When the company’s throwing $$ away — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

When the company’s throwing $$ away

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It’s nice to work for a company with the resources to make your workplace enjoyable, but what should you do if you think your bosses are overdoing it with their spending? That’s what one reader asked recently on the Admin Pro Forum:

“The company I work for caters every meeting no matter how brief, spends thousands of dollars for a service to keep office plants looking nice, constantly renovates to add TVs nobody watches and parking spaces nobody uses. I’m considering discussing this with my boss. I’m wondering about other admins’ experiences with bringing up the delicate subject of the company throwing money away on extravagant things.” —Annabelle, Transcriber

Readers and experts offered their take on the issue:

Note whether there are good reasons for the spending. Many readers pointed out that upgrades and catered meals are ways companies keep morale high, and it looks good for visitors. One reader, Amanda, said some questions to ask are: How does it affect business relationships? Is it pleasing to the customers? Does it make for a positive environment for employees?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Several readers said that if the employees are well taken care of and the company is sound, don’t bother with it. It is a tax write-off, after all. Mark, a reader, says: “If your company was bleeding money, any expenditure that wasn’t ‘needed’ should definitely be examined. But if the company is doing financially well, employees are primarily happy, and owners or stockholders are getting a sufficient return on investment, I wouldn’t say anything unless there are a number of co-workers who feel the same.”

Frame the discussion in a way that shows you’re concerned with what’s best for the company. If workers aren’t being compensated and conditions are poor, it’s an issue worth confronting, says human resource expert Laura MacLeod. “When you make it about the company and stick to specifics, you’ll be seen as someone looking out for the company and your co-workers, not just yourself,” she says.

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