Surveys: what’s your company doing for you, and vice versa?

After a discussion on Twitter this morning, my good friend Steve Jones (blog|twitter) said it would be great to have a survey polling people on how their companies are retaining them this year, and vice-versa – so here it is!

The survey is completely anonymous, so don't be afraid to answer. Also, if you'd like to post a comment, feel free too, anonymously or not.

Please vote multiple times – the free survey site does not allow multiple selections, but does allow multiple votes.

The first survey is what is the company doing for you.

The second survey is what are you doing for the company.

I'll report on the results in a couple of weeks – see if you can publicize this survey – the more responses there are, the better it will be for anyone wanting evidence to show their management.


14 thoughts on “Surveys: what’s your company doing for you, and vice versa?

  1. We got our first raise in 3 years as the heavy equipment business is picking back up. However, I have averaged 16% salary bonus in each of those 3 years. My company allows me at least one off site training event each year (usually PASS summit) and allows me to take time for family(appointments, school functions, etc) as needed.
    In turn, I volunteer for travel and system installs and running cable(outside of my DBA duties) and to help out wherever and whenever I can. It is a pretty great relationship. I consider myself lucky.

  2. My vote reflects my current client’s behavour, since voting as a semi-independent consultant doesn’t really add much value to the survey.

  3. I already get flex time / wfh, but I think this sums up how that works out for me: , so I voted, "Nothing." All my other requests for tools / training / etc. have been denied or ignored (or are just held up in committee). As far as the second survey, I do train on my own time, but I do that for me, not out of any wish to serve a particular company better. It’s just what I do.

    +1 to Glenn’s comment.

  4. I’m glad to see so many of the comments about employers are positive!

    I started my current job about 18 months ago, and at the time it seemed like a great position – the first full-time DBA at a small company, with lots of freedom to do as I saw fit to improve the database infrastructure (backups, index maintenance, high availability, performance tuning, etc), as well as working alongside the Developers on new projects. I understood that there would be pay increments, performance-related bonuses, and that we would be recruiting additional Data-focused developers to work alongside/under me.

    Unfortunately, none of that has come to pass, and the company seems to have adopted the attitude that "you’re lucky to have a job at all" towards its IT Team. So the answer to "what is the company doing for you" is a big fat nothing.

    I put in plenty of extra work when necessary, improve processes, and study in my own time – though the study i would characterize more as "for me" than "for the company" – they just happen to get any benefit that produces. Obviously the situation doesn’t lend itself to being highly motivated to go above-and-beyond for the company, but I continue to work to the best of my ability, because I would feel I had let myself down professionally if I didn’t.

    Sadly, as much as I would like to leave this Job for somewhere better, the job Market within a reasonable commute of where I live is not overly thrilling for a database professional.

    So I thank you all for your positive stories, as it keeps hope alive!

  5. Tony –

    Not sure what the job market is like where you are but I can tell you about where I am. At first blush your employer’s statement would hold up. There aren’t hundreds of DBA jobs open, but there’s a but… I’ve interviewed a lot of candidates and while there may be more resumes for just one position, there aren’t so many resumes of people who can apply logic, rational thought, know where to learn and spend spare time seeking to improve their own skill set. All of those people are either not looking, not submitting resumes to positions I’ve helped interviews at or not as plentiful as my optimistic outlook on life thinks.*

    *ok.. I’m a DBA by experience and trade, I’m not really that much of an optimist, but still…

  6. Having just changed jobs to a dream position, I’m not sure what they’re doing for me to maintain my loyalty, but at this point, there’s nothing they need to do. I think the onus is on me to deliver. I’ve received trust, freedom and responsibility, things missing from the last job. That’s what’s making me loyal at the moment.

  7. I think many employers have the attitude that their employees are lucky to have a job, so there is no reason to do anything special to retain their employees. That attitude may fly during a recession, but it may not work so well as the economy and labor market improve.

  8. I am in a very similar situation to Grant. I switched jobs late last year, and I’m in a great position now. Between increased pay, increased training, better hours, flex work arrangements and an amazing team, I feel lucky. I’m now willing to go above and beyond because I feel the company does the same for me.

  9. My current employer has been off shoring IT jobs to China for the past 18 months and I am going to be one of the last few here to "turn out the lights" later this year leaving me looking for a new opportunity. This drawn out process has offered an interesting perspective on this type of question.

    Whilst some have been busily surfing the www and doing as little as possible, I have been actively looking for opportunities to assist the company (yes the same company who is about to let me go) to fix things that are just plain misconfigured and helping them plan for when we are no longer available. Knowing you are finishing can make it easier to question certain decisions and point out possible technical inaccuracies – its the nothing to loose mentality I guess.

    I’ve also been working extensively on self learning (although this is nothing new for me) and getting more active in communities. Unfortunately if you sit back and wait for someone else to improve your skills or your circumstance then its likely you will be disappointed so I would recommend to get out there and start learning and offering to work on as many projects as you can. Ultimately the winner will be you – even if your current employer doesn’t see the benefit it should help you be able to progress your career.

    Hopefully the out of pocket expenses, the time spent and the effort I have put in will pay off and my next move is positive and upward.

  10. I just went full time about 15 months ago. But I can say they went all out when it came to benefits. I was offered education and insurance benefits that are well beyond any that I have heard of before. Not only do they pay 100% of my insurance, they pay the full amount for my family. This ended up being somewhere close to 6k worth of a benefit, just for insurance.

  11. We just got our first pay raise in at least three years (might’ve been four). Most of the benefit I’m getting is that the company is allowing me to do training on company time as long as I’m available for emergencies. I’m taking full advantage of that as I’d spent my first 6 years or so getting pulled into a technology that seems to be a bit of a dead end (plus, after six years, I was getting extremely bored with it); now I’m getting myself back up to speed in SQL development and the new BI tools that have come out since I started working with SQL Server. It allows me more opportunity within the company, and (if I need it down the road) more opportunity with regards to the job market.

    I will say though that my team is doing more to secure my loyalty than the overall company is. My team lead is incredible: does everything she can to make sure that we have what we need to do our jobs; puts in as much, if not more, overtime as the rest of us put together (and given how much overtime some of us put in, that’s saying something); and fields ridiculous amounts of crap from users and management so we can focus on our jobs. Quite a few of my fellow team members are as eager to learn as I am, and we’re really good about sharing what we’ve learned so it’ll help benefit the team (and ultimately the company). None of us are shy about asking for help if we’re getting into an area of development that we’ve never seen before, and all of us are willing to give that help (workload permitting). I do my best at my own job because I can’t imagine letting myself do a half-assed job, but also because I don’t want my backup to be stuck with cleaning up the mess if I screw something up and it’s not found until I’m in the middle of another high-priority project that I can’t be pulled off.

  12. In see increased education resources as a reasonably effective way to keep IT staff. In addition if the firm that you work for allows you to spent a portion of your hours studying then that’s cool too.
    Although, eventually you’ll have studied lots and therefore be more marketable :)

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