Discretionary Employee Benefits Critical Thinking Sample

Posted on October 13, 2023

Paper Instructions

Academic level – Undergraduate 3-4
Type of paper – Critical thinking
Topic Title – Discretionary Employee Benefits

Many compensation professionals are faced with making choices about which discretionary benefits to drop because funds are limited, and the costs of these benefits continually increase. Assume you must make such choices. Rank-order discretionary benefits from the ones you would most likely eliminate to the ones you would least likely eliminate. Explain your rationale.


Discretionary employee benefits are perks not required by law but can significantly improve individuals’ well-being. However, a harsh financial situation may require managers to sacrifice some benefits for cost savings. They need carefully evaluate each perk’s impact on employee well-being to maintain a perfect balance of reasonability and employee performance.

If I were in charge of eliminating discretionary employee benefits, I would estimate their impact on individuals’ health and well-being. Hence, I would consider employee perks with minimal impact on their well-being and performance as the leading contenders for elimination. Such options as free snacks, informal corporate events, or corporate subscriptions on non-corporate services can save finances significantly without affecting employees’ performance or well-being (Dias et al., 2021). Next, I would focus on subsidiary tuition and professional development, programs with low participation rates, and employee assistance initiatives. These benefits may be helpful for some employees, but since it is a corporate initiative, the participants can easily find a replacement.

Furthermore, it is vital to communicate with the staff and explain the rationale for the decision, emphasizing unchanging care for employee well-being (Marlow et al., 2018). The company must deliver the message of a forced step, offer alternatives, and highlight that all decisions will be reconsidered in the future. Finally, I would not want to eliminate benefits that directly impact employees’ health, well-being, and performance, such as health insurance, pension plans, parental leave, and vacation. These drastic changes can result in resentment among staff, poor morale, and a high turnover rate, as they indicate a very difficult situation in the company.

Discretionary employee benefits are essential in maintaining employee morale and performance. Financial constraints may require the elimination of some discretionary perks to improve the company’s situation. Managers must understand the difference between each option’s impact on employees’ well-being and make decisions accordingly.


Dias, C. H., Dawson, R. M., Abshire, D. A., Harris, D. M., & Wirth, M. D. (2021). Free food at work: A concept analysis. AAOHN Journal, 69(6), 277–289. https://doi.org/10.1177/2165079921997328

Marlow, S. L., Lacerenza, C. N., Paoletti, J., Burke, C. S., & Salas, E. (2018). Does team communication represent a one-size-fits-all approach?: A meta-analysis of team communication and performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 144, 145–170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2017.08.001

Upgrade your essays with these FREE writing tools!
Get started now