8. ASAP Software

By Edward Cone  |  Posted 2001-04-09 Print this article Print

Perks and salaries are easy to compare, but some companies offer employees an atmosphere that is tougher to quantify.

Perks and salaries are easy to compare, but some companies offer employees an atmosphere that is tougher to quantify. "I tell my friends about the morale here," says Stacy Rogers, 30, a senior buyer at ASAP Software. "No one says bad things about work, because people are happy to be here. Its a family atmosphere. Half of our department goes to lunch together every day."

One good-vibe generator is a flat organizational structure, with limited hierarchy and open lines of communication — stuff that many companies preach, but ASAP delivers. "If I cant get my boss, Ill go to her boss, without anyone having a problem about it," says Cherie McKenney, 32, a senior sales account executive who joined the company fresh out of college.

The same lack of boundaries applies to career advancement, with any of the 400 employees able to move across functions to pursue better jobs.

People at ASAP feel that the company actually cares about them. "They have helped me with my immigration status," says Web developer Rakesh Ravani, 29, a native of India.

"I know that if I need a day off to be with my daughter, I can take it," Rogers says. She also cites an annual awards ceremony as a way of keeping the troops happy. "They call you on stage, and a presenter in a tuxedo hands you the award, which has been voted on by your peers," she says. "Recognition from your peers is nice."

As for the work itself, Ravani says, access to the latest technologies and interesting projects keep him motivated. "I never have a boring day," he says. And should he decide to leave, "It definitely makes you more marketable," he says.

One advantage not found at every technology company is ASAPs financial health, which contributes to more than the undeniably attractive feeling of job security. "The soundness of the company makes my job easier," McKenney says. "Some of our competitors have gone away."

And of course, there are some perks. Ravani singles out the professional massages, available on site to headquarters staff each quarter. For the veteran McKenney, a company-paid, four-day vacation trip after five years and a paid 30-day sabbatical after seven years were worth waiting for. "I got paid to go to Greece and France," she says. "Thats tough to beat."

Senior Writer and author of the Know It All blog

Ed Cone has worked as a contributing editor at Wired, a staff writer at Forbes, a senior writer for Ziff Davis with Baseline and Interactive Week, and as a freelancer based in Paris and then North Carolina for a wide variety of magazines and papers including the International Herald Tribune, Texas Monthly, and Playboy. He writes an opinion column in his hometown paper, the Greensboro News & Record, and publishes the semi-popular EdCone.com weblog. He lives in North Carolina with his wife, Lisa, two kids, and a dog.

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