compensation packages and benefit plans which Adobe Systems Inc. offers to its employees against their employment services, good performance at the workplace, and as motivational techniques for their retention and encouragement. The paper also explains the advantages and disadvantages of the key components of these compensations and benefit plans and recommends strategies on how they can be improved for more effective outcomes.
Adobe Systems Inc.
Adobe Systems Incorporated is an American multinational corporation engaged in manufacturing computer software and providing digital marketing and digital media solutions to the individual and corporate clients around the Globe. Adobe Systems Inc. was founded by Charles Geschke and John Warnock in 1983. Its major software development operations are spread in the United States, Germany, Canada, India, China, Switzerland, and Romania. The main products of the company include Desktop software (e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Fireworks, Adobe Premier, and Adobe Shockwave Player); Server software (Adobe ColdFusion, Adobe Content Server, etc.); and various web designing, e-Learning, and web content management programs and web-hosted services. Adobe Systems manages a total workforce of more than 11,000 employees who work in its corporate and regional offices and development houses around the Globe. The majority (more than 40%) of these employees work at the Adobe Systems Complex -- the headquarters of Adobe Systems Inc. In San Jose, California, USA (Adobe System Inc., 2013).
The Compensation and Benefit Plans at Adobe Systems Inc.
Compensation and benefits plans are designed by keeping in view a number of factors; including nature and type of jobs, organizational levels, skills and expertise of employees, and organization's own performance within its industry. Attractive compensation packages and benefit plans not only help in motivating and retaining the existing employees, but also help in attracting new workforce from the market. Adobe Systems designs its compensation and benefit plans to build and maintain long-term relationships with its employees. These plans vary from region to region due to the differences in social, demographical, cultural, economic, and other environmental factors and employee priorities. Therefore, Adobe designs different benefit plans for its employees in different geographical markets. However, there are certain components which are same in all the regions and markets (Adobe System Inc., 2013). The key components of the compensation packages and benefits plans offered by Adobe Systems include:
Market-Competitive Salaries and Financial Rewards:
Adobe believes that monetary benefits are a major source of motivation for employees. It pays them competitive salaries so that they stay free from financial worries and work more efficiently and productively for their organization's superior performance. In addition the basic salary, Adobe has instituted a sound performance appraisal and reward system for its employees in all the corners of the world. These rewards are in the form of financial packages like bonuses, salary increments, free memberships, etc. The managers use performance appraisal system to evaluate the performance of employees on individual basis. Those employees who perform exceptionally well at the workplace and achieve their assigned targets in the most efficient way are given high financial rewards (Goel, 2008). Upon continuous good performance in their department, these high performers are promoted to upper level job positions (Adobe System Inc., 2013).
The Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP):
Through its Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP), Adobe Systems offers an equity option to its employees, i.e. they can also become shareholders of the company by purchasing its stock on semi-annual basis. However, there is an eligibility criterion for employees to fulfill in order to become equity holders of Adobe Systems. The employees can purchase the company's stocks at a discounted price than the fair market value. Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) are also offered to Adobe employee as a part of this benefit plan. However, these units expire and renewable upon certain conditions after 4 years (Adobe System Inc., 2013).
Healthcare and Wellness Programs:
In addition to competitive salaries and financial rewards, Adobe Systems also ensures that its employees stay in good health and work in a pleasant and safe working environment. The healthcare and wellness programs at Adobe Systems are specially designed to provide each and every facility which can help its employees stay fit and enjoy sound and healthy life. Adobe invests a significant amount on these programs in order to facilitate its employees and their family members in all types of healthcare matters; including physical examination, surgery, dental checkups, eyesight treatment, etc.
In addition to these healthcare plans, Adobe has also opened on-site Wellness Centers for its employees. These centers hold different types of healthcare seminars, events, and awareness sessions for the employees on periodical basis. The Wellness Incentive Dollar program is another initiative by the company in the healthcare and wellness activities which allocates U.S.$360 per year for this purpose (Adobe System Inc., 2013).
Adobe maintains a 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan for its employees in order to encourage them towards savings for their old age. This is an investment plan in which employees choose their own area of investment from a highly diversified lineup or portfolio.
Adobe's Life and AD&D Insurance:
Adobe also provides an opportunity to its employees to purchase insurance policies up to 10 times of their salaries. These insurance policies provide financial coverage from accidental deaths, permanent disabilities, and hospital treatments and surgeries.
In addition to these financial and non-financial benefit plans, Adobe Systems also offers a variety of perquisites to its employees. These perquisites include medical allowance, transportation allowance, housing allowance, Group Legal Plan, home insurance, vehicle insurance, pet insurance, long-term care plan, and attractive discounts on its own software products and services which employees may want to avail for their personal usage.
Educational Assistance Program:
Adobe also maintains an educational assistance plan for its employees in order to allow them to improve their educational qualification and professional skills through different business related certificates and courses. Through this plan, employees can take full reimbursement for their educational expenditures from the company (Adobe System Inc., 2013).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Key Components of Compensation and Benefit Plans
The biggest advantage of all the above discussed key components is the company's ability to attract and retain the best and the most talented individuals. The market-competitive salary, medical, transportation, and housing allowance, stock options, insurance plans, and educational assistance plans -- each of these benefits is helpful for the company in keeping the morale of its employees high. The healthcare and wellness programs keep the employees in good health and help them in performing their job responsibilities in an effective and efficient way. Similarly, health and life insurance plans provide them financial coverage against uncertainties and make them mentally relaxed which is vital for paying full attention to job duties.
Adobe offers a number of perquisites which are helpful for employees in decreasing their financial burden from day-to-day life. These perquisites include transportation allowance, housing allowance, medical reimbursement, etc. Moreover, the retirement plan gives them a mental relaxation towards their financially safe future. One of the major advantages of the financial rewards, bonuses, and promotions is the motivation which employees get when their managers use performance appraisal and reward the high performers (Goel, 2008). These rewards and bonuses encourage other employees to improve their performance and be the next to win those rewards (WorldatWork, 2007).
In contrast to the aforementioned advantages of different components of compensation and benefit plans, there are certain disadvantages in some components which require the company to revisit its benefit plans for better outcomes in the future. For example, the biggest disadvantage of educational assistance program is the lack of attention towards job responsibilities. The employees who join different courses and programs to improve their skills and qualification fail to pay full attention to their duties at the workplace (Mathis & Jackson, 2011). This thing negatively affects the company's performance in the…