Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Why Microsofties love their jobs

To continue on the topic of love/hate relationship most of us have with their jobs I wanted to highlight Microsoft and their unique approach to job satisfaction. In the past 5 years or so, most Microsoft employees I met or talked to have had nothing but good things to say about their employer. This is no small feat, considering that most large companies intentionally or unintentionally make their employees feel small and inconsequential.

Regardless of what you may think of Microsoft, the Evil Monopolist, they truly try to empower their workers, both personally and professionally. They spend an amazing amount of money to achieve this goal and it doesn't end with fooseball tables. One of the more interesting programs is their Management Excellence Foundation Program (MEFP) offered for free of course to their managers across the organization. To participate you need to take a week off work, completely disconnected (you're not supposed to keep on top of your email during this period) and immerse in a 7-day dawn to dusk course with fellow Microsoft peers. Trevin writes about it in his blog:

This particular training is off-site in Bellevue and is meant as an intensive totally immersive training. Each day started at 7am for breakfast and went until at least 10pm, and most days going much, much later. I'm purposely not going to give away too much about this program as much of the benefit you get is from not knowing everything that is going to happen throughout the duration of the event. I was apprehensive at first to blog about this, but I feel that this is important enough for the company that I simply have no choice. I don't say this lightly: This course has completely changed my professional life.

When you are working for a company that gives you this much power to control your life many other perks become secondary and leaving Microsoft for another job that much less likely. High tech or otherwise, companies should take employee development very seriously since in the end it will help their bottom line as well.

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