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What Perk Would Keep You at Your Job?

The Wall Street Journal reports that employee perks are up! Companies that have been treating their employees like [insert bad word of your choice] are, apparently, now realizing that their best employees just might be prone to leaving them if a better offer comes along. Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. of Chicago conducted a survey of 100 Human Resource executives and found out that things are looking better on the employee perks scene:
About 18% said their companies have restored all pre-recession perks and 41% have brought back some of those that were cut or eliminated. Nearly one quarter of respondents indicated that their firms had introduced entirely new perks.
The they list some perks, like bonuses and 401k matches. I have to say, I see those things in terms of "compensation," not perks, but maybe I'm in the minority. Of course, I'm in favor of bonuses and 401k matching funds. I'm also in favor of regular paychecks, but that hardly seems like a perk.

A good perk, to me, is flex time, telecommuting, extra vacation days, good parking, and free lunches (where you can eat without being obligated to socialize, if you don't like that whole socialization thing). Bad perks are things like company movie day, where you get to see a movie (yeah!) that you probably don't want to see (boo!) during work hours, which will necessitate working late in order to get your work done.

But, those types of things may well appeal to lots of other people. published a list of "cheap" perks for companies that don't have a lot of extra cash laying around. Their suggestions include:

  • Take your dog to work
  • Yoga classes
  • Shining Star (where employees vote on the best employee for the quarter)
  • Free car washes
Would any of those make you more inclined to stay at your current company, even if a better offer came around the corner? I did work for a company that had a mobile car wash company that came by every 2 weeks. You had to pay for the wash, but it was awfully convenient. It certainly wouldn't have kept me at the company, though. (Well, that and I was selling truck bumpers, which you might imagine, was not a good fit for them or me.)

One thing that companies might want to think about before implementing a new perk, is that it's awfully hard to take it back. Nobody expects their job to give them lunch on Fridays, but after you've gotten lunch every Friday for 6 months, when it stops, it's an outrage.

Is there a perk at your current job that wouldn't want to give up? What perk might keep you at your job, even when you might otherwise leave?

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Photo by Ron Dollete, Flickr cc 2.0.