Survey gets to heart of what matters to whom in A/E Firms

Aug 02, 2011

Press Release: August 2, 2011 FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (August 2, 2011) – Whether it’s a company-sponsored gym membership or paid parking, most companies offer incentives to staffers beyond their paychecks. These measures are looked upon as a way of attracting and retaining top talent and making firms desirable places to work. But what are perks worth, and who values them more? Company perquisites are still en vogue among A/E/P and environmental firms, according to an August 1 article in The Zweig Letter, ZweigWhite’s weekly management publication. The article detailed responses to an informal online survey on the subject. The TZL survey found that 46.2% of respondents feel perks are valued the most by members of top management; 30.8 percent said perks matter most to support/administrative staff, and 15.4 percent answered “other,” providing unique answers. A mere 7.7 percent indicated that perks were the most valued by new hires. “Top management seems to feel entitled to this,” wrote one anonymous respondent. Another, “Everyone wants perks... You have to be consistent with them... Higher level management expects more...” While employee perks at Internet darling and workplace innovator Google may include everything from haircuts to a veterinarian, most A/E firms reported more traditional benefits. A health insurance program was reported by all respondents, tuition reimbursement programs by 84.6 percent, and entertainment by 46.2 percent . Health club or gym membership came in at 23.1 percent, company car at 23.1 percent, daycare at 7.7 percent, and 38.5 percent of respondents reported other, going on to state benefits such as meal plans or life insurance. One anonymous respondent said, “Paid parking in Boston; vacation based on position and not years working at company; 100% company paid, short-term and long-term disability insurance; and 100% company paid life insurance for all staff.” Most respondents (58.3 percent) feel perks should work both ways, both to attract and retain top talent; 8.3 percent feel perks work best to attract talent to an organization; and 33.3 percent feel perks are meant to retain talented workers firms can’t afford to lose. For many of the TZL survey respondents, the most attractive aspects of a working environment are not found in company cars or club memberships. As one anonymous respondent said, benefits don’t contribute much to hiring or retaining great people. “I don’t think perks really matter that much. It is really all about how the staff is treated and the quality of the work environment we are providing. This goes more to the culture of the firm and the quality of the projects. Designers want most of all to work with good people on good projects.” For more information on The Zweig Letter visit Press Contact: Christina Zweig

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.