Employee benefits – the good, the bad and the out

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Puppy Party Anyone? This is what an employer offers their staff to attract them to work. Perks have always been a part of job postings, but, during the pandemic, employers became much more imaginative with the goal of keeping their employees engaged at bay – and then bringing them back to the office. What’s the point of these benefits, do they work – and what do managers need to know to give staff what they really want?

Isabel chats with Alicia Ries, communications director for Emea at Steelcase, a US-based furniture company that set up a hospitality program that included barbecues and her own bagpipe group when its employees returned to the job. Alicia explains what really motivates staff and how employers can help them thrive. We also chat with FT Management Editor Andrew Hill about the weirdest incentives in the workplace and what the research says will keep us really engaged at work.

We would love to hear from you – email us at [email protected] Follow @isabelberwick on Twitter or email him directly at [email protected]

Mentioned in the podcast and further reading:

  • Andrew Hill article on the benefits of returning to work, including Steelcase
  • What are the most requested new benefits? Charlotte Middlehurst FT article: https://www.ft.com/content/6f34b761-aa03-42e7-b5f2-0b128102e33b
  • Frederick Herzberg’s research into what really motivates employees [tl;dr – make the job more interesting] from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2003/01/one-more-time-how-do-you-motivate-employees

Presented by Isabel Berwick. Editorial direction by Renée Kaplan. The assistant producer is Persis Love. Sound design is by Breen Turner, with original music by Metaphor Music. Produced by Roman.


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