Discretionary Benefits Due date

Discretionary Benefits Due date




Inthe provision of goods and services, companies need human resourcesin all the operations. Employees therefore need to be motivated so asto enhance loyalty to the companies they work for. Practitioners inthe human resource recognize the fact that employees are the keyplayers in the success of any business activity. Asa result,employers are increasingly providing discretionary benefits to theiremployees. According to Perlow (1997), discretionary benefits areadditional provisions given to employees though they are not legallyrequired. The main aim of discretionary benefits is to enhanceincreased productivity .when employees are motivated they usuallyportray their most desirable traits in the work place. The intent ofthis paper is to offer an explicit view of discretionary benefits asa means of motivation by human resources practitioners.

Accordingto Dalton(1990), discretionary benefits are intended to ensurefairness,continuation of benefits and transparency in the work place.Dalton further asserts that though they are ethical, discretionarybenefits should not jeopardize the finances of the company. Employeesshould therefore be rewarded interms of performance withoutcompromising the operations of the company. Additionally,discretionarybenefits differ from one employer to the other. The mostnotable benefits are group insurance, sick leave, retirementbenefits,education funds as well as stock option(Raabe, 1990). Theultimate goal of these benefits is to ensure that employees arefinancially secure.

Itis worth noting that the changing contemporary society hasincreasingly contributed to new trends in the provision ofdiscretionary benefits by companies. In the United States forinstance,discretionary benefits have been extended to meet the needsof gays or lesbian couples. This is aimed at aiming the employee feelrecognized and respected by the employer. In the contemporarycorporate world employers face numerous family conflicts,drug relatedissues and stress as well as other health related problems thatimmensely affect the productivity of the workers. To control suchpredicaments,organizations have to come up with discretionarybenefits meant to guide and counsel the employees. According toPerlow (1997), the provision of discretionary benefits is a majorrevolutionin the business world that is intended to cater for thechanging societal structures.

Accordingto report released in 2007 by the United Stateschamber ofcommerce,businessorganizations are facing huge employee costs with thebenefits averaging at 42.7% of the payroll. Due the increase in thediscretionary benefits employers need to adapt fund capping as a wayof reducing these benefits.


Accordingto Dalton (1990) the need to address employee general life outsidework and their work needs and interests is becoming a major issue inthe organizational human resources management. The changing societalstructure has elicited major changes in the organizational structure.Many business organizations have thus initiated benefits and policiesmeant to help employees sustain their life needs outside work.Perlow(1997), defines paid time off as the structures and policiesintended to pay workers even when they are not performing theirprimarily responsibilities. The most notable paid time off policiesinclude holidays, personal leave, sick leave, volunteerism amongothers. These benefits provide workers with the opportunity tobalance between work and non-work demands. Companies may for instancesponsor their employees to attend seminars and workshops .it islegitimate for employees to take time off for work that is alreadyscheduled without incurring losses. Paidtimes off benefits aremainlymeant to enhance positive attitudes and motivation in the workplaceparticularly with lengthy terms of service (Dalton, 1990).

Ina nutshell, it is worth noting that discretionary benefits areparamount in motivating the employees’, ultimately leading todelivery of quality work. Development oriented companies should thusstrive to offer discretionary benefits to their workers as a form ofappreciation and recognition in the company. However, as businesscorporations strive to provide discretionary benefits they should notstrain their financial status.


DaltonDR, Mesch DJ. 1990. The impact of flexible scheduling on employeeattendance and turnover.AdministrativeScience Quarterly 35:370-387.

Perlow,L.A.1997.Boundary control: The social ordering of work and familytime in a high tech cororation. Administrativescience quarterly43:328-357.

RaabePH. 1990. The organizational effects of workplace family policies:past weaknesses and recent progress towards improved research.Journalof Family Issues 11:477-491.

ScheuermannMJ, Luecke RW. 1998. Should you implement a paid time-off plan?Journalof Compensation andBenefits 13:28-32.