Coffee Bars & Reputation
Another great fact about how companies that are “best places to work” pay off in terms of financial performance. This finding comes from Wharton finance professor Alex Edmans who wrote a paper titled, “Does the Stock Market Fully Value Intangibles? Employee Satisfaction and Equity Prices,” also from the Wharton newsletter I get. Edmans examined the stock returns of companies scoring high on Fortune magazine’s annual list of the “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” between 1998 and 2005 and found that they returned 14% compared to 6% annually for the overall market. Nice fact for those of us who are obsessed with the Fortune Best Places to Work list which is due out real soon–January 28th. There is no doubt about it — happy employees —> good bottom lines + favorable reputations.
Where I work at Weber Shandwick, we just got a coffee bar. Its been a terrific “watering hole.” Employees gather at different times during the day for expressos, cafe lattes, chai teas, homebaked chocolate muffins, jelly beans, candied nuts, croissants, fruit, etc. Professional barristers serve us while CNN is broadcast on two screens. It feels like such a perk. I love taking a walk and happening on fellow colleagues and chatting about this and that. For me, happiness is a coffee bar. It is also a great reputation boost.