Last week, Bloomberg published an article called “Office Perks are Dumb.” While the East Coast business woman in me would not have titled it this way, the premise is right on: office dogs, ping-pong tables and kegarators make people happy, but they do not make work fulfilling. Theses perks also do not engage employees, which – as an employer – is the golden ticket. Engaged employees go the extra mile and give employers a lot of discretionary effort, which is the magic dust to extraordinary business results.
Where did this trend start? Google and Zappos pioneered these types of office perks, and because Millennials view them as “cool,” the idea to create a fun work environment was copied by many startups and tech companies. The hope? That “happy” employees would give a lot of discretionary effort, boosting the bottom line.
However, companies that jump on this bandwagon are missing the mark because “happy” and “engaged” are not one in the same. If your employees are happy but not engaged (emotionally connected to your organization), there’s a good chance they will leave. If your employees are happy and engaged, they are yours to keep. It’s the difference between dating someone and having fun vs. putting a ring on it. The former is temporary and surface level, and the latter is permanent and deep.
Senior leaders, supervisors and HR have a lot of examples about how to create “happy” employees, but how do you create “engaged” employees? A simple four-step process is in my new book, If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Engagement. Order an autographed copy today, and when you execute on the plan and see measurable results, I promise you’ll be both happy and engaged.