Goodnight is driven by creating a culture that is full of employee engagement and motivation. On the SAS website, Jim Goodnight is quoted as saying, “Treat employees like they make a difference and they will”. In a publication from Harvard Business Review that Goodnight co-wrote with author Richard Florida he states, “companies prosper when they harness the creative capital of their employees, as those are the individuals that are creative thinkers and generate valuable products and services. ” Mr.
Goodnight understands that his product is a “product of the mind,” and therefore recognizes that maintaining an environment that retains employees and keeps them engaged is a requirement to be successfully. Jim Goodnight has entrenched motivator factors into his business, while minimizing and eliminating hygiene factors for his employees. SAS uses a vertical loading management style that allows employees to be more engaged and empowered in their work. Employees draw responsibility and challenge from this management platform.
SAS employees are often only two or three levels down from the CEO, Jim Goodnight, and work alongside their management writing code and setting deadlines. These factors motivate employees and displays to them that managers can be technical in nature and work alongside them “in the trenches. ” Also, SAS has a strong focus on employee satisfaction and uses all possible means to minimize and eliminate hygiene factors that could cause dissatisfaction. Mr. Goodnight pays his employees a competitive salary, however, he shows his commitment through other means such as; benefits, company programs, and employee facilities.
SAS understands that work life balance is a conflict that most professionals have to deal with and overcome. SAS maintains flexibility by offering services that ease this burden such as; lunch programs, unlimited sick leave, and in house childcare. The fact that SAS has never had a layoff speaks volumes to its employees about the dedication that leadership has to its employees on job security and proper staffing levels. These factors have far reaching effects on employees and families, as they recognize and appreciate these benefits.
My current employer offers a package similar to the one SAS provides its employees, and I experience similar results. For example, teams are more motivated and engaged in their work with minimal turnover and low dissatisfaction with their jobs, and teams are more likely to accept additional assignments with minimal pushback. Jim Goodnight is clearly motivated by offering his employees the highest quality of work life balance possible. He believes the culture is based on “trust between our employees and the company.