‘THE PRODUCTIVITY PROJECT’
WHICH PERKS DO EMPLOYEES DESIRE MOST?
Startup companies are leading the benefits revolution in America. Netflix gives their employees a year of paid maternity leave. Google offers bottomless gourmet food and allows pets. And Airbnb gives employees $2,000 a year for travel. Those perks really jump off the page, don’t they? Well, they’re designed to. Major companies need to add a little sparkle to their benefits to attract the best talent. But which perks does the average employee desire most? When you study the most successful benefits packages, you notice some trends. In a 2016 study, employee review platform Glassdoor found the most desired benefits are: 1. Health care insurance (including dental) It comes as no surprise to see health care at the top. It’s a basic human need. After that, one of the biggest draws seems to be how easy the company makes it to not come to work. Take Lendio, a business funding corporation that was named by Forbes as the best place to work in Utah. They offer their employees unlimited PTO. No wonder they got the top slot. Another burgeoning trend in the benefits revolution is an increased focus on employees’ families. Google is famous for their sleep pods, gourmet cooking, and access to fitness clubs. However, you might not know that if an employee passes away, their stock vests immediately and their spouse gets half the Googler’s salary for the next 10 years, as well as an additional $1,000 per month for each child. One employee reported that when he told his wife this, she cried. Campbell Soup Company offers on-site daycare and a full kindergarten program. Walt Disney Company offers free admission for their employees’ families, and Facebook dishes out a $4,000 bonus to employees with newborns. The overall trend is this: If you want to attract the best employees, offer incentives that touch their hearts, not blow their minds. Invest in health care, family support, and personal development for your employees before you offer them break room snacks. 2. Vacation/paid time off 3. Performance bonuses 4. Paid sick days 5. 401(k), retirement plans, and/or pensions
An Exercise in Reaching New Heights of Productivity
We all strive to be more productive. We are surrounded by advice, apps, and devices purported to boost our productivity, yet we don’t seem to be any better off. This challenge to achieve greater productivity is explored in “The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy” by Chris Bailey. The author has a passion for productivity that most of us only dream of; he spent a full year attempting to be more productive. During that year, Bailey’s goal was to get more out of life by being more productive and working smarter, not harder. “The Productivity Project” takes that idea to the extreme. Much of the book recounts Bailey’s productivity experiments and what he learned along the way. Plus, he gives the reader tools and insights so they, too, can apply what he learned. One by one, Bailey works his way through a number of tasks to understand productivity and ultimately master it. He prepared by reading about the successes and failures of others with similar goals. He experimented with meditation, a modified sleep schedule, an altered diet, and even strategized his coffee consumption, among many other modifications — all with the goal of living and working better. Through these productivity experiments, there is one thing Bailey didn’t want to do: waste your time. Every chapter begins with a takeaway. Bailey tells you what you’ll get out of the chapter and how long the chapter will take to read. But Bailey challenges the reader, as well. Most chapters include a challenge for you to try. It’s all about relevancy to your life, personal and professional. At its core, “The Productivity Project” is a trove of ideas. When you want to master your productivity and live and work better, this book serves as a worthwhile starting point.
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