Benefits

  • Kathi Kellenberger

    SSC-Addicted

    Points: 406

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item Benefits

  • damien.keogh

    SSC Rookie

    Points: 29

    Thanks for sharing that Kathi. Benefits are great, I'm all in favour. Especially sabbaticals. I hope Steve is enjoying his.

    The explosion in benefits coincides with a problem that has become a bit of a bugbear for me though. In recent years companies have taken to throwing around benefits like confetti, largely in order to help keep wage rates down. In fairness much of it is partly an effort to improve the employee experience, help charities, support particular cohorts of employees like new parents and so on. But the main driver is wage rates. This is one of the contributors to the niggardly increase in incomes enjoyed by the world's workers in recent years while profits have boomed. It is a yearly mantra - "sorry we don't have any extra money for salaries but look, we'll give you free fruit 2 days a month instead".

    I can only assume that these benefits either cost significantly less than decent wage increases, or aren't properly costed. My guess is the former.

    So to your advice about enjoying benefits, may I add the advice to keep your eye firstly on the cash. Make sure you are paid what you are worth and that you get what you need. Enjoy the benefits, but don't count on them.

    I would add too that low employee turnover is not as simple as it seems and it doesn't necessarily work both ways. Employees often stay because they like the benefits and because they are paid enough, but that doesn't mean they are happy or productive. Public Service organisations are obvious examples of this. Low turnover is one crude indicator but better measures are productivity and employee engagement. These are the things that really impact on the bottom line.

    Thanks, and keep up the great blogging!

  • aimeek

    Old Hand

    Points: 315

    Decades ago I worked for a home nursing company.  Every year they would administer flu shots at grocery stores or senior homes, various places around the community.  They asked the non-nursing staff to volunteer and help the nurses by doing the paperwork.  At the meeting to explain what would be involved, they told us that we'd have to use one of our 7 vacation days.  No one volunteered.  A few dats later they reversed that bone-headed decision.

    How do you ask for volunteers and then tell them they will be charged?!?!?!

  • skeleton567

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5098

    An important thing to realize about benefits is that they are often negotiable.  You shouldn't just automatically accept the first offer.  Of course there is the negotiation on salary that is a given.  But it can go far beyond that.  Through a variety of companies I negotiated several different things over the years.

    Back in the years before work-at-home became common, I negotiated the practice for our whole DBA group when gasoline became very expensive.  Most of us were commuting from 20 miles or more to work.  Each of us was given a day working at home in order to save driving expenses.

    In terms of vacation, I have negotiated immediate maximum vacation time instead of the common ramped-up schedule.  Another time I ask for and received a credit of 120 hours of paid vacation the day I walked in the door.  You don't always have to wait a year to get your vacation.

    Further, I have negotiated immediate participation in company profit-sharing including the ability to make my contributions, the immediate participation in company contributions, and immediate 100% vesting.

    In another situation toward the end of my working days I negotiated unlimited unpaid time off at any time the rest of our DBA staff was present.

    Be creative in your negotiations.  Just because there is no existing policy that doesn't mean you can't obtain unique benefits.  But of course it all has to be confidential.

    Rick

    The only thing worse than being an influencer
    is believing one.

  • Rod at work

    SSC-Dedicated

    Points: 33412

    In my previous job I worked for a university. The benefits there were great. Lots of vacation and sick leave. Training was encouraged (as you'd expect from a university). However, I will admit that the pay was not very good.

    I currently work for a state government agency. The benefits aren't as good. Vacation and sick leave are limited. A colleague of mine, whose worked here for 15 years, has finally gotten to the point where he earns 3 weeks vacation a year. I really miss the leave from the university. Training is a lot harder to come by here. The pay is better, though.

    Being in the public sector there is nothing like profit sharing, bonuses, etc.

    Another thing that's true about the state I live in, is overwhelmingly employers, both in the public and private sectors, do NOT allow remote working. Its an old attitude that's been around for decades and is likely to remain in place for years to come.

    Kindest Regards, Rod Connect with me on LinkedIn.

  • skeleton567

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 5098

    Rod at work wrote:

    I currently work for a state government agency. The benefits aren't as good. Vacation and sick leave are limited. A colleague of mine, whose worked here for 15 years, has finally gotten to the point where he earns 3 weeks vacation a year. I really miss the leave from the university. Training is a lot harder to come by here. The pay is better, though.

    Being in the public sector there is nothing like profit sharing, bonuses, etc.

     

    Rod:

    Sorry to hear about your disappointing experience with the state.  I have a family member who spent almost an entire career with a city agency.  While it is true that wages were low - I think about $16.00/hour, the benefits from a city-paid retirement plan are over $70k annual plus health care, even though the city is broke - Chicago, to be exact.  And his wife was able to 'buy out' his retirement so he could retire early.

     

    Rick

    The only thing worse than being an influencer
    is believing one.

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