Here’s a look at how five forward-thinking companies are rethinking the work environment to appeal to a wave of new creative talent.
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When a company appears on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For eight times in a row, you know they’re doing something right. Coming in at #23 this year, Salesforce has shown over and over again its culture of giving – to its employees as well as to the community. In addition to perks like a wellness reimbursement program that gives employees $100 every month to use on health and fitness programs, the company has reported more than 1.3 million volunteer hours and donated over $100 million in grants. Not only that, employees are given 7 paid days off per year to volunteer.
In 2013, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh announced the online retailer would reorganize itself into a holacracy, a self-management system where there are no traditional manager roles and employees self-direct their work. Cultural fit is a key component to Zappos’ hiring process. So much so that new employees are offered $2000 to quit after the first week of training if they don’t feel they align with it. The idea is that a good cultural fit will lead to happy employees, which will lead to satisfied customers. “In terms of what we would have done differently, I think that there’s never a good time to make a transition and we probably hesitated too long,” Hsieh told CNBC recently, “So if I could do anything differently, I would actually do it earlier.”
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3) Warby Parker
While trying to explore how the organization could make better use of its computer programmers’ time, eyewear retailer Warby Parker came up with an innovative process called Warbles. Basically, the program invites all of its employees to help nominate and select programming projects. Although Warbles lets programmers have the final say on which projects to work for, it incentivizes particular ones that would add the most value to the company. “Our engineers are much happier; they love the idea that they have autonomy and they can select ideas that they find most interesting,” co-CEO Dave Gilboa told Quartz in an interview.
Although many companies tout diversity as a core value of their culture, few follow-up with an explicit strategy. That’s why it’s refreshing to see peer-to-peer e-commerce site Etsy making a clear effort to create an environment that is inclusive to all intersecting identities (e.g. race, sexual identity, socioeconomic background, ethnicity). By transparently reporting on progress (and shortcomings), developing programs that educate employees about unconscious biases and partnering with organizations—such as Lesbians Who Tech and the National Center for Women & Information Technology—that further opportunities for minorities, the highly rated workplace is reiterating the strong relationship between leading an open company culture and building good products.
Adobe realizes that time off is important to productivity, so it offers three forms of it to employees: Vacation days coordinated with their manager, two seasonal company breaks that add up to about two and a half weeks and a sabbatical that can be up to 6 paid weeks based on tenure. Additionally, new moms and dads can take up to 26 weeks of paid parental leave. Because giving back is another crucial aspect of Adobe’s company culture, it also enables employees to give back to the community my matching dollar for dollar up to $10,000 each year. “We take pride in a culture that encourages creativity, camaraderie, well-being and one that promotes sustainability and giving back to the community,” Natalie Kessler, Adobe’s Head of Employment Branding, told us.
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