Even though workplace satisfaction studies consistently find that what matters most to employees is recognition, the CEO of one Seattle-based company is enriching the employee benefits package in hopes of retaining his top-flight tech workers. According to a recent column by Brier Dudley in the Seattle Times, Alex Algard of Whitepages.com has been writing a lot of big checks to show his appreciation for “a talent pool and just an overall talent level that’s at an all-time high in the company. So for that reason it makes sense to actually spend more time and effort in investing in retention as opposed to just recruiting.”
Among the benefits that Algard has added for his 100 employees are new MacBook Pro computers with Retina displays, $700 chairs and $1,500 hydraulic desks so that individuals who prefer to work standing up can raise the desk by pushing a button. Other amenities include a remodeled office space, a total of $2 million in bonuses last Fall, and a four-day trip for employees and their families to popular Whistler, B.C., site of many events during the 2010 Winter Olympics in nearby Vancouver. The trip was in addition to an unusual vacation policy; employees may take as much vacation as they choose–as long as they get their work done.
The enriched benefits package comes at a time when Whitepages.com is recruiting more talent for a planned expansion of its services. “Algard explains that “we can’t really over-invest in our employees because (each one) makes such a big impact on the overall business.” And in an area populated by a number of technology companies competing for top talent, rich rewards are apparently more important than recognition–at least for now.