BOSTON (MainStreet) -- Unemployment rates may be high and layoffs abundant, but for many companies -- especially those reliant on technical expertise -- retaining employees is crucial.
Attracting and retaining the best is also often the reason given by companies for the staggeringly high pay drawn by top executives, although in some cases there's another factor to be considered: High CEO pay can actually lower corporate tax bills, says a study released today by the Institute for Policy Studies.
"Ordinary taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for excessive executive compensation," its report reads. "And yet they do -- through a variety of tax and accounting loopholes that encourage executive pay excess. These perverse incentives add up to more than $20 billion per year in forgone revenue. No meaningful regulations currently limit how much companies can deduct from their taxes for the expense of executive compensation. The more firms pay their CEOS, the more they can deduct off their federal taxes."
At lower levels there are other reasons for employee perks, namely that salary alone isn't all it takes to keep valued employees happy, productive and within the fold. Employee benefits and specialized, beyond-the-norm perks are appreciated not just by workers, but by the companies offering them in part because by offering everything from gourmet meals to child care and laundry services, companies find employees are happy to blur their work and personal lives. Possibly even better than the induced antiquating of the 40-hour workweek is that on-the-job perks can often bring tax savings that straight salary increases cannot.
For decades, the tech industry has raised the bar for employee benefits. In many ways, the standard bearer is Google, a position reflected on the recruitment page Google offers prospective employees.
"The goal is to strip away everything that gets in our employees' way," Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt writes. "We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, car washes, dry cleaning, commuting buses -- just about anything a hardworking employee might want. Let's face it: Programmers want to program, they don't want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both."
Among the benefits for Google's nearly 25,000 full-time employees are the usual offerings of health and dental insurance, company stock and 401(k) matches.