Good employees are difficult to find, so when you do come across one, you should do your best to hold on to them. Most businesses and bosses mistakenly view their employees as an expense. Employees should be looked at as an investment that will grow considerably over time. Investing in employees’ talents and knowledge will only help your company become better. Below are some companies–such as Google and Zappos–and leaders–such as Louis Chenevert–that know the value of great employees and provide incentives for them to stay and grow with the company. And the incentives are more than just free day old doughnuts in the workroom on Fridays.
Google has more than 60,000 employees in 50 different countries. They make hundreds of products that billions of people use across the world. They have their Google Search along with YouTube, Smartbox, and Android as well. When a company is as huge as this, it would be easy to get lost in the shuffle. Most employees working for businesses this size usually do not feel appreciated. However, Google started focusing on investing in their employees early on.
Google offers a paid maternity leave anywhere from twelve to eighteen weeks. Once again, a maternity leave that could be over four months long and the woman would still be getting paid the whole time. This is just one of the reasons that they have a low turnover of female employees. But the men are not forgotten either. They also receive a twelve week paid leave if they are also new parents. Plus, the parents receive an extra $500 from Google as well.
Google employees receive paid time off if they are using that time to volunteer. They get college tuition reimbursement if the classes are helping their work at Google. They also have unlimited sick days if they are not feeling well. Plus, on site they have fitness centers at their facilities. Google truly values their employees and treat them above and beyond what most companies do.
Zappos is an online shoe selling company that does not walk on their employees. They employ about 1,500 people and produce about two billion in sales annually. Amazon acquired them in 2009 for the hefty sum of $1.2 billion. Zappos is a leading shoe retailer that pays all the employee premiums for medical, dental, vision, primary care visits, and even offers free generic prescriptions. With healthcare costs spiraling out of control, it is easy to see why people would enjoy working for Zappos.
Zappos also does not micromanage their employees by having supervisors looking over their shoulders. They trust in their employees acting accordingly without feeling the need of holding them accountable for every second of the day. Another perk is they also allow nap pods in their business for those needing a quick rest. How great is it to catch a few winks at work and not be yelled at?
Zappos also likes to do fun activities every week to strengthen their community with their employees. Sometimes they play ping-pong, pool, air hockey, or any other sort of game. What is even better is that there is no dress code, employees only work half days on Friday, and free food and drinks happen often. Working at Zappos sounds like it would be similar to hanging out with friends, but getting paid for it.
The Mayo Clinic has three locations across the United States. The branch in Minnesota employs more than 34,000 people. About 6,000 more are employed at each branches in Arizona and Florida. The leading healthcare organization not only saves lives, but they care about their employees’ health as well.
Each site has a fitness center and a medical care facility for only employees to use. The cafeteria provides healthy meals that their employees enjoy as well. Plus, for their employees that are interested in adopting a child, they cover up to $10,000 of the adoption expenses. The Mayo Clinic really is a company that not only provides for the community, but also takes care of its own employees, too.
United Technologies Corporation
The United Technologies Corporation (UTC) is headquartered in Connecticut, but they are present across the globe with over 200,000 employees. Louis Chenevert was hired as CEO and president at UTC in 2006 and stayed there for eight years before his retirement in 2014. During those eight years, he made a few essential changes (which we’ve talked about!) that showed the employees that they were valued.
Louis Chenevert knew that unless the company invested in the people who worked for UTC, that success would have a tough time emerging from within. Everyone wants to be able to have the opportunity to work their way up the ladder, and hiring people from the outside to fill leadership positions can be detrimental to employee morale. Chenevert encouraged more employees to pursue lifelong learning through the company’s Employee Scholar program as a way to reward those employees that were trying to better themselves and help the company.
The Employee Scholar program was designed to assist those employees seeking a degree in any field they chose, and UTC would cover all of the expenses. As of right now, they have had employees earn almost 39,000 degrees through this program since 1996. UTC has footed the bill of it all at nearly $1.2 billion. Louis Chenevert felt it was definitely money well spent.
Innovative and outside the box thinking by these companies inspire employees to work even harder for their company because they know they are appreciated. If the leader of the company, like Louis Chenevert, promote and offer incentives to their employees as a thank you for working for their company, people take notice. All of the companies listed in this article could remove all of these benefits and focus only on the bottom line, but by spending a bit of extra money on perks for their employees, they are proving that they are not only concerned about every dollar of profit. It is much easier to get out of bed in the morning if you are working for a company that shows their appreciation.
To learn more about Louis Chenevert’s time at UTC, click here!