This year, Etsy endured public scrutiny after new investors balked at the lavish perks offered at its Brooklyn, N.Y., headquarters.
Along with offering a community loom and crafting classes, the company had also renovated its office for $40 million, which included adding irrigated walls to grow plants. Though these perks might reinforce the cultural values of the organization, investors questioned whether they distracted workers from achieving overall business success.
Etsy’s perks-driven culture is part of a trend toward offering sweeteners to woo talented employees. In recent years, some companies have proudly shown off their go-kart tracks, basketball courts, giant slides, concierge services and on-site acupuncture to make the case that they are a “great place to work.”
However, as companies consider how to entice employees, it’s crucial to avoid racing after trends that initially attract workers but will ultimately fail to retain them. Perks may be alluring at first, but companies must ensure they’re not overlooking the fundamental benefits and perks that most job seekers actually want.