Senior managers at BMC Software know how to make a decent bacon sandwich. Cooking breakfast for the staff is part of a regular “employee appreciation week” — as is washing the workers’ cars and manning the technical support desk at the office in Egham, Surrey.
The 20-year-old company has headquarters in Houston, Texas, and sells computer software to businesses to help to streamline IT processes such as e-mail. Technology and dotcom firms may have weathered a difficult period but BMC has felt the benefit of high morale and good staff retention.
Staff are happy with their wages. BMC is among our top five companies for pay-related questions: 71% think they are paid fairly for their work compared with people doing the same job in similar organisations, while 70% think they get a fair reward for their responsibilities. The most common job is software consultant, which offers a salary of more than £50,000 a year.
Benefits are good. The company pays 15% of salary into a non-contributory pension for staff who joined before April 2003. The figure has since dropped to 10% — still a generous level.
Private healthcare is free for all employees and their families, and all staff qualify for comprehensive travel insurance that even covers winter sports. To complete holiday preparations, immunisation shots can be obtained at a discount.
A team spirit is strong both within the office and after work; 80% of staff say they laugh with team members and 81% have confidence in their abilities.
Free membership at a local gym has encouraged employees to set up team sporting events and interdepartmental league tables. Family fun days and barbecues, organised by the social club, also help colleagues get to know one another better.
An “incubator programme” encourages all employees to identify new features, functions and software opportunities in the marketplace and to identify opportunities in areas where BMC is not already active. Ideas are submitted via the intranet or directly to managers.
Flexible working is easily arranged thanks to laptop or desktop computers and mobile phones, which are provided to all employees. Staff do not feel under pressure to be present in the office unnecessarily and just 13% said they needed to feign sickness to get time off.
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