Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Organizational Behavior and Casual Friday

Way before I decided that my dream was to teach organizational behavior, mentoring and success strategies, I worked in a mid size corporate office for a time. The CEO introduced a new rule one day that allowed employees to bring their pets, mostly dogs, to work on Friday’s. He didn't realized, however, that this little fringe benefit didn't account for equity theory, or "fairness" in the work place. While some of the employees loved bringing their pets to work and showing them off, others turned their noses up at the "pet shop environment" the office had become. I'm not sure if the CEO ever caught on to the inequity but what they did notice was that productivity was steadily decreasing with all distractions these furry little critters caused. As a result, Bring Your Pet Friday was put on a permanent hiatus.

Today, most employees are too smart to fall for this sort of 'Casual Dress Friday' trickery, and companies are much more cautious about handing out fringe benefits that damage productivity. Nowadays employers are mainly focused on the bottom line. So by now you're probably asking, how does this change/addition affect me?

In May of 2011 I wrote a blog entry entitled: Undercover Boss: CEO or Santa Claus. I found the comment below particularly impressive. It provides a link to a clip regarding the different fringe benefits that employees of Google are receiving. Google's success strategy has been to release several programs that in my opinion are a giant leap forward in fringe benefits. The programs provide needed resources with an attached financial/bottom line value for both the employer and employee.

One great example is that Google provides its employees with free breakfast and lunch- every day! By providing complimentary meals to employees Google keeps them on site, interacting and brainstorming with each other. This not only keeps them happy but all but guarantees an increase in productivity. Additionally, employees can do the math to figure out that these extra meals are essentially a pay increase.

So here is my challenge to you. Read Nicole’s response and watch the video clip, then in the comments section tell me what additional benefits some companies could offer that would meet fulfill the needs of equity theory and help bottom line of the company.

Get creative with your responses! :)

Nicole Uy says:
April 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Personally, I love watching Undercover Boss too. I’ve watched different episodes featuring the CEOs of Hooters, 7-Eleven, Choice Hotels Int’l, Great Wolf Lodge and etc. While I believe that these CEOs who have volunteered to go undercover have good and honest intentions, I think that the “temporary/ one-time rewards” they offer to some employees are not necessarily beneficial. Aside from the fact that these rewards are only given to a select few, I don’t think the CEOs can really improve the condition of their companies unless they truly address the main issue: treat employees/ human capital better by offering more benefits and perks. Although it may be costly for companies, we have learned in class that the benefits definitely outweigh the burdens. When employees are being treated well and when they are satisfied, there is higher productivity, better customer service, and generally, a happy and warm atmosphere.

Aside from companies like SAS and Zappos that we have discussed in class, Google also treats its employees well. The video clip I found talks about just some of the numerous perks of working at Google, which is currently the 4th best company to work for. As you can see from the video, Google definitely spoils its employees. Not only does Google provide gourmet food, free laundry services, free massages, and gym facilities, it also provides free bus services to the office! Therefore, I think that by truly focusing on the wellness and happiness of employees, Google is able to utilize them to their full potential, as well as benefit from their various skills and knowledge. Additionally, unlike the ones offered in Undercover Boss, these benefits are long-term and permanent. Also, they are available to every single employee, from the lower levels to the highest levels.

Thus, by offering these types of benefits to employees, they can become fully motivated and eager to work. Additionally, all of people’s needs are being fully satisfied according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory.

No comments:

Post a Comment