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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Corporate Perks Are No Substitute for Engaging Your Employees

As companies seek to attract and retain top talent, some are offering appealing perks such as free meals, game rooms, massages, and even car washes. While few companies offer such extravagant perks, many organizations provide more modest benefits to their employees including vacation time and flextime.

While these benefits can certainly improve employees’ lives, Gallup has found that workplace engagement levels have a greater effect on workers’ wellbeing than any of these policies. For example, engaged employees who took less than one week of vacation time in a year had 25% higher overall wellbeing than actively disengaged associates -- even those who took off six weeks or more.

Of the workplace benefits Gallup studied, flextime has the strongest relationship to employees’ overall wellbeing. Engaged employees with a lot of flextime had 44% higher wellbeing than actively disengaged employees with very little to no flextime. Among employees who were not engaged or who were actively disengaged, those who reported having flextime also had higher overall wellbeing compared with those who had very little or no flextime.

But even giving employees a lot of flextime cannot fully compensate for the negative effects of a disengaging workplace on wellbeing. In fact, Gallup has found that higher engagement levels can insulate employees from experiencing the Monday morning “blues” and high stress levels related to long commutes.

Unless employees feel actively connected to their larger team and organization, even the most lavish perks and generous corporate policies won’t do much to improve your employees’ performance and your company’s bottom line.

For more insights on the relationship between workplace perks, engagement, and wellbeing, read the State of the American Workplace report and Don't Pamper Employees -- Engage Them in the Gallup Business Journal.

Join the conversation on Twitter: #EmployeeEngagement.

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