NASA has been at the forefront of space research for decades now. High-end equipment and technology that produce innovative products requires out-of-the-box thinking and a creative approach to solving problems. This wouldn’t be possible if the scientists or researchers are burdened with financial or health-related problems, all of which serve to distract them from the task at hand.
The basic reason why NASA is successful at what it does is because they understand the importance of taking care of their own. The research organization is so efficient that it has extremely low turnover rate of 4 percent and is reputed as the best Federal Agency employer.
Below are four reasons why NASA has made great strides;
1. Ownership of Project
A big reason why so many projects at NASA become successful is due to employees getting ownership of their work. Managers at NASA do not micromanage every aspect of a project, giving employees a greater degree of freedom to decide their next step. The onus of the project becoming successful rests entirely with the people entrusted with the task, pushing them to take greater responsibility and in turn, involvement with the company.
2. Great Work Culture
This is understandable because over half of their workforce has graduate degrees with several of them being Nobel Prize winners. In order to retain the highly ambitious, top tier talent into the workforce, it is absolutely vital to provide them with a supportive work structure or those people will simply leave. PhD holders don’t often have problems looking for jobs, and this means that most people working at NASA are doing what they love to do.
3. Flexible Retirement Plans
Approximately 40 percent of people working at NASA are eligible to retire, yet most of these people choose to remain with the business. Employees don’t want to leave the firm because it is extremely desirable to continue working there.
In order to encourage more senior level employees to give the mantle to the younger generation, NASA has implemented a support structure that implements different forms of ‘retirement’. This allows senior employees to work part-time for up to two years before they undergo full retirement. These highly skilled employees are able to undertake mentoring projects and teach at seminars to train younger staff, which helps them ensure they have a lasting legacy long after they’re gone.
NASA also has an emeritus program that allows retirees to work on an unpaid, voluntary basis so they can continue their work on projects they have interest in.
4. Employee Benefits
On top of the above, NASA provides its employees with the usual health benefits.
- Robust health insurance plans
- Voluntary benefits like dental, vision, and life insurance
- Paid time off that carries over to next year
- Flexible work hours
Employees can also work from home or from cafes. NASA even implemented a three month project called Make Anywhere a Remote Site (MARS) which banned employees from working at the office for a period of one month. This allowed employees to work from anywhere they pleased, giving a new definition to flexible work hours.