Tony Schwartz recently posted this blog about 12 things companies should be doing to be considered a great place to work. I have posted six of the twelve below with a few of my thoughts after each. I will post the other six next week.
"1. Commit to paying every employee a living wage. To see examples of how much that is, depending on where you live, go to this site. Many companies do not meet that standard for many of their jobs. It's nothing short of obscene to pay a CEO millions of dollars a year while paying any employee a sum for full time work that falls below the poverty line." I completely agree, pay must meet a minimum threshold level to support an individual and/or family. When employees are constantly stressed about where the next meal will come from, they will not be very productive and focused on the job.
"2. Give all employees a stake in the company's success, in the form of profit sharing, or stock options, or bonuses tied to performance. If the company does well, all employees should share in the success, in meaningful ways."
I LOVE this idea. I firmly believe if employees have a stake in the game, they will make decisions that are in the best interest of the company rather than just in the best interest of themselves. However, these incentives are usually reserved for only the most Senior people, which I completely disagree with. Everyone in the company should reap some of the rewards of the success of the company.
"3. Design working environments that are safe, comfortable and appealing to work in. In offices, include a range of physical spaces that allow for privacy, collaboration, and simply hanging out."
I am more in favor of an Indiana Jones type of entry to the workplace where poison arrows and boulders are chasing you in. I think productivity in the first hour of work would sky rocket.
"4. Provide healthy, high quality food, at the lowest possible prices, including in vending machines."
I think it is great that companies offer coffee and soda. Walker offers free soda and coffee and I thought it was wonderful when my especially delicious Mountain Dew started magically showing up in the soda cooler each morning. Each morning was like Christmas morning as I made my way to the cooler to enjoy that sweet nectar. However, I noticed I started to put on weight and was more irritable in the evenings. Now, I am a big boy and if I see what it does to my physically, it is my responsibility, and no one else's, to cut down on the soda consumption. However, if there were healthy alternatives, I might partake in those. Walker has started offering teas, which I do enjoy regularly and has helped off-set the Dew consumption. I do know companies offer juices, granola bars, and fruit for free in hopes of having a healthier workforce.
"5. Create places for employees to rest and renew during the course of the working day and encourage them to take intermittent breaks. Ideally, leaders would permit afternoon naps, which fuel higher productivity in the several hours that follow."
Afternoon naps, are you kidding me???? How could this not be the most brilliant idea in the history of mankind (outside of the invention of Mountain Dew)? Of course, when you get free soda and coffee, napping in the afternoon is difficult but darn it, I am willing to try. In all seriousness, I can't see this ever taking hold in corporate America but I have seen several studies that talk about the benefits in the workplace of just shutting down for even 30 minutes. "6. Offer a well equipped gym and other facilities that encourage employees to move physically and stay fit. Provide incentives for employees to use the facilities, including during the work day as a source of renewal."
This is another great idea. Walker has worked out a discount with a local gym, which is great, unless of course you should happen to blow out your ACL working out over lunch which will require surgery and 6-9 monthys of rehab, at which point working out does not seem like such a good idea, not that I would know anything about that.