I recently visited the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington and I struck up a conversation with our friendly tour guide about what it is like to work there. Jewell told me “Most employees are really happy here. They love seeing the results of their work, the finished product at the end of construction. The benefits are really good”.
I enquired about the benefits and she elaborated: There are six onsite cafes for the employees, DVD hire booths, drycleaning pick up and delivery to the site, an onsite day care centre and health club. Employees with more than 25 years service get onsite car parking (others park off site and are bussed in). The company provides 1300 pushbikes used by employees to get around the factory.and there is a Boeing Employees Credit Union on site for banking.
Given the size of the site,(the factory itself is 13000000cubic meters, 2.1 miles around, 11 stories high and the area of 800 hockey fields, all under one roof. There are 38000 employees at the plant, working 3 shifts, around the clock, seven days a week), Jewell told me that people really appreciate the convenience of having things available to them onsite “being able to grab a DVD to watch at home, or drop off your drycleaning without having to drive into town, is really important”.
I asked if Boeing paid for the services, or if they were subsidised in some way, but according to Jewell, they are not. “Employees pay for services, they are not subsidised by Boeing, but employees just really appreciate the convenience”.
Employee reviews on glassdoor, are overwhelmingly positive about the benefits provided by the company. http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Boeing-Reviews-E102.htm
To read a good case study on Boeing’ “move to the lake” and the impact on employee satisfaction https://www.ciosummits.com/media/pdf/solution_spotlight/boeing_shaking-things-up.pdf
Interestingly the information available publicly about Boeing on their website and annual reports, doesn’t highlight any of these conveniences. I suspect, like many companies, they don’t consider these things as benefits because they don’t cost anything.
If you are struggling in the war for talent because you are restricted in the benefits you can offer, think outside the square. What can you offer in conjunction with local businesses that will provide a convenience for your people and won’t cost you? On site ATM? Drycleaning pick up? Coffee or lunch delivery? Car detailing in the car park? What other suggestions do you have?