Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Free lunch vs. other perks: Why not let employees vote?

How much of a voice do your employees have in making decisions like which benefits they'd prefer, or how their workspaces are set up?

Plenty of research shows that millennials in particular want a say in these things, so enterprises big and small are trying harder to oblige. One place where it's working is daily-bargain website 1SaleADay.

Last November, management faced a dilemma: The company, which has grown from 45 employees to more than 360 in just three years, was facing steep hikes in health insurance premiums.

"We operate on razor-thin margins, so we had a lot of discussions about whether, and where, we could reallocate funds," recalls Eli Federman, a senior vice president who has helped grow the business since his brother Ben founded it in 2006.

One option: Stop giving employees lunch for free, a perk that cost 1SaleADay about $250,000 a year.

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