Employee Programs

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Every company faces many hurdles in attempts to maintain its relevance and niche in the market, while still laying mechanism and strategies to demonstrate care and appreciation to its employees. Companies employ coaching experts to help employees adapt to their work environments as well as advance further in their careers. They also ensure to create good compensation programs to help them attract as well as retain the best employees in the market. Competition is growing continentally and the best way to perform is to have the best employees at your company. There are also cases of overweight and unhealthy employees in the job market and this is costing organizations astronomical amounts due to reduced productivity, health premiums and missed workdays. To avert this, corporations are investing much more on promoting healthy lifestyles among its employees. The paper discusses the coaching, performance management, and employee wellness programs at Apple, Microsoft and Samsung companies.
Apple Inc.
Apple is among the companies with the most unique training program for its internal employees, its founder Steve Jobs established the Apple University through which employees are trained and coached to adapt to the culture of the company. This internal institution has instructors, editors and writers that work all through the years to create learning materials that reflect the new needs of the technology industry that is constantly changing (Chen, 2014). It is know that some faculty member of this in-house training model come from well-known institutions including Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale, Stanford and so on. On this program, employees can sign-in to a program or courses that can help them improve on their positions. Mentoring and good leadership is also emphasized on the company on a top-down level. Experienced employees are responsible for coaching the less experienced team (Chelniciuc, 2017).
Apple is among the companies known to have the best performance management programs. First the company is known to recruit the best, qualified and high-skilled personnel in the industry. Its main form of incentives is in terms of salary as its employees are among the best paid. Employee salaries are also supplemented by stock options as well as challenging work and other extensive benefits including health, travel and holiday packages. Pay is also variable with high performers being rewarded highly. Its variable pay is also dependent on individual performance and the number of years that an individual has spent in the company. Employees are offered training and development opportunities in the company. Lastly, its appraisal style is diverse including annual performance reviews, peer assessment and 360 degree assessment (Chelniciuc, 2017).
Apple also has a wellness program for its employees. The company allows its employees to take 30 minutes each day to meditate at work in the meditation room provided by the company. Apple also provides meditation and yoga classes for its employees. The company also has numerous health applications that it encourages its employees to use to manage their health. For instance, employees are encouraged to use the Apple watch which have a variety of health apps to measure and monitor physical activity, sleep, heart rate and more (Health Fitness Revolution 2015).
Google Inc.
The basic coaching strategies used at Google are employee mentoring and good leadership. The management of the company gives the staff necessary support to help everyone achieve the objectives and standards of the company. This mainly involves the review of Google’s performance plan, documenting performance and providing feedback. Line managers are also there to monitor individual performance and provide advice through guiding employees through each process as well as ensuring regular checks (Chelniciuc, 2017).
In terms of performance management, both managers and individual employees are responsible for setting goals at Google. The goals set at this stage are the basis for assessing both managers and individuals. One of the core values of the company is recruiting and hiring great people with the desired experience and skills to operate in the competitive technology environment (Chelniciuc, 2017). However, the base salaries of employees at Google are mainly on the lower end of normal in the markets that they operate. They are however supplemented by stock options, extensive and challenging work benefits. High performers in the company are highly rewarded. The company allows its employees to use 20 percent of their work time to explore for innovative options. All its benefits vary but are mainly based on the legal framework of each country that they operate. Employees are also trained annually. The appraisal style of the company includes peer assessment, 360 degree assessment and bi-annual performance reviews.
On the wellness aspect, Google offers numerous services to ensure fitness and exercising for its employees. A majority of its offices include games such as ping pong as well as standing desks in its offices to encourage employees to remain active through the day. When its employees are travelling, Google provides emergency services and health insurance in case of serious safety or health issues. The company also strikes a viable work-life balance for its employees by providing programs for new parents and anyone intending to study (Total HR, 2015). For instance, the company provides employees taking further studies with tuition reimbursement to ensure that they do not sacrifice anything due to corporate overloads. In some Google campuses, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare physicians are always on site to improve employee convenience (Breene & Lebowitz, 2013).
IBM
At IBM, leaders are made to understand that they are responsible for the well-being of other employees. They understand the requirements of each task, know the risks involved and advice the employees on what they should do on every aspect. Senior employees or those that have stayed in the company long enough are also responsible for helping new and junior employees understand the operations of the company and the industry in general. Leaders and supervisors must ensure to communicate with employees regularly to offer necessary feedback as well as provide support about their behavior and quality of work.
Performance management at IBM focuses on team work rather than on individual and peer pressures for the good of the management. The company has its own cultures, traditions, history, practices, values and regulations for all employees. Its performance management system demonstrates this unique culture. The company rewards its employees based on innovation and performance reviews carried out on an annual basis. In terms of training, the company has its own internal training model known as Personnel Management’s Training and Management Assistance Program. It uses this program to produce an effective and all-rounded workforce by providing knowledge, a supportive environment for the team, and relevant skills for organizational advancement as well as personal growth. Employees in the company are compensated based on performance. There is also variable pay based on number of years stayed in the company as well as annual performance. There is regular training of employees going on throughout the year between employees and line managers (Chelniciuc, 2017).
IBM is considered one of the companies with the best wellness programs for its employees. The company has a $300 compensation package for employees found to engage in eating right, filling out health risk questionnaires, not smoking and exercising regularly. This is indeed one example of a positive and effective wellness program. In addition to this financial incentive, IBM also offers its employees easy access to health assessments, includes fitness centers at a majority of its locations and provides employees with personalized consulting for fitness and nutrition programs. The company spends approximately $25 million annually to provide a healthier work-life balance for its employees (Total HR, 2012).
Comparison Table

AppleGoogleIBM
Coaching and Mentorship
  • Internal system with authors, writers and coachers to help employees on coaching
  • Mentoring and good leadership emphasized through the company.
  • Senior employees and leaders mentor young employees
  • Employee mentoring and good leadership emphasized
  • Line managers to monitor individual performance and offer advice.
  • Leaders understand that they are responsible for other employees.
  • Senior employees help new employees adapt.
  • Line managers coach employees
Performance Management
Programs
  • Recruit the best, qualified and high-skilled personnel
  • Base pay in the higher side in the industry
  • Salaries supplemented by stock options.
  • Challenging work and extensive benefits
  • Benefits include health, travel and holiday packages
  • Rewards performance
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Appraisal style: annual performance reviews, peer assessment and 360 degree assessment
  • Both managers and individual responsible for goal setting.
  • Recruiting and hiring great people with skills and experience
  • Base salaries at lower end of normal
  • Stock options as salary supplements
  • Challenging work and extensive benefits
  • Rewards high performance
  • Annual employee training
  • Appraisal style: annual performance reviews, peer assessment and 360 degree assessment
  • Performance management focuses on team-work
  • Employees rewarded based on innovation
  • Has internal training model
  • Compensation also based on performance
  • Variable pay based on performance and number of years in the company

 

Employee Wellness
Programs
  • 30 minutes daily for meditation
  • Develop health apps for employees to manage health
  • Gym and other physical activities at places of work
  • Games in offices to ensure employee fitness
  • Standing desks to ensure employees do not sit down long
  • Slides for employees that do not want elevators of stairs
  • Emergency services and health insurance for employee while at work or while travelling
  • viable work-life balance
  • doctors, nurses and other healthcare physicians in some Google campuses
  • $300 compensation package for employees engaging in health and fitness
  • Employee access to health assessments
  • Fitness centers in its offices
  • Spends $25 million to provide healthier work-life balance

 
Coaching is a process of holding consistent sessions that mainly focus on the strengths of employees and areas of performance improvement. The process helps to inspire a company’s employees to change behaviors, increase skills, and improve knowledge in order to drive greater performance at places of work. Basically, managers and leaders that consistently engage their employees and participate in coaching sessions build trust and stronger bonds with their employees. A coaching culture bolsters the effective and efficient transfer of critical knowledge and refinement of skills throughout the workforce. Coaching also creates a leadership brand as well as true understanding of employees who will in turn understand their leaders. Apart from helping improve performance, this also ensures retention of employees as many will feel safe working in an environment where they are recognized and appreciated by their leaders (MacLennan, 1995)
Performance management systems or programs also have a considerable impact on employee performance and retention. Effective performance management systems help improve employee moral within an organization. These programs help employees feel recognized and part of the organization as a whole. When working for such an organization, employees will work to improve their performance to ensure that the organization that they are part of grows consistently. Tying bonuses and other compensation to annual bonuses motivates employees to put more effort in their tasks considering that they understand they will have a reward if they achieve set goals. In addition, training and development programs help employees gain more skills for both personal and organizational growth. The performance of employees is tightly related to the performance of the organization (Aguinis, 2009).
Wellness programs are also critical in improving both performance and employee retention. In terms of performance, wellness programs ensure that employees remain healthy and thus remain at work longer and most of the days throughout the year. Unhealthy employees can cause company losses in terms of lost working days to sick leaves, as well as millions of shillings that go to employee medical deductions (Coastal Training Technologies Corp, 2011). Comprehensive wellness programs also make employees feel appreciated and happy to stay within a company. They minimize chances of employees moving to competitor organizations since they are likely to recognize that there health and other issues are well taken care of by their current employer.
References
Aguinis, H. (2009). Performance management. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Breene, S. and Lebowitz, S. (2013 May 28). Why are Google employee so damn happy? Greatist Blog Post. Retrieved April 21, 2017 from http://greatist.com/happiness/healthy-companies-google
Chelniciuc, A. (2017 April 7). HR performance at Apple, Google and Statoil. Performance Magazine. Retrieved April 21 2017 from http://www.performancemagazine.org/category/trending/
Chen, B. (2014, August 10). Simplifying the bull: How Picasso helps to teach Apple’s style. The New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2017 from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/11/technology/-inside-apples-internal-training-program-.html?_r=0
Coastal Training Technologies Corp (2011). Employee wellness: A way of life. Virginia Beach, Va.: Coastal Training Technologies Corp.
Health Fitness Revolution (2015, June 9). The health and fitness benefits of the top 10 Fortune 500. Retrieved April 21, 2017 from http://www.healthfitnessrevolution.com/health-fitness-benefits-top-10-fortune-500/
MacLennan, N. (1995). Coaching and mentoring. Aldershot, England: Gower.
Total HR (2012, October 30). 12 companies with seriously impressive corporate wellness programs. Retrieved April 21 2017 from http://www.totalhrmanagement.com/12-companies-with-seriously-impressive-corporate-wellness-programs/
 

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