SAS’s secret sauce is being amazing at helping employees achieve work-life balance. Let’s take a closer look and see how Glassdoor’s Best Place to Work for Work-Life Balance does it.
SAS is the world’s largest privately held business analytics software vendor. Founded in 1976 and headquartered in North Carolina, SAS has 6,808 employees and $1070 million in annual revenues. SAS Institute Inc. has been in the top three of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to work for from 2010 to 2014, ranking number one in 2010 and 2011.
Anne Brenoff of Huffington Post calls SAS an amazing company in her article, “8 Reasons Why Employees Never Want to Leave this Amazing Company”. SAS employees don’t leave and it shows in the lowest turnover rate in the industry at a mere four percent, resulting in $60 million in savings.
Work-Life Initiatives at SAS
SAS doesn’t have a work-life program, they have fully integrated work-life initiatives into every aspect of compensation and benefits. That’s thanks in large part to SAS founder Jim Goodnight, who designed the SAS work environment and culture to be supportive of employees from the beginning and has kept it that way with a 35-hour workweek, employee surveys, and super effective hiring strategies and compensation systems. Since starting SAS when he was 33 years old, he has worked hard to make SAS a fun place to work with a stimulating environment to encourage creativity and extensive on-site resources that promote productivity and loyalty.
SAS maintains an employee-centered culture and employees enjoy all of the following and more:
- Subsidized cafeterias with piano players where they are encouraged to eat lunch with their kids in on-site subsidized day-care.
- On-site subsidized cafes, coffee bars, free breakfasts on Fridays, fresh fruit in all break rooms on Mondays, and free snack and drink stations throughout the company’s facilities.
- The trust of management from the top down, meaning there is no need to request to leave the office to go to a school function or take care of a sick child. SAS CEO Jim Goodnight wants workers to know they are valued and trusted.
- On-site services including hair and nail salons, shoe and jewelry repair, dry cleaning and tailor, non-fee ATM, health clinic and pharmacy, and seasonal tax preparation.
- Paid sick leave, fully paid health insurance, and paid education and training expenses.
- Annual junk and kids’ clothing swaps so employees don’t have to have garage sales or haul stuff to the local Goodwill shop, and can get stuff they need at the swaps for free.
- Private offices with doors for everyone, no cubicles or open office setups.
- State-of-the-art recreation and fitness centers.
- Financial planning courses.
What SAS Employees Say
Close to 100 percent of SAS employees report that they look forward to coming to the office, and that they’re proud to tell people they work at SAS.
“Motivation is not a problem here. Everyone has a strong desire to excel.”
“Management would only lay people off as a last resort.”
“I love coming in to what I feel is my ‘extended family. Having childcare and health care right on campus is awesome. Every morning when I drive on campus I feel I am in my comfort zone and that I am right at home.”
“You’re given the freedom, the flexibility, and the resources to do your job. Because you’re treated well, you treat the company well.”
You Can Be Amazing at Work-Life Balance Too!
You don’t have to do everything SAS does to be amazing at work-life balance. For most of us, we couldn’t begin to afford all their benefits. SAS teaches us that you do need to adopt and maintain a passion for creating an environment that’s supportive for employees. Listening and working with employees to understand their needs is a great place to start.
How does your company do when it comes to work-life balance? What have you learned from SAS that you can employ at your company?
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