It’s always good to treat staff well. Like Google, who offer their employees (let’s call them ‘Googlers’) a benefits package that is amazingly generous. In fact, you’ve probably never heard of anything like it. Most small and medium businesses don’t have a hope of treating their staff this well, because they have to work with much smaller budgets and margins. There aren’t going to be many, or perhaps any, SMBs on Glassdoor’s annual list of ’50 Best Places to Work’, which is dominated by Google.

So what are the perks that Google gives it’s Googlers? Here’s what Inc reported:

  • • At the Mountain View campus, Googlers get free transport to and from work.
  • • There’s an endless supply of free gourmet food and snacks.
  • • Googlers never have to worry about their own tech problems because the TechStop gives them 24/7 tech support.
  • • Free ‘massage credits’ are part of the deal.
  • • New parents get much deserved support. New fathers get six weeks paid paternity leave and new mums get eighteen weeks. Their stock continues to vest and they continue receiving bonuses.
  • • The stock of a Googler who dies while employed by Google will vest immediately; there’s a life insurance payout and a surviving spouse gets half of the deceased person’s salary for a decade.
  • • Googlers are provided with free gym access and fitness classes, and opportunities to participate in intramural sports events.
  • • Googlers with a passion for something other than work can get extended time off to pursue their interests.
Let’s face it, you can’t compete with Google on staff benefits – not now and probably not ever. And don’t kick yourself for not having devoted your life to becoming a Googler. You’re a proud small business owner, dealing with practical limitations and day to day stresses, including having to make savings when times are difficult. So how do you make budget cuts without crushing employee morale? Here are five recommendations on how to do it smartly.

Wildly Expensive Company Parties

Lavish parties may earn you staff loyalty and boost morale, at least in the short term. But, if your company isn’t completely financially stable, a small party with some pizzas is more appropriate and will do the same job – getting people together to have a good time. One tech company that completely ignored this is Yahoo.

Yahoo recently had to lay off 15% of their staff after posting massive losses. That didn’t stop them pressing on with plans for a $7 million Great Gatsby-themed party last December. Unsurprisingly, their investors were unimpressed, even if they did get an invite. One can only wonder how Yahoo employees enjoyed the jazz orchestra and all the frills, having just seen hundreds of their co-workers get axed, and experiencing concerns about the future of their own jobs.

Free Food

There’s nothing like a freebie to make the office a happier place to be in and everyone likes to eat. But the cost of free food adds up. If the budget is tight it could come down to either letting a loyal employee go or keeping the free snacks flowing. That free food just doesn’t taste so good to employees who may be wondering if they’re going to be the next to go. People may grumble if the free food disappears but they’ll appreciate that it’s a small sacrifice that’s infinitely preferable to cutting staff.

Outrageous Executive Salaries

Does the captain of a sinking ship deserve a raise? No. It’s plain unethical. And yet the CEOs just keep on doing it. Recently the CEO of Viacom, Philippe Dauman, gave himself a 22% raise, boosting his income from $44.3 million to $54.2 million. This was despite the fact that Viacom had been laying off staff after its stock prices dropped by a massive 39% last year.

As an SMB owner, you’re probably not in this league, but show some sensitivity. If the budget is tight and perks and positions are being cut in tough times, then it’s not smart to roll up to work in that new Porsche you’ve set your heart on.

Fancy Offices

Spacious and beautifully designed offices at a desirable address all add to an organization’s status and prestige. But can you really afford it? A more economical space isn’t the end of the world, even if it is less flashy. Check if you can break your lease and move. It may be entail some difficult short-term disruption to your business operations but the savings could be vital in the longer term.

Get a Tech Assessment from Quikteks

Cutting freebies, parties and other extras are all very visible cuts. They are clear signs that your company may be struggling. There are other ways to save, without broadcasting any financial problems you are having to the world. If your IT infrastructure is inefficient then you could be losing massively, both in terms of revenue and productivity.

Quikteks can assess your network, recommend changes and implement money-saving tech solutions. You might be surprised at what a difference an efficient IT infrastructure makes to your operations and profits. This is a proactive step to take, and a lot less painful than having to make tough budget cuts.

For a free IT assessment, call Quikteks today at (973) 882-4644 and help out your fellow non-Googlers by telling us in the comments below about how you’ve kept your organization going in tough times.