Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Want the Perfect Job? Look Here!

Sure, but when do they get any work done?

It has been widely reported that Americans spend MORE time on the job than workers do in any other industrial country. We spend less time with our families and less time on hiatus from work...and we often carry our work with us.
For the most part, many of us spend between forty and fifty years working in order to develop a certain lifestyle then claw and scratch to hold onto that lifestyle. Each has a talent that, hopefully, shines forth and leads every individual in the direction he or she was meant to go: a direction that is fulfilling on a personal as well as a professional level. Naturally, "fulfilling" is a word that each of us defines individually, and I'd be foolish to presume that every day of our lives spent on our vocation/avocation is a paradise. The fact remains, however, that very few of us WANT to spend our mortal existence merely shuffling from place to place (zombies being the exception to this), idea to idea with no real purpose and no real sense of gratification (eating brains does not count)...and there's no rule that says we have to be PAID to pursue our life's work, either. Take motherhood, for example (please do, I doubt I could handle it and remain sane).
Intangible rewards are often the most valued, but for those who actually have to go to a job site or report to some kind of boss, it's all about the perks. Eliminating for a moment the fact that some CEO's get $30 million in bonuses, I'll be they also get some rather sweet perks: memberships to fancy clubs, etc. Deservedly so? I cannot say. For the rest of us, it is the little things that allow us to go to work looking forward to the day on most days.
Every year, the top companies in America get rated for the very things that make them great: could be profitability; could be environmental awareness; could be lots of things, but employee satisfaction is ALWAYS part of the equation: a big part. Satisfied workers are productive workers; it does not take a genius to figure that out (as evidenced by the fact that I know it).
Some of this year's winners featured free Spanish classes for employees; some matched pregnant employees with mothers in a mentor relationship...the list goes on. Here are a few of the perks from some of America's top 100 companies that I would like to get:

Zappos. com gives each employee $50 every month and asks him or her to give that money as a bonus to a deserving fellow employee. A list of winners is compiled, and a top employee is feted with other bonuses, including an office parade!

Schweitzer Engineering gives each employee an allowance of $80 per month for furthering educational goals. provides team bonding experiences during work hours that have included rafting trips and trapeze classes.

This year's top company Google has, of course, the requisite recreation facilities; in addition, the New York office features the very popular eyebrow shaping perk. The main office workers in California have to make do with a haircut option. East Coast/West Coast: it's a different vibe, I guess.

There are obviously companies that do a myriad of other things to enamor and retain employees. Morningstar provides a stress-free environment (white noise), free soft drinks, tea and coffee. I believe there is also a "free bagel" day each week, and this year, the company celebrated its ranking in the top 100 by having senior management serve huge gourmet cookies to the employees. Additionally, each month the employees are encouraged to ask a question of the top person in the company, and he selects his favorite question, reads it aloud over the office video chat line and provides a personal response to the entire workforce. In October of this year, the question he answered was "What is the company's plan if we are attacked by zombies?"
Seriously...he also claimed that he was relieved to FINALLY get a question he wanted to answer.
That would never happen where I work.
Zombies cannot climb ivory towers.


At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll take my personalized artwork, macaroni jewelry, and the hugs and kisses any day. Though a parade might be fun.


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