Beer and massages to improve employee performance

Beer and massages to improve employee performance

Gurliacci, David

Heineken USA Inc. of White Plains and Eileen Fisher Inc. of Irvington have been named two of the best medium-size companies to work for in America.

Heineken ranked 21st and Eileen Fisher ranked 23rd out of 25 by the Great

Place to Work Institute Inc, which produces various best-companies lists in the United States, including Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America.

Heineken’s employee benefits include supplying free beer to workers for special occasions and a policy of letting them buy up to live cases of the company products for $7 a case.

Heineken also sends up to four “star performers” a year on trips to Amsterdam, Netherlands, the company’s headquarers. The company matches 100 percent of the first 5 percent of the employee’s salary contributed to 401(k) plan and 200 percent after two years. “On-site perks include shoeshine, car wash, personal travel and ATM services,” according to HR Magazine, a publication, of the Society for Human Resource Management, which sponsored the competition.

Having a generous 401(k) program “is a wonderful way for people, whatever income level they’re at, to build a pretty, good nest egg,” said Daniel Tearno, spokesman for Heineken USA.

“We believe that people do their best work when they’re more relaxed, more focused and able to think and work in collaboration with one another,” said Susan Schor, vice president, people and culture at Eileen Fisher, who is “responsible for nurturing the culture of the whole company”

The company sponsors working-parent discussion groups and has on-site wellness practitioners providing yoga, reflexology and massage therapy. Employees who put in 10 years with the company get $5,000 for a trip and an extra vacation week.

To get on the list, medium-sized companies had to have between 251 and 999 employees, said Lisa Ratner, project manager at the institute.

“It’s great to use strategies that benefit employees,” said Frank Scanlan, spokesman for the Society for Human Resource Management, which collaborated with the institute to produce the list.

“These companies that really take care of employees dramatically reduce their turnover rate, which is a huge impact on the bottom line,” he said.

Copyright Westfair Communications Aug 30, 2004

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