This post was written by: Daniel Welch (Fall 2021 Recruiting Intern).
What is the Kaizen Budget?
Professional development can be a buzzword that many companies throw around when you begin your journey with them. They may state that they have initiatives to help you grow or perhaps they foster a culture of ‘interpersonal collaboration’ and ‘collective productivity’. It can be difficult to decipher what all of this actually means, which is why Seer takes this a step further and clearly defines professional development, within the context of our team.
The Kaizen budget is a $500 annual stipend that employees can allocate towards any approved professional or personal development purchases.
It could be a niche conference that you’ve always wanted to attend, a workout class that clears your head after a busy workday, or even childcare to help your loved ones feel supported while you are hopping on a busy project due to COVID. Whatever the thing may be, Seer is committed to partnering with their employees to provide a fund that helps you pursue the best version of yourself.
Need an idea on what to spend your personal development budget on? Read this post and get a few ideas from our team members.
Professional & Personal Development Ideas
Ever since 2018, Seer employees have leveraged the Kaizen Budget on a variety of impactful purchases. Fitness and wellness have been the overwhelming favorite, with ~42% of the 2021 Kaizen purchases falling into this category.
“I was already going to pay for my workout classes myself, and I had been for years at a previous company. Now, I feel like the company is partnering with me in my health, which is a great feeling.”
— Theresa Partin, Associate (Finance & Accounting)
Personal fitness was definitely a theme with these funds and this extended to employee’s new rhythms of working from home and also exercising from there.
“I reimbursed myself for a Peloton & I paid a Seer team member’s towing expense from getting their car towed”
— Lindsay Lewandowski, Manger (SEO)
Building off of the work-from-home theme, upgrading home office accessories was one of the more popular categories, accounting for 32% of the funds used in 2021. Some even used the funds to upgrade their coworker’s home offices, which definitely coincides with one of Seer’s core values, Enablement.
“I got my work bff, Sarah Weber, a chair because her back was hurting in her old one”
— Kim Dougherty, People Lead (SEO)
At Seer, we strive to be lifelong learners so, several folks have decided to use their Kaizen Budget purchase tickets to industry conferences.
In fact, Seer already gets tickets to the largest digital marketing conferences and we allow our team to ‘pitch’ to attend those events on Seer’s dime. Ultimately, we don’t have enough tickets to send every single team member to each industry event and sometimes our employees are itching to attend some smaller, niche conferences instead. That’s where the Kaizen Budget comes in handy!
“I attended SMX Advanced, and was able to learn about new advanced eCommerce tactics that I brought back and we used on one of our clients immediately! I also met the speaker of that session and have been able to stay in contact with him for advice ever since!”
— Kim Jones, Sr. Lead (Data Strategy)
Several employees also allocated their Kaizen Budget towards travel-related purchases.
“Even though I’m based out of San Diego, my family lives back in Pennsylvania and I started my career with Seer in the Philly Headquarters. Flights tend to be expensive around the holidays and I’m so grateful that Seer allowed me to use my Kaizen budget towards my trip home to the East Coast. It has been a game-changer for me, ever since I relocated to San Diego 3 years ago.”
— Lauren Boyd, Sr. Manager (People Operations)
The Kaizen budget takes many forms and that’s the beauty of this unique company perk. We want our team to have the flexibility to allocate their Kaizen Budget towards anything that will improve their sense of professional fulfillment & overall well-being.
Like what you’re hearing about Seer?
The Kaizen Budget is just one of the many employee perks that we offer at Seer.