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What we value in our workplace

Remember that joy and pride you felt when you first received your offer letter to work at Stanford? And then the excitement of discovering all of the programs and perks that enhance your employee experience?

What you find valuable likely depends on your age, according to human resources consulting firm Mercer, so what was meaningful to you when you were first hired might be different now. Mercer found that across all age groups, workers value base pay the most, followed by retirement plans -- except for employees 34 and younger, who place a higher value on career opportunities (see chart below).

If you haven’t checked to make sure you are making the most of all that Stanford has to offer, now is a good time to do so and a new Cardinal at Work feature can help: view Stanford Benefits for Every Age.

benefits valued by age

Designing meaningful programs for faculty and staff

Les Schlaegel, associate vice president for benefits in University Human Resources, says Stanford frequently reviews benefits, rewards and compensation so that no matter where you are in your life and career, you’ll find value in what’s available.

"We regularly assess our benefits and compare what other Silicon Valley companies and universities are offering top talent,” he says. “Based on the benchmark data our benefits consultants have shared, our programs, particularly health insurance and retirement plan benefits, consistently rank toward the top of the list.”

Ensuring Stanford’s benefits are competitive is not without its challenges, particularly when the Bay Area’s affordability issues are top-of-mind for both employees and employers.


Click the icon above to find out what is
available to you at each stage of life.

“One of the common themes in the university’s long-range planning white papers was about affordability, and I think long commutes, as well as expensive housing, health care, child care and elder care, are of real concern for all of us in the Bay Area,” Les says.

Several existing committees, such as the Committee for Faculty and Staff Human Resources (CFSHR), as well as design teams born from the long-range planning process, are exploring our programs to address both affordability and competitiveness.

Les works directly with the CFSHR and its new sub-committee, the Committee on Benefits and Employee Programs, which has been charged with developing ideas, analyzing current or modified options and making recommendations as to funding requirements.

While this work is underway, Les encourages employees to know what is offered so they can make the most of their options.

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Benefits & Rewards