Slippery dips, ping pong tables, even mini golf: google’s office fit outs are certainly trending and it seems no office is truly complete without a ping pong table. David Hickey, area director for Meltwater Australia, says ping pong tables foster better relationships within the office – “I think the ping pong table is a euphemism for ‘you give, we give back’. A strong employee relationship is a lot like a good game of pong — there needs to be a good amount of to and fro for people to stay committed.”

But do ping pong tables and in house yoga sessions really promote an engaging workplace culture?

Here’s 3 reasons why it’s all just lipstick on a pig, and what really counts when it comes to creating a culture people want to be a part of.

  1. Actually, staff don’t want “stuff”: Recent research from PWC found that the number-one benefit that Millennials want from their employers are opportunities for career progression. So before buying that brand new coffee machine, consider investing in regular mentoring programs for staff and implementing strong in house training and development programs.
  1. No matter your ping pong prowess, you can’t beat a bad manager: Engagement stems from leadership above all else – so it doesn’t matter how many physical perks you provide, if there is disconnect between your employees and management you’ll always be on the back foot. Before building a kitted-out break room, start with building trust. China Gorman, CEO of Great Place to Work, says “Trust comes from how leadership behaves,” says Gorman. “Do they say what they’re going to do? Do they make decisions in a way that’s transparent and fair?”

    “This sense of integrity capital comes from the top of the organization,” she says. “Employees know if they’ve got it and they know if they don’t.”

  1. No amount of Vinyasa will get you in flow if your values don’t align: 59% of Millennials would seek out employers whose corporate social responsibility values matched their own, and in Deloitte’s Millennial survey, more than half of the Millennials surveyed said they want to work for a business with ethical practices. So rather than flaunt your in house yoga programs, make noise around your mission, vision and values and engage you team in a conversation on why they’re important for your business and what it means for them.