The idea of pets in the workplace is gaining in popularity, particularly with the younger generation entering the workforce. Millennials value non-traditional benefits and perks and, for many of them, the lines are blurred between their personal and professional lives. According to the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), although many companies do not allow pets in the workplace, eight percent of companies now do, and even more are offering related benefits acknowledging pets as an important part of employees’ lives.
Studies show that many employees will choose a pet-friendly company over one that is not when comparing similar job offers. Workers are more apt to stay with a company that allows them to bring their best friend to work, than to move to a company where it is not allowed. This employee loyalty is an added perk for employers.
Of course there are many factors for employers to consider before tackling such a program. Be sure you are taking into account the feelings of non-pet lovers in your work environment as well as those that are all for it. Employees with allergies or a fear of dogs need to be considered. Is your work place large enough for a pet free zone, perhaps part of the building or on another floor?
If you decide to allow pets in your workplace, take the time to set ground rules. For example, are pets allowed only on specific days? What type of pets are allowed? Dogs? Cats? What about a tarantula in a small aquarium? Be clear, and be sure employees understand their responsibilities in the care of their pet and how entertaining visitors or attending meetings will be handled as it relates to pets.
If you choose not to allow pets in the work place, consider alternatives such as pet health insurance, doggy day care vouchers, or volunteer work day opportunities at a local shelter. Recognizing and caring about what is important to your employees translates into employees recognizing and caring about what is important to your business.
Can BCN Services help you craft a pet policy for your workplace or do you want to talk it over with one of our HR professional? Give us a call!
Sue Kester, HR Manager