|Writer's Block: Perks of the Job
||[Sep. 13th, 2008|12:09 pm]
In this economic climate, not all employers are able to give raises. What perks would make you happy in lieu of a raise?
Stop messing with my health insurance! I paid over $30k out of pocket medical expenses last year, more than many people MAKE total. Now I have to pay $15 more for EACH prescription? That makes my out of pocket expenses now go up $60 a month. Yay. It was $95 a month if nothing went wrong. Now it's $155 per month for prescription co pays IF nothing goes wrong. If I get sick or end up in the hospital again it will be well over $300 just in prescriptions. It's really frustrating to have my house taxes go up and have to redo my budget with higher expenses and no way to get more income. It means I can give less to charity and have less to cover other unexpected expenses when my savings is already wiped out. For companies that aren't messing with their employees health insurance, point that out. Point out that the company IS protecting them by absorbing higher healthcare costs. That is like a raise.
Opportunity to save on gas and help the environment by working at home one day every week or working 4 10 hours days. Also, opportunity to try out more variety in job duties to learn more by working with a mentor side by side for one day a month to advance my career. Manager support to try new things that may be risky but will make a difference to people. Support to train other testers in new test methodologies and track the effectiveness. Allow me to be part of more customer visits with marketing to bring back real data. I guess you could say I want freedom to expand my role at work.
I'd also like to go see the new Harry Potter movie during work hours with my co-workers the day at opens up! I know it's nerdy, but that would be super fun to me. We used to do fun things like this in software, and now we are short handed and barely get to do things, or people feel like they have to work late if we do. I think I'll actually arrange this for my team next quarter if I can get my company to pay. If not, I might pay to make this happen.
An extra day off or a few paid "half days" to take care of health and other personal matters.
All in all, I like the chance to work on projects that excite me. That means as much to me as a raise does.
I also am vain and want a chance to dress up and get pictures, so stop doing so many "parties and picnics" and do one great holiday party where I can wear a fancy dress, get my hair done, and get a picture taken with Craig to commemorate the year. That photo and reason to get him dressed up means a great deal to me and I keep the picture forever. Pretty decorations, alcohol, and desserts are awesome. I want one memorable night that is beautiful and special. It doesn't have to be a huge venue with a giant budget and lobster for dinner. I hope his team has a party this year because my team won't have a fancy party anymore.
Ultimately, I think employers should always be looking to reward performance by laying off people who are lame and giving their salary to top performers. That's capitalism, and not giving raises at all is a good way to lose employees. Let the strong eat the weak. It's the American way. I'm not saying it's right, but I am saying it works well in business in our country.