Can you afford not to offer that perk?

by on February 22, 2013 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Cafe

Sometimes it costs as much, or more, not to offer a benefit as to offer it.

Take the case of one particular company and its maternity benefits. The company wasn’t exactly stingy: It offered new mothers 12 weeks of paid leave after the birth of their child.

But HR noticed that even so, new mothers were quitting at twice the organization’s average departure rate.

A very generous policy
So after some study, HR came up with an extra-generous maternity policy: Now, new moms got five paid months off, which they could split up if they wished. They could take, say, two weeks before the birth, three months right afterward, and the other month-and-a-half at another point in their child’s early life.

The new benefit was, indeed, costly. But HR found that it cost no more than what the company had been laying out to replace all the new mothers who quit.

And after the new policy was introduced, the attrition rate for new mothers subsided to the company average. Plus, the company accrued lots of goodwill with these moms.

Not just for the deep-pocketed
We’ll tell you now that the company in question was Google. Yes, Google is large and very deep-pocketed, and maybe you’re not. But the principle applies everywhere: You need to know not only the costs associated with a benefit, but also those of failing to provide it.


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