can we talk about GOOD companies for a change?

It’s the Thursday “ask the readers” question. A reader writes:

I work for a large company that, when I started, I thought was going to be really great. It isn’t. It is the opposite of great. On an almost daily basis, I am blown away by how cruel this company is to its workforce. What makes this worse is how, publicly, the company makes a big to-do about just how wonderful it is to work for. I feel gaslit. Mass layoffs are coming sometime in the next few weeks, but we don’t know when, and everyone’s morale is in the toilet. We’re all depressed, scared, and frustrated.

Which is what’s led me to write in today: I would love to hear stories from your wonderful community of readers about companies that are GOOD. I want to hear about companies that have gone above and beyond for their employees. Companies that embrace truly being great to work for. Certainly no workplace is perfect, but there has to be better than this … and I am hoping the AAM community has some positivity to share.

This is something we don’t get a chance to talk about a lot here, because advice columns by their nature deal in problems. So readers, let’s hear some specifics about good companies and what you’ve seen from them. The comment section is open.

{ 395 comments… read them below }

  1. HonorBox*

    My company is fantastic. We’re a small non-profit and the team works incredibly well together and is supportive.

    The other day, my boss and I were talking and he said he wanted to do whatever we could to retain people and keep people happy. So he is weighing some options to give people MORE time away from the office. It might be a couple days extra PTO, a four-day work week, and afternoon off every week, or some combination. In talking about it with some others on the team who have been with the company (and in the workforce) awhile, we all agreed that we just appreciated the thought from leadership about how to give everyone some more balance.

      1. HonorBox*

        And honestly, an afternoon in the middle of the week would rule! On a beautiful day… sit outside. On a crummy day, get some errands done so you don’t have to over the weekend.

        All of it is awesome and you’re so right. Almost no cost.

        1. sunflowerdreams*

          I have a former coworker who’s current place has a rotating Wednesday afternoon off schedule. You get every 6th one off, and there can be no meetings Thursday morning so having basically two long chunks of “no meetings” (Wed afternoon & Thurs morning) has really helped plow through her projects. And then you don’t have to take PTO for a dentist but instead for really recharging away from work

        2. Antilles*

          It also usually makes it even more reliable when people are in the office – because if it’s a known and consistent thing, people will typically try to schedule various appointments around it as much as they can.

      2. Andrea*

        After working in a toxic workplace for six years (hostile, yelling/screaming, personal insults, and non-stop boundary crossing). It was so bad I now suffer from PTSD. I now work for a company where I’m respected and valued. What a difference!

        I look forward to coming to work, I enjoy what I do (bookkeeping and customer service), I’m paid a fair wage, and I know I said this already – I’m valued and respected.

        There are good companies out there! If you work for a crummy company start looking, there ARE better opportunities out there.

      3. Arglebargle FNP*

        Oh lord, I have been advocating for this in my own workplace where someone put me on the “Morale and Retention Committee.” Unfortunately we are healthcare providers, and if we are not actively providing patient care, our organization is not getting paid. People are quitting at record rates due to burnout, which is costing us thousands of dollars but every time I propose a four-day workweek for people who have been with us for 5 or more years it’s met with crickets from the highest higher ups.

        1. mlepnos*

          I don’t mean to assume or offer advice if you are not looking for it, but have you had any luck presenting the business case for a 4-day workweek? For example, comparing any exit data you have with the cost per turnover, research on what other similar healthcare providers offer for schedule flexibility, etc., and seeing if the math helps make them understand?

    1. Chief Bottle Washer*

      So my company is okay, not great but not terrible. But we have one thing that folks absolutely love. Work your normal total hours between Monday through Friday morning, then take Friday afternoon off. You are still working your full hours, but it’s great to be able to start your weekend early in the summer.

      1. T. Boone Pickens*

        Summer hours absolutely rule. There are a few companies in my area that widely advertise summer hours and despite them being middle of the road in pay/benefits and in not exactly the sexiest vertical (insurance/benefits) they consistently have excellent reviews on Glassdoor, Google plus all the “Best Of” area surveys that come out. People absolutely love summer hours.

        1. Midwest Writer*

          We tested out a 9-3, M-F schedule last summer and it was amazing! We loved it! I was also way more productive during those hours, knowing I needed to wrap everything up in time to go early. And staying late some days because I just had stuff to do. I loved it so much.

      2. Arglebargle FNP*

        When I worked in publishing aeons ago I LOVED summer Fridays. We split them so that half of us came in while half of us had a day off. And we usually left at 3 if we were working that Friday.

      3. Lanlan*

        We do a version of this: you can get your 35 hours in anytime during the week, so if you want to work 7 x 5, you can, but if you’re an 8 x 4 + 3 on Friday person (me, it’s me) that’s totally fine. Or any other combination! We only seem to care that you put in your full hours — so you can get paid your full wage!

    2. LCH*

      i used to work at a place that included a museum, and we would get every other Friday off to accomodate visitor parking. like half the org would get one Friday, half would get the other. it was great! plus i didn’t need to use sick time for quick appointments. like if i needed to leave or come in an hour late, no problem. that might have been job-specific since we had some positions that required people to be there at definite times.

    3. North American Couch Wizard Society Member*

      I worked for a company where, once a month or so, the CEO would just randomly give the afternoon off to some randomly selected number of people: if you were a youngest child, if you were born in an even month, if you were born on a Monday or Thursday, etc. I think her assistant kept track of who was taking off time so that it kept things even. I actually could never take off (I had a client-facing role and wasn’t going to cancel appointments because I had the afternoon off for being an oldest child) but it was a really nice treat for people who could.

    4. Resident Catholicville, U.S.A.*

      My company is in manufacturing and the plant runs Monday through Thursday, 10 hour days. The production staff has a three day weekend every week. There are a few of us that come in on Fridays, so for example, my schedule is 9 hours M-Th and 4 hour days on Fridays. I don’t mind at all- I can make appointments and I use the Friday afternoons to treat myself to special lunches and to get errands done. I’m not sure I can go back to a normal M-F schedule- I might have to negotiate a 4 day or 4.5 day week at any future jobs I work.

  2. galaxyrow*


    You don’t get the highest total compensation due to lack of high-value stock options of big tech, but don’t knock startups. Here are the benefits I’ve seen from early stage startups perusing job boards:

    -Work from home, indefinitely
    -WFH? Company will pay your wifi bill
    –$2500/year “co working” budget to travel to another coworker’s location and work together in person
    -First Friday of every month off
    -2 week end of year company closure
    -$100 weekly grocery or delivery stipend
    -$1,000 WFH allowance to set up home office

    1. wkfauna*

      Early stage tech startups very often overpromise. Source: worked at a bunch, was high up in one. Don’t rely on the job boards for a realistic view of what working for them will be like.

      1. TechAnon*

        Yeah I added a comment below but in my experience the environment in a true start-up is very different from a small-to-midsize established tech company. Start-up culture can be its own thing, and often carries the loaded expectation that you’re working for a big future payout rather than your actual current compensation.

        1. Turquoisecow*

          My husband worked for several tech startups and loved it. He worked with people he knew and enjoyed the fast paced atmosphere, as well as the good pay. But he worked long hours, was often called on to handle urgent problems late at night, and the CEO refused to fire anyone, so terrible employees stuck around much longer than they should have. The company was bought out shortly before our kid was born and he works for the newX much larger company now. We both appreciate the shorter hours at this company so he can spend more time with our toddler, and although he sometimes gets annoyed with excessive bureaucracy, I think he’s adapted well to the change in culture.

      2. Old13oy*

        You might get these benefits and work 80 hour weeks, with a never-ending “To Do” list that keeps growing. Lots of managers that don’t know what they’re doing/are trying to figure it out.

        If you value work/life, are over the age of 40, or have kids, I do NOT recommend touching a startup within its first two years of existence.

        Let them burn out their initial set of employees, realize their failures, and then hopefully treat you better in the 2nd wave

        1. Ridiculous Penguin*


          The time I spent for an early-stage startup is time I will never get back. I was drawn in by the retreats in Japan and Thailand and the dream of being a digital nomad, but it was the most confusing and disorganized places I’ve ever worked. I left when they pivoted for a third time within a year.

        2. Prospect gone bad*

          80 hours a week is an exaggeration but I do see a trend where people are blindsided by having to do a decent amount of work, I think the constant comment threads all over the Internet and articles about people in tech only working two hours a day is messing with people’s expectations in certain jobs

          I was dealing with a couple situations today that boil down with people not being able to handle others not instantly agreeing with them, or them handling normal workloads. I don’t know what the issue is, but I know that really bad expectations are being set in the media and on websites like reddit right now

          I feel like people expect me to shield them from anything difficult or uncomfortable the past few years

          1. Ellen Ripley*

            You’re painting with a wide brush here. There is a lot of middle ground between 2 hours a day and 80 hours a week… And just because you are having some issues with a few employees doesn’t mean you can generalize that experience to everyone.

            Do you also regularly complain that “nobody wants to work anymore”?

          2. IT Manager*

            On the other hand, i work for an old and established company and routinely pull 70-80 hours. So YMMV either way…

        3. Turquoisecow*

          Yeah, I mentioned above my husband worked at a startup for several years and now that we have a kid (and have entered our 40s), we are both very happy for the shorter hours he works at a bigger company now. At 35, being called on to tackle a problem in the middle of our anniversary dinner was annoying. At 40, being called on to tackle a problem when he needs to be watching our kid is much more of an inconvenience. Emergencies, which used to be constant, are now as rare as you’d expect.

    2. TechAnon*

      Agreed. I won’t add a full list to avoid being too specific but I have similar benefits at a small-ish (<300 person, non-startup) tech company and can verify that they're real!

      Most important, for me, is knowing that my company has fair management practices and fair compensation policies (in our case, regularly reviewed based on market rate of employee location and experience/skill level).

      When I was hired, they came in above my range on the first offer. I've since had significant raises related to promotion & regular merit review. From the hiring side, I've seen how the benchmarking works and believe it is fair and results in pay at or above market rate, and have seen that we don't artificially wait on promotions when the employee deserves it but is under X years or some other measure. As a manager we also have active retention initiatives and training to ensure we're offering people appropriate development opportunities and stretch projects. As in the comment above, the compensation isn't what you would get in big tech but for the good environment and fair expectations it is plenty, and even more importantly I never get the sense that management plays games with compensation.

      Naturally there are things that are not ideal – for example, some cultural issues that are a hangover from previous leadership persist in some teams/departments, and can flare up when they come into conflict with the way we operate in other parts of the org. But, generally it's an excellent place to work with strong leadership, great colleagues, nice benefits, opportunities for growth, and reasonable day-to-day expectations.

    3. Gato Blanco*

      That’s nice. Reeeeeally not my experience with tech start ups. I have experienced way below market pay for very heavy workload, paltry raises (like 50 cents and hour), companies really suspicious of or outright banning regularly WFH, and banning keeping your personal phone at your desk. Sure, they did give us $100/ month towards a local gym membership and kept the kitchen stocked with free pretzels and granola bars as “perks”.

    4. Problem!*

      I imagine the coworking stipend is burdensome for employees living in desirable areas. I live close to Disney and I can only imagine the number of people descending upon me to “co-work” as a way for the company to subsidize their family vacation.

      1. Former Themed Employee*

        Try working FOR Disney. All of a sudden, you start to hear from all the folks you knew in HS and haven’t talked to in the 20 years since then … “Hey, can you get me free tickets?”

    5. Ellen Ripley*

      I started at a big tech company a year ago and for reference we get:
      -WFH indefinitely (if you want, hybrid and on site are options as well)
      -$500 budget for home office for hybrid and remote workers (chair included, not from the $500 budget)
      -goal of 15% on top of salary in bonuses (most is based on individual performance, some is based on company performance), and profit sharing
      -all national holidays are paid, various “no meeting” days on Mondays/Fridays, eg the Friday before memorial day weekend
      -competitive salary, with regular market adjustments outside of the annual raise cycle
      -3 weeks vacation at time of hire, plus 4 weeks sabbatical every 4 years

      Personally I prefer to have most of my compensation come in my salary rather than other perks like weekly stipends, as the latter are easier to take away. But I also am not a risk taker/value stability. Being ground floor in a start up can really lead to great opportunities for the right person! I think it’s mostly about knowing yourself and what you want out of a job.

    6. tomorrow's child*

      My SO & I both work for pre-revenue companies (aka living on venture capital). Our companies are both > 5 years old. He gets well compensated (not as well as FAANG, but not bad), $1000 per year for home office things; permanent WFH, there is no office. I get hybrid (2-3 days WFH/office) lunch 2x/week if I’m in the office those days, and snacks at office, but somewhat less well compensated. He gets 21 days vacation, I get 23. Plus public holidays. In both our cases work is intense to very intense, but we almost never work more than 45 hours/week.

    7. Tk*

      Just a cautionary note, I work in tech in a fully remote role, and it’s not all great

      – Work from home
      – High pay (approx 20-30% higher than jobs located in my region)
      – Good collaboration tools to get work done (Google docs, etc)

      – Very stressful work environment, everything is urgent all the time even when it shouldn’t be
      – Competitive and back-stabby among peers, unfortunately
      – A lot of pay is via Restricted Stock Units, so if the company decreases in value, so does your pay. Between 2020-2022, my pay dropped by 50%
      – Currently, many layoffs. hoping this is short lived.

      Definitely go in with your eyes open. I think tech is good for 5-8 years and then you need to get out before total burnout.

      1. I have RBF*

        /me looks at my resume with 20+ years in tech


        IME, tech has boom/bust cycles. So you can end up out of work for six months to a year at a time. Plenty of time to recover from burnout though. (I think I’ve hit burnout more than once, but layoffs are good for resetting.)

        I still love tech.

  3. KHB*

    I’m reminded of a post Alison wrote back in the day on how to be a great employee, and it basically came down to: Do what you say you’re going to do, and if it turns out that’s not possible for some reason, let the people who are counting on you know what’s going on. I think the same cardinal rule applies to companies.

    My employer (like most, I think) has been a mix of good and bad over the years. When I think about what’s been good, I think about times when leadership has been straightforward with us. When I think about what’s been bad, I think about when they’ve broken their promises and/or fed us a line of obvious BS.

    1. Hlao-roo*

      Yes, the company I worked for in 2020 handled the COVID shut-downs well (in my opinion). They communicated: this is what we’re going to do, this is why we’re doing it.

      One small example: raises normally went into effect in April. In March, the company said they were delaying raises until January 2021 because of financial concerns. Then later in the year, the financial picture was less dire than they expected, so raises went into effect October 2020.

      1. KHB*

        Absolutely this as well (and I was just pondering whether I should reply to myself to add something along these lines). Good leadership – at all levels – means understanding that employees want to feel like valued parts of a team that’s all pulling together for a common goal, not cogs in a machine that you can arbitrarily order around. If something needs to change, I’m a whole lot more willing to accommodate that when I understand why it needs to change (and, if applicable, when the person making the change acknowledges that it’s going to be an inconvenience for me).

  4. southern interloper*

    My company hired me four years ago after I had been essentially out of the workforce for about 10 years raising kids. I was hired (and continue to work) part-time, 100% from home (pre-pandemic), and the best part – FULL benefits for me AND the family. As long as I stay over 50% time on average across the year – so allowing for ebbs and flows on a week by week basis – the benefits stay. This has been hugely helpful through three of my husband’s job changes in the four years. Plus we moved states and that was fine with my employer as well. Now, I got the job because of a prior professional contact and I’m very good at what I do in a somewhat niche role of government consulting, but still, full benefits for a work from home part time job is pretty unheard of in my field. Any other annoyances (and there are a few) get completely outweighed by that.

    1. Gato Blanco*

      That’s amazing! I hope I can snag something like this when my kid is a little bit older. Would really help our family out a lot.

    2. Ali + Nino*

      Wow, full benefits at part-time! Good for you. As long as benefits in the US are tied to employment, this would unfortunately be just a pipe dream for most workers.

    3. DJ Hymnotic*

      This was a **big** reason I chose to join my current employer. I burned out badly during the pandemic and worked retail for a stretch to pay the bills and regroup, but I have a family and the loss of most of my benefits was…palpable. My current position is 60% time, but it provides life and disability insurance for next to nothing and my retirement contributions are matched at almost 100% as long as I’m at least half time. It’s not WFH, but at this stage in my kid’s life I don’t need it to be. Like you, I’ve my bill of particulars with my employer but the peace of mind the benefits give me more than make up for that.

  5. Baby Yoda*

    I work for a very good company, that has let us stay remote post-pando if we choose. They provide a nice subscription wellness/workout service to us free of cost and using it is optional. From time to time they hold a luncheon for workers who choose to come in that day, but again, all optional.

    Communications are good and everyone is treated with respect.

    1. Ally*

      Heehee, haven’t heard it called “pando”. Going on my list of faves, up there with “panny D”

  6. H.Regalis*

    The place I work for is really good about hiring people for IT and training them up. Half of our security team is people who started out working in our call center doing tier one tech support. I had no background in software development coming in and now I’m at the senior level. Actually training people who show promise has also made our team way more diverse because it’s no longer all nerdy white guys.

    1. Entry-level jobs don’t require experience*

      That is great. I’m trying to get into IT and have been applying to call center jobs (tier 1) everyone wants experience nobody wants to give opportunities to people that are internet and more than capable of doing the job. Honestly if someone has experience they would applied to higher jobs, I know i would, makes no sense. Great that you found that company.

      1. Certaintroublemaker*

        Try a support desk at a big university. I work in the IT department at a large state institution and as long as you have a bit of tech understanding and experience with customer service, we do the training. And we do a lot of professional development and hiring/promoting within.

        1. Cedrus Libani*

          I’ve had this experience as well. Big companies are generally willing to pay market rates for a person who comes already trained and has the proven ability to do what they need done on Day 1. Startups may be able to get by on buzz. Universities, though, mostly can’t pay market and also aren’t that exciting. They will be short-handed, you will be dragged into things above your pay grade, and if you can figure it out…you put it on your resume, and eventually use it to get a better job.

          I spent much of the Great Recession working for a university hospital. The job I was hired for: processing surgical waste. Three weeks later, I was also the department sysadmin; there was an IT emergency, and I was the only person they had who was even vaguely qualified. No, I didn’t get a raise. This was “other duties” to be done when I wasn’t busy slinging buckets of human meat for a smidge over minimum wage. But I did it, and I thought hard about leveraging it to become a full-time sysadmin. (Didn’t, went back to school instead, but could have.)

  7. Jay (no, the other one)*

    I retired at the end of 2021 after 35 years in medicine. I spent a few years in private practice and otherwise was employed by a variety of entities. My last five years I worked for a private company rather than a health care system or hospital. I was leery of this and took the job because it was a perfect fit for my skill set and was exactly what I wanted to wind down my career – pure clinical work, no administrative responsibility. I liked the work and the local office so much I recruited my best friend’s husband to join. Pay was good, benefits were excellent, there was real collegiality among the team, and I felt appreciated and supported.

    When my best friend’s father died, her husband of course took time off. She asked me to go the funeral to support her and I was really dubious because her husband and I covered each other. But it was really important to her, so I asked. My boss said absolutely. He told me to take the whole day (I had originally offered to work in the afternoon). Every place I’ve ever worked would have given him the time off. No other place would have let me off as well.

    Later that year they announced that our next team meeting would be an Easter celebration. For what felt like the thousandth time in my career, I pointed out that not everyone celebrates Easter, and since that week was also Passover, some of us wouldn’t be able to eat any of the goodies. Ten minutes later I had an Email from the office manager asking what we needed, and when I got to the meeting it was a spring celebration with nary a bunny to be seen – and there was a whole separate counter of Passover food. I was stunned. So much better than the time I spoke up and was told I was being too sensitive and ruining everyone’s fun.

    1. HotSauce*

      That is so lovely. My company has recently made a lot of efforts to be more inclusive and I love it. It’s disappointing listening to coworkers grumble about offerings in the cafeteria changing to include more vegetarian, Kosher and Halal options, but they’re just the grumbling kind.

      1. another Hero*

        I mean…if they’re doing more work without more staff, that still sucks though? Grumbling is justified? Like, it’s clearly necessary, and I’m not suggesting it shouldn’t be done. (It could be done, afaik, by serving all vegetarian, but they’d get complaints.) But they are workers just like the people they’re serving, and they deserve an increase in staff if they’re doing a bunch more different things each day. They might be the grumbling kind, or they might be the same kind as you if you suddenly had to make a couple more kinds of widgets each day without the overall number going down.

        1. another Hero*

          oh yikes I misread “coworkers” as “cafeteria workers” and totally messed up yr comment very sorry from a former food service worker

  8. Justin*

    My company just got named the #2 nonprofit to work for (under 250 employees). I’m not gonna tell you the name directly but you can go find that list. We all can choose how often we go to our offices (and this is officially permanent), they pay us well because we are funded by contracts rather than donations, and they actually live up to inclusivity. It helps that the leadership is mostly Black.

    I’m at the end of a work trip and although I want to get home and see my family, I’m always sad when these trips end because I really like my team and I only see them on these (about every other month for two to three days). We live all over the country so it’s mostly zoom boxes.

    Then there’s what we actually do, which is give loans to (mostly) POC that banks ignore. I’m a teacher, I run the education program for housing developers of color, but it’s actually structurally impactful.

    And we are literally always hiring. Go look!

    1. White Rabbit*

      Your org sounds great! But my searches aren’t very helpful—who did the ranking you mention?

    2. HappySpring*

      Super interesting that contracts let you pay well. I work at a large, primarily direct service nonprofit and our government contracts pay, at best, about 80% of our costs. We do private fundraising and a lot of negotiation to bring up staff pay to more reasonable levels, but it’s an ongoing issue.

      But, I do think we are a good employer. Much of our work has to be in-person, either at an office or in the community. We have done a comprehensive, position by position review to determine where WFH opportunities exist, which identified a number of positions that did have some WFH capacity. All managers have to go before a committee that includes line staff to describe what positions require in-person work and where WFH positions are needed. We are now determining additional benefits for positions that require all or majority in-person work, including paying commuting costs and additional sick/personal leave. We have also recently increased our retirement match to 6% (very high for our sector) and we have a tiered structure for health insurance where lower salaried employees pay less for their health insurance than employees who make a higher salary. This is all part of our ongoing racial equity work, which is truly centered in concrete actions to increase equity, and not in staff workgroups or endless meetings.

      1. mlepnos*

        I love your second paragraph! I wish this site allowed messaging or some way to privately get more information.

  9. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

    I worked for Trader Joe’s, both part-time and full-time, for about 8 years. Fantastic place.

    Pay and benefits were really good, it’s a collaborative environment, store managers are almost always promoted from the rank-and-file. When regional VPs visit a store, they’ll often spend 30 minutes bagging groceries at a couple of check-out lines and talking to the people running the registers.

    1. Peanut Hamper*

      My friend’s son works for TJ’s and they are indeed a good place to work. Although that bit about the VPs is news to me. That’s pretty cool and should be done more often.

    2. Spero*

      My ex husband worked for TJ’s and those benefits!! The best, cheapest insurance I ever had in 15 years of working at health care/social service orgs.

    3. mlepnos*

      I completely forgot about TJs! I am looking for part-time work and there are 3 in neighboring towns. This has cheered me up immensely because even if they are not hiring (or don’t hire me), just knowing about the good places out there is making me more optimistic.

    4. Loves libraries*

      My daughter works for TJ making more than in her art major related job. She has become the store expert wine sticker. It’s physically demanding because wine cases are heavy but every once in a while, the boss will give her a new bottle to sample so she can make recommendations. occasionally she gets to help with their creative signs.

  10. MakinBiscuits*

    I’m a teacher working for a private school. It feels like all we hear is about teachers leaving the profession, but I LOVE my school. Tons of administrative support. Fair pay. Genuine support of our wellness and professional growth. Intentional focus on workload. Legit DEI initiatives both for us and for our kids. Awesome families and team support. Great financial aid (especially for faculty kids). It’s not perfect, but I am so happy here.

    1. Rara Avis*

      Yeah, I have some frustrations with my school, but the administration works collaboratively with the teachers, and they’ve done work to lighten our loads over the years — we don’t have to do break or lunch supervision anymore, we don’t have to cover classes for each other, they have a fantastic tuition remission program, lots of support for professional development — when I compare the support I get compared to my husband’s public school, I appreciate what I’ve got. (Tech support at his school was “Ummm … maybe the teacher next door can help you?” “We can’t get you on the student attendance/grading program because you were hired mid-year. But you’re still required to take attendance in the program.”)

    2. NotBatman*

      The administration at my school is also wonderful, both for supporting intellectual freedom among faculty and for meeting the needs of students. Most times when I say to a colleague “has Betty Jones been missing your class too?” it ends with multiple people getting together for a wellness check on Betty and a structured plan to help her catch up. Some of my colleagues complain, but often about things that make me suspect they have no idea how good we have it — our meetings run too long because of policies for making sure everyone has a voice, our budget is constantly fluctuating because we get cost-of-living raises, our president has an overfull schedule because he tries not to play favorites.

      1. Retail Dalliance*

        For real I’d love to know what schools you guys work for. If that violates the site’s anonymity rules, I will fully accept that…but as a teacher in a private school who is overall dissatisfied with how things are going, I’d love to know more about what schools are making it work, and how! Thanks for indulging my comment.

    3. Flower necklace*

      Good admin makes such a difference. The admin at my school are very supportive. I run the ESOL department, and the principal has really made a difference since he started a few years ago. He has a good understanding of how my program works and he supports my decisions about how to run it. He also provides us with all the funding we need. I literally have no idea what our budget is. All my orders for supplies are approved.

  11. Sunny days are better*

    I think that I work for a good company. It is privately owned which makes a HUGE difference – and is something that I look for when applying.

    The benefits are very good, and during the height of Covid, not a single person was laid off or furloughed – not even the cafeteria staff. We also had an opportunity to order furniture for WFH – which would be ours outright after 5 years (if we left the company prior, they would charge us a pro-rated cost). Sitting in my very expensive WFH chair was about the only way that I could comfortably sit or stand when I had a very painful bout of sciatica, and I was eternally grateful to have it.

    Salaries are not amazing, but they are fair and we get good bonuses every year. COA increases were higher this year to match the higher inflation rate.

    Snacks and meals are available at cost and fruit and basic beverages are free. Employees are encouraged to transfer to different teams if they want a change.

    I have heard from many people how hard it is to get hired (many colleagues applied multiple times before getting in), and there are some very smart people working there.

    No company is perfect, but I have definitely worked at much, much worse.

    1. CM*

      +1 to privately owned companies! Public companies are incentivized to pump up short-term gains — they have to make quarterly earnings reports. So you end up with layoffs and other decisions that don’t make long-term sense. In good hands, a private company can be a much more humane place to work.

      Things I like about my company:
      – Culture of problem-solving. If something goes wrong, you talk about it, bring in the appropriate people, and try to resolve the issue. Focus is on identifying problems and solutions, not blaming people.
      – Free food!
      – Schedule flexibility. If someone in your family is sick, and you say you need to WFH or leave early for a doctor’s appointment, it’s not a problem and everyone has that kind of flexibility. If you want to come in early one day and leave early for a personal reason, as long as you’re not missing meetings or deadlines, no big deal.
      – Reasonable amount of work, and if you feel underwater, the response is, again, to try to fix it — by reducing the amount of work, delegating, hiring, streamlining, whatever, but not “just keep doing it.”
      – Mission aligns with my values and I think we are actually doing work that helps make the world better, even though we are a commercial company.
      – Company provides a good amount of transparency about finances, sales, etc., so if you want to know how we are doing, you can easily find out.
      It’s not perfect, and there are things I would change. But overall, I find it to be humane, sustainable, and respectful.

      1. ThatGirl*

        This sounds a lot like the company I work for before it went public — the founding family decided they didn’t want to run it anymore (after 100 years!) and we were acquired by a slightly bigger company in the same space.

      2. sb51*

        +1 these two comments are very similar (not identical enough to be coworkers but the same general idea) to my privately-held employer as well. Stability and comfort > stock options for me, definitely.

  12. Happily employed*

    I have been with my current company for 8 years and have been in treatment for stage 4 cancer for over 12 years. The support I’ve received from the company has been nothing short of overwhelming. I receive emails and phone calls from the CEO checking on me to see how I’m doing. I’m encouraged to ask if I need additional time off or anything else to help balance my health situation with work. If the company considers making a change to our health insurance provider they contact me first to ensure this change won’t negatively impact my healthcare.
    My company is amazing!

  13. ThursdaysGeek*

    As in many companies, the tenor of individual bosses can make a difference in the daily work. Currently, my boss is excellent.

    But I’m especially pleased at how they handled the pandemic. When the shutdowns happened, they told us to go home to work, and take whatever we needed to make it happen: computers, power strips, monitors, etc. We’re essential, so they had to make it work, but many companies insisted people use their own gear.

    Then, they realized that working from home worked. So before things even started opening up, they worked out a telecommuting policy, and when the offices opened back up, more than half the office employees are hybrid or fully working at home. And we have a presence in several states, which has allowed employees to move all over.

    1. ThursdaysGeek*

      Also, we actively hire interns, but the interns aren’t given busy work. They are fully integrated members of our team, doing the same work, but with hours that work for them. Yes, they are paid. We are willing to help them learn, and spend time helping them, but they are not treated as lesser employees.

    2. ferrina*

      My company was similar- let people bring home gear, mailed some things to the house, and provided a budget for home office purchases. Post-pandemic, there was some noise about bringing people back, but several higher up people are firmly in the ‘let people choose’ camp. Our people work from wherever works for them. Our hours are really flexible (pretty much: show up to the meetings you’ve committed to and get your work done). Our C-Suite actively tries to find ways to make employees’ lives better. We are actively encouraged to take PTO to help us recharge. It’s really refreshing.

  14. AAM Regular, but anon for this*

    I’ve been with my employer for 25 years, and in government contracting years that’s even longer! The founders knew me personally, even when we got to be a few hundred people, and I’ve never been more than a front-line supervisor. One time, severe weather was causing us to close early, and one of the founders saw me and asked if I had a way home, because they knew that I took public transportation! They also do not expect working more than 40 hours as a normal thing, and if it’s unavoidable, we’re allotted comp time, and they were allowing flex time and telework at the supervisor’s discretion well before the pandemic.

    They have had to make a few modest cuts to benefits in order to stay competitive, but I felt like they explained it very well, and gave us a chance to provide feedback. They do encourage and fund DEI and environmental initiatives, and listen to and value their employees. I’ve seen a few “boomerang employees” who left and then came back or asked about coming back after a few months.

  15. Richard Hershberger*

    My experience is that the larger the company, the harder the upper limit on how good it can be to work for. This is especially true for publicly traded companies, what with “shareholder value” trumping all other considerations, from legality to basic human decency. (This is for ordinary employees. C-suite operates by different rules.) My rule of thumb, back when I was in the market, was I wanted the place to be small enough that the owner, or at least the CEO, personally knew everyone, at least well enough to know their names and greet them in the hallway. My theory was that this makes it harder for them to forget that their employees are human beings rather than meat puppets. Not impossible, of course. The owner might be a loathsome person. But harder for your run of the mill not-a-saint but not-evil person.

    No guarantees, of course. My previous job was on this level, but the boss was a terrible person (later disbarred). I lasted three years. I now work for a solo practitioner who is a total mensch. I will hit fourteen years with him this fall. I could earn more working elsewhere, but I would rather have quality of life.

    1. I like hound dogs*

      I have had the opposite experience. The three worst jobs I’ve ever had were for very small companies/organizations. Only one of the CEOs was straight-up evil, but the other two jobs were just disorganized messes with no support.

      I work at a Fortune 150 now and am much happier. Great culture, great pay, lots of flexibility, and clear expectations.

      1. I Could Use a Massage*

        I wish I could agree. I’m at a Fortune 100 company and “clear expectations” has been a joke since the pandemic. We just received an email this week changing our work from office expectations for the 3rd time in just a few months, with hard to understand criteria surrounding it each time. It is maddening.
        To Richard’s point…a small company (and I have worked at a bad one before) at least KNOWS how their decisions directly affect each of their employees. At my org we are left feeling misunderstood frequently and like the CEO clearly has now clue how our day to day jobs function at all.
        Blanket mandates in companies with 30K+ employees don’t always make sense. Constant movement of the goal posts supposedly in pursuit of some elusive corporate unity.

      2. Mornington Cresent*

        Yeah, for me, I worked for a very small company last year and it was terrible. 12 people, with a husband and wife in the directors, is too small.

        It was doubly toxic because my face never really fit, so everyone else was part of the clique and I didn’t buy into Wife’s cult of personality.

        I’m not sorry to be out of there!

    2. ThursdaysGeek*

      I currently work for a company that has been on the fortune 500 list, and have worked for all sizes over the years. And I’d say the current company is one of the best, and it starts at the top. They emphasize integrity and safety in a way I’ve not seen at smaller companies. I’ve only met the CEO once, in passing, but he’s a good one.

    3. Felicity Lemon*

      I’ve had kind of a ‘three bears’ experience with company size – the most dysfunctional I’ve worked at have been those at smallest & largest ends of the spectrum. I’m at a just-under-F500-size company now, and it’s a good culture – large enough where there is decency and transparency and a desire to do the right thing around policies & decisions, and checks and balances on most bananapants-ness, but not so large that the decency and transparency are mostly lip service and bananpants-ness gets overlooked. Of course, this is also subject to individual managers’ judgement and competence, and I’m currently lucky in that sense too.

      1. mlepnos*

        Same here.

        The 5-person company I worked for a dozen years ago was awful and probably the only place in my history that I think merits use of the word toxic. My manager didn’t know how to manage and there was so much wasted time and effort. It was a “work harder, not smarter” place run by a person who really didn’t know how to communicate. On the other hand, it was uncomplicated work and it was such a salary increase from my previous role that I endured it for almost 2 years before I left.

        The 120,000 person company I worked for a few years ago was awful and impersonal. My manager and I did not work well together but there was no system in place for resolving it quickly and at the local level without enacting a lot of bureaucracy. She was not skilled in the people side of managing but because she was skilled in areas that generate revenue, it was unlikely that anyone was going to ask her to change. Company policies had to cover a sensible region or demographic and on paper didn’t necessarily reflect the needs of those most impacted and there was not much effort to drive parity between regions when possible, or even to just address disparities. For example, my team had employees from North America, the UK, Italy, Amsterdam and Australia. Paid time off varies enormously between locations, but we were all impacted by others’ absences. During my time there, 2 employees added to their families and thus took parental leave. One was a US-based employee who was not yet eligible for FMLA due to changing employment status, so she struggled to put together something she could afford and tolerate and that worked for her family. The other was in the UK and received a year at 80% salary. Her work was covered by a temporary hire rather than being split up among the other team members. I don’t know the specifics of the finances— why 80% salary, and how the salary for the temp hire was covered.

        Anyhow, the company I worked at for almost a decade in between was the “just right” of the spectrum. I work for a very small organization again and my experience in the very bad one before made me hesitant to try again, but I ultimately chose to work here with the knowledge that I know what dynamics to be on alert for.

        1. Lady Danbury*

          I previously worked for a very large multinational company (over 300k employees worldwide) and the way that they handled holiday disparities was to have a holiday bank. There would be a total number of holidays (federal, national, bank holidays, etc) companywide, then your site holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, etc.) were deducted from that total. Any days leftover were considered personal days that you could take whenever.

          For example, if the companywide total was 15 days and your site had 12 days of national holidays, then you’d have 3 personal days that you could use whenever. If your site had 14 days of national holiday, then you’d only get 1 personal holiday. I thought it was a really smart and fair way of handling the disparity when you have employees all over the world.

    4. Heffalump*

      From 1984 to 1988 I worked as a typesetter for a small type shop owned by “John,” a sole proprietor. There were maybe 8 employees when I started and 15 when I was let go, definitely small enough for the owner to know everyone. Best person I’ve ever worked for—paid us fairly, treated us with respect. His picture should have been in the dictionary under mensch. Ca. 1987 “Mark” bought into the business and became John’s business partner.

      And then John died at 45 of stomach cancer, leaving a wife and two teenage children, and Mark became sole owner. A few days after the funeral we went to John’s house to sit shiva—he was one of the tribe. I was telling his parents how well he’d treated me and how highly I thought of him. His father said they’d gotten a whole procession of people saying similar things, and his mother started crying hysterically.

      As I understood it, Mark’s experience was in managing other managers, not in managing line workers. He hired a manager, and she was a sociopathic bitch—don’t get me going. A coworker told me that in her experience, John was always appreciative of what she did, and Mark’s attitude was, “You should have done more.” At one point she said she’d recently read a list of the signs of a company in crisis, and the company as it then was checked every box. Only sign I remember now was “inexplicable events.” The terrific company I’d gone to work for no longer existed. Mark and the manager ran the company into the ground, and another type shop bought the company.

    5. NotAnotherManager!*

      One of the things I like about my current company is the size – it’s big enough to have in-house core services, good benefits, resources, and the ability to avoid the crazies, but it’s small enough that you know nearly everyone by name or sight.

      I don’t think I ever want to work for a mega-corp, publicly-traded company, family business, or very small company.

  16. PayRaven*

    I’ve worked at a tech group that was acquired by Large Finance Company You’ve Heard Of seven years ago, between my offer date and my start date. The acquisition has been a little bumpy in some cases, but LFCYHO actually retained the benefits of the small tech group–they adopted OUR time-consuming but very thorough performance review process, in which we collect feedback from everyone you work with closely at all levels and carefully and thoughtfully write up review documents that are meant to actually recognize strong performance and identify the ways you can progress to the next level. I’ve always had managers that are incredibly supportive, want me to use my PTO, want me to have a life outside of work, want me to log off at 5, and I’ve been allowed to become that manager too–I have the freedom to call out my reports for responding to emails while they’re on sick leave and tell them to close their damn laptops, and that’s so valuable to me. I’ve been promoted in-place four times and allowed to grow and expand my responsibilities, but still decide that I wanted to stay in the specialty that I started in and build my comfort zone from there. I’m very, very fortunate, but these places DO exist.

    1. ThursdaysGeek*

      Oh, I really like one aspect of our performance reviews: the manager needs to have them done by a certain date, and if they don’t do them, the manager is not eligible for a raise. Therefore, they ALWAYS get done in a timely manner.

  17. Marketing Ninja Unicorn*

    My company is serious about professional development, even if those skills aren’t directly related to your job.

    Ex.: If you get hired as a llama account manager, but you work here and you see that you really like HR, we will let you pursue HR professional development with the goal of moving from llama accounts to HR, even though that means we’ll then have to hire another account manager.

    Once we get people here, we want them to stay, and we will let them pursue educational/professional development activities that make them want to stay with us.

    Also, we have 100% tuition reimbursement, so we’re paying for you to do the things to get the job with us.

    1. rayray*

      This is absolutely wonderful This is a very specific thing I am looking for in my next company. I tried to make a shift in my current company for something where my resume genuinely did match what they were looking for, instead I was ignored, and then HR sent me a message thanking me for coming in to interview (while I was out on vacation) and then ignored me completely when I asked them about it.

  18. No Crying in Baseball*

    I worked for a company that truly cared about it’s people. Great benefits, great retirement matching, decent PTO plus every other Friday afternoon off in the summer. Work-life balance was real. My manager mentioned in a meeting once that his son’s kindergarten play was that afternoon, and the owner MADE HIM LEAVE the meeting and go. There wasn’t anything that day that couldn’t wait. I had AMAZING managers at that company as well. Managers who cared about me, my career, and could really coach me to succeed. It was common to be given projects or responsibilities that were highly visible in the company to help your reputation, and everyone was generally helpful and collaborative. (Sadly, yes, past tense. The company suffered significantly during the pandemic.)

  19. Cherrytree*

    My company has a big workforce in Ukraine and I manage an all-Ukrainian team. The last year and a bit has been incredibly tough but I have been so impressed and grateful for everything the company has done to support people there. There has been a whole range of things from extra payments, to a fund set up to support affected/displaced families of colleagues, to extra paid time off for emotional healing. The leadership has been very present in advocating for Ukrainians publicly as well.

  20. Corporate Goth*

    My new company shows up the old in just about every way possible. Onboarding was organized and I knew what would happen when. Managers jump in to help rather than calling people off PTO, baby leave, or the middle of the night. Everyone is genuinely nice – my first day had an overwhelming slew of “welcome” messages in a Zoom call where I was introduced, and now I cheerfully participate too. The environment is super collaborative, and any issues are addressed quickly. The company is ranked up there, but this one is for real.

  21. Rebecca*

    I just hired into what I think is going to be a great company. They’ve won awards for employee satisfaction for several years in a row, and every single employee I’ve met has told me they feel the company truly cares about the people. We have quarterly profit sharing that actually consistently pays out, our own medical center with fulltime doctors on staff and a pharmacy where employees get prescription meds (and pet meds!) at cost, and a fitness center complete with a massage therapist on staff. There are employee resource groups with all kinds of focuses, a DEI team, and tons of volunteer opportunities. We have a cafe on site that sells healthy lunches for the cost of ingredients (like $5 for a full meal). And, we currently have a hybrid remote schedule with Mondays and Fridays as WFH days. I’m still pinching myself that after years of crappy companies, I finally landed a job in a good one. I plan to stay for a long time.

    1. I like hound dogs*

      Oh man, I like my job but I’d like it even better with healthy lunches and a massage therapist!

    2. no-name today*

      I think you work where I’ve worked for 12+ years. Truly people-centric. We just made another list of “top companies for…” but I don’t want to give away too much info. During COVID, anyone testing positive got paid even after their sick days were used up. We pay disaster pay for whatever hours you were scheduled to work but couldn’t during business-closing weather or whatever phenomena. Stock-holding is our newest perk. This isn’t my first job / company, but it’s the first I’ve wanted to stay in until they drag me out.

    3. laser99*

      This is the second work-related item I have seen today that made me cry. The first one was a YouTube clip about Andi Owen.

  22. b-reezy*

    I work for a large company in a traditionally conservative industry. I’ve had several fantastic bosses who are legitimately invested in my career. I’ve had upper management men have my back when something sexist has happened. In the past few years, they’ve added tons of initiatives for DEI, time off for cultural observation, family support (including really good fertility assistance benefits, doulas, surrogates, adoption, etc.), and really great continuing education options. They push work/life balance.

  23. Whomever*

    So some of this is about stereotypes also. I spent 12 years working for a large Wall Street bank and honestly…it was great. Benefits were great, 4 weeks vacation, I NEVER felt pressured to do more work than I was. A friend of mine there who was African American talked about the time some old idiot had made a stupid comment about fried chicken, his boss heard, and security was escorting the commenter out out within 15 minutes. Were we doing great things for the country? (this was pre-2008) maybe, maybe not? But we were doing interesting tech stuff (I work in tech) and as a job, it was great.

    I then spent another year at a different bank, which was…absurdily disfunctional, so I think regardless of the industry it’s also a bit of luck. Also these big companies internal experiences can vary widely; I don’t doubt that there are employees of previous corp who hated it cos bad manager/bad team/etc.

      1. Fikly*

        This feels the opposite of helpful.

        It sets up a situation where we are being told yes, there are places where you aren’t being treated horribly, and here’s a story about one, but there’s no way for you to find it. That feels cruel, especially considering the audience for this post is people who are desperate to find a situation where they aren’t being abused by their employer.

        I understand the issues that might arise, but a much more productive version of this kind of post, if companies cannot be named – if you cannot commit to an anonymized, safe way of getting company names from people – would be ways to find those companies, what are the green flags, etc.

        Nothing from an employer can be trusted, so the only thing employees and applicants have to rely on is each other.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          That’s not what the question was asking for, and this site’s mission is not to match people with employers.

          There are many, many moderation and potential legal issues (and simply veracity issues) that can come from people naming companies and attaching specific details to them, or having someone arguing with someone else about whether a company is good or not. That’s not my mission with either the site or this specific post.

          1. nnn*

            I had not thought about those issues but it makes sense! I find a lot of value in hearing about what good employers can look like without needing to know “it’s TJ’s Hardware in Wilmington Delaware.”

        2. rayray*

          You can always check out Glassdoor or Indeed reviews. It’s always worth it to really go through and read all of them to get a better idea of things.

        3. Gitty*

          I’m happy at my company! they’re actually an esop which means my boss sold the company to his employees and they pay him back with company profits. I think that’s super cool. he could have gotten a lot more selling the company privately but it was important to him to set it up in a way that would continue to benefit his employees that built it.

        4. Peanut Hamper*

          But this is also why you could ask on a second interview or beyond if you could speak to some of the people you would be working with (provided that can be without the managers/interviewers present) which can give you an idea of the workplace culture. Sometimes you can tell a lot just from how people respond to the question you are asking.

        5. Lucky Meas*

          I think it’s not possible to share the names of companies, especially if they’re large and global. I have a great relationship and situation with my boss, but a few teams over someone might be miserable. Some people might have been happy at my nightmare Old Job.

          It would be nice to have a blanket “these are the good companies” list, but that changes and varies. And most of the complaints about “bad companies” here aren’t named and shamed either.

  24. SilverRogue*

    I don’t know what company she works for, my my SIL was talking to a coworker about how their insurance was no longer going to cover a particular and very expensive medication that worked for her. Her boss overheard and they went and changed insurance providers to one that would cover that medication and that was overall better. I’ve never heard of a company who would do that!

    1. Shiba Dad*

      I know of a company that did something similar. Back in the late 90s, a guy that I went to high school with worked for a manufacturer that was well-known in its industry. He was diagnosed with cancer. He was in really bad shape.

      There was a treatment available at a well-known medical facility that was out of state. Insurance said they would not cover treatment there. CEO/owner threatened to find a company that would cover him if this insurer didn’t. He was covered and the treatment worked.

  25. NewJobNewGal*

    I left a dysfunctional company a year ago because I started seeing signs of the company collapsing. I heard today that they started layoffs. Just like the OP, that company had a huge marketing campaign about how wonderful they were to their employees. But they were egotistical, backstabbing, misogynistic, homophobic, hypocrites.
    But I’m not there. I’m at a company that actually does care about their employees. We have strong structures for supporting and lifting workers. Management’s number one focus is making sure their employees are supported and have balanced lives. This doesn’t take the shape of yoga at lunch, or pot-lucks, it materializes in conversations and checking in on workloads, and making adjustments when necessary.
    Every manager, director, vp, and the CEO takes responsibility for their decisions. It’s a company that plans and follows through with their plans…on schedule.
    I have never felt so secure speaking up in meetings to share my ideas or ask questions. And at the same time, I am thrilled when I am asked a question and I can take the time to teach others.
    Meetings start on time and end on time because everyone is prepared. Everyone pays attention in meetings so we move forward quickly and everyone is on the same page.
    I am happy. I have gone back to my hobbies, I didn’t understand that I was too depressed to persue hobbies when I was at my old job. I’m motivated at work and in my personal life because I can seamlessly balance the two.
    I work with regular people who aren’t pretending to be anything else than themselves. And that’s made me a wonderful human.

  26. happyNerd*

    I work in tech having changed careers recently a couple of genuinely lovely examples. Aside from taking me on when I had basically no experience and a lot of enthusiasm.

    – A senior sales partner suggested massive layoffs and to stop developing new products and focus on what we’ve got. CEO suggsted maybe the sales partner should be the one to leave instead. No more senior sales partner who doesn’t value people, we all keep our jobs.

    On a very personal note, we have a company flat, and I recently had notice come up on my lease and was starting to panic a bit about just where I was going to live if I didn’t find anywhere. The back up plan was everything in storage, pets into a foster home and sofa surf. Company said “stay in the flat for as long as you need, bring the pets. Like, we’re acknowleding this is partly because no-one can be expected to do their best work sofa surfing and stressing, but also we want to do better than the average”.

    (I have now found somwehere)

  27. EJR*

    My dad passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in January. When I told my company, they immediately told me not to worry about anything and absolutely meant it. My manager cancelled all my meetings for the next two weeks, sent out an email to the other employees I work with to tell them about my loss, kept an eye on my incoming emails to triage anything before I had to worry about it, and told me to literally take whatever time I needed. And being able to know that was honest and sincere was such a massive relief. I cannot imagine how these past few months would have been if I had had to grieve, deal with my father’s estate, AND cope with a terrible company. I am so, so thankful to them.

    1. rayray*

      This is wonderful. So much better than being told to fill out a form for bereavement leave and that you need to be back in three days.

    2. Nebula*

      I’m sorry for your loss. Actually compassionate policies around compassionate leave make a huge amount of difference. My grandmother died earlier this year – she had been ill for a long time, so it was expected, but of course I was still grieving. I live a long way from my family, so my plan initially was to take the one day’s funeral leave – which I thought was all I could get – and move some other upcoming annual leave to that week, so I could go down to be with my family for a whole week. My manager spoke to HR, and they gave me the full five days as bereavement leave, meaning I could keep the other leave I had booked. I’d had pretty terrible time with that sort of thing at my previous workplace, so it was a huge relief that those experiences weren’t going to be repeated and I could focus on being with my family.

    3. Josh Lyman*

      I’m so sorry for your loss. My dad passed away yesterday and I’m having a similar experience with my company. I said I’d need to be off and everyone I worked with jumped up to take things off my plate and/or cover tasks. I even got a personal note from our head of HR.

      Beyond the support from my immediate team, I’ve been so impressed by the thoughtfulness of our bereavement policy:
      * 3 days off for funerals of friends or extended family
      * 2 weeks off for family members (5 for a member of your immediate household)
      * 2 weeks off for miscarriages

      Not having to stress about how much time I’m taking off has been such a relief and it’s such a touching reminder of why I work where I do.

      1. mlepnos*

        I’m sorry for your loss as well, and glad you work with good people. Losing my dad was awful; being able to take the time I need was a life-saver.

      2. Anne of Green Gables*

        I’m so sorry for your loss.

        That’s interesting that there is bereavement leave for miscarriages. I’ve never seen that before. I’ve had 2 miscarriages and in both cases was at work the next day, despite the physical and emotional pain. (This was at a place that was incredibly stingy with PTO.) However, I don’t know how I would have felt about disclosing the miscarriages, or what the situation would be around people knowing why I was out for 2 weeks unexpectedly.

  28. Working for the money*

    I’ve been with the same company for nearly 10 years, and twice in that time I’ve gotten an off-schedule salary adjustment (increase) to bring me more in line with the market. this is on top of annual increases (never less than 6% excepting 2020) and bonuses. this is a role where a lot of people move jobs to make more money, but I’ve never felt I’ve had to do that.

  29. Ssssssssssssssssssssss*

    While the team I belonged to was not a good fit for me in the end (I cut short my contract), the company itself was awesome.

    Spend a day of work volunteering at a kids summer camp! We’ll cater it for you! And charter the bus!
    Free ice cream today because Reason!
    Take an extended lunch hour at a dinner theatre as part of the social committee. We’ve charted a bus to take you all there.
    Have a pizza lunch on us and listen to us share what we think about the upcoming election.
    It’s the annual United Way fundraiser kickoff! Come have a catered breakfast and listen to a speech.
    Also United Way fundraiser. Take time off work to watch the executives lip synch and vote with $ for the best performance.
    Also, cake auction for United Way.
    Also: Let’s have a PD day! At work! Instead of working, come in and choose among live workshops, asynchronous online workshops, or yoga or Pilates and spend the day learning, being mindful along with catered breakfast, lunch and a gift at the end of the day. Plus massage and manicures.
    And they had a huge cafeteria with amazing food for cheap.

    No approval required. No booking time off required. No making up the time required. (This was a very large non-profit association with many members.) And no one was obligated to go. And no shade if you didn’t go.

    So, I left because I wasn’t a good fit for that team but the place itself was fun.

  30. Felicia Fancybottom*

    I work for a small company and am 100% remote. We technically have “core hours” but as long as you get your work done and attend the meetings you need too, the managers don’t care if you take a break, go for a walk, have a doctor’s appointment, etc. We also get 18 paid holidays a year (including the week between Christmas and New Years), one floating holiday, and have 20 PTO days (26 when you are here for 5 years) which is better than most of my friends have. We also get dental and most health insurance plans covered 100%, get a 100% 401k match, and get paid $500 dollars a day for weekend work and travel. We work in consulting, so I am probably gone 1 weekend a month. We also get bonuses. In my department we get paid well too, and between my bonus, travel bonus, and my normal salary I pull in over 200k. It’s definitely not perfect (the maternity leave policy is not great at all) but for a small company with fewer than 50 people it’s a good place to be. I have a toddler and the flexibility I get when she is home sick is HUGE. I don’t have to use a PTO day, just bring her to meetings and work during nap time and at night.

  31. Toby Zeigler*

    No company is perfect, but I’ve been in HR for a company for about six years. We make a product almost everyone interacts with but we fly under the radar and most people have never heard of us. We are a large manufacturing company with between 10k-20k employees, most of them on factory floors.

    When I started at our corporate office, a lot was made about how bonuses get paid out at or above their target range, but were only for employees at a certain pay grade (usually above 75k per year). We went through some corporate restructuring, and after about two years, we extended bonuses to all employees. Now, no matter what level you work, if the company hits its quarterly goals, everyone wins. Turnover has gone down, and even in areas that traditionally had a hard time recruiting are seeing more applicants. It’s by no means a perfect place to work, but I actually trust the leadership to try to do the right thing (not something I’ve always been able to say in my career).

  32. The Person from the Resume*

    I work for the federal government. Benefits are great.

    Importantly nearly all of my supervisors (except one bad experience) have been supportive, encouraging, and great. I am mostly a good/outstanding performer that I recieve performance awards, but I went through a really tough time where I was depressed and work thing got away from me and work was extremely stressful. My supervisor and her boss were supportive and took some things off my plate and gave me time to recover and I returned to my previous performance level.

    I certainly can’t say this is true for the whole federal government or even my 400,000 organization cause I only see my small part. But in my small part the supervision and management makes it a good place to work. The people I work with are good employees/co-workers and that makes the difference.

    Bureaucracy – which doesn’t bother me too much because I am a rule follower
    Ever changing reorganization/embracing new overarching process/buzzword/philosophy

    I’m of the opinion that unless it a small organization, it’s usually the people you work closest with that make or break your happiness/fulfillment. Of course even a good boss can’t shield widespread mismanagement from the top from filtering down either.

    1. JM*

      I came here to say the same. I have been with the Federal Govt over 15 years and will be a lifer. Like with any organization there are pros and cons (you have to learn to live with administrations that change policies every four years, congress that doesnt pass budgets, for example), but I really enjoy who I work with and for, and I feel like my mission has a purpose. My boss and colleagues are kind, and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

    2. surly girly*

      Same, I know working for The Man can be a mixed bag but the org i work for is fantastic.

    3. S*

      I too work for the federal government in one of the FEVS Best Places to Work, and it really is. Amazing team, amazing mission, amazing supervisors and culture. I’m transferring to another agency in a much higher profile role, and I am so sad to leave! But I hope the experience will set me up to come back later in my career.

    4. Anon fed*

      Also a fed for almost 10 years. Same small agency and while not perfect it’s definitely my favorite job ever. The work we do feels meaningful, I get a lot of autonomy, my boss is incredible supportive and the fact that the field changes constantly keeps things from being to repetitive. Could they improve on some stuff, yep, but I still recommend the agency to anyone I know that’s job searching.

    5. NotAnotherManager!*

      My spouse works for the federal government, and, while not perfect and certainly not going to win any payscale awards in his field, it has been incredibly helpful for our family, particularly with one demanding career and a neurodiverse child.

      Our healthcare is affordable and generally very good. (The issues we have had have not been related to the fed, the plan, or anything other than the US health system and insurance suck.) It covers services for our special needs child.

      The schedule has been flexible, both on pre-pandemic telework and hours. When we had to have a parent at the bus stop to get the kindergartener off the bus, my spouse was able both adjust start/end times and cut back to 30-35 hours/week with minimal impact to benefits – not possible with my job. As our needs have fluctuated, he’s been able to flex his hours around our family.

      The bureaucracy, the arduous process to performance manage dead weight, the management obsession with buzzwords, and constant talking points about “lazy” government employees drives my spouse a little batty (especially since his team of 5 is operating at 3.5 FTEs), but, overall, he has a good boss, a good team, and enjoys the work he does. And feels like he’s contributing to the common good.

    6. ER*

      I’ve heard similar from folks I know who work for the federal government. One instance of someone who’s partner was going through a rough cancer situation and the employee was “removed” from all projects/deadlines (could help out where possible, but not required), to allow them flexibility to be there for their sick partner. They seem to be a little ahead of the curve on understanding how flexibility helps employee retention.

    7. Jack*

      Another Fed here. I’m a clinician/scientist and love the nature of the work but the benefits, security, and compensation are great for me.

  33. Jane Bingley*

    I absolutely love where I work. Factors that make it the best job I’ve ever had:

    1. A high competency/high autonomy approach. The company hires carefully and looks for people who are highly skilled at the specific tasks of their job. Not just education or experience or even the basic job tasks, but the role as a whole. For example, an accountant needs to be great with numbers, but our accountant also needs to be ready to navigate our government regulators well and support team members in understanding their budgetary roles, so people skills are a must. Once highly competent people are hired and trained, they’re given a very high range of autonomy, clearly defined. I know what powers I do and don’t have and within my domain, I have a wide range of flexibility to tackle problems the way I see fit and in the order I think is right.

    2. Highly flexible work options. We’re primarily a remote organization with no head office. Most people work from home most of the time. At home, there’s huge flexibility on hours – we hire people from a wide geographic range and so it’s expected we’ll schedule meetings, etc around each other’s calendars. As a disabled person, this has been a total lifesaver, often literally. I’ve worked from ERs during boring wait times, I can log on and off as a pain flare-up permits, and I don’t need to take a whole sick day if I’m feeling unwell – I’m free to decide to take the morning off, or to lower my personal expectations and work all day but less productively. When travel is needed for in-person meetings, it’s planned well in advance, and very humane options are offered (premium economy flights, everyone gets their own hotel room, those who don’t like to fly can take trains or drive with all expenses covered.)

    3. A strong and healthy culture. This one really is top down and it makes such a difference. Every single employee can name our mission, vision, and values, and in work meetings it’s common to find someone asking “how does this align with our vision?” or “which part of our mission does this serve?” We regularly evaluate workloads and projects to make sure they’re moving the organization forward, and cut things that don’t. The majority of performance conversations are values based – if someone is on mission and aligned with our values, there’s ample room for lots of mistakes, but if someone is not operating out of our values, there will immediately be a serious conversation. (An invented example: say one of our values is honesty. An accountant who sends the wrong invoice to a client will have a positive and supportive conversation with their superior about fixing the mistake and checking systems to see if they need adjusting, no one is in trouble. An accountant who sends the wrong invoice to a client and tries to hide it from their superior will face a serious conversation about what happened and whether they’re a good fit for this organization.) This is only possible because the CEO and other C-suite leaders talk about our mission, vision, and values constantly, and model what living them out should look like in their everyday work.

    4. Fair pay. This is fourth on the list on purpose – honestly, I’d have stayed at an organization that had 1-3 and not this, but it really puts things above and beyond. Salaries are typically pegged at the higher end of market rate for a given region, reflecting the desire to bring in highly competent people. The benefits packages are generous. Salary adjustments are made annually and based on both inflation and performance, with clear feedback. Hiring is done internally whenever possible and there are regular conversations about the strengths and talents of various employees and how their development can best be supported.

    The end result: a strong, stable, and thriving organization full of people who genuinely love their jobs and are highly engaged in their work. We have extremely low turnover and no one has ever left the organization for more money. It’s not perfect, no organization is, but it’s truly a delight to go to work every day.

  34. Snow Globe*

    I worked for many years with an absolutely wonderful company. One of the best things they did-they trained managers. When I first because a manager, I went through a full one week, off-site manager training, that covered so many topics discussed on this site (e.g., setting goals, delivering feedback, assessing performance, and a lot about employment law). Managers would go through refresher courses every few years. In my many years, I only had two bad managers, and neither of them lasted long.

    1. happier now*

      That is so awesome! I wish more places did this, because I’ve worked with a lot of people who didn’t get that training, and it showed.

      1. JustaTech*

        Yes to this! My spouse has had ongoing manager training since he switched from individual contributor to manager, with lots of resources for helping him navigate tricky or unusual people issues.

        Whereas my company, not so much. To the point that I considered giving my boss a “how to manage” book (except that there’s no way that wouldn’t be hugely insulting and I generally like him).

  35. FrogEngineer*

    Throughout all the hiring difficulties and mass resignations, there’s a fast food chain in my area that never seems to be short on workers. They also regularly hire mentally handicapped people, which a lot of places wouldn’t do. Both of these observations lead me to believe that they must have some good people in charge. Plus their food is great.

  36. bamcheeks*

    This is a very specific one, but when lockdown first started in the UK in March 2020, the CEO of our company sent out an email, and rather to his surprise it got something like a 80% opening rate. So he started sending one every day, and it kept like a 60-70% opening rate. It obviously because an absolutely critical comms tool for the company– nothing gets a 60-70% opening rate! even things saying “how to get more money! — and it was very clear that it was being used as a professional comms tool with specific company successes or notices being highlighted.

    HOWEVER — they did often enough send something that was very basic and obviously personal from the CEO. One time it was literally, “I saw this sign on my daily-allowed-exercise walk the other day, and it made me laugh.” And very often when it was obviously a personally felt message from the CEO, it was something like, “this is an incredibly stressful time, we are grateful to all of you, we know many people can’t work their usual hours but whatever you are able to do right now is appreciated and it’s making a difference.” A lot of companies in my sector were still putting tons of pressure on their employees to try and work close-to-full-time hours, even if they were “after the kids are in bed” or whatever, but our CEO really set the tone for being gentle with ourselves and with each other and not trying to carry on heroically or put pressure on ourselves to keep everything “normal” and we talked a lot about how much difference it made.

    There were lots of other issues and frustrations at different levels, but honestly, the way our CEO set the tone really, really alleviated so much stress in an otherwise incredibly stressful time, and I still appreciate it.

  37. Keymaster of Gozer*

    The company I currently work for (UK, heavy engineering) is one I worked for 15 years ago and returned a couple of years back, even taking a pay cut to have this job.

    For all that it still has issues with being male dominated it’s actually very very good about having disabled staff and there’s more women moving into positions of leadership.

    I’ve had my doctors and hospital appointments all okayed without needing to take annual leave or sick leave for them – and not penalised for the times I am not in the office because of them.

    Teams work well without any forced ‘team building’ events and there’s very good HR to deal with any bigotry or harassment.

    So, not perfect but there’s reasons I turned down better paying jobs to come back here.

  38. avocadolime*

    I moved from a really terribly managed nonprofit to a program of a church, and it’s wonderful. Clear explanation for policy choices and changes, my Executive Director really emphasizes and models taking time off (and not working during that time, which so many nonprofits tacitly encourage), and people’s expertise is recognized and listened to. The health insurance and retirements benefits are also out of this world good.

  39. Engineer*

    My company has its issues, of course, but overall I would say they’re a pretty good company for my industry. We’re employee-owned, so there’s a vested interest in keeping pay and benefits competitive. Just this last year they approved 2 weeks paid parental leave. Could that be better? Of course. But we’re also one of the handful of companies in the industry offering *any* kind of paid parental leave, so they have been listening.

    There’s also a big focus on collaboration and work-sharing, trying to make sure no section is too overwhelmed while another is sitting on their hands. Section leads make a point of talking to everyone to understand their workloads, where things might be handed off or handed over to help across our various offices. Last year they started back up paid “summits” where everyone in certain sections is flown to the main office for 2 days to actually meet everyone, talk about challenges and achievements, and better spread awareness of who’s doing what where.

    I also actually wrote in to a Friday good news several months back about how my company was willing to transfer me across states and departments when I asked for a change. I’m still a junior engineer and transfers aren’t really a thing in my company, so this was a pretty big ask that went all the way to the CEO! But they’ve said they want to keep talent and encourage growth, and they actually stuck to their word. More than that, in an unrelated series of events my department head and my manager both left soon after my transfer, and my new manager and section head have been doing their best to keep me supported as things are shuffled around. I’ve been able to go to my department head and say “I cannot do X thing without help” and he’s been on the phone calling around to others to see who can step in for support.

    It’s not perfect, not by a long shot, but we’ve got a ton of people who have been here 15+ years, my compensation is beating market average, and I’m actually getting training and investment in my skills, so yeah, I think this is pretty good place to work!

  40. Alda*

    I had a rough start at my company. I was getting back after being burned out, I’m a late diagnosed autistic person, and this was the first full time job without special support I’d have after some years recovering and getting extra support in the workplace. My last job before that had laid me off because of covid, but things had been going well at 75% and I thought I might be able to deal with full time.

    I was not. Within two weeks I had to go on sick leave because the only thing I could do when I got home was to cry, make food (had to multitask those), stare at a wall, go to sleep. So I called them and said “hey, just so you know, I can do full time. I’m autistic, I’ve been burned out before, I’m going to need to start at 50% and then work my way up, and I might never reach 40h a week because that’s just too little recovery time at home for me. I fully get it if this doesn’t work for you, but it’s what I have to offer. ”

    And miraculously I’d made an impression somehow in my interview and in those two weeks. It was more complicated than I would have liked, because I was hired in through a staffing agency and there was a lot of weird red tape and a whole mess I won’t bore you with, but now it’s soon to be three years later, I’m hired by the company outright, I work 85% which means 7h instead of 8h every day except for Tuesday when I go home after 6h to get the government funded home support (mainly help with cleaning) that makes my life at home function.

    I work as a machine operator in a small factory, and the rest of my team varies between working one shift and being split in two shifts, depending on production demands. But I’m on a set schedule with the precise hours that are good for me, which is actually a benefit to them too because when we’re on two shifts, my shift overlaps the two normal ones which means there’s more continuity.

    I’ve talked to the manager that hired me, and she said “Well, we want diversity here, and I figure that means we have to accommodate diverse needs”.

    It honestly changed my life. I was at a point where I could very easily have tipped into “I am never going to be able to work again”, which comes with a lot of internalised ableism (and I’m aware that this is a tricky subject). But by being treated as an asset, who they wanted enough that they were willing to make things work for me, it helped me see myself as more valuable, and as much as the bigger societal influences there sucks (I want everyone to feel valuable regardless of how much help they need), on a personal level it was just incredibly helpful.

    Also, of course, having a steady job with an income I can live pretty well on and some security in life, plus pretty amazing coworkers, is really really good for me. I don’t know where’d I’d be without it.

    But most of all, it feels really really good to work at a place where the company line is “if we want diversity, we’re going to have to accommodate diversity”. They’re not perfect, but I belive they genuinely mean it.

    1. Alda*

      Also, it feels pretty awesome to be able to be out as both autistic and polyamorous in what is a really normal work environment, and having people be interested in the way that is “oh, you probably have some valuable insights, is it okay if I ask you about it?” rather than “that’s so weird, om going to ask inappropriate questions now” or any other more negative reaction.

      1. Justin*

        Not autistic as a fellow ND, being open about my ND brain at work and having that be respected and embraced is also huge.

  41. Unexpectedly Happy*

    I work in real estate in a major coastal city – absolutely cut throat. But it’s hands down the best place I’ve ever been. Leadership listens to feedback (and my feedback is CANDID), is open and appropriate-level vulnerable themselves, and actually approaches low performers first with “is this role the wrong fit and do we have a better one for them” rather than “just fire them.” I just told my boss “I’m burnt out” and he’s flexible with my time and actively working to fix the problems. This is the first place I’ve worked that hasn’t given me the sunday scaries or made me cry, and I’m exceptionally prone to crying.

    It certainly has its share of problems, but I feel psychologically safe and listened to, and I think that’s what makes it.

  42. old curmudgeon*

    The best example I have started in the kind of horrific event we all dread – a workplace shooting.

    My elder kid works for a software firm with several hundred employees. A few years ago, an employee stood up in the middle of the cube farm, pulled out a gun and started shooting his coworkers. There were dozens of other employees in the cube farm, and more in conference rooms and offices nearby, so it was, as they say, a “target-rich environment.” My kid’s cube was about 20 feet from his, and he was between my kid and the exit, so my kid dove under their desk and huddled there, shaking, listening to the screams of their colleagues as the shooter stalked the room looking for more targets.

    The shooter was neutralized, and thankfully none of the victims died, so the outcome was better than many such incidents are in that sense, but it left dozens of severely traumatized employees dealing with the aftermath. And what I think really set this company apart from others that have experienced similar occurrences was the approach they took afterward.

    Before the end of the day of the incident, the CEO had signed a one-year lease for office space a mile away for any staff to use who were too traumatized to return to the place where the incident occurred.

    The day after the incident, the company announced that all employees who had been present in the building when the shooting occurred would be granted immediate paid leave of one full month. Leave could be extended on a case-by-case basis to any employees who needed more time to process their trauma.

    The company retained a psychologist to be available to all traumatized employees, and kept the psychologist on retainer for a full year. Any employee who needed to utilize the services of the psychologist could do so, no questions asked, with complete confidentiality.

    Once the building was returned to the custody of the company from law enforcement, they undertook a complete interior overhaul to totally alter the appearance of the office spaces where the incident happened, even though they had just remodeled the space (at considerable cost) about a year earlier. This overhaul included individually interviewing every employee who was present to ask things like “what is something in that building that would be difficult for you to see without emotional distress, that we need to change to help you be comfortable in the space now?” People who were not able to face returning to the space at all were given permission to work remotely on a permanent basis once the lease was up on the temporary facility a mile away.

    The company sponsored a mass “Thank you” event for their own employees and for the hundreds of first responders who had helped that day as a way for all to reach a measure of closure.

    The company didn’t have to do any of those things. Most employers who experience incidents of workplace violence certainly don’t. But they should, and I think the fact that this employer did so makes them an example of a good company to work for.

    1. MauvaisePomme*

      A very close friend of mine is a teacher who survived a traumatic school shooting, and her school was TERRIBLE to the survivors. The school essentially forced all the affected teachers out over the next couple of years in an attempt to pretend the tragedy never happened and to “start over fresh.” Knowing what she went through, your offspring’s workplace sounds amazing, and, as infuriating and horrible as it is that these events are something we’ve all come to expect, I’m happy to hear that some employers out there are responding correctly.

  43. Minerva*

    I work for a Fortune 100 finance company:

    Pros: Excellent benefits, well above standard parental leave, onsite gym, flexible schedule, clearly defined review processes & bonus structures. Covid response was excellent.

    Con: It wasn’t always this way and a lot of it seems to tied to current CEO who is no from the US. I do worry that a leadership change might roll back some things.

  44. Hanani*

    My organization isn’t good (it’s not bad, just has many of the usual issues of very large orgs), but my unit is amazing. Flexible schedule, lots of autonomy, mostly WFH, policy of starting new hires at the top of the pay band (because the org only does COL raises), supportive management and colleagues, culture of proactively checking capacity before assigning new projects, total support in pushing back on unreasonable demands from internal clients, automatically issues you a laptop and second monitor for home, encourages everyone to take their full vacation, cross-trains to cover things like vacations and people being out, flags what org things are useful and what are pro-forma (like trainings and things), insists that everyone keep track of additional time worked and take comp time (even though we’re salaried and exempt), actively looks for ways to pay people like our community advisory board.

    Working here has been both very good for me personally and professionally, and a masterclass on how to work well within an imperfect system.

  45. MomBoss*

    I’ve worked for the same large nonprofit for 10 years. Why I’ve stayed (with no plans to look elsewhere):
    – I’ve had three kids in this time. Generous PTO (+summer Fri), dependent care pre-tax account, amazing flexibility (just mark my cal busy when I need to start late, hop out for a bit or early), no impact on promotions for time out, support network (parents Teams chat).
    – I get to grow professionally. Often promote from within, get to suggest or raise hands for new projects, leadership training available and encouraged. Leaders encouraged to set team goals and agenda/budget to get there without gross oversight.
    – Location flexibility. I’ve worked remote for a while and now hire hybrid/remote for most roles. Makes easier to find niche talent. Budget and support to connect with team in person frequently.
    – Good people. We celebrate wins across our org. We have events to meet new people on other teams and across levels. The passion behind our mission is palpable.

  46. Twill*

    I work in a boring industry (insurance) for a great company. I am not in management, just a worker bee. They offer:
    1. Excellent compensation. 2. Remote work offered and encouraged because it opens up the candidate field. 3. Flexible schedule. They treat us like adults and trust us to manage our work and schedule.
    4. Diversity is the real deal here – Gender/Age/Ethnicity etc. 5. Great benefits and generous amounts of paid time off – which you are encouraged to use. 6. ‘Little things’ like providing allowance for setting up home office, surprises through mail – like food gifts, a yeti cup – small things but it’s let’s you know they are recognize you. 7. An environment where your voice is heard. And a note to managers – people STAY here!

    1. I like hound dogs*

      This is sort of how I feel about my company (a big bank). I came over from academia, and I think my former classmates and colleagues think it must be SO AWFUL that I work in banking, but I actually love it. I don’t think I’ve ever worked past 5, get to WFH three days a week, good time off, friendly culture, flexibility to pick up my kid when needed, and I make over 2x what I was making before.

      1. Justin*

        I have a doctorate and see all my ac friends struggling constantly while I have a very similar situation to you (in a similar field, though a nonprofit financial institution – I run an education program within it).

        I’m like, you don’t have to staaaay

        1. I like hound dogs*

          Lol, exactly. I also have a doctorate, and I think so many people just get caught in what they feel is the only path forward. It’s like … there are … other ways.

  47. Sometimes I Wonder*

    I was hired a little over a year ago as a legal secretary for a medium-sized law firm with offices in a few West Coast cities. This has been the best firm in my 30 years’ experience. The pay is above average for the area. The standard benefits are good (health insurance especially good with multiple options). The retirement plan (401k) is very good – 5% match.

    Most importantly, the admin staff is put on small teams (8 to 12 people, you can get to know each other) and the teams actually work together. We have a team meeting every other week to discuss upcoming time off and who is backing up the people who will be out, work flow, projects where people might need help, and coming changes to the firm (e.g., we get a 6-month advance notice of software changes). There’s a good promotion rate for lower-level office staff, like moving on to more responsible jobs from being a file clerk.

    The firm is in a multi-year growth plan and we’ve been hiring constantly since I started last year – with appropriate admin support in place and trained before the attorneys they will support are brought in. I’ve even had some tricky issues arise and they were resolved in a reasonable and thorough fashion.

  48. EMP*

    Looking at this post and thinking about the AAM letters, it stands out to me that a “good company” tends to be economic benefits (leave, pay, benefits) and “bad companies” tend to be toxic people. Some exceptions, of course (good mentors, bad company policies), but that’s the pattern I’m seeing!

    My spouse works for a research group within a large/global company and they’ve been really great to him. Benefits are top notch, flexible/hybrid schedules post pandemic, equitable and higher than average parental leave and the best health care plan we’ve ever had.

    1. KHB*

      That’s an interesting observation (and it reminds me of Leo Tolstoy’s line about happy versus unhappy families). Maybe it’s just easier (and more interesting) to notice and talk about what’s wrong with a bad company culture than what’s right with a good one.

    2. CM*

      I drew the opposite conclusion about the “good companies” from this thread. I was surprised that while people tended to mention “good compensation” or even “fair compensation” in a list of benefits, a lot of people didn’t mention money at all. And a couple of people even mentioned that their compensation was low, but they still thought their organization was great. After reading through the comments, my overwhelming impression is that good companies have a culture, reinforced from the very top all the way down, of treating people humanely and respectfully.

  49. Generic Name*

    I’ve been with my current company for 12 years, and while I know I could make more money elsewhere, I’ve stayed so long because of how great my company is to work for. It’s a small company, less than 100 people, and employees are generally treated really, really well. We have company match 401k, the employee premium for health insurance is 100% covered by the company (that’s right, I pay zero for health insurance coverage), and we have a really really flexible working environment. Instead of mandating “back to the office”, the company asked how to entice people to want to come back. I suggested company lunches, so now we have one company paid for lunch a week. We have shared offices (no cubicles), and I decide when and where I work.

    The work we do is interesting, and the company is continually asking employees the type of projects they’d like to work on so the marketing staff can focus on bringing those types of projects in. When I was out for a couple of weeks for a family member to have surgery, I felt so supported. I was able to hand off all my projects to people I trusted so I didn’t worry about stuff not getting done in my absence. While the family member was having surgery, I got messages from two of the higher ups checking in to make sure I was doing okay. I know this group leans towards, “leave me alone”, but I felt very cared for, and it meant a lot to me at the time.

    1. Generic Name*

      Oh, I also forgot, we are employee-owned, so I basically have a pot of retirement money that I get for free when I retire or leave the company.

  50. Keladry of Midelan*

    My small company had a lot of extra profits (after a lot of extra work) from a COVID surge in demand. They took those profits and gave a $10,000 bonus to every full-time employee, regardless of position in the company. It really helped a lot of employees!

  51. Peanut Hamper*

    I don’t work there, but there is a breakfast restaurant very near me that in 2021 put out a help wanted sign. It promised $18-19 an hour and full benefits. (Yes, this in the midwest US.) It went up for a week then came down and I haven’t seen it since.

    Meanwhile, every other restaurant around here is absolutely screaming for workers.

      1. Peanut Hamper*

        Yes, and not depend on tips for it.

        Full disclosure: this restaurant is more expensive than some, but the food and service are both phenomenal. (I would rather eat here once a month than eat fast food twice a month, from both a price and quality perspective.) It’s not uncommon to see a line out the door every weekend.

        It’s amazing what paying your people well and providing good benefits can do for your bottom line.

    1. laser99*

      My guess is they’re screaming something like, “THE PAY IS ONLY SEVEN DOLLARS AN HOUR, BUT WE LET YOU EAT THE LEFTOVERS!”

  52. AnonBragger*

    I work for a small company- less than 100 employees, as head of Org and People Development. For the first time in my 20 yrs in this field I have leaders who actually believe and act on the philosophy of people first. It isn’t just lip service. They respect my expertise and actually DO the things I recommend.

    *100% WFH
    * bonuses increase as the company profits increase- last year we received 180% of our bonus
    * when the CEO decided to go 100% WFH the additional capital from no longer having a mortgage and property upkeep went back into a people budget
    *we bring the entire company together ever quarter for team meetings and a celebration
    *once a year the entire company goes on a trip- this year it is a cruise
    *Uber eats budget for team Zoom celebrations 1x a month
    *Work anniversaries, birthdays, new house, marriage, baby, getting a new pet, any life event- celebrated with nice gifts (not company swag.)
    *$250 extra every quarter to spend on education, fun, or wellness
    *Unlimited PTO that we actually encourage people to use. If someone is using less than 3 weeks a year I have a conversation with them about why and how I can help them navigate their workload to take the time off.
    *Benefits 100% paid for both employee and family

    1. I have RBF*

      *Unlimited PTO that we actually encourage people to use. If someone is using less than 3 weeks a year I have a conversation with them about why and how I can help them navigate their workload to take the time off.

      IMO, this is the right way to do unlimited PTO: Have a semi-official minimum! Then you don’t get the thing of unlimited PTO that no one has a low enough workload to ever use.

  53. The Wizard Rincewind*

    My employer is a small nonprofit that comes with the usual kinds of nonprofit issues–small workforce wearing many hats, under-market-value compensation–but they’re aware of it and really want their employees to be happy there. Even when my boss drives me nuts in a professional setting, I know that he is a fundamentally good person who would probably give me his kidney if I needed it. A few things I love about my job:

    *Hybrid work schedule pre-pandemic, fully remote now; I’ve moved around the country twice and my team was fully supportive
    *All of an employee’s healthcare premium is covered, and it’s shockingly good health insurance for the size of our organization
    *Extremely flexible schedule. As long as you get your work done and show up to meetings, it’s all gravy. I was able to change my work days to match my spouse’s when he started a new job so we have the same days off
    *Before I went fully remote, the office had lots of chill post-work gatherings where there was no pressure to show up but if you wanted to hang out in the kitchen and eat chips and salsa while traffic died down, cool

    Basically, this is the first time I’ve felt like “we’re a family” is a genuine descriptor and not an emotional manipulation tactic. I keep my personal life fairly separate from work and it’s fine; I know a lot about some of my colleagues because they choose to share and it’s also fine. I no longer feel anxious that one bad emergency is going to blow up my job and that sort of peace of mind in this economy/job market is rare.

  54. Anita Brake*

    After a long career in administrative assistant-type roles, I went back to school and became a special education teacher at 52. I work for a district that, for the most part, is extremely supportive to the extent to which they can be. With the certification I acquired I am making my highest salary to date (yes, I should have continued my education in my twenties, but here we are) and I have seriously had a larger raise each year (percentage-wise) than I ever received in the private sector. Added to that, and just as valuable, there is a district-wide understanding that we are all doing the best we can with what we have at the moment. This kind of support helps me so much.

    In my state (and in most) “The Education System” gets an oft-deserved bad rap, but it isn’t all bad. You have to love kids and love working with them, you have to deal with the fact that any government entity moves and makes changes at a sometimes-glacial pace, and sometimes you have to deal with parents, people, or coworkers who are not optimal, but there are trade-offs in every situation. Overall, I am glad I got my certification and am a teacher in my district.

    1. Ali + Nino*

      Just wanted to salute you for the work you do – teacher, and especially ed teacher, has got to be one of the toughest (and underappreciated) jobs there is. Thank you!

  55. Caroline*

    I worked at a large UK-based, academia-adjacent nonprofit which had complete pay transparency across all roles, including senior executives. Working hours were flexible and wfh or in-office presence was completely up to the individual. They requested resumes only for applications – no cover letters or torturous online applications. I didn’t stay long as the role was a bad fit for me personally, but I recommend the org to others and would consider working for them again in a different role if such an opportunity arises in the future.

  56. ThatGirl*

    My company used to be privately owned, and when it was, it was great. (It was acquired and is public and Just Okay now.)

    They legitimately took good care of their employees during covid, shifting to a fully remote team in practically no time, with all the equipment you might need plus a stipend to buy individualized things. They gave the factory workers who couldn’t be remote extra bonuses. They provided several bonuses throughout the year, including profit sharing. Managers gave people extra freebie days off. We had (still do) unlimited sick time. The insurance and benefits were solid, and all around I felt genuinely appreciated.

    1. ThatGirl*

      Other things: regular employee appreciation events. DEI journey started in 2021 (which, ok, was a bit late but they made a real effort and we have 4 great ERGs now). Flexibility in schedule and no questions if you need to leave early or come in late for personal things. Lots of professional development opportunities.

  57. I wear a bra to work*

    Government, either state or municipal. I’m sure the federal government has its benefits but the idea of congressional nonsense every few years resulting in a salary standoff seems shitty. Great benefits packages, union representation, work/life balance, time off is sacrosanct. It has its problems but the benefits can’t be beat.

  58. Bunny Girl*

    I don’t work for a good company now, but previously I worked in a police department for a small town as administrative staff. It was amazing. I have never been treated so well in my life. Everyone was so kind and understanding to me and really made sure I was set up for success. I seriously felt like a freaking princess. I miss it so much because I had to move to a different state and everywhere I have been here I have been treated like garbage.

  59. Mom's job*

    My mother, at the age of 60, FINALLY has a great boss! He appreciates her skill and effort, doesn’t expect her to work nonstop and actually encourages a few minutes of chatting. A simple error isn’t held over her head for months and her salary isn’t held hostage against impossible standards. She spent the first few months “waiting for the other shoe to drop” so to speak but she is finally feeling more confident than she has in years! They just finished crunch time with loads of overtime, and the owner called each employee in to thank them and explain how much extra paid vacation they’ve accrued (in addition to the overtime pay). Best of all, he is actively encouraging everyone to USE that vacation time, either a little at a time or in big chunks! He is modelling that behavior too, taking a week off almost immediately after crunch time.

    I’m so happy watching her gain self-confidence again and realize how much skill she actually has. She likes all her coworkers and the big bosses are wonderful. It was hard for her to get the confidence to apply but after seeing how thrilled they are to have her even after months of training, she is starting to internalize good things about herself!

  60. JAnon*

    I started at a company a year ago that I just love. It’s work, so it comes with some usual work annoyances. But, when it came time for bonuses, I was speechless. This year, they worked to lower the cost of benefits while also adding in coverage for reproductive/infertility services. We have a yearly in person meeting because most of the workforce is remote and they spare no expense to make sure we enjoy ourselves and that it is worth us all traveling for. They just care about employees and know that they need us. I have worked at some awful places before so I am continually blown away but how they work to live their focus on company culture.

  61. Spearmint*

    I recently started a job at a Fortune 500 tech company. My job has technical elements but I’m not a programmer or at all involved in software development. So far I feel like I’ve been treated well. The benefits are excellent overall (vacation time is only ok, but everything else from health insurance to paid paternal leave is awesome), the team seems supportive and low drama, my role is salaried non-exempt even though I think they could legally classify it as exempt if they wanted to, and there is extensive training and support provided to new hires.

    Perhaps I’ve been lucky, but I’ve never worked somewhere I thought was toxic or awful. Some commonalities I remember from interviews for all my employers is the interviewers seemed authentically enthusiastic about their department and its culture, at least some of the management had been there for a long time (>5 years), and they were explicit about offering extensive support and training to new hires. Oh and also they didn’t act weird when I asked about work-life balance and flexibility.

    I’ve also noticed that very large companies seem better on average (though there’s tons of variation by industry and department). They have more resources to support employees and more experience and formal structure to constrain and discipline toxic managers. Also there’s just less room for weird or non-standard culture, which I think is a net positive most of the time.

  62. Once upon a task*

    I previously worked for a company where I had a major health issue and was told to suck it up. I now work at New Company. Nee Company found out about my issue and bent over backwards to make sure I had everything needed to gwt better. I got better but I still have mental health issues arising from so many years at old company. New Company has been beyond understanding.

  63. TurnAroundKid*

    I graduated college in 2008 and worked for a series of terrible companies in unfulfilling positions over the better part of a decade. I had bosses that were drunks, toxic jobs where people actively sabotaged each other, managers that would scream and threaten. I reached a point so low that I didn’t know if I would ever be able dig out of it or if I even deserved to. I knew I needed to pivot so I went back to school to get an MBA. Upon graduating the job market had slowed temporarily as Donald Trump was newly in office and there was uncertainty in my industry about how his tax plan would affect us (potentially very negatively). I now had a new mountain of student debt and every company in my field was on a hiring pause.

    Now here is the good part. It took a few months longer than expected but finally landed at one of the companies I had been networking with for over a year. While their hiring process was slow, it ended up being a great fit. I have advanced fairly quickly and have the autonomy to do what I actually enjoy. The team I work on is small and diverse, especially for a pretty homogenous field, we all have complimentary skill sets and I truly like and respect my coworkers. Because of this we are very careful in our hiring. My manager is hands off but available and I have been able to learn and grow under his guidance. I don’t have the “Sunday Scaries” anymore and while my work can require long hours, travel, and its fair share of stress, it fits me, I am good at it, and I feel valued. Having spent my entire 20’s barely scraping by and wondering if I will ever find a position that felt like more than just (barely) paying the bills I am now fairly comfortable both from a job security and financial standpoint. Are things perfect? Absolutely not, but in a way I am grateful for the difficult road to where I am because I can appreciate what I have.

    So to anyone struggling or feeling disillusioned there is hope. I was fortunate enough to have a partner who encouraged me to take small steps like map out what I would ideally like to do and set small goals on how to get there. My first was taking the gmat, but it could be as simple as getting coffee with a contact and asking for advice or seeking out someone you respect and asking them to mentor you. Bad bosses abound and a toxic work environment can drain you of more than just your time. Find the path you want to be on and make a plan to try and get there. I can unequivocally state that I would rather hire a person who is on paper under qualified but with a passion for the industry than a Harvard MBA who just wants the title.

  64. The Farmer's Daughter*

    I work for a school division that has instituted a “Weekdays Until 6” contact policy. Previously, staff were being emailed by parents at all hour who also expected an immediate response. Additionally, if you received an evening/weekend email from a colleague, many of us felt like we should be working too. The expectation that we will shut off in the evenings and weekends has been glorious – we have set firm boundaries around our work and home lives. Organizations can talk all they want about wellness but it is actions like this that can make an actual difference.

    1. I like hound dogs*

      That’s an awesome idea. My husband’s job (big education nonprofit) could learn from it, lol. At a team retreat they talked to the employees about the importance of work/life balance but also scheduled them from 8-6 followed by mandatory dinners :(

  65. Tax the Rich*

    I work for a small policy-focused nonprofit working on taxing the rich—after spending my first 3 years out of college at the reproductive rights national nonprofit that you’ve heard of. Working there was legitimately traumatizing, and my health care providers were arranging for me to go on *medical leave* due to the conditions and treatment of work. (Yelling in person and over email, being told we were ungrateful and/or stupid, expectations constantly changing in a matter of hours and being punished for “outdated” work, people giving 2-week notice and being demanded to stay for a full 2 months or thrown out of the building, etc.) So I’ve worked in truly awful conditions, and now I work in truly good ones.
    -100% remote with coworkers across the country
    -Travel for conferences, work retreats, etc in desirable locations in and out of the US, with dates chosen by the whole team so it’s as convenient as possible for as many of us as possible
    -Communicative, collaborative team with real respect and liking for each other
    -Thorough, all-hands process of creating and revising workplace and culture norms, protocols, processes, expectations, etc
    -Real willingness from leadership to change course when something doesn’t work for everyone: we had a few meetings discussing which info-organizing platform worked best for all of us since we all use that platform, and recently leadership changed our yearly goal structure when it just wasn’t clicking for many of us

    The biggest thing is that we are treated like experts who are good at our jobs and allowed to do them. I love working here.

    1. Tax the Rich*

      Also, we all make *actually* competitive salaries and it’s expected that we work for money, not love.

  66. Moomee*

    I work in K-12 public education. The pay isn’t great, the politics aren’t always great either… but the co-workers on the whole are just the most wonderful people to work with. Most K-12 employees lead with their heart, care about others, and are the soul of the community.

  67. Dust Bunny*

    I work for a smallish (35-ish people) but well-established non-profit academic library. Money is always tight but we have decent health benefits and good PTO, which we’re encouraged to use. They make a sincere effort to address performance problems but also don’t hang on to people who can’t or won’t do the work. We had to eliminate a division a few years ago (unavoidable; it was attached to an outside program that was closing) and the employees got extra severance, good references, and job-search help. Raises, even though they’re modest, are prioritized, especially for employees at the low end of the scale. “Employee of the year” draws from people at all levels, not just the highest-profile. Departments help each other out. The executive director knows everyone.

    A lot of our employees have been here for decades even though none of us are going to get rich, mostly because the odds of us finding a nicer place to work are pretty slim.

    1. Dust Bunny*

      We were all-remote for the first year of COVID. Those of us whose work can be done remotely can still WTF sometimes. Many of us can’t work remotely, anyway, but our supervisors scraped together enough online work to keep us going (I’m in the archives, which can’t really be done remotely, but I spent a year researching and rewriting our institutional biographies and adding metadata to whatever we did have online–we were onboarding a new access system).

  68. Irish Teacher.*

    My school is utterly awesome, in so many ways. A coworker summed it up as she always felt she could be herself there. I may or may not be autistic and have been invited to use the fidget toys we have for our ASD students. People are fine about my odd eating habits and my tendency to infodump. I do get teased a little, along the lines of, “if your history students don’t know the answer, they should just guess ‘de Valera’, as it usually will be” or “is that a de Valera quote?” but it’s affectionate and the kind of teasing I even like. They even get a little protective of me in busy environments because they know I don’t handle crowds well. And once on a staff night out, I “froze” and a couple of my colleagues ordered for me and left me alone to readjust.

    And it’s not just me. People are very much accepted. Student teachers are listened to and invited to make suggestions, which is not true in all schools.

    When I had thyroid cancer three years ago, the deputy principal responded to my telling him I would need time off for an operation, with “well, the job comes a long way down the line after your health.” I got a load of messages when I was out after the operation from colleagues and even some gifts. (Only about 3 of my colleagues knew it was cancer; I just told most people I was having my thyroid removed.)

    We vote on things like days off, when to go back after the summer holidays, etc. Most of the holidays are set nationally, but those that are specific to the school are decided by a staff vote as are things like whether to have 40 minute or hour long classes.

    People willingly cover for each other. A colleague and I have split a group who are exempt from Irish between us (different needs; she has students who are exempt due to learning needs and is doing literacy work with them at that time while I mostly have students who are exempt due to arriving in the country too late to catch up and am doing an optional alternative subject) and have both occasionally done, “I have a meeting/need to deal with a discipline issue. Can you take my students in with yours?”

  69. Sharp-dressed Boston Terrier*

    I admit I’m a bit biased because I left an extremely toxic workplace to take this job, but even taking that into consideration, this place is a dream to work for.

    We don’t exactly provide a niche service, but we are all providers of that service – no project managers, no owners who think “good, fast, and cheap” is the goal instead of the Bermuda Triangle of that Venn diagram – and most of us have the national professional accreditation the government offers in our occupation (which is *not* easy to get). So there is an incredible amount of professionalism in the office that I just haven’t seen anywhere else.

    Aside from the five to six weeks of paid annual leave we’re entitled to by law, some of the benefits this company provides include:

    —semi-weekly therapeutic massage sessions (now gone the way of the dodo thanks to COVID, but replaced with an annual fitness subsidy)
    —annual physicals, and subsidies for eye exams
    —yearly summer and Christmas parties that are actually enjoyable
    —the ability to save one week of paid annual leave per year for up to 5 years, which means every five years you can take 11 weeks off (the return of summer vacation!!!)
    —seven-hour workdays on Fridays for most of the year, but six-hour Fridays (and seven-hour days the rest of the week) for ten weeks during the summer
    —flex time outside the core hours of 9 am to 3 pm
    —A minimum of two days presence in the office (introduced after full-time WFH from March 2020 to March 2022)
    —two daily coffee breaks at 10.15 am and 3.15 pm (voluntary but there are always people there)

    I can’t think of anything else at the moment, but that seems like a good enough list to me.

    I should note that when I started this job, I stumbled across a site that provided information about revenue for individual companies – and found that both companies had roughly the same amounts of annual revenue. OldJob provided us with none of these things, which merely served to paint an even darker picture of OldBoss for me.

  70. kendall^2*

    I work for a large-ish institution of higher learning, and while it’s not perfect, there’s a lot of good: I’m part-time, but since I’m at the 20-hr minimum, I get full benefits, which includes not only the usual insurances and such, but also my work badge is a free transit pass, and free access to a number of museums, plus discounted tickets to a variety of events and places that charge admission. I started at 3 weeks of vacation, up to 4 in the second year. There are paid holidays almost every month of the year (thank you, Juneteenth!), as well as almost 2 weeks at the end of the fiscal year. There are high caps on how much vacation and sick time can rollover, so I’m not stressed about running out of PTO, despite taking off for a Jewish holidays with work restrictions. (Plus I got to structure my week so I’m always off on Fridays, which makes a huge difference to my quality of life.) Oh, and the pay is more than I was making before (at previous job for other institution of higher learning), and I’ve gotten actual raises (which didn’t happen at previous jobs, just a few “oops, we hired consultants and they’ve told us we’re not paying enough” adjustments; it was demoralizing that not even all top ratings in annual reviews resulted in anything; no actual “you’re doing great work, have some more money” in the 7 years I was there).

  71. Gingerbat*

    Oh man, this hit hard. I left a toxic job in 2021 only to find myself in a 2nd toxic job. After a year of that, I found myself at a new company that has really proven to be a place that cares about it’s employees. For context, the 2 toxic workplaces were both non-profits, and i had been unsure about working for a for profit company after so many years of ‘working for the common good’ (and other lies that you tell yourself when you are trying to find reasons to keep going in a toxic and low paying field). My new company (where, incidentally, a lot of my old coworkers from the 1st toxic job now work) offers permanent WFH, unlimited PTO, a decent parental leave policy, 1/2 day fridays all summer, competitive salaries, and most of all, a place where i feel trusted and valued to do the job I was hired to do. I hope you can find a place that values and rewards you!

  72. Joelle*

    I recently went back to school for an associates of accounting to facilitate a career change from general office admin to bookkeeping & AR/AP, tasks I’ve done in the past with office admin jobs that I want to focus back on, with the hopes of ended up in a job doing such at a nonprofit or progressively-minded for-profit company. To complete my degree I am REQUIRED to do an internship, a prospect I was dreading at age 40, and as a queer nonbinary person with blue and purple hair.

    The internship I found that closest met my needs (hybrid in-office/remote, as I’m still very COVID-cautious I was unwilling to do anything that was entirely in-office) was at a medium sized public accounting firm in the tax department during busy season. I told myself I can put up out with a few months of ANYTHING to complete my degree, and then I’d look for a long-term job that more aligned with what my original goals were.

    This internships changed my life, and my understanding of what a workplace really can be. As a long time reader of AAM, I’d read about what makes a really good workplace, but I didn’t ever expect to land in one, and had always hoped for someplace that was “fine.” This company clearly cares about their people. There is generous flex-time, great benefits for permanent employees (that kick in at 20 hours/week) including educational reimbursement, paid time off to study for the CPA exam, paid time for completing continuing education credits (required to keep a CPA), above average PTO for the industry, and below-average increased hours for associates during busy season. They not only talk about diversity but it shows in the makeup of their staff. They have been rated a top 100 firm to work for by a leading industry publication, and also is often in the top list of firms for women to work for, in part because they are generous in allowing employees to work “reduced schedules” and it does NOT hold up promotions and advancement.

    As an intern, I was able to take advantage of flex time, and there was no set in-office days — just a general recommendation of number of days a week, and the ability to set that schedule to fit my own needs, and change them at the last minute if something in the rest of my life came up. I had a couple of weeks in the middle of my internship, just as busy season was really picking up, where I was struggling with a medical issue. I’d planned on just flexing my time a bunch and finishing up my basic hours on Saturday, but was encouraged by one of the directors to take time off and not push myself. HR called me to check in on me and make sure I was OK, and if there was anything they could do to support me!

    I’d heard stories from others how they had gone on maternity leave during busy season and no one was resentful, and a newer employee had a family crisis during their first busy season with the firm and was told to take as much time as they needed. This is practically unheard of in public accounting during tax time!

    Just about everyone at the firm was genuinely friendly and helpful (and no one is mean or passive-aggressive) and once I realized that was REAL I got comfortable and really shined, receiving lots of very positive feedback. I was sad when the internship was over (a little before tax day due to a scheduling snafu from HR), and have let them know that I would like to work there permanently, and will hear back in early May… after everyone gets a much needed break! Also, I have fallen… not in LOVE with taxes, but I found I really enjoy and am really good at tax preparation, and this experience caused me to decide to continue my education for a bachelor’s and pursue getting my CPA, something I originally hadn’t thought was really possible for me given some chronic health concerns, but I realized IS possible with the right sort of support in place, which this firm would definitely provide.

  73. Kate*

    My company has been amazing from day one but this week they have been above and beyond.

    I lost my closest friend last week. My boss checked and advocated for me to get bereavement and she personally has checked on me and taken care of what I need to heal.

  74. Abogado Avocado*

    I work for government, which I joined after a long stint in the non-profit world. Our salaries in government service are lower than you’d make in private practice (I’m a lawyer), but the benefits are terrific and make work-life balance possible.

    My husband works for a large employer, but my healthcare benefits and pension match his. In addition to paid vacation (three weeks that my boss insists I take), I get two personal days to use however I want and can use sick leave for mental health days. We also have a sick leave pool, and paid parental leave that is not dependent on using all your vacation and sick leave and going on FMLA. Notably, our government significantly improved the parental leave after I (although I’m childless) and others reported that we were losing talented young employees of child-bearing age due to our previously crappy benefit. Best of all, I can WFH whenever I want to — even if I choose to accompany my husband on one of his work trips and WFH from his hotel room.

    Before I joined government service, I had a bad attitude about working for “the bureaucracy.” I’ve since learned that government employment is like any other: there are bad employers and there are those that care about attracting and keeping talented workers. It all depends on the leadership’s willingness to listen and improve. I’m fortunate to work for elected and appointed officials who do just that.

  75. BlueWolf*

    I think I work for a pretty good company. I’m sure different departments might have different experiences, but I am happy where I am. They have good pay and benefits, good work-life balance, and full-time WFH. When they started return to office planning, they sent us surveys and implemented policies based on company needs while taking into account our preferences. Most departments other than essential on-site people are hybrid, and some like mine are permanently fully remote. I have always felt that my work has been recognized and compensated fairly. Even though part of their calculus that goes into all this is how to keep up with our competitors, I’ve known plenty of small businesses who are short-sighted or penny-wise and pound foolish and don’t recognize the value of their employees and work to retain them. Our company doesn’t exist without us, and they do recognize that.

  76. Scatterbrained*

    In 2016 most of my city and the surrounding areas flooded after a massive rain event. I work for a global company and in my location 16 of our employees got significant water in our homes. 2 days after I escaped my home in waist deep water, a truckload of food, clothing, and cleaning supplies was sent to the flooded employees. In the following week after all the water subsided, C suite managers traveled down to help us. I left work one day and drove to my halfway gutted house to check on things to find an entire crew of upper level management at my home removing flooring and the rest of the walls that hadn’t been gutted yet. A few weeks later truckloads of drywall, screws, drywall mud, and new appliances (fridge, stove/oven, dishwasher, washer, and dryer) showed up at my home to help me rebuild. They also sent money from their employee emergency fund (it was not an insignificant amount) and HR created a go fund me where our coworkers around the world were very generous. They really went above and beyond for us and I will never forget it.

  77. Cubicle monkey manager*

    My past company was an insurance company – conservative industry, traditionally not great to employees. But they were SO GOOD to employees. Traditional benefits were good – reasonable pay, fantastic retirement matching (9%), fantastic time off (I was at 5 weeks/year when I left, after being there for six years). But the culture benefits were also amazing. When the pandemic started, they brought everyone home on 2 days notice, provided a stipend for work from home equipment, and transitioned seamlessly from a “butts in seats” culture to a “remote first” culture. In addition to the already generous PTO they added an extra two weeks of covid leave. They were committed to charitable donations – the company made significant donations every year, required all sr directors and above to sit on a nonprofit board, and double matched employee donations. One of my favorite things was how committed they were to promoting (and lateral moves) from within. There were tons and tons of people who had been there over 20 years, with a new job title every five years or so. They have a 6 month new manager bootcamp, which solidified everything I’d already learned from ask a manager. ;)

    They had downsides of course – too much red tape, too much tech debt, not enough women in IT, not enough racial diversity at the senior level. But even in a conservative industry, they committed to treating their employees well.

    I left there to work at a nonprofit for the same pay, better PTO, and fully remote work. I haven’t been here long enough to fully get the culture but I can say it’s the most trans and nonbinary-friendly place I’ve worked in my life.

  78. Colette*

    I used to work at a high tech company that had good benefits – stock purchase plan, $ to a non-profit for hours their employee volunteered (this was huge for me), multiple free drink options in the break room, good medical/dental/vision benefits, 4 weeks vacation + extra weeks for sabbatical every 5 years, two shutdowns per year (you needed to save a couple of vacation days). But I didn’t really fit in with my team – some of them decided they hated me on sight.

    I now work somewhere with good but not as good benefits (less vacation to start, no volunteer $, no stock purchase, but good retirement benefits). But I fit in better with my team.

    Both are good places to work, in different ways.

    1. Fish*

      I previously worked at a supersize firm that like any workplace, had both its issues and its advantages.

      Over the years the former came to outnumber the latter. I had to think long and hard about whether to let go of the generous PTO.

      Now I work at a place where less PTO to start is the biggest downside, but I’ll live with it. The pluses are more money, better coworkers, no public transportation issues, and work that’s less complex therefore less stressful overall.

  79. Scott D*

    My mother and mother-in-law died of COVID within a month of each other. I got two weeks of bereavement leave per company policy, but my boss went above and beyond. She cut my workload for two full months to the point where I had no more than 1-2 hours of work a day for two months, and sometimes even less than that. She told me “just let me know when you’re ready to work normally again.” Two months later, I was ready and have given 110% ever since.

  80. Ann Perkins*

    My company that I’ve been with for 1.5 years now (I was part of the great resignation/job switching) has been great so far. I was pregnant when I started and the company short term disability policy didn’t exclude me, so I still received 8 weeks disability through the company even though I wasn’t even FMLA eligible. (If I had been there a year, all parents get an additional 4 weeks paid on top of the birthing parent getting the disability payments.) My managers were very supportive and my team threw a surprise baby shower before I went on leave.

    Other perks: -hybrid is very much the norm and there’s a lot of flexibility when your role allows it, some employees are fully remote
    -good overall benefits
    -awesome 401K match to promote retention. For 6% contributions, based on years of service, your matches are at 50% match, then 100%, then 150%, then 200%.
    -overall with everyone I’ve encountered the people have been warm, friendly, professional with no toxicity. My last job was very bro-y “work hard, play hard” type culture where I, a mom with three young children, could just never quite fit in even though I had good relationships with everyone.

  81. Anon for this one*

    My company has bent over backward to help an employee dealing with mental health issues, way beyond any legal requirements. It’s beyond clear that the company actually cares about the individuals working here!

  82. Teapot Wrangler*

    My organisation is a genuinely lovely, values-driven place; my previous organisation had great onsite stuff (Dr, dentist, dry cleaner, shop etc.); another place, my boss was lovely and super-helpful. Obviously, everywhere has downsides but I think most workplaces have something good too!

  83. bean*

    In my experience, a real green flag of good workplaces is a sizable amount of people with a 25+ year tenure. In my current job, I actually replaced someone who was retiring after more than 40 years, and I have more than one coworker who’s hit a 50 year work anniversary — it freaked me out at first, as someone in my early twenties at the time. I was coming from a place with ~flashy~ perks (free snacks/lunches, tons of promotional swag, Instagrammable office, etc) and my current workplace seemed (and tbh, is) stodgy in comparison.

    However! There’s a reason people stay, and it’s BENEFITS instead of just perks. We’re unionized, and part of a large, established union. We get 4+ weeks of vacation, 2+ weeks of sick time, 15+ holidays, guaranteed annual raises (not huge, in the 2-3% range), pension, hybrid schedule (our work genuinely does require being in person at least some of the time), and most importantly PHENOMENAL health insurance. It’s all covered as part of our union dues, and it’s genuinely comprehensive. I have paid a grand total of $0 for anything medical since I started, and I have to see my doctor monthly for refills on a prescription that would cost $400 out of pocket.

    Our salaries aren’t amazing, especially for our expensive metro area, and administration can be frustrating, but my coworkers generally seem happy, and I genuinely feel lucky to have stumbled into my job when I did.

  84. Qwerty*

    My favorite job was a privately owned trading firm (no investors, only partners), lets call it Teapot Trading. While there were also problems that nostalgia has washed away, they worked really hard to build a good cultural and avoid some of the toxic pitfalls that you tend to find in finance.

    Teapot Trading was truly a family. I know that has a bad rep here and it took me a long time to see the dynamic that commentators think of with that phrase. For us, it meant looking out for each other and feeling a higher personal level of responsibility from management. For example, it was really normal in that industry to work 12hr days and have a real startup vibe. When I started developing an injury and asked for accomodations, the solution was to completely overhaul the project timelines. Where working on weekends used be praised, it was replaced with mandatory comp time that had to be taken the same week to avoid burnout.

    During a hard push to meet a legal compliance deadline, we all had to work late one night after a big week. The execs looked around at how tired everyone was and said “it isn’t worth it, go home, we’ll pay the fines”. They chose to take a big hit, both financially and reputation-wise, rather than burn out their employees. This moment has always stuck with me.

    We mostly hired straight from college (turnover was very low in other positions) and a had a class of trainees each year, who everyone sort of adopted. Trainees were mentored about life skills, not just the job, but also stuff like budgeting, helping them get settled in the city, what to expect when buying a home. A bunch of dudes became fathers in the same year and I learned so much about parenting from overhearing all of them helping each other. Every holiday, any trainee who wasn’t able to travel home was welcome to join a partner’s family to celebrate – not that anyone needed to take them up on that offer, because teams always chose to prioritize giving holiday time off to junior members and non-local members so they could visit family.

    Most of us were legit friends. If someone had a party, it would be ~20 coworkers with ~5 regular friends. If I still lived in that state, I’d still be close with many of them.

  85. CSRoadWarrior*

    My previous company, which I started working at in the summer of 2019, was extremely wonderful. Not just treats to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries every month, but was really inclusive, and everyone was happy to mingle with each other. Of course, then came COVID, and we started to work from home. It was made permanent only three months into the pandemic, a big plus, and the culture was really reassuring and gave us support during the pandemic. Nobody threw anyone under the bus, the CEO was straightforward of what he expected and didn’t leave anyone guessing, and everyone got along really great. Even better was we had really great benefits. My direct supervisor was really easy-going as well – of course, I didn’t take advantage of that and did what I need to do and went above and beyond.

    My current company is just as great, on a hybrid schedule (which allows me to leave the house at least once a week), and has a nearly identical culture – basically almost everything I said about the above previous employer so I will not repeat it here. Been here a little over a year and I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon.

    And in case you are wondering, I left my previous employer because I got a better offer and a higher salary, but I parted on good terms with a proper two weeks’ notice.

  86. Becky*

    The company I worked for during Covid had a new CEO start 1/1/2020 (talk about a challenging start to a new role).

    After we went remote, the first thing he did was host a town hall where he assured all of us that no one would be losing their job.

    The next thing he did was send every employee a $500 gift card with the instruction to “spend it on something that makes you happy”.

    My specific department/manager had some…not great aspects, and that was why I ended up leaving. But man, do I miss that CEO. A great leader and a great person.

  87. Good tech co*

    I work for a tech company that isn’t run by idiots, so we haven’t seen layoffs or anything like that. They aim to pay fairly and didn’t over-compensate new employees when salaries ballooned. They did give me a market rate adjustment (my pay was a little low for my position when I started and bc of other things I ended up with more work than what my initial interview was for) and my manager went to bat for my merit raise and got me above the max percentage amount because I’m a very high performer. I never thought I’d perform at this high of a level but the culture here has shown me that with the right team/org, it’s actually very easy to give it your all without burning out.

    I work on the best team. Everyone works hard. No one ostracizes each other over mistakes, we fix them and move on. Work/life balance is important to company culture. Upper management does listen to employee concerns. I’m 100% remote and we have workers all over the world so I know I’m not going to be forced back into an office. The culture is based around remote/async comms so people know there might be a lag on communications. The company trusts it’s employees to get the work done without micromanagement.

    Oh, and I got over a month of vacation right when I started my job, I didn’t need to accrue it or anything! And they’ve protected us from health insurance premium increases, which is nice. 401k match is pretty good.

    Right now I’m confident I’ll be here for a while.

  88. Drago Cucina*

    In 2020 when I moved to be a W2 employee for a federal contractor I was shocked at how positive the environment was. Going from being the buffer for the library staff and not being in charge was an unsure territory. I quickly realized that I was under a lot of unhealthy stress.

    Suddenly there were people treating me as the subject expert. They said, hey, you do good work! Here’s a bonus. You’re working from home. Here’s compensation for using your utilities. When my contract was moved to another company they made sure the new company knew that I was due for a raise. One of the VPs acted as a glowing reference for my current federal employee position.

    When I referred another librarian for a non-library position, they gave her a last-day, courtesy interview. Then hired her on the same day as her interview.

    They practice a healthy work-life balanace. I lost weight simply because I stopped stress eating.

  89. Flying Fish*

    I was just laid off from a company that was mediocre and frustrating, but the severance included the cost of COBRA for 2 months. That one thing took a huge burden off my family. I can truly say that they were better to be laid off from than to work for.

  90. sara*

    I work as a senior dev at a small tech company that’s been around for 10ish years. We’re in an interesting (to me) sector, but not a very flashy one – so we have a smaller amount of large customers. I’ve worked here for 3 years and it’s definitely not perfect all the time but it’s genuinely so great.

    Pay: I feel like it’s good but not great – but they’re honest about it and I’ve gotten pay-band bumps as well as annual raises the last couple of years (moved from intermediate to senior). But in exchange for not amazing pay, the hours we’re expected to put in are a lot more reasonable/flexible. Like I worked super late one night this week due to an emergency and am on a pretty big deadline for a project and doubt I’ll work more than 50 hours, and my boss already told me to take an afternoon off next week. Most weeks I work 40-45 hours vs people I know at other jobs get paid more than I do but regularly are working 50+ hours plus on-call.

    Benefits: we’re in Canada, but we have really good extended benefits/dental/health spending account with no co-pay. And we have RRSP (retirement savings) matching plus a bonus program.

    Work-life: This is seriously the least drama-filled place I’ve ever worked. People have good boundaries around their personal lives. If someone has a critique or a disagreement with how you’re doing things, they just tell you in a straightforward but supportive way and you’re expected to handle it professionally. From what I hear it wasn’t always this way (from back when the company was <20 people) but basically as they've grown there have been really considered choices about our values. And also how we hire and onboard etc.

    Also, for the most part, people are friendly with their colleagues, occasionally we go for drinks etc, but there's not a lot of close friendships. Like I wouldn't expect to ever be invited to anyone's wedding, but if they were doing a local conference talk or something, I'd be delighted to go and support them.

    Plus the work we do is really interesting, super challenging (usually in a good way), and supporting a really vital industry.

  91. CRM*

    My previous employer was an absolutely wonderful place to work! Our executive leadership team was compassionate and reasonable, and it was obvious that they genuinely cared about employee experience. Benefits and pay were extremely competitive. They handled the pandemic admirably, allowing flexibility for WFH and going above-and-beyond with safety precautions and testing when employees needed to work onsite. They even opened up a temporary onsite daycare! Furthermore, employees were allowed a lot of freedom and independence in their work, and they followed data-driven insights and subject matter expertise instead of pushing their own agenda.

    Unfortunately, last year there was some turnover in the executive suite, and things started to go downhill. They withdrew many popular perks including WFH flexibility, providing no reason other than vague ramblings about “culture”. The new leaders forced employees to implement their ideas, even if it went against what people knew would be best for the organization. As a result, many long-time employees (including myself) became frustrated and left.

    Despite this, I still recommend it for people that want to work there – especially for folks that are unemployed and need a job. They still offer excellent benefits and pay, and there are still some amazing people doing good work there. I know there are much worse places.

  92. Akcipitrokulo*

    Oldjob put aside resources for training, and encouraged us to use it – IT director was very vocal about have the pot there, and he wanted us to use it. We could pick a course which would help our development – had to have some upside for company – then it would get booked and off we’d go!

    Same job – I wanted my boss’s job when he left, but didn’t have quite the experience they were looking for. IT director took me aside to explain why they went with external hire, what they’d like to see for that position… and made sure 1) I was on a course to get that qualification in the next year and 2) new boss was aware of interest and got me to shadow him so I’d get experience.

    And I got a surprise small raise because they noticed something good I was doing.


    team building was all about respect, and it came from top all the way through. After monthly retrospectives- where we were honest about what had gone wrong but never attacked personally – we’d go out for a (voluntary) team lunch, and talked about pretty much anything else. That helped a lot!

  93. Miette*

    My sister’s company had a person who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease. They continued to pay his salary all throughout his treatment, whether he was able to work or not. He sadly died, and they paid for his funeral. They have since been acquired by a much larger company, but I will always remember the kindness they showed to him and his family.

  94. WellRed*

    We once had about six solid weeks of cold rainy days in the spring. Out of the blue the Friday forecast was for 85 and sunny ( in May). The CEO officially closed the office that day (in advance so people could make plans).

  95. Gitty*

    I’m happy at my company! they’re actually an esop which means my boss sold the company to his employees and they pay him back with company profits. I think that’s super cool. he could have gotten a lot more selling the company privately but it was important to him to set it up in a way that would continue to benefit his employees that built it.

  96. onetimethishappened*

    I am an elder millennial who has held variety of jobs over the year due to the recession and other factors.

    To me this really comes down to management, co-workers and pay. I just left a place that on paper was fantastic to work for. Cool location, fun activities (paid for by the company and optional), fantastic staff (excluding management), up to date technology and new stuff coming in all the time. But it reality we were not supported by management at all, we were incredibly understaffed, a senior manager had almost 10 people under her quit in years time. We begged and pleaded for help, but instead were punished. It was awful and was the one of the few time in my career I considered walking out, with no other job lined up. However other people at the company didn’t feel the same way. There were departments that ran great, people that swore they would never leave. I guess my point is, you can have all these great things, but if you are under poor leadership it can be a complete hell hole.

    1. onetimethishappened*

      In comparison to the above, I worked for a place that wasn’t so great on paper. It had alot of turnover in other departments, low pay, TERRIBLE technology, no perks to speak of whatsoever. However we got alot of time off, Federal holidays and Jewish Holidays off. My manager and team were fantastic. I really only left bc the pay wasn’t great and it was in a field that I couldn’t advance thru. Think an Administrative Assistant working in a medical office. Unless I was a nurse, I wasn’t moving up. I loved it there and actually almost took a pay cut to go back. The star aligned and I am a new place now.

  97. She of Many Hats*

    I work for an Ed Tech company that many parents of school-kids would recognize. They are constantly striving to walk the talk. They have respectable benefits and pay, encourage career development and work to promote from within. Even in The Before Times, contributed to Aid organizations in disaster-struck areas where they had employees and clients matching employee contributions + more, offer paid Volunteer Time Off as well as PTO and PST, during the pandemic did all they could to ensure employees had what they needed for WFH – including extreme flexibility – to succeed, have gracefully shifted to mostly remote work, and since the George Floyd/BLM riots have worked more intensely to identify internal failure-points and improve DEI within the organization and for their end-most users (students) around the world. They really seem to value their employees as Real People. No company or job is perfect but this is one I’m proud to work for and hope to retire from.

  98. Lou's Girl*

    For me it’s more about the Managers/ Supervisors than the actual company. I worked 10 years for one company (large regional bank)- Pay was great, benefits were outstanding, work was challenging, but ok. Left because of my last Supervisor.

    Worked a large international nonprofit for 8 years. Loved, loved, loved the job, had mostly good managers, pay was decent, but the work itself was phenomenal. Only reason I left was due to relocation with my spouse.

    Left a job recently with great pay and benefits, but awful management. I felt like a number, not an actual employee.

    Took a slight pay cut to work for current company and love it. Work life balance is wonderful, benefits are great, boss is fantastic! She sees people as actual assets and resources, and does what she can (with what little we have) to train properly and to help when needed.

  99. UpstateDownstate*

    I’m super curious to read about Good companies. I realized that all of my former employers have been terrible and I’m shocked that my good-natured spirit has remained intact while working for them.

  100. Insert Name Here*

    My company isn’t perfect (our health insurance is less than stellar for instance), but we’ve been named one of the world’s most ethical companies for the 12th time (we have to take ethics training every year). We’ve joined a sustainable procurement pledge and were named to Fortune’s most admirable companies list for the 6th year in a row. We have a lot of ERG’s including Pride and Black voices that are very active. There are always individual managers that aren’t the greatest, but my boss is awesome. This is a large publicly traded company (for 100 years). Despite the rumors that the C-suite prefers people in office, they gave us options after the worst of the pandemic to go in to the office, work from home, or hybrid and there’s no sign of that being revoked.

  101. Enginerd*

    My company is amazing. We’re a consulting firm so sometimes out schedule is at the mercy of the customers. Every place I’ve worked previous would get every hour out of you they could, work life balance was non-existent. We had a worker who was being over worked by a customer (we actually have hard limits for hours worked, consecutive days, etc) and the customer was pushing him to exceed them. Project manager warned the customer repeatedly that it needed to stop. CEO caught wind of it, pulled the employee off the project (and mandated time off to recover) and cancelled the contract. We have team building events every quarter, 4 day work weeks and a very active charity that is run by employee volunteers and gives back to every community in which we operate. When the office opened back up after Covid no one was forced back in, but they have tried to incentivize it with office perks like fancy coffee machines ping pong tables and company sponsored lunches. I once had a director ask me in passing how I liked working here and what could make it better. I said I wanted to branch out my skills into an area I’d never tried but wanted to learn, I was assigned that area about a month later on my next project. This company goes above and beyond to avoid layoffs and does right by the employees and the community.

  102. Meghan*

    I work in Hospitality (hotels specifically) which are notoriously horrible about giving you PTO/trying to pay you as little as possible, etc. But I just got to my current hotel about 45 days ago and it is wild the difference between a well run hotel and…where I was. The hotel I was at previously for about 6 months was just awful and then my 2 hotels before that for the past 4 years were great but the first one I opened, then Covid, then my hotel got bought, so there was just a LOT going on.

    Anyway, my point is that at my current property- people have DECADES of experience behind them, they like this place so much. And yes, the PTO still sucks and I don’t have anything banked but since I am salaried, as long as I am here for about 15 minutes, my boss isn’t telling Payroll that I was off for the whole day/half the day/whatever. And we RARELY work from home. I was going to take a small pay cut to come here because I desperately needed out of where I was, but they decided to match my salary! And the bonuses are insane, I’ve already gotten one and I’ve been here 45 days.

    I’m pretty sure this property is a unicorn in the hotel world but it does exist!

  103. No Longer Gig-less Data Analyst*

    My daughter was hired as a Customer Service rep in the inbound call center for a mid-sized regional bank straight out of college 2.5 years ago, with only retail/restaurant job experience under her belt.

    This place has been absolutely amazing for someone just starting out in the professional world; she was trained extensively before they ever let her talk to a live customer, policies/procedures are clearly documented and outlined, her supervisor has mentored her closely, her pay went from $17/hr to $23/hr in two years, she can work from home especially if she works a weekend shift, and there are all kinds of perks like catered lunches/employee appreciation gifts, etc. Oh, and she gets a 5% bonus every month if her customer surveys after the call come back with a 4 or 5 out of 5 rating.

    She is absolutely thriving, and although I know a large part of it is her own skill, intelligence and work ethic, the fact that they set her up for success from the very beginning and continue to do so is impressive to me as someone who’s a lot of different jobs throughout her career.

  104. The Crowening*

    I am a federal gov contractor so every few years we end up with a new company. The company I currently work for, and a different company I worked for two contracts ago, are great! Managers are clued in and respectful; policies are based in logic and best practices; we can ask for help if we need help, or (work-related) advice if we need advice. We have a lot of flexibility and I can’t think of a time I asked for time off and was told no. There are good companies! I hope you are able to get into a better situation soon.

  105. Youngin*

    My partners new company has really impressed me. His old job was typically toxic and nasty – a boss that would cuss at him (or flirt with him), a schedule that was random, last minute and terrible (like he would end up working 48 straight hours with no warning meaning no food no extra clothes no hygiene products), a boss that tried to dock his hours to get herself a bonus. This is on top of the typical issues that field faces (its very physical and outdoors in south Florida).He left that company for a new one in the same field this year.

    Some of the immediate differences – the company gives him 2 days warning about his schedule (that’s as much as they can get in the filed but we know that he is always off on weekends). They will NEVER schedule him over 24 hours straight even if its an emergency, simply because they care about the well being of their employees, oftentimes risking fines from government entities. They provide coolers, water and unlimited ice at their shop that guys can take from before and after work. They provide a collapsible tent for jobs that have no shade coverage. They provide sunglasses and SPF. Since the days can be very long and with no set end time, anyone that works over 8 hours a shift is eligible for OT (time and a half on all hours over 8 in a day, no matter if they hit 40 hours that week or not). They pretty much never work under 9 a shift. For jobs in the middle of no where at the last minute, so no access to food, they will provide lunch/dinner for anyone that needs it and deliver it to the job site. The trucks are deep cleaned every single week (his old jobs trucks would never get cleaned, smelled like poop, and were infested with roaches).

    This is my favorite because it makes me giggle. They still have yet to figure out a great system for bathrooms…lol…but they also provide hand sanitizer/soap and the back of the truck has a small spigot that can act as a hand wash. They also provide TP, wipes AND a little portable potty (think one that you take camping that sits over a hole you dug). Honestly that was the thing that impressed me the most, his past company wouldn’t warn him ahead of time that they would be in the middle of nowhere and it created a lot of…messy situations including the smell of doo doo because people would track it back to the truck. My bf kept that stuff in his pack after the first instance but needless to say some of his partners didn’t do that. I think this is my favorite because it seems to go far above and beyond what is the norm/expected in this field.

    This job is brutal on the guys that work it and they know that and they do absolutely anything to make their guys comfortable in order to retain them. My partner works significantly more hours than at the last job but he loves it SO MUCH MORE solely because he is comfortable and happy.

  106. TheseOldWings*

    I work for a full-service Marketing/Advertising agency and it is indeed a great place to work. We are fully remote but have an office to work at if we want to. Unlimited PTO that they actually encourage everyone to use and are super flexible about time off. Included in time off buckets are things like social activism time, time off for voting, etc. We have a day of service coming up where everyone can choose their own way of volunteering for the day. When the Dobbs decision came down last June, the CEO sent an email acknowledging that many were upset by the decision and could take time off if they needed it. They also often will close the office before a Monday holiday to give everyone a 4 days weekend.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think my role has been well-defined and I’m struggling a bit with how best to handle that. I also don’t prefer a fully-remote situation but live too far from the office to go in regularly. But these are personal things outside of my company’s culture, which has been really great (and makes it hard to think about leaving despite my issues!)

  107. Stav*

    My workplace is not perfect by any means, but they handle small-company “we are family” the right way: by caring for their employees. when I asked for a day off on short notice to take my grandma to an appointment because her regular arrangement fell through, I was told “of course, family comes first!”. An employee once had a problem with doctors not taking her seriously and since her real family was useless in that regard, the owner went with her to advocate for her.
    Also, paychecks: in my country you are payed once a month on the 10th for the previous month, so employers have 10 days to get everyone’s timesheets and so on. But if there is a holiday before the 10th the owner will do everything to get it done in time for the holiday.

  108. NYWeasel*

    I work for a company that is off the charts for employee satisfaction but even in that environment it’s not a utopia for everyone. Part of what makes it so great is that we’re all encouraged to take ownership of the work we do. Some people simply don’t do well in environments where they need to step up and be a decisive voice, while others are so focused on being the leader for everything that they are unhappy whenever someone else takes the lead on something. A lot of people hear all the right words in my description and think they’d also love working here, but part of finding a job you’re satisfied with is understanding what really makes you tick. I actually prefer being #2 or #3 in charge, so I’m happier working for someone else rather than running my own company.

  109. Susannah*

    Atypically for a media org, my employer really walks the walk on work-life balance and just recognizing that we have family and personal issues. They know I tend to volunteer to work even when I’m stressed with home stuff, so they’ll actually ignore my offers when they know I’m dealing with, say, a family member in the hospital (like you deal with a stalker – don’t reinforce the behavior by responding!)
    Specifically, when I was a week from going on my honeymoon as the pandemic waned, the country we were headed to announced it might just not let Americans in for awhile. My editor sympathized then said, as your boss, I am *ordering* you to take the day to come up with Plan B for your honeymoon. I did, though it turned out we could head to Spain as planned anyway.
    I’ll got to the wall for that editor because she looks out for me.

  110. JayS*

    My company is awesome. I’m an RN and work for an insurance company in the NYC area. Usually, any jobs in the medical field are very difficult mentally/physically, and the insurance industry in particular usually does not care about its employees. Anyone in the medical field, regardless of the setting, knows how it is.

    First, they actually listen to our feedback on surveys and make positive changes, no one is penalized for negative comments. They gave everyone a COL increase the end of last year due to overall inflation (and we still got our annual raises/bonuses). We are not shamed for taking vacation/sick days. Management is approachable and accommodating if you need some temporary flexibility. We’re not penalized for turning down overtime. Management fought for us to have permanent WFH. Poorly performing workers are dealt with instead of dumping their work on efficient staff. The efficient workers are rewarded by management. They give us gift cards after each busy season to show their gratitude. They partnered with an outside company to offer discounted child care/elder care (not many places I worked for did that). Finally, management doesn’t care if you have your kids home, they just want you to get your work done. It’s not uncommon to hear someone’s kid in the background during meetings (and we are not required to be on camera!!). This is so helpful when schools are closed or if someone’s child is sick that day.

    I love this company and never thought I would find such a job as an RN. I actually took a $15,000/year pay cut to work here because I heard about how great they were to their employees. And all those rumors were true! People sometimes ask me why I don’t go somewhere that pays more. To me, it’s not 100% about the money, I want to be in a job where I’m respected and where the manager cares about the workers.

  111. Pool Noodle Barnacle Pen0s*

    All things considered, my company has been a great place to work. I’ve been here for 4 years and am in my third role (1 lateral move, 1 promotion). All my direct managers have been competent, reasonable, and supportive of my professional development. It’s a stable, established company in a stable industry. (Not recession proof, per se, but definitely not as vulnerable to the vagaries of the market as some other segments.) There were no covid-related layoffs, and we all got to work from home for the first 1.5 years of the pandemic. Our benefits package is standard for what a professional person in an employer-favoring US state can expect to receive. We even get treated to lunch or ice cream sometimes, lol.

    There have been challenges and complaints along the way, naturally, but overall I’m happy to still be here. I used to be envious of my friends and peers with prestigious-sounding job titles at big-deal, high paying tech companies. Not anymore.

  112. Rae*

    My company is good, not great, but my boss is fantastic. I was in a position where I needed a new job with either a regular schedule or a flexible schedule, not working nights and weekends all over the place. I was willing to take a pay cut to get it. My boss went to bat to get me a pay increase and helped me negotiate a week of paid vacation to cover a pre-planned trip. I did lose 2 days of annual vacation at this new job but overall I’m very happy with my situation and work/life balance. My company is very large and national. Options such flex time and teleworking are really left up to managers to decide for their teams. The focus is on accomplishments and getting the work done.

  113. JustMe*

    I work for a Catholic university in the US and so far they’ve been pretty extraordinary. When I interviewed, the woman who is now my boss said that she was Jewish and had worked there for 37 years, so that was a big tip-off that they were doing something right. The benefits are very good (it’s been nicknamed “the golden handcuffs” because people stay for life) and in general everyone really cares about the students in ways I have not seen from other schools. What I’ve noticed in general is:
    -From my experience, GlassDoor reviews tend to be pretty accurate. I recommend reading them thoroughly when applying for jobs. Current university has VERY high GlassDoor reviews.
    -Consider the longevity of employees when interviewing and applying. In current office, people count their time at the university in decades rather than years.
    -My favorite interview question (as an applicant) is always, “What are the measures of success for this role?” Employers will say their position or company are perfect up one side and down the other, but when pressed, they will reveal some toxic workplace habits, or sometimes that there are NO measures in place to hold employees accountable. (I remember an interviewer once saying, “I guess there really aren’t any. This role doesn’t really make much difference, we just need to do it as part of our corporate social responsibility.” Called HR in the parking lot and asked to withdraw my application.) When interviewing for my current job, now-boss said something along the lines of, “You have a lot of freedom in this role and we generally trust that you will be doing what you need to do. Our standards are high but we have xyz resources in place to ensure you meet those standards. We want to see these things happen and I have an open door policy if you feel you cannot for some reason meet those goals so we can figure it out.” So far that’s been true and it’s been a great place to work!

  114. Day job haver*

    Honestly, I’ve been at the same (sort of) specialized tech services company for forever years, ] through 3 (4? who can tell) acquisitions.

    Each stage of the company has been at least good to work for. Started out very small/family owned, with a week of PTO around the holidays AND around July 4 that were not counted in your allotment, lavish holiday parties where every employee got $200 of gift cards, totally above board business practices, and a genuine concern for client welfare.

    The company was acquired, and those curious excesses went away, but the mostly competent/doing right by people approach remained — there were some layoffs over the years, offset by hiring elsewhere, but…not terrible. My division/product just wasn’t a main focus.

    Then my division was sold off last year to a company that seems to REALLY go all out for employees. All kinds of crazy rules to help you use your PTO (roll it over, cash out a few days at the end of the year, etc).

    There’s someone in charge of employee engagement who essentially runs most of the “fun” Slack channels, there’s a WFH equipment stipend (for chairs or whatnot), and the company is fully remote and plans to remain that way.

    Definitely the weirdest benefit is the opportunity to go work for a week/yr in a timeshare (with great wifi and private bedrooms) in a tropical location with a handful of co-workers, all expenses paid!? I guess the capacity is there for about half the employees to do this in any given year.

    Salary and benefits seem reasonable–they actually assessed where folks were in their markets when the acquisition closed and made salary adjustments, and the bonus targets (ours were pro-rated) seem more than fair, and at least some level of bonus is shared to ALL employees regardless of title/role.

    Beyond all that, my opinions are sought out out and respected, my work week is 40 hours outside of a few weeks of the year, and I’ve worked for the same excellent manager (now a VP) for all that time. Could I make more elsewhere? Yeah maybe, but with the stories I read here…

  115. Margaret Schlegel*

    I work for a small law firm – 2 attorneys (they’re related), 3 paralegals (I’m one). One of the other paralegals and I are in law school part time at night. When we started (3 years ago for me/last year for my colleague), our bosses let us both cut our hours by a quarter without decreasing our pay, and we have as much flexibility around class schedules and exams as we want. They pay the entire cost of health insurance and transit passes for all of us. They give us bonuses when we have exceptionally good quarters. They’re incredibly forgiving of our mistakes and have our backs when clients give us problems. We get lunch pretty often. They let me decorate my office with art by our clients’ children, which is not the pinnacle of professionalism but I adore it.

    I will say that we’re all pretty stellar employees and we’ve been through some rough personal times with them (including but not limited to COVID) together while still consistently increasing our revenues and providing excellent service. So it’s not like we don’t deserve this, but I still think it’s great.

  116. Silicon Valley Girl*

    I’ve been at a large well-known tech company for 6 years now, & it’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience. I accepted this job because the manager & team I interviewed with were incredibly smart, curious, open-minded, & creative — the kind of folks I wanted to work with. And many of them are still here, even if I don’t report to the same manager now. I’ve found most everyone I work with to have similar qualities & capabilities, which makes collaboration easier. Sure, there are normal personality conflicts & problems that happen anywhere, but it doesn’t feel structurally dysfunctional. IMO, working with & around non-toxic people is the most important thing, although admittedly it can be the hardest thing to find.

    The other thing I’ve always looked for at companies is do they have a product or service I personally would use &/or vouch for. Can I get behind it & believe in it? If so, I’ll have a better chance of feeling invested enough to make an effort. What about my (potential) coworkers? How do they feel about the company’s product/service or about the company’s customers? If I can suss that out, it helps me judge whether or not we’ll be a good fit working together.

    This is all, of course, on top of the obvious tangible stuff like competitive salary & benefits, PTO (I have unlimited PTO now that is actually used & I will never go back to tracked PTO!), work from home flexibility (currently, we’re encouraged to go into the office 2 specific days a month), etc. Those things you can find on a company website or in an offer letter & judge a “good” company from a “bad” one. The intangibles are harder.

  117. Caitlin*

    I would never claim my company is perfect but what I really appreciate is that I think the HR team and senior leaders are genuinely open to feedback and will look for solutions. To me that is way more important than any specific policies or benefits!

    Some cool things my company does include generous PTO (both vacation and sick leave), support for ERGs including giving employees the space to do ERG tasks during work hours and a budget for each ERG to run programming, a really strong culture of recognition including a public recognition feed and highlighted recognitions in the daily email updates to the whole company.

    When I started three years ago I was blown away by how genuinely welcoming everyone was and that people are really willing to make time to help someone who is not even on their team get up to speed. That culture of collaboration and the feeling that we’re all in this together is one reason I’m happy to stay here even though I could probably get paid more somewhere else. (My company offers fair compensation, but I have been headhunted for roles paying 10-20% more).

    1. Caitlin*

      Oh – also! One of my favourite newish policies is that they extend all the summer long weekends to be an extra day! It started during COVID because people weren’t taking much leave and they wanted to emphasize the importance of downtime and now that we’re mostly back to normal they’ve kept it because it’s so popular.

  118. Eulerian*

    I recently had a baby, who unexpectedly came six weeks early. My husband was entitled to two weeks paternity leave at his job (not the US, obviously). His boss, who had also had a preemie, granted him an extra three weeks leave, and told him not to worry about work, that whatever happened he would advocate for him at the company. He’s also been allowed to work from home (which the company used to allow for everyone, but started rolling back), and been given pretty much total flexibility on which hours he works and even how many of them. It’s really helped both of us.

  119. Goose*

    Step one: have your organization take the staff survey with 98% response rate
    Step two: have an HR team member meet with each department to go over department results . departments make suggestions on improvements.
    Step three: leadership team actually makes those improvements.

    This year it ranged from giving all staff money to get global entry (as we all are traveling more), a budget to get inflight wifi, a larger at home tech budget, and renovating a space we had suggested renovating (mostly as a joke because we knew how expensive it would be).

    The ability to see suggestions I personally made be announced as changes at all-staff is HUGE.

  120. Angela Zeigler*

    My company (not a super small company, but mid-sized) had a full disaster preparedness plan- which included a pandemic- in place before COVID was even a rumor. When 2020 hit, they further developed a plan for closing in-person work, determining who was allowed in the office, and what the conditions would need to be for any kind of reopening. As time passed, they reevaluated the situation using local case numbers and CDC guidelines to make decisions.

    While some positions were partially remote prior to the pandemic, as soon as March 2020 came along, they made virtually everyone remote with very few exceptions. IT managed to make sure a couple thousand employees could go fully remote and in a matter of weeks. It worked so well that, when we were allowed to return to the office (safely in 2022), many departments stayed work from home!

    The pay still isn’t the best, but it was a huge benefit to my mental health knowing the company was going to be reasonable and communicative. (Especially during some difficult Covid times.)

  121. BigGirlPants*

    I’ve been with my employer 9 years, before now I’ve never lasted that long in a company. I’ve always moved on after about two years, usually due to lack of options, poor pay etc.
    At my current employer I started in a very basic role doing tech support over the phone. Through support for my development I’ve had 5 promotions and am working my way towards a Director role.
    My Boss and Grand Boss care about boundaries and work life balance; a day off is a day off, and no one is ever expected to work outside of our 37 hour week. My job is uniquely technical and in a male-biased industry, I’m often the only woman in the meeting, but I’ve always been supported and encouraged and the company are paying for me to do very specific leadership training relating to women in our industry, and I’m encouraged to be myself and have non-natural hair colour, a lip piercing and a couple of tattoos that are often visible. The company cares about people and our culture is evolving as employee needs evolve – hybrid working, work from home and four days weeks are all available across suitable roles. The company has changed in the time I’ve been here, and is genuinely trying to be better.
    For context I’m in the UK (25 days holiday, eight bank holidays, pension, paid sick and maternity leave are all the norm).

  122. Cthulhu's Librarian*

    Healthcare support now, at a very large and prestigious institution. Some of the great benefits (available to everyone from housekeepers to doctors) include

    – 14 completely free psychiatrist appointments a year, regardless of your insurance choices.
    -insurance that is priced equitably (you pay less if you make less) making it available to anyone.
    -If you have the hospital systems insurance, a guarantee that you’ll be accepted as a patient by any of their doctors or an affiliate provider. Coming from a healthcare desert where I spent five years on various waiting lists for a primary care provider, this one was huge.

    Oh, and dedicated departments for professional development and continuing education.

    All of which is available to every employee (full time, part time, seasonal, work visa, etc)

  123. wink*

    I love my company.

    I work in an IT position in a medium-sized nonprofit. How do I love them? Let me count the ways.

    1. 4 weeks PTO right off the bat
    2. All federal holidays. Election day. My birthday. 2 floating holidays. December 25th – January 1. Early out on Fridays during the summer. All paid.
    3. Unlimited sick time
    4. Permanent WFH
    5. I was originally hired far below market rate. I was OK with it at the time because I was an entry-level career-changer and I was just trying to get some experience and I wanted to work nonprofit. About a year in, they did a salary equity study where they re-leveled everyone’s salary bands and committed to the midpoint being the 60th percentile of the market rate. That resulted over a couple of rollout phases in a 90% raise for me. Whoa.
    6. We have instituted a no-negotiate, public salary structure with clear criteria for where everyone falls in their bands based on skills reviews.
    7. Extremely supportive manager and management structure. I have clear annual goals that cascade from org goals, and they don’t change throughout the year. My boss has input, but I write my own goals.
    8. DEI initiatives are interwoven into almost everything we do, and is one of the values we’re evaluated on.
    9. Paid maternity leave.

    I could go on. I love it there. :)

  124. Happy Bureaucrat*

    I know it gets a bad rap, but I work in state government (Minnesota) and love it. Great benefits (including a pension), job security, clock out at 4:30, guaranteed COLA and step raises, and increasing vacation accrual based on years of service.

    1. AnneSurely*

      I have worked for a municipal government, and there tends to be so much that is good about these kinds of positions. And especially so for people at lower to mid level positions, where the pay and benefits (and possibility of steady full time work, period) will often be better than what they would be able to get elsewhere. I’m especially thinking of things like admin. assistants or manual laborers.

      The downside to the steady nature of the jobs is that there doesn’t tend to be as much flexibility as one might find in some great private industry jobs. And you won’t get any super progressive flashy benefits. Right now, I heavily rely on the extra flexibility that Covid ushered in because it coincided with some difficult stuff in my home life, and I would likely have had to leave the workforce entirely if not for the flexibility I now have. But if my life were simpler and more predictable again (and hopefully one day it will be), I would definitely consider returning to working for my city government. There are so many positives.

      1. Happy Bureaucrat*

        I think the flexibility issue used to be true, but at least with remote work the pandemic changed everything! We went from everyone in the office all the time to hybrid at least 2 days in office, and I know some agencies are fully remote. We also have a very lenient new flextime policy. So it could be worth circling back to check if the policies have changed!

    2. NotSoEvilHRLady*

      Happy Bureaucrat, so glad a fellow MN state employee posted in the comments here!

  125. e.y.w.*

    I love my nonprofit. Salaries are competitive (for a NP in this area), but the benefits are outstanding. Health insurance is fantastic, lunch is provided daily, and we have very generous & flexible PTO.
    What I really love, though, is the culture. We’re all very professional, but it’s also warm and friendly. Most of the staff have great respect and admiration for their peers. The staff enthusiastically engage with other “perks” offered, including popular speakers, fun (not forced) staff events, volunteer opportunities, and wellness perks like organized walking groups.

    I think this is largely due to our two most senior directors. They are impeccable. They are both very, very knowledgeable and experienced. They treat every single person with total respect, and genuinely thank staff for hard work. They are transparent in decision-making, but crucially, they shut down any non-constructive or harmful complaining. I think that improves the culture a lot. They’re very open to thoughtful feedback, but they make it clear that nastiness or negativity has no place. They give respect, and they expect respect. I love it.
    They hired a new HR Director two years ago, and she is also impeccable. I think she has bolstered the culture very well. Any issues are dealt with quickly, and she’s immensely supportive of work-life balance and encouraging staff to use their PTO.

    All three of those directors get things done. For real. If there’s something that needs to change, it changes. I’ve learned a lot from all of them during my time here. An old coworker of mine used to say that the tree rots from the top down, and I think it also flourishes from the top down.

  126. Momma Bear*

    My office is a solid place to work. We have generous PTO and good benefits. Many people move up – we like to promote from within but are also not against hiring someone from outside when their expertise is required. People who don’t want to manage generally don’t have to. I have a great boss who takes time for his people and treats you as a competent person unless you show otherwise. The default is that you are capable. He’s doing really great things for our division. WFH is limited due to the nature of the industry but if I say I need a day for x or y, it is rarely if ever questioned. I feel like I have a good work/life balance and work with good people.

  127. Weaponized Pumpkin*

    What my company does well:
    – People. The vast majority of my coworkers are competent and pleasant to work with.
    – Remote. They were doing hybrid/remote before the pandemic, the commitment is there and we won’t be called back. Thoughtful about accommodating varying time zones.
    – Positivity/Respect. The “yay team” culture can be a little much for me, but I deeply appreciate how generous everyone is with positive feedback and affirmation. I know I am valued.
    – Benefits. Time off is given and taken freely for whatever is needed, no justification needed. Health coverage is free and above average. No meetings on Friday afternoons.

    I don’t love the actual work, but the people have been great and it’s been a soft place during a very hard time in my life :)

  128. Nuke*

    I really like the company I work for. I’ve been here for 5 years and I’ve seen a constant pattern of striving for improvement. Rules that make no sense are revisited and potentially revoked (example: we got rid of our dress code when we started working from home, replacing it with a common sense guideline instead), there are many DEI initiatives, events, chats, etc, and in general I feel welcome and proud to work here. It’s still a Big Corporation sort of, but we work in healthcare so we’re trying to improve peoples’ lives. Management stresses that they’re always open to emails. In terms of DEI, the company is pretty aggressive about not tolerating any sort of discrimination or hate, and actively supports different heritage days, pride month, etc. We’re encouraged to do things like set our Teams backgrounds to our Pride flag, etc. Then of course there’s the basics like decent PTO, all federal holidays off (and some become floating holidays), easy to access benefits/accommodations/etc through portals…

    Once I wore jeans by accident (before WFH, we’d just had a month of dress-down but I forgot I switch back), and the Department Director walked by me. I was terrified I’d get in trouble, but he just greeted me cheerfully with “Hi, Nuke! How are you!” and didn’t care.

    Some more personal things – when I asked to be taken off a certain project I had sort of accidentally been put on, because it was draining me, my manager immediately set up a meeting to make sure I was doing alright and check on my morale and how I was doing in my still relatively new promotional position. The company allows flexing time instead of using PTO within limits, so you can work an extra hour here and there to take time off within a week.

    My grandmother recently passed rather suddenly. I lived with her and things have been very difficult. A few days after I returned from my bereavement, I received a package in the mail from my company. It was a large box filled with several nice lotions, a blank journal, a personalized typed up sympathy card giving condolences for my loss, a beautiful candle, and a cute stuffed dog. Also the day I returned from bereavement, my supervisor called me into a 1-on-1 to tell me several departments (including mine) had their wages re-evaluated, and I was getting a raise out of absolutely nowhere.

    I have my nitpicks about the company, it is a job after all, but I really feel like it’s a place I’m comfortable at and feel happy working for. They moved us home immediately when the pandemic started, and let everyone stay home if they wanted, while providing all equipment and keeping communication constant. Even with my raise, I could probably make a bit more money somewhere else, but I’m not sure I’d want to leave a place where I feel so honestly respected and valued as an employee.

    I’ve been in my current position for 3 years (yeah, it was hilarious timing with the pandemic). When I was leaving my entry-level position team, my then-supervisor went over to my to-be-supervisor and told her, “You better treat Nuke well. She’s my best agent.” (with a bit of a light tone, even though that sounds snippy!)

  129. Bit o' Brit*

    Don’t mind me, I’m fully institutionalised at my mostly-functional workplace…

    I work for a charity that provides a service to a specific population, though the nature of the service makes us generally unpopular with most people who use it. But the organisation takes fairness, equality, and kindness incredibly seriously.

    Working patterns are very flexible (there are more people working non-standard hours than standard) and we have the option of filling in timesheets and flexing hours on top of that. Salaries are set in bands by job title/description with “merit increase” grades within the band (which does mean there’s a hard limit to how many pay rises you can get without a promotion, but is good for salary equality) and an annual cost of living adjustment. They’re not high salaries, but they’re far from “do it for the mission, not the money” salaries. I don’t know exactly what changes they made to the recruitment processes, but in recent years the office has become a lot less homogeneous, so something’s working – for a while all openings seemed to be listed exclusively with a recruitment firm whose mission is to facilitate more diverse workforces, but I think they’re posted more widely now.

    I don’t interact with our external service users, so I don’t experience that additional stress that most of my colleagues have to deal with, but we have a strong EAP and a big push for mentoring and cross-team support. There’s also a good “public praise, private feedback” culture. I’ve been in meetings with higher management discussing staffing and they’ll name names of rock stars but never of lower performers, and people working (unpaid) overtime is met with concern rather than appreciation.

    Also my boss is great. He not only Gets S–t Done, but he’s incredibly supportive of his team as individuals. Our department is small with very blurry responsibilities, so some of us are having our job descriptions altered, which for me featured a collaborative discussion about the direction I wanted my career to take and my boss telling me he wanted to bump it up a salary grade if he can (though I’m not getting my hopes up). This is all while I’ve been having some horrible health-scare-personal-life problems, which I felt comfortable sharing without fear of adverse consequences.

    In the name of balance, I will say that there is a kind of organisational-level anxiety that can make things dysfunctional at times. Usually “too many cooks” on every decision, so change is slow and seemingly innocuous things turn into a production with (generally minor) office politics.

  130. not that kind of Doctor*

    I think my company is pretty great.

    It’s true that not all departments are created equal, but in my department there’s as much focus on making sure the team is happy, healthy, and successful as there is on getting work done. (Funny how they tend to go hand in hand!) The company just switched to unlimited PTO – paid out accrued PTO & didn’t penalize those who were negative – and my boss & I have been troubleshooting how to make sure people actually TAKE time off.

    I had a new employee almost cry this week when I explained to her that as long as you’re in communication & your work is getting done, your schedule is whatever you want. At her last job she was held to a rigid schedule and YELLED AT for the slightest deviation. Some of our other departments have strict schedules – their work is inter-dependent – and there is a clear points system for holding people accountable, but no one gets yelled at!

  131. CazzieCaz*

    I work for a disability charity. It’s my first “proper” job, after I struggled for a long long time to get out of the 0hour/retail rut, in part because I’m autistic.

    I’m having so much fun! It’s a cause that I care about; I feel like I’m making a difference to people’s lives and doing something worthwhile, and management have been wonderful.

    They were willing to take a change on my lack of specific experience, and they’ve given me so much training and support to learn the role. It’s hybrid WFH/on-site/office, so ridiculous early starts are once in a blue moon, and I’ve been made to feel welcome and like part of the team right from the get-go.

    Having a manager who says “well done, good job” is enough of a novelty, but I get consistent positive and useful feedback.

    I genuinely would stay in this job even if I won a few million on the lottery.

  132. TechWorker*

    I do think my company is pretty great.
    We used to be a startup and were then acquired by a huge company (which also ranks highly on ‘good place to work’ etc but is much more variable!)

    Good things
    – People are super helpful. If I have an annoying IT issue that is literally nothing to do with any of our jobs, I can ask about it in our company IM and multiple people will chip in and help me fix it. In our org wide ‘help’ chats, it is invariably my colleagues (and me) helping newbies with their difficult work related technical questions, & that tells me two things: 1) the rest of the org does not have such good support structures and 2) my colleagues are lovely people.
    – when there’s bullshit corporate stuff going on, managers will shield as much as possible and share when they can’t. I feel comfortable that no-ones going to make a crazy decision I disagree with.
    – the company does care about us. When we were being acquired one employee was going through cancer treatment and it was taken as read that the terms of any deal would include his medical needs being fully covered (even though we live in a country where cancer care in public health is accessible, if occasionally slower).
    – we promote from within. Which I guess has downsides too (no outside knowledge coming in) but means that you’ll never report to someone who’s an idiot who knows less than you. As someone who has worked for people I struggled to respect (Eg, publicly/confidently wrong), I really appreciate that!

    1. TechWorker*

      That last point makes me sound like a bit of a knob. Obviously I know that when managers get hired they will have a ramp up period, so my bar is not ‘my manager must know more than me’ but rather ‘I appreciate when my manager is both smart and I can see why their job is harder than mine’ :)

  133. Bay*

    My company went to unlimited PTO in the only time I’m in favor of it — with a company culture where people outright ask each other if they’ve taken time off recently, what are your vacation plans, are you getting enough rest. We get a day off each quarter as a “wellness day” on top of holidays. People are super great about advertising that they’re, say, taking a walk during a meeting, or coming right from yoga — whatever they want to do to stay healthy. There’s tons of resources about mental health and wellness available, including a stipend to pay for any wellness-oriented activity. (In case you can’t tell, we’re in the exercise and wellness industry).

    And just the culture is fantastic. People genuinely care about each other. We celebrate work anniversaries, birthdays, births of new babies (we do guessing polls for what day they’ll be born), and both wins and losses in the workplace (we celebrate failure because we expect to fail sometimes on the way to winning; if you never fail you didn’t actually try).

    Honestly there’s nothing more important than company culture. If you cultivate positivity and honest relationships between people, and you hold space for people to be human when they need to be, then you’ll be a good company to work at.

  134. Pam Adams*

    I work for a state university. Pay not the best, but benefits are excellent, and we actually have pensions!
    The best part though is working with the students and helping them succeed.

    1. Sally Forth*

      My husband was a senior executive at a company that very generously shared the proceeds when it was bought out. We are talking high 5 figure payouts for people in their 20s who had joined early on, often on paid work co-ops. They were also given financial planning advice.

      We expected the parking lots to be full of new cars on Monday, but overwhelmingly, people paid off debts then saved the rest. One couple who both reported to my husband bought a new dishwasher and splurged in an electric piano.

      The most notable result was how many people, long term, used some of their capital to fund their own startups.

  135. Aqua Tofana*

    My company is a really good place to work and my particular group and management are just fantastic. I work in automotive supply chain and it’s been a rough few years, like so many other industries. Through it all, management and the company overall have invested in employee wellness and morale, pivoting to fully remote with appropriate support (reimbursement for office equipment, gifts, virtual events). Not a single team member was laid off during the pandemic even when manufacturing was stopped. The culture is overall respectful and supportive and teamwork is stressed and modeled from executives down.

    Personally, this is the best place I’ve ever worked after a complete career pivot. I’ve had two promotions in 13 months. After starting as a temp admin, I’ve worked my way up to manage a procurement team. I feel validated and supported and my work is respected and championed by the people around me. I’m also compensated well, with regular merit raises and market adjustments. Of course there’s no such thing as a perfect workplace, but I enjoy my job and my company a solid 90% of the time.

  136. GirliePop*

    I work for a marketing agency, and it’s truly the best job I’ve ever had. I will try to sum up how they are great:
    1. Every role/person has a clear path to their next promotion and each one comes with a pay raise. They are attainable, pre-determined requirements, and each one comes with a minimum raise that is a very generous amount. This means that managers aren’t arbitrarily deciding when you get promoted or how much of a raise you’ll get.
    2. Lots of flexibility and care for what we’re interested in. My job has changed a lot since I started because I wanted to work on different things, and it’s not uncommon for people to switch teams or move into different roles than they started in because it’s more aligned with their interests/skills.
    3. They encourage us to “bring our whole selves to work” in a way that is actually good. Meaning, they don’t force us to share weird things or whatever, but people are comfortable talking about when we’re struggling when there’s difficult news, openly taking mental health days, and talking about the things we’re struggling with. Even our executives join in these conversations and encourage them.
    4. We are discouraged from working long hours/overtime. Anyone who works in the agency world knows how wild this is. There are still folks who work a lot, but it’s discouraged and I’ve heard stories from many of my coworkers whose bosses see them on Slack after hours or on the weekend and message them telling them to stop working. Part of this is that they manage client expectations and don’t work with clients who expect us to be available 24/7 or make unreasonable demands.
    5. Everyone I work with is just nice. I think part of this is hiring and part of it is just that management makes a point of creating a culture of kindness, and we’re all willing to help each other out, answer questions, help new employees get their bearings, and overall be a kind presence.

  137. Josephine Beth*

    My company is one of the good ones. They have issues, because I think any large organization run by fallible humans does, but I’ve been here for well over a decade and hope to stay for much longer.

    Two years ago, the company switched health insurance carriers in an effort to cut costs. It was an absolute disaster. We went from having top-notch insurance at a reasonable premium to bottom-level insurance with horrible customer service, terrible coverage, and miserable outcomes. We pushed back every chance we had, filed complaints, etc. This week we received an email that due to the feedback, the company is going with a better carrier AND covering a higher portion of our premium, which will bring costs down for us even more. I appreciate that they listened, and that the added premium coverage – despite costing the company more – is their attempt at making up to us for the misery of the last couple years.

  138. El l*

    After 16 years in the energy industry, just over a year ago I made the move to a consulting firm. Normally, that’s not the greatest environment – but this company has really impressed.

    Fully remote, and with that they’ve given me unlimited latitude to raise my 1-year-old.
    While travel is required ~1 a month, it is telegraphed far in advance and I can pick when.
    They pay well.
    They don’t just match contributions – they put 10% in 401k period.
    The company culture is the right kind of professional – informal yet focused on doing
    People stay a long time, and they regularly have people who start as interns and become management. Unheard-of for Millennials and younger.

    Very pleased.

  139. glitter writer*

    The last company I worked for, prior to my current job (which sucks), was phenomenal. Genuinely caring senior and mid-level leadership, walked the walk on DEI, put out excellent work, paid actually fair-to-great wages (our sector is legendary for underpaying people). I was proud to work there and I loved my peers, my direct reports, and my managers.

    (Unfortunately our parent company got acquired and in the wake of the acquisition, the new owners restructured and shut down our whole subsidiary organization.)

  140. Roy G. Biv*

    My coworker’s child was ill with a mysterious ailment, and it was getting worse. Our company paid for coworker and family to stay in an east coast city at a major children’s hospital, for several months, while the child went through diagnosis and treatment. The coworker had no travel costs, lodging costs or hospital bills at the end of it all. The child is now a healthy young adult, with little memory of the health struggles of their younger years.

    That company is now part of a huge conglomeration, so health insurance, FMLA, and short and long term leave are available. But I will always remember that I once worked for a company that exhibited so much kindness and concern to an employee who was living through a parent’s worst nightmare.

  141. IHaveKittens*

    My company isn’t perfect, but it is pretty darn good. Some examples:

    1. Monthly reimbursement for up to $55 on your cell phone bill
    2. Monthly reimbursement for up to $65 of your home internet bill
    3. $550 budget to set up your home office space
    4. $600 budget for purchase of spiffy monitor(s) for your home office space
    5. $350 budget to set up your office space in our actual office
    6. $60 a month towards your commuting costs (train, subway, parking)
    7. Daily free lunch when we are in the office
    8. Lots of fun chat rooms where we are encouraged to discuss our pets, books, music, movies, theater – whatever is on our minds.
    9. An atmosphere that encourages direct communication with everyone, right up to the CEO. Yes, we have management levels, but there is never a feeling that you can’t talk to whomever you might need to in order to get your questions answered.
    10. Really nice people here. The hiring process is geared more for finding good people and worrying about technical skills secondary.

  142. Jamie (he/him)*

    I’m a freelance now, but at my last salaried job the company, and specifically my boss, were BRILLIANT. I had three things go wrong for me (my dad died; my partner killed himself; I got something akin to bowel cancer) all within six months.

    I never had to worry about PTO, attendance issues, sick time, anything like that. The message was always the same: “take the time you need, we’ll see you when you get back”. During the first event, I kept my manager informed by text every day as he was dying. After three days, she rang me and told me that she appreciated the updates, but didn’t need them: now was not the time to think of work. I texted her when he died 36 hours later and she came back immediately – you’re off for the rest of the week, and next week if you need it. Your holiday time is not affected because this isn’t a holiday.

    Later they switched me to part-time hours as I was having treatment, but kept me at full pay… and only because I said I’d do better mentally if I could do some work when I was feeling up to it. They offered as much PTO as needed as their first choice, but respected my decision and moved everything around for it.

    This was after I’d met a new man (very quickly, that’s how it goes sometimes, I wasn’t expecting it) and fallen in love, but he lived 100 miles away. When, after 9 months of weekends-and-holidays together, I considered moving in with him, my boss switched me to WFH without question. She and her husband were guests at both our civil partnership and, 5 years later after the law changed, wedding.

    The company is now gone due to multiple changes of ownership of the parent’s parent (our subsidiary was profitable, but they changed direction to more exciting things that were… *ahem* less profitable in the end), and my friendship with my ex-boss is now maintained mostly by Christmas card and Facebook update, but what the company – and my boss – got from me in return was hard work and dedication and loyalty and commitment that had an appreciable effect on profits and efficiency (I was told). I think I thus paid them back for what they did for me.

    Oh, and my boss’s name – I’m not joking here – was JANE. It makes reading AAM a bit weird sometimes!

  143. Festively Dressed Earl*

    I interned one pre-pandemic summer at a near perfect job. The biggest thing was that everyone came in at 8 or 8:30, knew what was expected of them, and then at 4:30 or 5 they went home. No one was expected to work insane hours; on weekends, the building was locked. No one got flak for taking vacation or taking maternity leave. The workforce was diverse, and everyone genuinely respected each other, including accommodations for people’s health needs. Because we weren’t public facing, we could wear whatever we wanted so long as it was neat and clean. Plus we had a nice deck to eat lunch at. Occasionally there were manatees.

    Currently out of the workforce, but that’s my gold standard when I start job hunting again. Just a place that functions, consistently, so I can focus on work.

  144. NotSoEvilHRLady*

    I have been working in the public sector (government) for almost 5 years now and my state’s response to the pandemic and beyond has been for the most part thoughtful and rational. We were sent to work from home starting pre-shutdowns and that continued even when COVID rates were low and vaccine rates high.

    I transferred to another agency last October (promotion) and have found it a really good place to work.

    Yes, it’s government, and I could make a lot more money in the private sector (I’m bilingual, fluent in Spanish, AND have a master’s degree), but the benefits here are much better, especially health insurance.

    My team is amazing, always willing to take time for a call or response to an email or Teams message. Even when I make an error I’m just told it’s okay, you’re still learning, our practices are not identical to your previous agency, it’s understandable.

    I have backup to do my job and can take time off without stressing. (Going on FMLA starting May 1st!) I was starting to feel some burnout after not taking a real vacation for 3 years (my backup person at the previous agency was doing the job of 3 people for 2 years-thanks, pandemic!-and I didn’t want to burden her) and now I have zero guilt about it.

    My supervisor never blinks at approving last-minute sick or vacation time. She trusts us to do the work and treats us as adults. My PT job just changed their hours and when I asked to adjust my work schedule, her response was you can balance the hours on Fridays or Mondays in the work week, no questions asked!

    My division has a meeting every 3 weeks and my own team meets weekly to keep each other informed. New employees are welcomed warmly and encouraged to participate but not forced. DEI is important to the agency and there are diverse employees, including in management. Accountability is really valued and HR in particular works hard to maintain it by example.

    Yes, I know government employment is not without flaws-pay, bureaucracy, unions who want to defend mediocre or bad employees, lengthy timelines to have bargaining agreements/plans approved by the state legislature (which honestly isn’t that awful because if pay increases are approved, they go retroactive and all that back pay is a plus!), inconsistency of practices across agencies, etc-but overall it’s been very positive for me, and as a mid-40s person with almost 6 figure graduate loan debt (thanks, for-profit schools!), being able to qualify for the PSLF program in less than 2 years will be invaluable.

    Overall my employer is a good one!!!

  145. TX_Trucker*

    I work for a transportation company where most of the managers and C-suite started their career driving a truck. When decision makers understand the job, I think it makes a big difference for both operations and morale.

  146. In the provinces*

    This is not for me (happily retired) but for my son and a job that was the end of his post-college employment frustration. It’s a tech position, but for a large old economy firm, although probably one you haven’t heard of. Here are the virtues:

    –Decent pay and benefits, even for a big city, way more than any previous job.
    –Helpful and cooperative co-workers.
    –Supportive and encouraging manager, who is, among many other things helping my son expand his skill-set.
    –Mostly remote work, although when coming in to the office it’s an easy commute on public transportation.
    –Interesting and challenging assignments.
    –Results-oriented attitude toward employees, trusting them to be productive without intrusive supervision.

  147. Library Lady*

    I work at a small public library. It’s had its challenges but I work with a supportive, collaborative group of teammates and we really had each others’ backs during COVID. Our director left within the last year and while we ultimately had a positive relationship with them, there were a lot of problems that went unaddressed, staff burnout and workloads had been on a steady increase for a long time, and there was a large lack of support in terms of providing external opportunities for growth for staff at any level.

    We recently hired a new director who has been nothing short of amazing. They communicate very clearly with staff at all levels, are very proactive in their support for EDI initiatives, has prioritized solving a lot of long-lingering problems, provide clear objectives and feedback, increased the budget for staff professional development, used salary budget savings to provide an end-of-year bonus for staff in recognition of our hard work, actively models a healthy work life balance… honestly I could keep going because that doesn’t even scratch the surface. My husband said he noticed a positive change in my stress levels literally 3 days after the new director started. And in an era when book bans are rampant and there are criminal charges and violence being directed at library employees, it makes me even more grateful for our director.

  148. June*

    Things I love about my (~75 employees, start up) company, in no particular order:
    1) Fully committed to “remote first” – we have an office for people who want to use it, but most people are fully work from home. I have never felt any pressure to go into the office if I don’t want to (but I know there are snacks and coffee there if I do!)
    2) Real commitment to professional development. Each person at the company sets pd goals every quarter, and they are taken seriously. As a manager, part of how I’m evaluated is whether my direct reports feel empowered and supported in their growth.
    3) Sincere commitment to DEI on many spectrums. We have leaders from many backgrounds and identities, and top leadership is transparent about where there are gaps and how we’re working to fill them. It’s the first company where I’ve felt comfortable being openly queer. We have active conversations about how to create a workplace that is welcoming to people from different racial/ethnic backgrounds, parents, neurodiverse individuals, etc.
    4) Unlimited PTO, BUT with the awareness that many unlimited PTO plans encourage people to take less PTO. I’m actively encouraged to take leave, and not just for vacation, but for mental health days, random long weekends, etc.
    5) Independence and ownership of work. My manager trusts me to get my work done and doesn’t micromanage at all. There’s a real focus on producing good work without focusing on how it gets done.
    6) Culture of liking one another. We have an actively enforced “no assholes” rule and as a result, I like almost every single person in the company (a huge difference from every other place I’ve worked).

    The company is definitely not perfect, but all of these things keep me employed there.

  149. Office Cheetos*

    Summer hours from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, meaning we end our week at noon on Fridays.
    We are required to take 1 PTO day per month to recharge (we have unlimited PTO).
    We went remote in 2020 with no plans to return to the office; employees can if they’d like but it is not required.
    Take Back Tuesdays-no meetings are scheduled for Tuesdays so we can work on deliverables.
    Emails sent after 6:00 p.m local time do not get delivered until 8:15 the next morning to encourage employees to unplug after work. If something is urgent and needs to get out, you can send it but it’s strongly suggested to call if it’s truly an emergency.

  150. There You Are*

    My F500 international manufacturing company is mostly really good but my department is over-the-moon fantastic.

    We had an intern who converted to full-time, who — at the end of his first year / beginning of his second — started having health problems. It took forever to get a correct diagnosis, followed by [successful] surgery, and 2-3 months of intense PT / rehab. He had used up all of his PTO, taken 80+ hours of sick time, and hadn’t taken advantage of our department’s flex time / OT rule: If you work more than 40 hours in a week, including travel time, you can take the extra hours off at a future time of your choosing.

    He found himself rolling into the end of that second year with zero vacation time.

    And so our VP said, “That won’t do. Take two weeks off. Go visit your family or relax or whatever.”

    No FMLA paperwork. No doctor’s notes. No, “Sucks to be you.”

    That same generosity has been extended to others, including me.

    At a company-wide level, career progression plans are required. Not just required to be discussed at the twice-a-year performance reviews with your manager, but actually mapping out in an online system the things you enjoy doing, the things you hate doing, and the things you’d like to learn. The system spits out different career paths in the company that maximizes the “enjoy doing” and “want to learn” skills.

    Benefits are good. They just gave everyone with 0-4 years an extra 4 days off a year, plus 8 hours to go volunteer somewhere. The total time off, including company holidays, is 144 hours.

    At the corporate office, they’ve kept the hybrid work schedule in place. The official policy is 3 days in the office (of your choosing) and 2 days WFH, but some departments reverse it (2 in the office, 3 WFH).

    Basically, the company as a whole takes into consideration that employees are individuals, not automatons. I’m 56, have been working since I was 14, and this is the best company I have ever worked at.

  151. Another Tech Person*

    Software startup (<200 employees)
    — Unlimited PTO (can be scammy in some situations but managers encourage us to aim for 4 weeks/year or more).
    — All WFH all the time
    — Home office setup stipend at start plus additional monthly stipend to go towards additional equipment, coworking space membership, etc, if we want
    — Every employee can have up to $1500 reimbursed annually for professional development (courses, conferences, etc)
    — 16 weeks parental/caretaker leave
    — Excellent health, dental, vision, etc.
    — All salary ranges (reasonable, not huge ranges) listed for all open jobs
    — Results of pay equity analysis by race/gender disclosed internally to employees on regular basis
    — Robust mechanism for anonymous feedback reporting
    — One of the company's stated goals is high employee retention

  152. Sara*

    I’m so lucky to work for a regional financial institution with a wonderful direct manager. He values his team members as people, and works hard to ensure we have a good work-life balance (as does the institution). Several years ago BC (before Covid), my father was diagnosed with a terminal illness. My manager made it possible for me to work remotely to help my mother care for him in his last months. Fast forward to now, and I have been working remotely again as my mother fights cancer. My manager has reworked my responsibilities, adjusted my working status to remote without being asked, and checks in regularly on me personally. Additionally, my grandboss and team members are actively checking in with me, and have been entirely gracious about my need for flexibility!

  153. Somebody Call a Lawyer*

    While not perfect, my spouse’s company is pretty great. They’ve done things like:
    * given everyone the next day off after a historically depressing news event;
    * started half-day Fridays during early pandemic and kept them going year-round since then;
    * donation matching for employees sending money to help with disaster relief globally;
    * donated a large amount on behalf of all employees to aid Ukraine;
    * made company-wide salary adjustments to eliminate gender and ethnicity-based wage gaps;
    * offer company-wide mental health days in addition to the ones employees are already allotted personally.

  154. Yellow*

    I actually really like my job and my company. Leadership has been great with Return to Work type stuff. My small deprtment decided that 2 days WFH/3 Days in office works for us, and Leadership has supported this and made it clear they have no plans on telling us where we need to be working from. My company is in a male dominated industry, yet has women in leadership positions, and in very high ranking positions. It’s a casaul work environment, where T-Shirts and Jeans are appropriate, and we have fun in addition to getting our work done. We have good benefits, and a great vacation policy. I feel very, very fortunate to work here.

  155. Spacey O*

    Woke up for work one morning last year and ended up in the ER with diverticulitis, sepsis, and a severe case of almost dead. I was unconscious for a week, in hospital for 30 days, and out of work for 3 months… My company kept me accruing vacation time while I was out, and every 2 weeks they’d cash it in and pay my portion of health insurance. Raises came and went while I was out also. I came back to a 25% bump in pay and a couple more responsibilities, since my supervisor left while I was out, and his supervisor left 2 weeks after I came back. 6 months after I came back, I had to go back in hospital for follow-up surgery right after Xmas break. 2 weeks before break, I was promoted and given another raise, totalling a 40% bump in salary from July to December. This company is small enough to not be bound by FMLA, and they still did all that for me. I guess they like me?

  156. Tegan Keenan*

    A few years back, I worked a total of four years at a smallish, community-based health nonprofit. The NPO saw unprecedented increase in need for its services as well as available funding, so it scaled up. Outside circumstances changed and the scaled workforce became unsustainable. There were layoffs, including my job. Yet, overall it was a positive experience. Here’s why:

    1) The org had a clear view that the scale-up was unsustainable and took decisive action quickly. Neither the executive director nor the board seemed to hem and haw about what ifs.
    2) The ED knew that staff could see the writing on the wall and shared as much info as she could leading up to the layoff decision.
    3) On the day the layoffs were announced, there was a mandatory all-staff meeting (it wasn’t super-unusual to have mandatory all-staffs, so it didn’t seem particularly ominous). My one quibble on this is that it was on a Friday morning, but that was mostly because the maximum number of staff had availability then.
    4) During the all-staff, leadership TOOK RESPONSIBILITY for the mistake in scaling up too quickly. Detailed info was shared. Questions–including hard questions–were answered.
    5) Rather than leadership making arbitrary decisions about who got laid off, staff were given time to discuss with their teams. One team, for example, didn’t realize one team member was already thinking about retiring, so that team member accepted the layoff, allowing others to keep their jobs. Two small teams decided it worked best for them to all go part-time and everyone kept their jobs.
    6) Our HR person, though very part-time, was incredibly kind, respectful and supportive.

    There were some details I wish they had done a little differently, but overall, I viewed it as a very respectful approach to a layoff. For my part, I freelanced with the org and they also connected me with other freelance gigs, and gave me a stellar reference.

  157. BigGayArchivist*

    I am thrilled to say I work for a great company which walks the walk and talks the talk! Here’s some of the stuff I love:

    – There’s like 30-40 of us, so it’s a small enough company that you know everyone and we always conduct team and social interviews to make sure prospective employees will fit in with the culture
    – Unlimited paid vacation and sick days, for real for real. I took the entire month of July off last year, no problem, and when my chronic illness flares up I know I can call in without worrying. As long as you’re getting your work done, they don’t care if you take off a little early. I know that unlimited vacation can sometimes be a red flag, but it’s actually being put to use without retaliation!
    – Complete work from home freedom, even before the pandemic. My boss lives across the continent from me; I was able to thrive by working full time from home and I’m so much better at my job as a result.
    – We have monthly town halls where the CEO goes over our finances, talks about how we’re doing vs how we want to be doing, and gives an honest rundown of our wins, losses, strengths, and weaknesses. When we have had to make staff cuts or pivot, he’s been extremely transparent about it. His ability to pivot means we survived the pandemic and came out of it stronger and with a solid direction.
    – Every Monday we gather for a team sync where we share any good news–anything from “I got a new pillow” to “we closed a huge sale”–before sharing the various departmental goals for the week.
    – I got a raise this year! Woo!
    – For your 3-year anniversary with the company, you get $2000 worth of travel credit to be used however you want, which is how I’m paying for my upcoming 2-week vacation in Spain.
    – Best of all, I’m doing work I believe in and really making a mark! I work with clients and get to see them succeed, and have fantastic support from my boss and the rest of my team.

    There are good companies out there!!

  158. Jen*

    I was at my nonprofit job for less than a year when I ended up in the ICU and on a ventilator for 10 days, followed by a couple of weeks in the hospital and another month at home recovering. I had excellent insurance, a good amount of PTO, and good short-term disability. My boss texted me to check on me a couple of times but said nothing about work, my team sent me a box of goodies, and my coworkers gave money to buy me a gift card. I was thrilled that I had wonderful coworkers AND wonderful insurance – there was no pressure to come back until I was ready and everybody was really supportive, and has continued to be as I navigate all of my follow-up appointments and care.

    The company also gives us lots of opportunities for professional development, are extremely conscious of work-life balance, and are generally great to work for. We have some communication and culture things to work on, exacerbated by some big management changes around the same time as the pandemic, but overall it’s a great place to work. My former workplace would have been kind during my illness too but I expect they would have been a lot pushier.

  159. Storm in a teacup*

    I work for an American pharma company out of one of their UK offices. They’re not perfect by any means but the good things they do:
    Pay and benefits are excellent and they will evaluate each year for payrises and annual bonus that are linked to both individual and company performance.
    Post pandemic return to office (hybrid) has been mixed. Rather than mandating an all or nothing they’ve taken a collaborative approach to understand why some people want to work from home more and see what solutions can be had.
    They actively try and promote internally where they can.
    They don’t always get work-life balance right. However the culture is very caring if something isn’t going well for you eg if people have sick family members or bereavements. For example when my uncle died I got sent flowers and a card and given a few days off to grieve and for the funeral and my manager was extremely supportive, knowing it was someone I was close to.
    Recently they’ve revamped our space to provide well-being and prayer rooms and have a very LGBT friendly environment. They also provide coaching, mentorship and are really working hard to grow the open and transparent culture in the organisation.

  160. Lizy*

    My company’s culture is amazing (except they sometimes like to use the “we care about each other like family” line… blech). But seriously – all very warm and welcoming, and encourage staff to learn, grow, and make mistakes. Our CEO uses the phrase “spilled milk” constantly, and the company 100% backs that up. There was an error in one of the holiday calendars, which basically indicated we would get both the day BEFORE New Years weekend AND the day AFTER. Of course normally it’s one or the other, and I would fully expect a company to say “whoops – choose one”, but our company said “whoops – we messed up. Have 2 days off!” We also get random Amazon or GrubHub gift cards, or half-days off for… oh hey we had a good Q1 take a half day!

    We’re fully remote, although there are many staff physically close to each other as our company is basically a smudge of aquisitions that had various local offices before COVID. Even so, teams are incredibly welcoming and it’s hard to tell who’s met who in-person before, unless you hear someone say “I took my dog for a walk and met OtherPerson’s dog”. I think culture can be a difficult thing to manage when everyone is remote, but my team/company has done a really great job at fostering a cohesive environment.

    I could go on… work-life balance, flexibility if life happens (as it does), lots of room for advancement or movement, low-stress even when there’s a crap ton of deadline stuff to do (like right now… lol)… I’m really very blessed and 100% encourage ANYONE to work here!

  161. Jules the 3rd*

    I have worked for a fortune 100 tech co for about 20 years now, one that gets lots of ‘good place to work’ awards. What I’ve seen:
    1. There is a lot of variability on manager quality. It ranged from my team lead who helped me network, find projects, kept me in executive mindspace, to the VP who screamed that a 0.2% writeoff of missing assets in a $100M asset audit was “someone’s job!” (audit requirement to ‘pass’ was 98%; *we* thought 99.8% would get at least a mild compliment).
    2. The most egregious / worst managers were eventually fired, including that VP, and a different VP who was trying to manipulate revenue. The second one, we never did find out who reported them, so that gives me some additional trust in the company’s ‘protection from retaliation’ policy.
    3. The behavior has to be pretty egregious to get to fired. Yelling at vendors on executive calls, while on a speaker phone in a call center, only got a ‘speaking to.’
    4. In this company, you have to be your own advocate for the most part. They try to give options for career paths, they certainly give training opportunities, but your managers will change, the paths will change, and you have to stay on top of it.
    5. They are serious about diversity. They are a US based company, and the current C suite is only about 50% white men. They’ve got a black man as the leader for my state, and I think he’s a potential CEO, given his career progression. He would be our first Black CEO, but not our first minority CEO. We have multiple women / minority VPs, so the promotion channel is also diverse. We’re also partnering with HBCUs for interns and new graduates.

    Overall, I have stuck with this company because I got to work supporting the environment (recycling computers), they hired very good people overall (most my co-workers are brilliant), and they did try to deal with bad behavior. I gave up $$ by not swapping companies, but when you find a job that really works for you and pays the bills, it’s worth it. I will have to work about 5 years longer than I would if I’d swapped companies, but I’m ok with that, so far.

    1. Jules the 3rd*

      6. Pandemic WFH was fully supported, including office chairs delivered to your house. They’ve started asking for hybrid return to office 3 days / week, and require that people work within commuting range of a company office.
      7. To out my company: they have had ageism lawsuits. I think those are probably justified, in that the company was looking to cut costs, aimed at their highest cost and legacy tech workers, and those are also their older workers. I don’t feel targeted, despite being older, but I did have to change jobs as the company shuffled work, and I know that they did not consider the impact on the employees of that shuffling.

  162. mythopoeia*

    I’m coming up on 5 years at my organization and while it is not perfect, it is one of the most functional places I have ever worked. Reasons include:

    * Projects by and large don’t get overhauled midstream or sent back for huge, late-breaking changes because someone high-up reviewed everything and wanted all their whims implemented as law. When there are changes midstream, there’s usually a clear reason why.

    * Leadership regularly tells everyone what is going on in non-corporate jargon. The company is privately held and the CEO has made clear that while the company aims to make a profit, it also aims to do some good in the world, which means investing in quality products and service, not in trying to goose quarterly profits.

    * Pay is good and benefits are above average (no deductible on the health insurance, for example). Most employees can work from anywhere and most are remote.

    * While extremely bumpy, DEIB efforts have been consistently aiming in the right direction. We staffed up a DEIB team of people who are sticking around and running big projects; DEIB shows up in top-level initiatives and goals; and the company generally puts its money where its mouth is.

  163. blue bear*

    I work at a mid-size publicly traded tech company and really love it for a lot of reasons.

    First, my team is amazing – hard-working, knowledgable, supportive, and encouraging of work/life balance. I’ve only been here a year and feel like I’ve learned so much already. They’re supportive of me taking on work that interests me and are always willing to give me exposure to new areas if I’d like. My manager is very hands-off, and I have a high degree of independence in my work which I appreciate.

    On top of that, my company has very competitive salaries, and I get a 10% annual bonus and a raise each year. I also got RSUs when I joined and have a generous retirement match. We get 4 weeks of PTO to start but after a year that increases to 5 weeks. And after 5 years, we get a one-month sabbatical.

    I have a hybrid schedule which allows for flexibility, and the perks offered when I’m in the office are great too. There’s a company-paid lunch delivered to us anytime we go into the office; we have an app where we can select our meals from a variety of restaurants that change each day. There are also plenty of free snacks, cold brew, and beer/wine on tap.

    I honestly couldn’t be happier working here, especially after some previous not great experiences with other employers. The company isn’t perfect, but it’s a great fit for me and I have no plans to leave anytime soon.

  164. Ollie*

    I worked for one of those “best 100 places to work” for 17 years and it was awesome. It is a very large company and areas in it are not so awesome but my experience was. I worked in a great team that had each others’ back. We had flex time which was awesome and even my boss said I don’t care how long you’re here as long as your work gets done. We had a free membership at an awesome gym across the street. During the summer we had flex Fridays where we could take off at noon. Long before WFH was a thing the director put in a policy of working from home was possible except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And the most important thing was I was respected. Everyone was respected. And when my husband lost his job and we had to move 800 miles away I was allowed to work from home at our new home for 7 more years.

  165. smurf*

    I work for an excellent company — the culture is really driven by kind, smart people – collaboration is important but you’re also given the opportunity to really own your work. COVID had an enormous financial impact but zero layoffs, and we actually still got bonuses despite our financial targets being nowhere near met, as they recognized the effort everyone was putting in.
    I get great benefits that I’m actually encouraged to use, the higher-ups are very open door policy, and work-life balance is respected.

    Here’s the thing: it’s a F250, hybrid, not in a ‘exciting’ industry at all — I find my work interesting, but on paper it doesn’t sound that way. Yet it’s a much healthier environment than the prestigious/flashy industries I worked in before.

    It’s a traditionally white/male dominated industry, but we have women & POC in our c-suite and there is (I think) a well-done DEI effort that’s really ramped up in the last few years. Like tying financial incentives to DEI efforts, recruiting interns from diverse backgrounds who are less likely to have an “in”, and taking action like offering financial assistance to women who may need to cross state lines for healthcare.

  166. Bibliothecarial*

    I work in the US for a county library system (as in, the library is a department of the county government) and it’s fantastic! The library board and the supervisors make it a priority to listen to and act on the thoughts of all the library employees, down to the pages.

    I wanted to highlight the county’s employee wellness program, since we usually hear of those going…poorly. For ours, employees on the county’s insurance are invited – not forced; I’ve skipped some years with no questions – to do a combination of wellness activities. You get to pick between about about 40 different options and do about 10 of them. They are things like explore a local trail, sign up for a CSA, go to the dentist, do 30 minutes of any exercise of your choice, take a financial wellness class, etc. The closest they get to weight loss is points for weighing yourself, so no weight loss required or encouraged. (I always skip that one.). So, it’s completely customizable based on your individual needs. The only required activity is a cholesterol and BP check, which they set up and pay for.

    But the best part is, if you do these things, you get ~$150-800 in real actual money paid into your bank account once a year! We never get bonuses so this is very exciting. Money!!

  167. Dona Florinda*

    I actually wrote about the company for the Friday good news, but a few things that make it a good place to work:

    -Money: I get paid a decent salary and get annual COL raises;
    -We have great benefits;
    -My workload is reasonable;
    -My bosses and coworkers treat me with nothing but respect;
    -I feel supported: I was never denied a day off, never got in trouble for making mistakes (instead I get an opportunity to correct them and grow from them), I’m allowed to tweak my hours and tasks within reason as needed;
    -I feel valued: bonuses and company gifts are either money or time off, sometimes both.

    So basically I’m fairly compensated, not drowning in work, and in a healthy environment.

  168. AndreaC*

    I had a hint that my current company was great the weekend before my first day. They sent me flowers welcoming me to the organization. Now, I’ve had plenty of employers throw tokens at me, but this felt different.

    A recent example is that we implemented a paid parental leave policy. I told our CEO I was really proud to work for a company that would do that of their own accord. He said, “We should have been doing this all along.”

  169. addiez*

    My last company truly cared about its employees. They had really thoughtful and well-executed benefits – things like a wellness wallet, a stipend that could be used for mental health and other wellbeing expenditures, in addition to expanding the definition of bereavement for loved ones, so that time could be used as the employee saw fit. They also had my favorite little D&I effort – putting all major holidays on employees’ calendars and giving guidance about how those holidays manifest to help managers manage better (things like many Jewish folks fast for Yom Kippur, etc.).

  170. KTS*

    I’ve never commented before, but this is worth it: I work in a church. The national body is considering a robust family leave policy for certain employees, which might take effect in 2024. The board here heard about it and adopted the policy a year early, and extended it to the employee who wouldn’t qualify under national guidelines. My parental leave starts in a month and it’s been such a relief! We’re a tiny group and often unprofessional, but the board comes through when we need them.

  171. Chilipepper Attitude*

    I work for a small private university that is on the list of “Great colleges to work for,” and it is true!
    The whole uni is not perfect but my boss and team are great, the work is fulfilling, I feel like I am part of a team and that I make a difference (not faculty), and the benefits are great. My boss is flexible about work from home (but we provide a service so need to be here most of the time) and I love summer hours! Coworkers don’t feel we are as well compensated as we should be but given my path here, I’m happy.

    I never thought I would land here and credit reading AAM for years for helping me each step of the way.

  172. Elspeth*

    I’ve been with my company my entire career which is definitely something of an anomaly these days. At this point, I’ve worked here for over half of my life (I’m in my mid-to-late 30s). I’ve worked my way up to Director and I think I will likely become an AVP in due time. Most of my supervisors have been supportive and really recognize and reward talent. The ones that weren’t didn’t usually last too long. I look fairly often at whether I’m leaving money on the table by not hopping to another company but overall I’ve averaged about a 12% increase in base salary year-to-year through merit raises, promotions, adjustments, etc. My max bonus has also grown and they offer other good benefits. It’s challenging work sometimes but I have to say its a good company.

  173. Until it's done*

    I work at an amazing medium sized nonprofit. I have always wanted to work here (cause is close to my heart) and was worried my expectations were too high. they weren’t. I work full time remote, have access to really great benefits (like 12 weeks paid parental leave), decent pay, and incredible coworkers. Our exec team is very thoughtful and best of all, we are making Great Strides in the work towards a cure. I’m not just happy to work here, I feel lucky and I wish everyone could feel this supported. truly incredible

  174. irene adler*

    Small company without a lot of benefits. Salaries aren’t at the top end of market rate either. That said, the management of the small company where I work has gone way out of its way to support employees in times of need.

    Flexible hours: we’ve pushed this to the limit as some folks start as early as 5 am (to avoid traffic). No issues with that. Just be consistent. And, no one abuses this. We don’t have core hours. But, as a small company, if you aren’t doing your work, it’ll show immediately.

    During the great recession, salaries of management were cut: 10% for middle management, 50% for upper management. No raises for anyone. During COVID, management found ways to keep us going as a company, finding work contracts to keep the money coming in.

    When someone has been absolutely slammed with work, unable to take their allotted PTO for the quarter, and no other way to alleviate their workload, management has allowed one to roll their PTO over – beyond the cap. Very occasionally they will cash the hours out (which is hard when the company is already cash-strapped).

    At various times, people have found themselves in tight financial circumstances. And they’ve made it quite clear they are hurting financially and how large their bills are (folks here like to complain about stuff like that). And then, without explanation, they are no longer complaining about the struggle to pay bills. Not because they were told to stop, but I suspect management upped their salary. And asked them not to tell anyone.

    At different times, three employees were each caring for a terminally ill loved one. In all instances, the company told the employe to take as much time off as needed. At one point, two exhausted their PTO. When that happened, the company kept right on paying their full salary (no questions asked). All they required was that the employee keep a time sheet of the hours actually worked (even if it was zero hours worked). In two cases, this situation stretched on for well over a year.

    And no one was made to pay back anything-in terms of salary or loss of PTO accrual.

    One employee got very ill and passed away after a long illness (cancer). He was told to do whatever work he felt up to doing. And take as much time as needed to recover from treatments. He too, was paid full salary when his PTO ran out. When he went on disability, the company made sure to keep his health insurance current (we’d been switched to a new carrier but management kept paying for his policy with the old carrier. Pre-existing condition and all that.).

  175. AlwaysAnon*

    My company is great. I left a big company in my field to join this company over a year ago.
    We are all mostly WFH with a few travel weeks to the office per year. They feed us when we go to the office, pay for travel, and we get a monthly stipend to cover office supplies, cell phone, etc.
    Pay is outstanding. IT equipment is top-notch. People here truly want to do good work and be nice while doing it.
    We have a few employee ERGs and a LGBTQIA+ support network that makes this company safe for everyone.
    They truly put family first and we are treated as adults and not micromanaged. Good intent is always assumed, first.

    I am donating a kidney next week (this may blow my cover if any of my friends read this :)) and they are letting me take as much time as needed to recover. My coworkers have stepped up and have done as much as they can to pick up my niche work while I am out. I will be on short term disability & FMLA which only normally pays 60% of your salary. My company is paying the difference so there is no loss of pay while I am out. They have a LOA policy that truly lets you rest so you can come back ready to go.

  176. Claire*

    Love my professional services company! 80 people, up from 65 when I started 8 years ago, locally owned by a partnership which has actually shifted twice in my time here but with internal succession and no one holding all the power they have really preserved the culture and we have weathered change well.

    We work for clients so we work hard, but we play hard. I took 3 weeks off to travel in December and my boss and team stopped copying me on all emails so I couldn’t work if I tried. Then I was also off for Christmas break!

    They fly everyone in from the other offices twice a year for not-cringy team building and professional development and business updates.

    They don’t skimp on parties. They offer lots of opportunities to those who step up and can be ready when the right timing hits and I have grown so so much here under 3 different bosses.

    I never expected to be somewhere this long but I don’t know where could be better!

  177. AnonMurphy*

    I adore my company. It is in the tech sector and I’ve been with them for just about 10 years. There was a short period (1.5 years) where I left to do some contract work, and let me tell you, it was a big eye opener in terms of finding really weedy grass that looks nice from a distance.

    I came back and will probably stay the rest of my career here – I’m an individual contributor in my 40s with management aspirations.

    What makes the company so great? The people, and the recognition that we are all adults and sometimes life kicks you in the teeth. Everyone works hard, and the company celebrates that. We have generous paid holidays, along with uncapped PTO. The company surveys its employees twice a year, and our net promoter score is something like 36 – anything above 20 is pretty much fantastic. It just means we try to get other people to come work here, because we like it so much.

    I can work a bit of an oddball schedule, fully remote by choice at this point, and as long as the work is getting done it’s all good. The company recently added a new question to their surveys, and I love it – “Can you bring your full self to work?”

    And I can. I really, really, really, really can bring my whole crazy and talented self.

  178. The Baconing*

    My company is amazing. During the pandemic, they were one of the first in our area to move to virtual work for those who are non-essential. They’ve been extremely flexible since then to employees to ensure we have a solid work/life balance. We have annual social events that most all of the staff look forward to that allow our families to join us to socialize together as a community. We do a lot of community service both as a whole organization and as individuals. In fact, we have a section of our communications and outreach department dedicated to helping coordinate community service events between the staff and various areas of our community from soup kitchens to our LBGTQ+ resource center.

    We’re conscientious of diversity, equity, and inclusion and have made great strides in equity amongst the staff over the past 3 years. Our yearly reviews and goal setting is well balanced, there are so many opportunities for company sponsored training and mentorship that it can overwhelming, and management actively encourages us to take those opportunities. Our benefits are outstanding (we have both a 401K and a pension, for starters), our corporate culture is very giving and supportive, and we employees are, overall, well heard and taken care of. Our pay is respectable, but we are a nonprofit, so there are expected limitations.

    I know that, when a company says they’re like family, it usually a HUGE red flag, but not here. The average tenure for employees is 25 years. A colleague of mine just retired with 29 years and another with 40. It really is like a functional, though sometimes not without drama, family, and I love it here. I can’t imagine working anywhere else.

  179. LTG*

    I work for a quasi-governmental agency that supports other public agencies, including schools in some cases. I was employed as a teacher prior to this and couldn’t do it anymore. I now work for one of the top workplaces in our area, and it is like night and day. I’m treated like an adult, trusted to do my work, can work remotely two days a week and other days as needed. I don’t even miss summers off because I have a lot of PTO and can use it whenever I wish, instead of being forced to take every vacation during summer break. Also, the retirement systems are reciprocal, so I didn’t lose my teacher’s retirement. All in all, working in a non-toxic environment has improved my life and my outlook 1000%.

  180. pedant*

    My uncle had a horse trailer mfg business, and they would do wonderful things like give everyone a paid day off for their bday, and would put down payments on a housing for their employees, forgiving the loan after working for them 5 years!

  181. Caz*

    A handful of years ago, my organisation made a commitment to become anti-racist. The CEI (a white woman) engaged actively with the DEI department and the staff support groups that they help run, asked what she/the org should be doing, then shut up and started listening. She then started acting. We now have, among other things, a requirement in our recruitment policy that interview panels must include at least one non-white person, and a “reverse mentoring” program, where non-white people who have volunteered for the task mentor white colleagues – often colleagues in senior positions, and always those who have signed up for this – about what their lived experience has been in the workplace, and how these senior and privileged individuals can make that experience easier and remove barriers for the next person. We’ve still got further to go, but I feel like we’re going in the right direction.

  182. Furgig*

    My company is great. Generous PTO that will rollover year after year. Separate vacation time that will pay you out after you hit a certain threshold. Can’t complain about the pay. 100% remote now (at least for those of us in software development). Profit sharing bonuses twice a year. Actual fun Christmas parties. Matching 401K contributions after 4 years. Leadership that listens, is willing to try things, and is willing to stop doing things that don’t make sense. Good hiring practices that bring in great people. I miss the quarterly team events from before the pandemic, but losing a 3-4 hour round trip commute more than makes up for it.

  183. Anon4This*

    I work in a staff position for an AmLaw 250 law firm, and, while it would certainly not be to the taste of many AAM commenters (I always laugh at the suggestion people not check their email after hours), it’s been a great place to work. The pay is commensurate with the expectations – in over a decade, I have never lost a staff member over pay. It’s a lifestyle and not a job you leave behind when you go home, but here we get compensation and flexibility around your needs in return.

    Organizationally, the firm is supportive of employees and the full use of top-tier benefits. The few times I have encountered hiccups with benefits, our in-house person got it resolved with minimal info from me very, very quickly. We had same-sex partner coverage before it was mainstream. We get a month of PTO per year and are encouraged to use it (also 12 fully-paid weeks of parental leave), and nonattorney departments are designed with as much redundancy as possible to allow people to vacation without or with minimal interruption. There is a real DEI initiative that is functionally implemented, open to all employees, and empowered to make changes as well as representative high-level leadership. On the minor end, there are a lot of free breakfasts, lunches, community service events, and swag.

    HR is competent, functional, and proactive. Mangers are trained on managing, ADA protections, performance coaching and reviews, and a lot of other things that they need help on, especially if making a move from individual contributor to management. If an attorney is a problem, management and/or HR will step in on your behalf. (The attorneys are not all a walk in the, park, but there is no yelling, verbal abuse, personal errands, or other stereotypical lawyer insanity and most of them are actually a lot of fun to work with include the entire case/support team in thanks and end-of-matter celebrations.)

    My boss is incredible, and my team is top-notch. We have the resources and leadership support that we need to do what we’re asked to do, which makes retaining strong performers and managers pretty easy. If the answer is no, you get an explanation of why. Anything that can be shared is shared – there are very few surprises, and the firm follows through on commitments. Training is prioritized, funded, and it is expected managers will make it happen.

    Working here has not been a walk in the park, but I feel like I’m fairly compensated for the trade-offs, have been given opportunities for advancement (and career shifting), and feel like I actually matter to the firm. My team does hard work cohesively and collaboratively and are recognized for it.

    It is not for everyone, and I’ve had coworkers leave the industry entirely because the hours are long and your control of your schedule can be limited, but I feel like I found a place that makes MediumLargeLaw a worthwhile career.

  184. Luanne Platter*

    Our president & our CEO (two separate people) took no salary for 10 months during COVID to ensure they could make payroll.

  185. Vio*

    I don’t make a lot of money at my job but it *is* a charity and I do still make more than minimum wage. I do get a lot of valuable support and understanding about my mental health needs and whenever I’ve had a problem my bosses and colleagues have been there to help. I’m treated with a lot of respect and actually feel valued. Unlike past jobs I’ve never felt deceived or manipulated. When I have made mistakes they haven’t been held over me or used to guilt me, instead my bosses have talked to me about how we can prevent them in future. As a result this is a job that I’ve managed for five years and counting (breaking my old record of four years) despite having serious mental health issues relating to anxiety and CPTSD. In fact my mental and physical health are both better than they have ever been.
    On top of that, I genuinely enjoy my work. While it’s sometimes exhausting and occasionally stressful, it’s incredibly rewarding and I’m much happier making the living wage working for a charity than I would be making obscene amounts working for a company who rip off their customers (not that I was making obscene amounts back then… they were minimum wage).

  186. Biff Chippington*

    Just want to show some love for the small individually owned business I used to work for… the one that gave me a lovely “quitting bonus” when I left to go back to school.

  187. GrammyA*

    I work for a Federal Credit Union as as customer service rep. I started during the pandemic and we were all working from home. This company has generous PTO, and additional PTO is often given as rewards. The team leads and managers are all amazing. We are allowed to make mistakes and be human! We have a supervisory staff that serves to assist the phone reps. They are available on the telephone and are there to look up stuff that we don’t have access to, or to coach us when we don’t know quite where we’re going. The pay and benefits are among the best for this type of work. In previous CSR jobs I often left work feeling defeated. I can’t say I look forward to starting work every day, but I don’t dread starting the work day either and actually enjoy most of the day.

  188. Lisekit*

    I’ve just accepted a new job and for the first time I can remember, when offering my new boss said ‘I think you’ll be very happy here.’ I don’t think anyone has ever said that before.

  189. TimeTravelR*

    I once worked for a family owned company that was large enough to be international. I know that you’re thinking! But they even made their own kids started in the warehouse and then go out and get experience elsewhere before being brought into higher positions (not all joined the company, to be clear). Anyway, they ran things lean, so we were pretty busy most of the time, but that also meant that when there were market downturns, they didn’t lay off. When the company did well, we all got extra bonuses or money into our 401k. They took great care of us, and work life balance was outstanding. The only reason I left is because we moved away or I’d still be there. To give you an idea of how well they treated us, the average tenure was 20 years and they’ve only been in business about 50 years.

  190. Tracy, Essentially Cheesy*

    I work for a cheese spread manufacturer (Kaukauna, Merkts, Prices) in a plant location near Green Bay, Wisconsin. We have two other plant locations in Kentucky and South Dakota that make Baby Bel and Laughing Cow Cheeses. Our US corporate office is in very downtown Chicago.

    Honestly I have had a lot of ups and downs in my nearly 17 year time here, but it’s been more on a personal level with former coworkers and was more determined by management at the time. Overall the pay and benefits are wonderful. The biggest takeaway I have is to be grateful for the pay and benefits, and the hardest part will be always working with other people. There are always different personalities and I work hard to relate well to others. It doesn’t always go perfectly but I still want my work time to be peaceful and not stressful. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels that way.

  191. Rock Prof*

    I moved to a private, liberal arts school in the fall, after being at a regional public university for 8 years (tenured for the last 2).
    For context, my education has all been at public universities, and I absolutely think they can be fantastic, but my old one was in a state where state support (both financial and political) was declining spectacularly. Faculty morale was awful and everyone was super bitter, even when I was brand new. Faculty really seemed to resent the students, which was always bizarre because they were totally fine to me. I only had one pre-tenure year (out of 6) where I got a yearly review, only because the person who was supposed to do them was on sabbatical one year so someone else did it. I never had an official mentor even though everyone kept telling me that such a program existed.
    The school I’m at now, people just love working at a liberal arts school (I’ve had to check myself about my level of sarcasm that I needed to get through the day of my old school, in fact). Collaboration across campus are emphasized, and people are excited to talk about working with students on research projects and in the community. I was immediately assigned a mentor, and my whole division has been looking out to make sure that the couple of us new faculty got service assignments that meet less than the bigger ones but still meet the campus service requirements. My department chair has had a lot of family health issues and hasn’t been on campus much, but the communication has been fantastic despite it all. We had to have classes observed by other faculty as a first year requirement, which never happened ever at my old campus. Administration feels like it’s there to help me instead of make things more difficult (like, they found some donation funding to cover some equipment purchases for a new project I’m doing and I didn’t have to tap into my startup yet).
    It’s not absolutely perfect, of course. I get paid a bit less, have to do the tenure thing again because of how the job was advertised (though I come up in my 2nd year instead of 6), and there is some of the attitude of everything feeling high stakes because nothing really is (super common across academia). Being at a private institution just switches the funding/budget to private donations rather than political whim. But I go home full of great stories about my students and colleagues, and I just really enjoy teaching again and re-building my research program.

  192. BubbleTea*

    I’m in the middle of leaving an organisation I’ve worked at for the last four years – I technically quit last year, but they keep bringing me back for short-term contracts. There are some issues (they’re in the middle of a statutory consultation about renegotiating the contractual pay scales, for complicated reasons I won’t go into – I can see both sides, and am glad that I’m not affected because it’s a hard spot for everyone) but they’ve been the best employer I’ve ever had. They dealt with the pandemic very well; we pivoted to WFH essentially overnight, equipment was provided for everyone who needed it (including, eventually, work phones and laptops for us all – previously WFH was rare and people just borrowed the office laptop), and re-entry was careful, with lots of consultation and flexibility. People who want to work in person can. People who want to work fully remotely can, with an agreement that they can ask for four in-office days a year if there’s a good reason. They were supportive of my mental health needs, they were supportive of my maternity leave. Some of my former colleagues might be less positive (one in particular had a bit of a scuffle over a newly-introduced requirement for a particular qualification, but in the end she wasn’t required to get it) but for me, it was a gold standard job. I hope not to need to go back to being employed, but if I ever do, they’d be a tough act to follow.

  193. Lynx*

    I love my company!

    I’ve been here for 5.5 years now, and I don’t see myself going anywhere anytime soon. Company leadership is very concerned with doing right by the employees and are dislike needlessly hierarchical structures. During Covid, though they had to temporarily cut pay across the board (our industry was one majorly affected by the shutdown of most businesses), they restorted it as quickly as possible, and that year all the partners took a cut to their own profits to make sure we still got holiday bonuses.

    When I started here, my job title literally didn’t exist in the company. My boss really loved my work and my ideas and has been my strongest advocate for creating a growth path. He and I worked together and designed my current role & title, and he’s been a consistent advocate for me since. Actually, this year when I realized I was very underpaid according to the market (and thanks, Allison for all the wonderful articles on how to ask for a raise!), I was able to approach him and get my 2% cost of living raise for the year turned into a 20% raise to bring me very nearly up to market standard.

    The benefits here are great: 5 weeks of vacation time after 5 years (literally can barely manage to use it all), separate sick days & floating holidays, wonderful insurance coverage, and a very flexible schedule. Our managing partner dislikes wfh, but he knows times have changed, and I’m in now on the days of my choosing 1-2 days/week.

    Sure, there are some frustrating elements like the glacial pace my projects sometimes have to be at and resistance to some more updated marketing approaches, but the benefits to me are more than worth it. I was approached by 2 other companies in my industry last year, and I wasn’t willing to seriously entertain moving even for more money because of it.

    1. Lynx*

      Oh, and how could I forget summer Fridays? Between Memorial Day & Labor Day, we all get to take every other Friday off!

  194. Schmitt*

    My current company is not perfect, but they try hard to do right by their people and they’re incredibly, amazingly open to change and experimenting. I have bought into all the corporate bullshit that I typically hate with a ragey passion because I see that it actually *is* the culture here and the values are not just empty talk.

    1. Schmitt*

      Example: I’ve been incredibly stressed lately, and it all came to a head this week. I asked my closest coworker and my boss to drop everything and support me – and they did. Without question.

  195. Ann Nonymous*

    I work for the world’s most honest contractor. It’s just him and me (I’m the office manager and everything else). When we bill clients, we record all hours for each employee on the job by day and give clients copies of every receipt for their project. Everything is forthright and open. We work on medium-high-end project such as home renovations and additions and we often do multiple projects for customers because they are so satisfied with our work and honesty.

  196. Donatello Nobati*

    I like my company a lot. About 1500 employees. Five weeks paid vacation and a bunch of paid holidays. From pandemic year on we’ve had 6 half-day Fridays throughout the summer (but paid for the full day). Very generous health plan with lowest premium of anyone I know, with excellent coverage. Good retirement plan. Employee- friendly culture welcoming diversity, with lots of diversity in the upper echelons as well as throughout the ranks. After we were all completely remote in 2020, each department got to choose whether they wanted fully remote or hybrid. My department is still fully remote. We consistently win awards for customer service and make the list of Best Places to Work.

  197. 1098, 1099, Whatever*

    My employer is great. Not without their problems and it certainly helps that I have a stellar manager, but overall I have no problem recommending them as an employer. Corporate actively seeks out employees’ pov and acts on our recommendations. And when they keep doing things we disagree with it’s generally understandable why. They do understand that we’re the foundation they’ve built on. (It helps, I’m sure, that their business model depends on 90% of their employees being skilled, but short term, workers. Finding and retaining good people is a constant struggle.)

  198. CrochetQueen*

    My first week at my job, we had a family emergency and my husband and I got emergency full custody of his kids. They lived a couple of hours away at the time, so we had to get schools set up, counseling, etc., and I had no vacation time because I’d been there five days. My boss and grandboss gave me so much flexibility to work evenings and weekends as needed, so I could get stuff done during the day. I could pick the elementary schooler up at 2:30 (!), then do the rest of my work at home. (This was pre-COVID, so not standard.) There are a million things that make my current job great, but this was the first confirmation I was in the right place.

  199. Pretty Generally Happy, Mostly*

    my company can be a chaotic shitshow at times – but MOST of the time it’s a great place to work. I think I’m paid well based on my level of experience, and have room to grow as my skills grow. We have good benefits, too. I have good relationships on my team, in my department, and with the other groups we work with. People are generally reasonable about deadlines and are always willing to help out and answer questions. Leadership tries to communicate a lot so people understand what’s going on. we have mentoring programs and a pretty good employee recognition program – including a special award for which the reward is a fancy group trip (and everyone can bring a plus one). There are some problems (big and small), and there are days I want to throw my computer through the window, but the good days vastly outnumber the bad! I’ve been here about 20 months, and feel like I’ll be here a long time (barring any unexpected adverse changes).

  200. Rich*

    I’ve been very fortunate in my career to have more than one great employer. I’m a techie in an in-demand but specialized field, and I’ve had great opportunities inside a non-profit that needed my skills as part of their operations and working for a big tech-industry company that sells software in my field.

    The Non-Profit:
    Big company (~3000 employees around the US), in a specialized area of healthcare that is filled with stories of horrible tragedy and amazing triumph. A huge percentage of the employees were personally affected by the health issues we were trying to address, and had strong personal associations with our mission.

    The place was absolutely alive with purpose. You could feel how much everyone cared about the work we were doing and recognized the value of the goals we pursued. The tech side of the work was good — occasionally special, but mostly it was just tech stuff in a healthcare company. But it was incredibly satisfying. We could see the difference we made in people’s lives. And we had a culture designed to focus on that. Any employee (even the IT folks like me) was able to spend time observing patient care and supportive activities. Everyone was trained in the basics of our mission.

    I’ve never worked anywhere that did such a good job of reinforcing the “why” of what we were doing. I had to leave that job for personal reasons, and I love where I am now. But I still miss it and the clarity of purpose the job offered.

    Big Tech:
    I work now at a “mid-sized” big tech company in my field. Compared to the healthcare job, this is all competition, all profit, non-heartwarming stuff. It’s rough and tumble capitalism at its roughest. And it’s great.

    The work we do is important. My field deals with the end of tech that allows businesses to operate safely, to work with their customers responsibly. It’s very tech-intensive, but the reason for the tech is still very mission driven: The world depends on digital stuff, and without solving the kinds of problems our tools solve, trust in that digital stuff collapses, companies fail, a lot of things that we take for granted stop working.

    That purpose is what drew me to the industry in the first place. But my current employer isn’t just “a company in my industry”. It’s a company that gets it. I compete against other companies that want to be “good enough to make the sale” — and that’s fine. There’s a place for that sort of work. We need to make lots of sales — it’s still capitalism at work. But we’re trying to do it by solving the problem better, answering questions nobody could answer before, address the big picture and what’s coming next rather than just be good enough at the things our customers asked about.

    There’s absolutely self interest in that, but self interest works because it’s aimed at a mission. And the people here care about that. These problems matter, and solving them is a good thing. It’s not the same face-to-face good thing I could see happening in healthcare. But it’s too much work to do if I can’t also be proud of it. I need to get paid, no question. But the job is great because I can get paid for something that matters.

  201. Laura*

    My company is great. We get more emails from management about not working too much than we do almost anything else. There are constant check ins from multiple sources to see how you are doing. They just doubled their paid maternity leave from 4 weeks to 8 weeks. We have generous PTO, generous but realistic performance bonus incentives and management works closely with you to make sure you have the resources you need to hit your goal. They actively allocate time and resources for you to develop on a personal level with various certifications, training, industry research, etc. We have extremely low turnover and they err on the side of hiring to have a little excess capacity versus only hiring when we are drowning. I could go on and on, not enough good things to say about them.

  202. DJ*

    Where I work we have all sorts of flexible working arrangements (time in lieu, flex days off, bandwidth start and finish times etc) and since COVID many of us still WFH 4 days pw. Even though we try to have a set day for the whole team to be in the office that’s also flexible (I’m going in today as it’s half way between where I live and where I have a medical appt this afternoon so breaks up the trip)

  203. beanie gee*

    I really appreciate how my company treats each other like real humans. We all have challenges in our lives and my company seems to give people a lot of room to prioritize life. They encourage people to use vacation, take time off or flex if last minute things come up, make accommodations when people need them.

    They also really trust their employees. People set their own schedules and are expected to get their work done in whatever way makes the most sense for them. We tend to hire smart hard working people and managers hold people accountable to the work, not micromanaging how we get it done.

    The company also really tries to give people opportunities if they are interested in them. They might hire them for a specific role, but they aren’t stuck in that role forever and will help people get the training and skills they need for new things.

  204. Anon-e-mouse*

    I love the law firm I work for. I’m at the end of a long career as a lawyer, and I’ve worked for 5 law firms, two government agencies and an international organization. This firm is full of the kindest, supportive, inclusive and constructive people I’ve ever worked with. Not just a few people – almost everyone. They’re also very smart, curious, friendly and frequently fun (although those are qualities I’ve experienced in good supply elsewhere). Institutionally, they make a significant effort to mentor, provide mental health support, offer meaningful wellness events and services, offer a fair bit of flexibility in work arrangements. They also pay well, offer good benefits and invest in education for everyone. They’re also trying to do the right thing on DEI matters and show that they’re trying to learn and get better.

  205. Azure Jane Lunatic*

    At least one company has added “gender presentation” after “gender identity” to their list of protected items, after I requested it. That means a lot to me, and can hopefully mean a lot to some of the less binary-passing trans-umbrella folks who come through after me.

  206. Baker's dozen*

    I work for a small national charity. Last year our CEO went to the board to ask to give everyone a half day on Fridays (at the same pay). The board said no…we needed the whole day off on Fridays!

    Everyone has reduced their hours by 20% and kept the same wage (plus a 5% pay rise this year). The office is just completely closed on Fridays. It’s brilliant to have a day off during the week for relaxation and appointments and working out without stressing about childcare.

    Speaking of childcare, they’re also v flexible re caring responsibilities. If you need time to go to a harvest assembly or school play or to take someone to the doctor etc, you can just do it. You don’t need to ask permission or log the time.

  207. Data/Lore*

    My company is hands down, the best place I have ever worked. When I started it was a privately owned company with a decent market share, that had slowly expanded over the years. Decent pay (below market average, but better than most other jobs in the area), fair benefits, my former coworkers left a bit to be desired, as did the upward mobility, but that was more a regionally influenced thing than something specific to the company- we just “grow” people who want to treat work like an extended *family* with all the fun that comes with it.

    Mid-pandemic we went from decent sized private company to part of a Very Large Public Company, and things just got better and better imo. VLPC has the literal best benefits I have ever come across- the insurance alone is worth me never ever leaving. I asked about career progression and ended up with a new position working with the corporate team for my department, which came with a raise (25% more than I was making at the local level, we jumped tax brackets!) and the option to work remotely instead of relocating halfway across the country. We have ERNs that are active, the pay is great, my coworkers and supervisor have been incredible and professional to work with, I’m encouraged to continue learning and growing, I am *not* told I (she/her) need to be less *fill in the blank*, any feedback I do get is actionable. Not everyone has been a fan of the changes that came with becoming part of VLPC, but it’s been nothing but amazing in my experience.

  208. DocOck*

    I work for a small-ish doctor-owned healthcare clinic (around 30 staff, co-owned by 5 or 6 of the doctors. My peers ARE my bosses. I really appreciate how clear they’ve made it that their priorities are (in order) 1 – looking after patients, 2 – looking after staff, and financial is a distant third. They give me significantly more time to do my job than any other clinic would, because it serves both staff and doctors to do so, and if I run into problems, they usually have worked through it themselves. One of my coworkers lost her husband last year, and they were so generous with bereavement leave and working around what she needed.

    There certainly are things I could ask for – a manager who always approves leave requests is lovely, but not actually ideal in a healthcare organisation – but overall I feel like my bosses have my back, and that means more than so much else (including the higher salary I could have got at the other place that offered me a job!)

  209. Dusky2014*

    My company is amazing. I work in the UK. Our CEO has given all staff two cost of living payments, totalling £2600k, we have all travel expenses paid, attention is paid to staff wellbeing, staff development and leaders have clear guidance as to what is and isn’t acceptable in terms of people management. Internal promotions are the norm and are encouraged. I’ve been promoted 3 times in 4 years, and have been in my current role less than 2 months. My manger has recognised my work output so much to the point I was given an unexpected and unasked for raise today, on top of my promotion raise. Good companies DO exist!

  210. gfi*

    I work in a niche financial services field with a company of about 110 people. In general it is fantastic…

    -excellent healthcare

    -PTO is 2 weeks to start, 3 weeks at 2 years, 4 weeks at 5 years, and 5 weeks at ten years. We have 10 sick days (explicit to be used for yourself, family, doctor appointments) but in reality that’s flexible. Paternity leave is 6 weeks and maternity 16 weeks. We do not count half days for PTO.

    – Hybrid schedule with everyone in office same three days a week but flexibility around it as needed. Our nature of work necessitates time in office. During the pandemic when we were all remote we were all sent computers and monitors so our home set up would mimic our work as well as a stipend for furniture.

    – We are paid base salaries and bonuses explicitly tied to firm performance. Everyone shares in the upside. I think this is the biggest part- there is no “firm keeping money to enrich shareholder” mentality.

    – Incredibly low turnover. We are thorough in our hiring and do part ways when we need to but very few people resign. The bar is high and hiring is expensive so we want employees to stay. This also means that a lot of employees have worked together for a long time.

  211. TrixieD*

    We’re considered an essential business, so there were no layoffs due to COVID, which is great in itself. But wait, there’s more:
    +Kaiser coverage paid at 100% (no deductibles!)
    +Recently added pet insurance and orthodontia after polling employees about what they wanted in addition to standard medical coverage
    +Ten paid holidays per year, plus one floating holiday. In 2020, after our founder died, the CEO gave the ENTIRE company Tuesday, November 3rd off so we could vote!
    +Fantastic training department with all trainings recorded and placed on employee intranet for easy access
    +Regular stuff like 401k and commuter benefits
    +$100 additional benefit for employees to invest in health-related items (running shoes, gym memberships, 5k registration, etc.)
    +Company recently reduced the length of time needed to accrue more vacation, allowing some employees to jump from three to four weeks of vacation overnight
    +In addition to sick and vacation time, added 80 hours of COVID pay to each employee’s stockpile, so if we need to take time off to get tested or care for someone who’s ill, we get paid
    +All COVID testing covered 100% by company
    +In addition to annual bonus, gifted EVERY employee another COVID bonus for 2020 (up to $500)
    +Very active DEI Committee (I’m a member) and Employee Recognition Program Committee (I’m Chair)
    Truly, companies like mine are rare, but the employees are SO dedicated. Many have worked here 10, 20, 25 and 40 years, and the company is only 45 years old. I’ll never go anywhere else.

  212. Cheezmouser*

    I’ve been with my company for 15+ years, and for good reason. Our health benefits are out of this world. My family of 4 gets PPO coverage for a measly $85 premium per pay period (yes, $85 total, not per person). This includes medical, dental, vision, prescription, disability insurance, life insurance, you name it. Our deductibles are extremely low. For my two pregnancies, I paid a grand total of $120 each out of pocket ($20 copay for the first obgyn visit + $100 copay for hospital delivery). Everything else was covered at 100%. It’s insane. My friends who are doctors said that *their* medical benefits aren’t as good as mine.

    My company also makes an effort to be inclusive. Domestic partners and same-sex partners/spouses were eligible to be put on employee medical plans since the 1990s, before many companies implemented such policies. We have floating holidays so that people of different faiths or no faith can take days off as needed.

    PTO is generous. Employees with 5+ years tenure get 4 weeks vacation and 2 weeks sick per year and can accrue up to 280 hours of each. Parents of both/any gender get 6 weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, on top of the 6 weeks of state paid family leave. (We’re in California.)

    Any position that is able to work from home is welcome to do so full time. Office days are completely optional. I haven’t been to the office since 2019. Everyone gets a monthly allowance to help cover WFH costs like wifi.

    My company isn’t perfect, but at least they strive to treat employees right. I wouldn’t mind spending my entire career here if things continue as they are

  213. Lyngend (Canada)*

    Just started a new job at the turn of the year. Call center employee, but not contracted out like they frequently are. Union Job. $26/hr, $27/hr next year minimum raise. Our time is respected. Previous call center was “same rate of pay unless you are a manager” so, work 2 departments or 1, coach/assistant manager or new hire all paid the same. Minimum wage. Had to illegally spend 30 minutes every day setting my computer up. it’s 10 minutes now. No sick pay (unless legally required to provide it) VS a “if you are sick stay home” culture. We have culture groups to promote inclusion and diversity. The Company is a government company, which has absolutely done horrible things. But I don’t know many other places where I’d be able to get a similar wage with the benefits listed here plus others not listed without a college/university degree.

  214. hobbithaus*

    I don’t always remember companies, but I remember bosses.
    The boss who barely made more $ than I did, who turned up on a sweltering hot summer’s day with ice creams for us.
    The boss who, when I texted to say I would be a few minutes late to work, replied with “No problem. Your [custom coffee order which he’d memorised] is on your desk.”
    The boss who, when HR said they couldn’t pay out two days of overtime from a one-week time-crunch project because I was “part-time salaried”, made a point of 1. baling up HR for stupid policy making and 2. personally thanking me for my work and promising to make it right. (He did. It involved some expensive gift cards.)

  215. Happy in the Heartland*

    My mom was diagnosed with cancer, and needed a month of outpatient treatment at a hospital an hour from her home and 300 miles from mine. This was several years before remote work was really a viable thing, connectivity-wise.

    When I asked my manager about some kind of leave setup so I could go help out, he came back after a couple of days and said he’d read the manual, and the relevant words seemed to be “manager’s discretion.” They let me do half vacation/work half-time and track the hours whenever. In practice, the internet in the rental apartment was dodgy enough that “work” ended up being whatever I could do with a crummy connection supplemented by a lot of TV with my folks. Which my manager was fine with. Cancer treatment was a pretty awful experience with a great outcome, and mom had several more good years with the grandkids.

    Worked remote again six years later while my now-widowed father recovered from heart surgery. It’ll be 23 years with my org this summer, and no company is perfect, but I’ve been fortunate overall.

  216. Consul, the Almost Human*

    I’m in the aerospace industry. The “9/80” schedule is pretty common. Full time is 80 hours every two week pay period. One week is 44 hours (9 hours M-Th, 8 hours Fr). The second week is 36 hours (9 hours M-Th) with that Friday off.

    We don’t get many Federal holidays “at the time of” but these are usually tallied and consolidated into several days as an end-of-year shutdown that don’t count against vacation. Therefore one can get two or more weeks off with pay for only a few days of actual vacation time taken.

    There are downsides but in the spirit of the request, this is accentuating the positive.

  217. Birch*

    lots of companies talk about how important safety is. i worked for a company that the owner saved all our lives.

    i live in a tornado state. when the owner had the building built, they made the bathrooms also tornado shelters. he didn’t think they looked safe enough so farmer engineered them tougher (double thickness walls, concrete roofs, i don’t know what all). we did drills once a year, and my first year i couldn’t hear the announcement. so they put an additional speaker near me.

    a week later the whole place got leveled by an ef4 tornado. i heard the announcement. the shelters held. NOAA said a tornado that size would normally have 75% casualties. zero injuries.

    it wasn’t perfect, but you knew the biggest boss cared that you got home in one piece

  218. DesignmasterGeneral*

    I have worked for the same trade publication for 39+ years—my first job straight out of college—and it’s fantastic. I will be proud to retire after working there my entire life.

    I believe in the mission—our commitment to journalistic integrity is paramount—and the respect and benefits are top-notch. They paid for my graduate degree. Every employee gets 24 days of vacation, as well as profit sharing and bonuses. I’m vastly overpaid for my profession and now work-from-home 100%. Unlimited sick leave and generous parental/maternity leave; it doesn’t get better than this. No one leaves, except to go to the primo news organizations.

    The overwhelming respect for each employee’s ideas, viewpoints, and experiences is amazing to witness. In the past few years, in response to employee concerns about a lack of DEI, they have done a 180 and it’s making a big difference. I couldn’t be happier.

  219. Dini73*

    I work for a government organisation in not the U.S. I left a toxic manager and permanent role to join this organisation on a temporary contract originally (to give an indication of how bad the last manager was).

    I’m fairly paid, anything I work over my salaried hours I can claim back as time in lieu (up to a cap) and the team I work in is the most supportive, psychologically safe team I have ever worked with. There are regular shout outs for good work, everyone leans in to help each other and I can bring my whole vulnerable self to work. Five stars.

  220. TabithaTwitchet*

    I have a lifetime of crap jobs, and I finally landed a great one! I’m in leadership at a boutique consulting firm that works in my former field. The firm has grown rapidly so has some lumps and bumps. HOWEVER, we’re really committed to participatory decision making, psychological safety, learning and development, and increased transparency. I’ve been able to lead some of these initiatives. It feels great to be able to drive a positive culture to be even more a culture of belonging. Interviewees often ask what I love about my firm. I love our culture of trust, creative freedom, and the opportunity to help lead the way in crafting the kind of firm I want to work for!

  221. Caitlin*

    I work for a really great organisation – a small (~30 people) government department. It’s a really collaborative atmosphere, there’s pretty good communication on executive decision making and even junior staff get time to talk to the execs. We have a great diversity & inclusion team and the organisation is happy to give staff time to work on those sorts of things, and it’s taken seriously with executive backing.

    It’s fairly high standards, but in a healthy way? Everyone is encouraged to take all their leave, and my manager is great about checking in with my workload. But because it’s high standards, everyone’s pretty responsive, helpful, and doing their part of a project to the standard required which makes collaboration easy.

    I’ve also got some great development opportunities, both in terms of formal training and getting to take on new stretch projects and really build up my skills. I’ve also seen many examples of staff who started where I am and have had opportunities to move up. They also involve staff in a bit of the strategic planning which is interesting and useful to understand the context of the day-to-day work.

  222. TiltingAtWindmills*

    I used to work for The Ritz-Carlton (owned by Marriott). When the last recession hit -before the Big C-Mr. Marriott & his execs took a massive pay cut. Why? Because recession AND the way our benefits worked, you had to have 35 hours/week rolling average to qualify for health insurance. If you went below, you could keep your insurance but would pay the full freight. Of course with the recession, no one had hours & of course wouldn’t have the money to pay. So Mr. Marriott decided that everyone who was full time as of the start of the recession would continue to get their benefits as long as they were on the payroll! Massive gesture on his part & a reward for loyalty. And the best part? Bonus, it turned out that when the recession was winding down, we were ready to hit the ground running & got a jump on our competitors since we hadn’t lost a significant number of our long-term employees with their culture, training and enthusiasm.

  223. Very Content*

    After consulting/contacting for a company on and off for 17 years, I was told that the work I was doing was too critical to the department to be done by a contractor, and they would be hiring a full time person to fill a new position replacing me. I was off handedly told that if I was interested in becoming full time I should let them know. The consulting firm I was working for was slowly dying, so I said yes. I submitted an application and was offered the job without even interviewing. I was told to expect a call from a recruiter to discuss compensation, so I researched salary ranges for the job title, which were very broad, and when the call came I asked for a number that was at the top of the most common range. It was less than I had made as a contractor, but I figured that having a benefits package would put me close to where I had been. When I gave the number to the recruiter she said, “Oh, honey, that’s really at the low end of the range for this role.” So I said in that case I want what I had made the previous year as a contractor. She said that sounded good and she’d tell them I was flexible so the offer might come in 5-10K below, which with benefits would still have put me ahead overall. Instead the offer was 10K over what I asked for with a bonus package. There are bosses and companies that want to be fair, ensure equity in compensation across employees and reward strong performance. I knew what I was walking into, and 10 months in, the reality is better than expected—a completely flexible schedule, a wonderful supportive boss, interesting work and opportunities for development. I feel like I have won the lottery.

  224. Trillium*

    I’ve been with my current organization since 2019, and it’s a perfect fit for me! It’s a combination of a supportive director, a competent administrative team (this makes such a huge difference), wonderful coworkers, and a job that I really enjoy. Since I love the daily tasks of the job itself, I would be satisfied even if everything else was just average – but that’s not the case. Having a supportive director means I have lots of opportunities for training and advancement, and I get fair pay – he makes sure I get paid for everything I do; every new responsibility means either a bonus or a raise. The administrative team makes sure I don’t have to waste valuable time on administrative tasks, and they’ve streamlined all our processes. And my coworkers make it so that I always have someone to bounce ideas off of, teamwork is a breeze, and I’m happy to run into them or have a working lunch from time to time because I enjoy their company. Ten years ago I would never have dreamed of being so happy at work, but I’m thrilled to be where I am today.

  225. Madame Arcati*

    I am a British civil servant. Yeah you’re never going to be rich in this game but our department’s policies etc on flexible working and enabling/accommodating staff needs mean that:
    A former colleague got an agreement to work her part time hours within the school (by which I mean education for under 18s) term times, relieving her of much of the burden of childcare over school holidays. Several other colleagues have particular arrangements like compressed hours etc.

    When the spouse of someone I manage faced serious medical problems, I was able to say, off you go and wfh fully (we are usually hybrid, 60% in the office) for a month, then we’ll review. Knowing that would be absolutely fine.

  226. Silke*

    I work for a hotel in Germany with a large number of young apprentices (very low pay / non-livable wage). Our HR lady aggressively chases down the apprentices to make sure they know which social benefits or other assistance they are applicable for (including one where their employer has to match their contributions or otherwise provide assistance), and helps them do the paperwork. In addition, management policy is that anything the hotel procures (food, beverage, furniture etc.) can be bought by apprentices at cost from the hotel so they are all lined up outside my office (I manage this programme) on Mother’s Day getting a bottle of champagne. They also receive monthly training from industry experts e.g. Most Hennessy on champagne and cognac, or Davidoff on cigars, because how can you sell high end goods if you have never tried them?

  227. 2cents*

    I work at a very very large, multinational company, and my husband works at another. In late 2021, he was offered a role that would require us to move to a new continent. Living abroad was something we’d always discussed and wanted to do, so he accepted it.

    My company has a really minor presence in the country where we would be moving to; still, my manager sponsored my move – my role is global so, barring any weird timezones, in theory I could do my job from wherever. I had to take a 4-month (paid) leave while they handled my work visa, and after that, I went back to work, hired in the country where we’re living at now. I’m not in the exact same role, but close enough and on the same team; and I’ll honestly be forever thankful for that manager. Of course, we had planned to live on my husband’s income; having two incomes has made life that much easier.

  228. WheresMyPen*

    I’ve had a mostly positive experience with my company and appreciate that they’re visibly doing things to improve staff wellbeing (although they could always do more, like any other). They regularly have workshops or seminars on topics like tackling unconscious bias, learning about dyslexia and how to support neurodivergent staff, talks from disability advocates and creators etc. which I find really interesting and enlightening. They also remind us frequently to take a lunch hour (not that I need reminding :D) and to use our holiday, plus the hours are fairly flexible and we’re allowed to WFH as much as we like as long as our manager is ok with it.

  229. Deirdre*

    I am going to name the company my husband works for and it’s amazing. Stryker Instruments in Portage, MI. Here’s what makes it amazing:

    Great work and amazing people
    Monthly happy hours DURING WORK TIMES
    Subsidized meals and Starbucks
    Gender-affirming healthcare and resource available even if the employee isn’t on their benefits
    Reasonable work hours
    Unlimited PTO
    WFH or Hybrid. Whatever works for the job
    Philanthropic match
    Community Service days

    And they fly a Pride flag in the front of the building – along with the other flags.

  230. Editrix*

    One of my colleagues asked at our weekly managers meeting whether we could do something to support employees in the cost of living crisis. “Maybe provide fresh fruit, or tell people they can use the showers at work?” (!??!!)
    “I think we can do better than that,” said the Chief Exec. “Everyone’s getting a 10% cost of living increase as of next month, over and above the usual schedule.”

    There are things I find frustrating about my organisation, but sometimes, they Get It.

  231. Quinalla*

    I really, really like where I work. It isn’t perfect, but part of the culture of the company is to always try to improve. I’ve been with the company for 9 years and over that time there has been some big good changes and some steady change for the better as well. We restructured (no layoffs) because the existing structure was really driving people to created kingdoms, horde resources, etc. and that has been hugely beneficial. We’ve been making small changes towards DEI – looking for and hiring more diverse candidates, making the culture less boys club (male dominated industry) and more welcoming, training folks in self-awareness, how to have hard conversations, etc. And we’ve also tried thing that didn’t work and then we nix that and try something else.

    We are and plan to stay a solid mix of 5 days in the office, 5 days WFH, and 1-4 day hybrid folks with 2-3 times a year we highly encourage everyone to be at the main office with everything paid for the folks that need to travel and above and beyond the basics for that paying. We are working on how to improve the office to make it more useful for our permanent hybrid status and to make it better for the folks who are using it in person. We are 100% about the financial books and have quarterly bonuses to share the profits with everyone. We made the temporary inflation base pay increase that was implemented last year permanent – this was in additional to normal raises. We’ve improved our sick time, PTO and parental leave policies and health insurance is fully covered by the company (USA so this is rare).

    Recently 4 of us formed an ERG for all minorities – small company so doesn’t make sense currently to have an ERG for each minority group. And when talking about what we want to do with the ERG saying that while we all want to improve the company, we are so happy to be where we are. We are grateful AND we still want to improve.

    We also strive to be truly innovative. We have had some great successes and also lots of failures which is honestly how innovation works, so that’s been very interesting to be a part of too.

  232. MillennialHR*

    I am lucky to work for a good organization. All organizations have their flaws, but ultimately, it’s a good place to work. The high-ups are invested in the employee experience and work to make employee experiences positive and provide the tools they need to do their jobs. My own personal experience has also been wonderful. I was going through some difficulties in my personal life and lashed out at someone (once) at work, but it made an impact. My supervisor sat down with me and asked me what was going on and how she could help. It made a huge difference and I started taking advantage of the EAP (which has also helped me a lot). It was punitive, just an attempt to understand.

  233. Julie*

    My company’s not perfect, but overall it’s a good place to work. The execs seem to actually care about the little people. My CEO makes about 4-5 times my salary, not the ridiculously overblown huge numbers that other CEOs give themselves. Though they occasionally make unpopular decisions, they’re transparent about the reasons for them.

    My coworkers are wonderful, and so is most of middle management. Everyone (mostly) is supportive of each other, and incredibly helpful.

    The company has never had a layoff, the only terminations are due to poor performance or bad actors. The benefits are fantastic, my health insurance is better than my relative who works for that insurance company!

  234. Mirradin*

    I work for a university as technical staff, and they’re fantastic— automatic raises depending on how long you’ve been in your wage band, ample annual leave (plus university closure days on bank holidays), good overtime pay. Our manager rubs some people the wrong way but she goes to bat to make sure we’re adequately staffed and to give us opportunities for advancement.

  235. Silverose*

    I’m at a fairly large nonprofit agency, largest of its type in the region. It also happens to be one of the best paid in the region for the type of work I happen to do (I do social services work; I can’t speak for the other types of positions in company, which cover a LOT of types of work). The company also walks the talk for its company values, DEIB work, work/life balance, self-care, etc – people can and have been fired for not following company values, which (while I can’t say what they specifically are without identifying the company) focus on being collegial and helpful within and across departments and partner agencies. There are consistent across the board COL raises every year, chance for bonuses 1-2 times a year, company paid health insurance for the employee (and reasonable premiums for dependents), paid wellness day off in any month that doesn’t have a federal paid holiday off, plus a company-paid week-long shut down for the December holidays – on top of our accrued personal, sick, and vacation days. Those who have to work on-call during company-wide days off get paid OT appropriately, and it’s a rotating duty. Plus, during the pandemic, they front-loaded all onboarding new hires with 80 hours sick time just in case they got C-19 (on top of state or federal paid C-19 sick time), and never yanked those hours back.

    There are still issues here and there, but it’s the least toxic social service job I’ve ever held.

  236. Ath*

    This is going to start out sounding like a bad company, but it really wasn’t. I hired in to my first job out of college on the recommendation of my college’s department head. The starting pay was great, great benefits, signing bonus, a good boss and a much older coworker in the cubicle next to me who was eager to pass on his 40+ years of knowledge. The location was a significant drive from home but manageable, and the campus itself was park-like so I was very happy overall.

    A little more than a year into the job my company bought out a much smaller company located an additional 30 minutes from home. We moved to the smaller company’s office because they owned the building where we were leasing our office. My manageable commute became awful… I was spending almost 3 hours driving every day. So after a couple months of this my manager got me set up to work in our satellite office closer to my home 3 days a week, and 2 days in our main office. The net weekly driving was the same as before the move… but our satellite office was downtown and parking wasn’t cheap, plus none of my coworkers in my department worked there, they were all in the main office. At the same time as all this my much older coworker retired, and I didn’t really know any of the other people on my team at the new office, and only being there 2 days a week and painfully shy I didn’t have anyone to help me when I was stuck.

    So I stagnated for a couple years. I had a few projects that were sent to me, but work kinda dried up for everyone around this time too. I spent a lot of my work time playing Pokémon Go cause there was nothing better to do.

    Just short of 4 years after I was first hired the company lost a major contract and could no longer afford the lease on our satellite office, so I was laid off. I was understandably very upset, my husband and I had bought a house a couple years before and we needed ALL our income to pay for the upkeep. I didn’t have any warning at all and lost my insurance and had to scramble to get on my husband’s policy. I was pretty angry at them for a while for putting me in such a tough position.

    In retrospect though… they did me a huge favor, and I don’t think it was on accident! They only needed to drop the very expensive lease, one of my other coworkers was transferred to an office the next state over which was actually closer to her home than the satellite office was. They COULD’VE offered to keep me on at our main office, with the 3 hour drive 5 days a week. And I would’ve done it too, and it would’ve sucked. And if I had refused to make that drive I would’ve have qualified for unemployment, and they knew that. Getting laid off made me eligible for unemployment and they didn’t contest it at all, and it also gave me the motivation to find a new job closer to home where I wouldn’t have had the time or energy to do so with driving 15 hours a week. And they laid me off in February 2020… we lost that contract in November, so it seemed like they were waiting till after the holidays to lay people off.

    Of course covid hit shortly after this, but now I think of them warmly because they did the best they could for me, even though I didn’t realize it at the time. If they didn’t care about me as a person at all they would have simply kept me on instead of taking the hit to their unemployment insurance rates so I could find a closer job while still having income.

  237. Mopsy*

    I work at a small game studio. Coming from a really large and corporate studio before this, I honestly had culture shock in the best possible way when I started here.

    There are a lot of tangible benefits that are huge on their own, such as the ability to be fully remote, grubhub credits during all hands meetings, generous paid time off, and great insurance. And even so, as fantastic as those are, what is even more important to me is the culture that the company fosters.

    Everyone is excited about their job. Leadership from the top down encourages normal work hours and taking vacation, and actually practices what the preach. Everyone also carries a growth mindset — people feel safer taking risks because they won’t be let go when they make small mistakes. (This is common in my cut-throat industry.) When I told my boss I wanted to move up in the hierarchy, she took me more seriously than I’ve ever experienced. She truly went above and beyond to document all of my growth over the last year and make sure I get a promotion.

  238. Firecat*

    I love my company and plan to retire from here in 30+ years.

    There were signs from the get go that this was a great place that cared. The application for example, was only a resume and you only filled out the application and background check info if you were moved on to the hiring manager stage.

    hr was polite and prompt with all interviews and gave you accurate timelines for each next step. one timeline was missed and I got an apologetic phone call from HR the day before explaining the change (family illness I’m hiring manager) and getting new dates that worked for me a couple of weeks later.

    the managers in my interview were kind and authentic and had lots of answers for what they loved about working there. they were happy to let me meet with coworkers

    then once I got there everyone was so human and authentic. I chalk a lot of it up to our great pay and benefits, but it’s also because we are staffed appropriately and temps are hiresd to cover long leaves so that there is never too much work on a team or resentment for covering for people.

    it’s a huge global company too. the largest by far I’ve ever worked for.

  239. MochiBaby123*

    My company is far from perfect, but in the 3 years I’ve been here I’ve had 4 managers. Every single one of them respected my time off — to the point that if I responded to questions while off they would kindly reprimand me (think “MochiBaby123 — you’re one vacation! Why are you checking your emails?). I also have never once received pushback from a single leader or coworker if I have to leave to attend a personal or family appointment. I was in a meeting with a SVP recently and suddenly remembered it was an odd early release day at my kid’s school and I needed to pick them up — they were just like “you gotta go get those kids! Let me know when you can meet after.”

    There are politics and near constant re-orgs… but EVERYONE respects and supports each other’s life outside of work.

  240. A Lady*

    Like so many others, my company has issues, BUT, the building I work in also contains an aquarium. On any given day, I can take a break to see clownfish, sea turtles, and the like. My problems aren’t solved, but it at least reduces my stress.

  241. HappywhereI'mat*

    After a long struggle to find a job while in my 50s, I ended up starting at the bottom in a call center job. Turns out this company is super awesome. I’m recognized for my skills and have been promoted twice in the last 3 years. I’m making about double what I started at, off the phones and have a ton more responsibility. Day one we have 20 days of PTO+Vacation. I’m up to 23 now. We have 401k, profit share, decent healthcare (for America anyway). They pivoted to work from home very quickly when the pandemic started. Gave us $500 to help outfit our home office and created Covid time off (14 days if we got sick and we could use that time to get vaccines and stay home if we had any side effects.) I just got a merit raise too.

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