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Contented Cows Still Give Better Milk, Revised and Expanded: The Plain Truth about Employee Engagement and Your Bottom Line, 2nd Edition by Richard Hadden, Bill Catlette

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CHAPTER 9

A Case for Some Useful Benefits

A good job is more than just a paycheck. A good job fosters independence and discipline, and contributes to the health of the community. A good job is a means to provide for the health and welfare of your family, to own a home, and save for retirement.

—James H. Douglas

You’ll quickly find when reading the various lists of great employer rankings that most cite a litany of perks, benefits, and amenities that these organizations offer—yet scarcely mention the other qualities and characteristics that distinguish them as outstanding workplaces. Fair enough. These things are highly visible and easy to feature in a magazine, blog, or website. Most readers can easily grasp the value of advantages such as on-site child care centers and gyms, vision coverage, and free meals. But to focus exclusively on the perks themselves, without considering what’s behind them, provides only a surface understanding of these organizations’ characters. This gives short shrift to the sound business-oriented rationale that compels many (not all) of them to invest good money in the benefits they provide.

For example, we could write an entire book about the legendary perks at Google, except that it’s already been done, more than once. But you can be sure that a highly data-driven company like Google has studied and analyzed every one of their worker “apps,” as some might call them, for efficacy, return on investment, and the ability to contribute toward their goal ...

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