Thursday, August 21, 2008

What's in it for me?

Over the last several months, I have been paying close attention to company benefits. Whenever I come across a company's posting, advertising, even banner ad, I like to spend some time looking at what they offer. The range is incredible. Some companies offer very few - others have exceptional benefits. (Think Google)

I work in higher education so I have some perks that are not common in the for-profit world. Colleges and universities typically enjoy more paid time off than business, usually 4-5 weeks of vacation. I find that I have a difficult time getting in all the vacation allocated. Many schools close between Christmas and New Year's which adds more time off. Tuition is covered in abundance as well as professional conferences and certifications. Education seems to do a terrific job in encouraging staff to continue learning. And covering the costs!

I also have 12 consulting days to use - individually or in any combination of days, to provide service to the community. I must use them 'in my field' and should benefit myself and the institution. I have provided HR consulting services to non-profits that can't afford an HR department - compensation, employment, recruitment, infrastructure.

We also encourage employees to mentor students, volunteer for committee work, make use of the Wellness Center (we get extra hours to work out) and engage in the life of the campus. Work/Life balance is a big deal and it's not just lip service.

Salaries in higher education don't match our counterparts in business; we aren't paid quarterly bonuses, sales incentives or profit sharing. But our work hours are reasonable, benefits rich and personal and professional growth supported and encouraged. There isn't a dollar figure for that.

Any great benefits you enjoy?


Kate said...

Being simply acknowledged for the work you do and the contribution that you make. That then leads me to want to make more of an effort, personally and as an employee toward my organisation's vision.
Check out this free book on employee engagement, ways of thank you and the psychology behind motivating staff at

HR Maven said...

Thanks for posting Kate! I will certainly take a look. Acknowledgment is FREE and we need to use it so much more. :)