No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

Free Bagel
flickr user AndrewVDill

Working in HR right now? You might not have your hands totally full hiring new candidates…just a guess. If that’s the case, and you’re looking to help your company cut costs without taking away real employee perks, make sure you’re getting the most mileage out of your existing benefits.

Susan Heathfield, blogger at Human Resources, just posted an interesting take on employee perks. “I have long believed,” she wrote, “that companies need to do a much better job of educating employees about the cost of the benefits they receive and the reason the benefits are being provided.”


I worked with a small Web design company whose president decided to bring in Friday lunch as a way to build his team. Team building was the sole purpose for the lunches. After a couple of months passed, he was approached by a group of employees who wanted to bring the food back to their offices instead of eating with the group. He reminded them of the reason why he brought in the lunch and explained that eating at their desk was not an option.

The next time I saw him, the story was even funnier, another group of employees approached him and said they didn’t want to eat in every Friday. He said, fine, the lunch is a voluntary team building event. Their response? Well, if it’s a voluntary event, than we’d rather that you just give us the money so we can buy our lunches somewhere in town…

Is this happening to you? Are the bagels and peanut butter sandwiches being taken for granted?