When I find myself daydreaming about my future, I think of me in various careers. As my brain ticks and I start to think about what I want to be when I grow up, I find myself thinking differently than I had imagined. When I was young I viewed myself in trendy suits on a private jet. I didn’t really care how I got there. My values have changed. I’ve stopped focusing on what I want to be or have, but more on who I want to be. Things that make me feel happy are my family, hiking and biking, friendships, cooking, and road trips. In order to enjoy these things in my personal life, I can’t come home from work a cranky-pants with no energy and all of my mental energy sucked by stress.
When thinking about job searching the title isn’t what catches my eye, it’s the company. What do I want to be has turned into “Who do I want to work for?” Because I place so much value in personal growth, health, and happiness, I know that I need my work experience to take place in a culture that supports the best me. So what does that place look like?
Each company culture is different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to providing employees what they need to be satisfied and find balanced in their lives. In addition to the various things I’ve discussed previously, there are some companies that provide creative solutions to helping their employees better their lives. These offerings attract certain kinds of people and retain talent. By channeling your efforts as a company, you can choose the kind of people that come to you. In general, wellness programs lure great applicants, but many companies go above and beyond and it shows in their success.
For example… Mayo clinic provides employees financial assistance in adoption. At Genentech, salaried employees get a 6 week paid sabbatical every 6 years. Microsoft supports employees who volunteer in their community by matching contributions of their donations. Google offers free shuttle services to work, free gourmet meals at work, nap pods, haircuts and onsite doctors. Zappos has “recess” Tuesdays where employees can get out on the plaza and goof around or play games like basketball, tether ball or volleyball.
Who wouldn’t want to go to work? What keeps people motivated in working at your company? It’s time to start thinking outside the box!