to cut staff, management cannot wait to cut this role due the very fact that the savings in time and cost are hidden and CFO's are not very good at seeing the bigger benefit picture.
Choosing a Smaller, More Valuable Set Of Benefits:
The valuable set of offers that the bank approved ended up being about ten in total and included a stellar deal with a local dry cleaner - 50% discount on all services, an amazing deal with a local gym - all visitors got free access and employees were 50% off all memberships and a stellar deal at 3 local eateries, where all employees had priority access to tables and a large discount on the bill. These were the kind of of extra curricular benefits that really made employees feel that they were getting some value by working for the bank.
Generic and Public Offers Do You a Disservice
When a 20% discount offer for 1800 FLOWERS is duplicated all over the internet, what value does it bring to offer that to your employees? – It depends on what you want to say to your employees. Progressive employers want to say “I want to bring you benefits that you cannot get elsewhere, making you want to stay working here – while keeping a tight control on costs” – while others may just want to say “I will bring you benefits, that are not really that good, but If I stack them high enough it will appear that they are something special” After a while employees see the poor value in this approach and will reject the body of work, even though the HR professional has in fact ticked the box in the annual review for their delivery of corporate perks, albeit weak.
Employees Are Quick To Spot The Fakes
Sophisticated employees spot the second approach in a heartbeat and realize that the overall value to them is not a only minimal, but anything that could be good is obfuscated by the dirge. Having said that many of the employees may think that what they are getting is something special, but as time goes on you may find a reduction in traffic and interest as the employee roster determines that it’s a weak proposition and goes elsewhere to get “real” value.