Creating an open door environment in which employees are encouraged to interact with management and with each other; follow their passion; work hard and play hard; and get rewarded for their hard work with competitive compensation, flexible hours, fun events, and generous time off benefits, and by being kept in the loop on company strategy and their role in it, are among the themes we’re seeing in applications for the TMC Tech Culture Awards.
Highly engaged employees are 38 percent more likely to have above average productivity, according to the Workplace Research Foundation. So it should come as no surprise that the best businesses want to ensure their work environments are highly hospitable so they can attract and retain top talent.
They’re doing that by empowering employees to work on the projects and in the roles that interest them the most. Many organizations also now allow their employee to work remotely and have flexibility in the hours they work and/or enable departments to set their own schedules.
But in-person interactions are also important. That’s why top businesses stage company meetings and other events to keep everyone abreast of new developments and build camaraderie. Many businesses also encourage ad hoc camaraderie by not just allowing, but in fact promoting, the idea of office high jinks such as Nerf gun fights or “water cooler shenanigans.”
To ensure employees become and remain engaged with the companies for which they work and in the jobs they perform, top companies also provide workers with opportunities for new skills training, recognition for efforts that go above and beyond the call of duty, the opportunity to advance in their careers, and the chance to voice their opinions about the workplace. Some companies survey employees to get a sense of their views of what’s working and what is not. Many companies also seek to better understand and improve the employee experience by doing exit interviews with those workers who leave their organizations voluntarily. In some cases, businesses use outside consultants for these voice of the employee efforts, so workers feel they can speak more freely.
Community service and fitness are also recurring themes in terms of company culture. Many businesses now encourage their employees to participate in company-sponsored charity events and/or to put in community service hours as they see fit.
Speaking of fit, exercise is another activity that can contribute to a healthy person and potentially a happier employee. Many employers offer discounts for area health clubs, and some even put exercise equipment in their offices for employee use. Steve Jobs, one of tech’s greatest thinkers, was known for his long walks around Palo Alto, in which he got his exercise, contemplated things, and even occasionally invited a colleague to have a discussion.