Good Places to Work / Human Resource Management / Job Satisfaction / Leadership

SAS Best Place to Work

Employee retention would not be an issue if all companies treated their employees as well as this company. SAS institute Inc. is a privately held software company located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.

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SAS resembles a college campus more than a software development company. Everything from the baby grand piano in the company cafeteria, to the giant outdoor chess board, and resident artists gives clear indication this company is a world apart. They have made Fortune magazine’s “Top 100 Best Companies to Work For,” for several years running.

Many people say working at SAS is like working with your family. Their 5000+ employees find SAS to be a positive environment focusing on creativity and innovation. In some cases, SAS becomes the closest thing to a “real family” than many people have experienced at home.

Turnover hovers around 3.7 percent and has never exceeded 5 percent in its twenty years of existence.The average for most industries is between 17 – 30%. Company loyalty destroyed by many corporations, is alive and well at SAS. During the height of the Dot Com Boom, one SAS graphic designer turned down job offers from Silicon Valley for as much as 40 percent more money because he favored the environment SAS provides. Here are some of the perks and benefits employees enjoy.

  • Unlimited sick leave: There is no limit to how much sick leave employees can use. Jim Goodnight, SAS President, PhD and billionaire believes if you treat adults like adults they will act as adults. Whether you are out sick for six days or six months it is not a problem.
  • On Site Daycare: For $250 a month, employees can place their children in the day-care facility. Parents are encouraged to eat lunch and dinner with their children. The company cafeteria is equipped with highchairs.
  • Free Family Healthcare: They provide free onsite healthcare in addition to full medical, dental, vision and hearing coverage that is 100 percent paid by the company for employees and greatly subsidized for covered dependents. Employees can elect an onsite doctor as their primary care physician, or use another offsite doctor of their choice. SAS staffs a medical clinic 24 hours a day for employees and their family members. This saves the company $300,000 a year in health insurance costs and saves thousands of hours of lost time.
  • Equal Pay for Equal Work: Many businesses run off good employees because new hires are able to start making higher salaries than the “old” employees. Not at SAS. If SAS has to hire new employees and pay them more, all employees with the same skills levels receive the same pay raise. The average salary is $50,000 a year.
  • 35-Hour Workweeks: All employees work five seven-hour workdays. They are encouraged not to stay past 5 p.m.
  • Break Areas & Free Food: Each floor has its own break area stocked with complimentary refreshments, including all the M & M’s employees can eat. SAS spends $45,000 annually on 22 tons of the little chocolate candies.

Loyalty can’t be bought by benefits and perks, but SAS appears to have created a workplace where employees know they are cared for, trusted, and treated like adults. Learn more about the SAS Institute in the book, Here Today, Here Tomorrow: Transforming Your Workforce from High Turnover to High Retention.

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