I have worked at a company that said they wanted to be an “company of employee’s choice”, meaning that good, qualified employees would want to work there over other options they may have. They had some good benefits – decent salary – 401K plan – health insurance, etc. There were some items missing in my opinion and I wanted to show companies a few ideas on things that employees would appreciate. I have had several jobs in my time and will not reveal any company names or when I worked there.
Correct salary for position – This might seem obvious, but first of all, making sure employees are paid a decent amount is a good idea. On one job I had, when I was leaving for another that offered more money, they said something like “we could have paid you more”. Great! What was I supposed to do, beg? If they wanted to keep me and could offer more, they had the chance to do so without me objecting. If a person is working in a position for say $50,000 and the norm for that position in that area is $70,000, the company should not be surprised if the person leaves. Make sure they are at least within close range to the norm (maybe 2-5%). For example, if the same person was making $67,000, going through all the steps to apply for a new job and everything probably isn’t worth $3,000 more, but $20,000 more would probably be. If a company wants to make sure they are paying employees enough, there are resources on the web, etc. for checking current national and local salaries for different positions, years of experience, etc.
Work at home. Some companies offer this, but others offer what I could only call “fake” work at home at best. Example is where you are only allowed to work at home one day per week (and not Monday or Friday – which already makes the company look like they suspect employees are just trying to get a long weekend), and much worse – you can’t actually work at home at all. The problem is some companies leave it completely up to each supervisor whether the employee can work at home or not. In theory I can understand why, but I have seen where all supervisors just deny any work at home requests and that is that. What is really worse however, is in the same situation, most of the supervisors were working at home on many days! Which also makes me really wonder why they would be thinking they will be able to keep an eye on the employees as long as they are in the office! In reality, what the companies should do is require the supervisors to try to allow work at home for employees and make doing that part of their goal for the next year or whatever.
LASIK and other eye correction options, etc. I had bad vision since I was young and wanted to get LASIK. I was told I wasn’t able to, but I did qualify for an option called an ICL which simplified is basically a contact lens installed inside the eye. Unfortunately my company wouldn’t cover this at all. I understand the insurance not covering it, but it would have been nice if this large corporation that made who knows how much money had ponied up a bit for a 10+ year employee. Alas, they did not. Overall I paid around $10,000-$15,000 for the lenses (I had both eyes done), the operation, the facilities, etc, etc. I am happy with the results. Also, I would have been very happy with maybe half of the amount being paid. I think companies should try offer some reimbursement for LASIK and similar correction procedures up to a certain amount (say $3,000) for employees who have been there a few years, and maybe add $1,000 per year up to $8,000 or whatever. My guess is only a fairly low percentage of employees would take advantage of this anyway, as there are many people who don’t need it, who don’t want it, who have already had it done, etc. The only other thing I would say is they should reimburse and not care which eye surgeon the employee chooses. I would not have wanted to have to go to a certain doctor just to get they money. BTW this is also true for hearing operations and more as well.
Off topic a bit – One benefit I often see in the computer field is something along the likes of free sodas, free chips, free snacks, etc. Personally, I don’t think I would even like this benefit! If I didn’t use it, I would feel like I wasn’t taking advantage of something offered to me, but I would be afraid if I did take advantage of it, in just one day of work, I would notice I had 6 cans of soda and 8 bags of chips! I would be afraid if I just started with one or two, that would eventually turn into two or three, and so on! I might actually be scared away from a job offer that came with this benefit! How about if the company just offered to pay half of one’s lunch bill up to $10 or something?
Every good company should have losing good employees high on their list of worries. They should make good attempts to make sure each employee is doing well for their position, and make sure they attempt to treat them as good friends whenever possible and as people who they want to be happy with them. If a company makes sure a person won’t find much better elsewhere with their skillset, that person is far less likely to jump ship just for a small extra raise, or a tiny other benefit.