Is a well-trained manager the biggest perk of all?


Misa Myong, outdoor survivalist, aspiring DJ, french fry foodie.

Beer kegs, ping pong tables, free snacks - these are all nice additions to the workplace, and there’s no doubt these perks make work appear collaborative, fun and overall enticing. And as aesthetics like these are becoming an increasingly important decision-making factor for new job seekers, there’s no doubt they assist in attracting talent. But are these perks enough to attract and retain your people?

For new job seekers, there are more than just perks to think about.

Is the role a good fit? What are all the necessary qualifications? Will I like my boss? Are the compensation and benefit plans competitive? How’s the corporate culture? Where is the company going to be in five years?

And while your human resources, marketing, design, and talent acquisition teams all play a role in managing your employer brand and drawing in the right candidates, it is ultimately in your managers’ hands to engage your employees and keep them around.

Interestingly, as an undergraduate business student, I was taught to expect the worst of managers and to become a high performer on my own accord. We were taught that once we had jobs at prestigious companies, we should make our bosses happy regardless of what that took. This was just part of taking the job. Looking back, however, there is more companies can be doing to reverse this sentiment and better equip managers to grow and develop their people.

It’s also important to remember that regardless of how prepared your new hires may be to take on the new company, the new manager, and the new role, your managers may not be prepared to embody the same culture and values that initially attracted the hires to your company.

Without proper training to ensure your managers are aligned with the brand you’re selling and skilled at integrating the company’s values and culture, it’s easy to miss the mark on this important part of the employee experience.

So while you might feel confident in attracting your talent with your culture, kegs, and overall employer brand, retaining people is largely up to your managers. If executed well, employees and managers alike will grow and prosper, and if executed poorly, it’s all too easy for your people to walk away in pursuit of another company with another keg and another plethora of snacks to choose from.