Business school correspondent Emma Collins — author of a popular web-based ranking of schools that have online MBA programs — joins CampusTalkBlog today to discuss some of the amazing perks waiting for graduates of in-demand fields. As has been noted a few times recently, the job market is growing. Students who are pursuing highly sought after degrees like computer science may just find employers fighting to bring them on board! Read on to learn how to get in on the action.
The New Benefits of a Masters in Business Administration or Computer Science Degree
Historically, large companies have used monetary benefits to recruit talented employees. In recent years, however, many firms have begun to recognize the value of non-monetary incentives – and today, many offer bonus perks and services to not only attract job applicants, but also foster a positive, productive workplace.
Company leaders must continuously strive to motivate their workforce. In years past most have used money as the key motivator by offering their employees monetary incentives, such as high salaries, profit sharing, bonuses, stock options and paid vacation hours. But more recently, corporate analysts have begun to note a number of problematic implications of this system. Monetary incentives are based entirely on performance, for instance, and thus motivate employees to be compliant and take fewer risks. Ultimately, this mindset can lead to a workplace environment that is devoid of creativity. Furthermore, office relationships can be impacted when employers use cash rewards to encourage competition between departments and sales teams.
For these reasons, many employers have begun to offer non-monetary incentives to supplement salaries, bonuses and other cash benefits. These may include a flexible schedule, opportunities to work from home, on-site training and sabbatical leave. However, it is crucial for company leaders to cater non-monetary incentives to the individual beneficiaries. Younger employees tend to value continuous feedback from managers and professional development opportunities, while older workers value retirement planning and extended time off. Ultimately, company leaders that offer a balanced combination of monetary and non-monetary incentives are most likely to garner respect and appreciation from their employees.
In addition to incentives that foster positive workplace relations, other non-monetary benefits come in the form of bonus perks for employees. These incentives have become especially popular in sectors that must contend with talent deficits. This is certainly true of the technology/software engineering industry, which is projected to grow considerably over the next 10 years and currently faces a nationwide shortage of skilled college graduates. As a result, many large technology firms are using non-monetary benefits to gain an edge over competing companies and lure in top recruits. Software giant Evernote provides complimentary, bi-monthly housecleaning for all employees; Genentech rewards its workforce with dinner deliveries and babysitter service if an employee’s child is sick. Industry giant Google provides complimentary dry cleaning and a cash bonus of $500 to new parents.
Another sector facing a talent deficit is corporate finance; as a result, many firms have adopted MBA tuition-funding packages that are awarded to top performers.
Most companies that invest in non-monetary employee incentives are able to effectively boost workplace satisfaction. But according to Forbes contributor John Goodman, company leaders have another reason for choosing employee benefits over increased salaries and higher bonus checks: taxes. Most employees understand that wage hikes are only marginally beneficial because middle-class families in many states (particularly California) face high tax rates. Non-monetary benefits and office perks are typically non-taxable, and thus much more attractive to job applicants than higher salaries that will be substantially garnished by the I.R.S. In most cases, the initial costs of adopting non-monetary incentives (including major installations, like gyms and eateries) are outweighed by the company’s ability to recruit top employees and create a productive work environment.
Most experts agree that companies that supplement competitive compensation packages with non-monetary incentives stand the best chance of recruiting top talent. The reason is simple: while money motivates quality performance, non-monetary benefits create a nurturing, productive environment for employees. Just the same, job applicants are urged to closely analyze the non-monetary incentives offered by a prospective employer.
While some benefits are in place to ensure the workforce remains satisfied and happy in their work, other “perks” – such as gyms or napping rooms – may be designed to encourage long hours at the office. Other employees have expressed discomfort with incentives that combine their personal and professional lives a little too closely, such as complimentary childcare or house-cleaning services. Some workers find these perks helpful, while others regard them as invasive attempts to make employees focus on work-related matters. For this reason, each applicant must determine the incentives (both monetary and non-monetary) that they value the most and tailor their prospective job search accordingly.
About the Guest Blogger Emma Collins is a writer and researcher for MBAOnline.com. Feel free to check out more of her writing!