Perquisites no longer a prerequisite?

Corporate perks have taken a beating, but many companies are offering new and innovative programs to keep staff happy
By Todd Humber
|CHRR, Guide to Pensions & Benefits|Last Updated: 02/11/2003

Outlandish perks have taken a beating in the court of public opinion. Whether it’s the $23 million condo given to Jack Welsh, former head of General Electric, or the $23 in Smarties an Ontario cabinet minister gobbled up, perks are the focal point for a lot of anger from employees and shareholders alike.

Because of this, the days of luring top executives and talented individuals with lavish perks are, for the most part, over, said John Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based international outplacement firm.

“It’s a much harder negotiation today, because shareholders continue to beat the drum of cutting costs,” said Challenger. “They continue to be more and more suspicious of executives in the wake of ethics scandals and the sense that many were enriching themselves.”