Recession perks symbolize new workplace

Employees may not be getting company cars, but some perks are still necessary even in a slow economy.
||Last Updated: 09/04/2003

Even as they cut record numbers of jobs, companies are working to hold on to their remaining workers with perks that build loyalty, encourage teamwork and make employees lives easier without adding much to the bottom line.

Call them "recession perks." Low-cost, on-site services like bank machines, employee-paid fitness centers or dry cleaning pick-up and delivery, financial services referrals and even company sponsored career counselling, are replacing the free cars, significant bonuses and other glamorous perks that characterized the excesses of the 1990s, according to a survey by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., an international outplacement firm.

"It may seem contradictory, but in a time of unprecedented downsizing, employee retention becomes more important than ever. The employees who remain after job cuts represent the foundation on which the rebuilding process begins," said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.