Now, I’m not opposed to employee training. After all, we’re a training company! And I’m not going to dis BambooHR’s research. It’s good information. But I do want to add a different point of view.
In my career, I’ve worked for companies in the hospitality industry where the majority of workers made slightly over minimum wage. We had the means to provide free meals. There were employees who relied upon those free meals as their primary meal of the day.
In today’s business climate, we are having conversations about minimum wage, overtime rules and the poverty level. I hope that before any business latches on to a provocative magazine headline, they take the time to understand their workforce. Their workforce. Please don’t misunderstand my POV as a blanket endorsement for doughnuts*. It’s just that companies need to take this information in the proper context.
Employee benefit programs are created for several reasons:
- The benefit allows the company to remain competitive in the marketplace. For example, health insurance and vacation.
- A benefit, such as tuition reimbursement or dry cleaning discount programs, help the employee personally or professionally.
- The benefit is something that the company can easily and economically provide to create employee brand ambassadors. Hotel companies offer hotel rooms, theme parks provide admission tickets, software companies give discounts to their products, etc.
IMHO, the point of the article isn’t to ditch the doughnuts. It’s to tell business leaders that getting feedback from your employees is important. Again, your employees. Companies should ask employees what benefits they enjoy the most. HR should look at utilization reports to understand the benefits that get the highest participation. The C-Suite in any organization should know why they offer their benefits package and be able to communicate it.
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Data is a great thing. It helps us make good decisions. But we must examine the data in proper context in order to realize if the information has any value for us. And, specifically, what the value is.
* For the record: I do enjoy a good doughnut every once in a while.