“Will offering job perks offset low pay and help me retain good employees?”
The question is, “Have you found that offering perks to your employees helps offset the low pay scale common with these labor positions?” No. The answer is definitely no.
My opinion on perks is, perks help frame culture, they help encourage your team because they like you and they like the environment to refer you, and it should help attract more team members to the company. They make it an environment that given equal pay might keep them on your team, or maybe just a little bit higher pay elsewhere. They don’t want to give up that environment, their friends, the culture, and the people.
In the lower pay scale positions, if an individual has an opportunity to go down the street and make several more dollars per hour, they’re going to take it. They haven’t generally satisfied all of their financial needs in life. There’s a number that you reach before incremental money doesn’t have an impact on your life. They’re not living in that world. An additional dollar, two, three dollars an hour, that impacts their family and their children and such.
Giving a perk, or series of perks, that basically are not money in that individual’s pocket, they’re not good enough to keep that individual on the team. I say that the strategy, and I believe this for a while, the strategy is to not be the low priced provider in your marketplace so you can afford to provide to your clients fantastic service. Best in market service. Best in market quality.
The only way you can do that is to hire the best people and pay the best people fairly, and do so in a way that you can keep those people on your team for a very long time so they learn your company, and that they learn the nuances and the culture, the ins and outs, how to serve your clients and take care of your clients. The role of training that you give them, they’ll be able to do all of that. You don’t want to train them and then lose them.
For that reason, I believe you need to price towards the top of the market, not top of the market, but you need to be pricing a little higher in the marketplace so that you can afford to take really good care of your clients and your employees, your team. That’s how you keep them, but offering a series of perks, that’s not enough. The perks accomplish a different goal. They make your company, as I said, the place to be, the place to work, the place to recommend their friends, recommend that their friends come work. That’s the idea behind perks.