We currently live in a world where employees demand a lot from their organizations — perks, benefits, great work environments, free coffee, and in some cases, even a ping-pong table or a sleep pod. And HR sincerely wants to provide whatever employees want, if it will make employees’ work environment more pleasant and productive.
Too often, what is lost in the shuffle is an awareness that, like everyone else in the organization, HR is here to help the organizations they serve make money. While it’s wonderful that HR will bend over backwards to do things that make employees happy, HR must never ever forget that its primary focus is to make sure their organizations make more money per employee each year.
So, when you’re looking at your business objectives and goals for 2017, please remember that it’s not about whatever is the cool, hip thing of the moment. It’s not about an app, a wellness program, mentorship initiatives, or a ping-pong table — we’re certainly not against any of these things, especially the ping-pong table. But a new idea is only valuable to the extent that it proves effective at helping employees do their jobs more effectively and efficiently
Instituting fitness rooms and wellness plans or doing away with desks and the like must be viewed as tools that can help companies earn more money per employee. For example, if a wellness plan or fitness room will help ease employees’ stress, make them happier and healthier, and give them more energy to do their jobs better, then a case can be made for implementing such measures. But, if either of these things are going to be a distraction or remain underutilized, then such initiatives can be a wasteful spend for an organization with diminishing returns.
The focus must always be on increasing revenue and productivity. Everything else is simply a tactic that can help an organization toward that end. This is not to sound heartless. Providing things that benefit employees is fantastic, but it must be done in a strategic manner aimed at making more money for the organization.