Q: A friend of mine who keeps a pet at his office says the mascot helps to boost employee morale. Is that true?
–Skeptical Business Owner
A: Dear Skeptical:
CNBC reports that more businesses are allowing pets in the office. Many big businesses support the practice, finding that it pays to invest in employees’ interests in their animals.
Among the leaders in this area are online retail giant Amazon, sports nutrition manufacturer Clif Bar, and pet retailer Petco, all of which allow employees to bring pets to work. Some even supply treats and exercise locations in their offices. These companies cite benefits that include attracting millennials to the workforce, improving employee concentration, and reducing barriers to communication.
But even if you don’t allow all employees to bring their pets to work, a company mascot can serve as a gauge of employee loyalty and engagement.
An article in Forbes written by a proprietor of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership examined the effect of a keeping a pet hamster in the office. The author, Rafael Aparicio Gómez, suggested the pet as a way to have “life” in the office.
It paid off. Two years later, after watching employees interact (or not) with the animal, the author found that employees who were engaged with the animal also engaged with the company. In fact, he termed the hamster a “loyalty-meter” by which he could predict employee loyalty and interest in the company’s mission.
Interested? You can read more about reducing some of the challenges of pets at work here: https://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/employeerelations/articles/pages/dogs-at-work.aspx.
And, contact a Creative Business Lawyer®, if you’d like support in developing pet policies for your office.