DO you think that where you work would rank as one of the happiest workplaces on earth? Or are your thoughts more in the direction that your office would rank a hot first to Hades -- you know, that place downstairs where the sun does not shine and where daily you are poked and prodded with a pitchfork. Well, good news is here. The 2013 list of top ten workplaces is out, and just maybe, you can encourage your executives to adopt some of the great strategies they use to make them the best places to work.
The 2013 list of workplace winners is the fifth annual Employees' Choice Awards, a list of the fifty best places to work in the coming year, compiled by Glassdoor, an online jobs and career community. This survey has a sweet twist because, unlike most workplace-related awards that ask companies to self-nominate, these awards rely only on the input of employees who anonymously provide feedback through a survey.
The survey goes only to employees in the United States, and the ranking of the top companies is determined by taking cumulative average ratings from the half a million employees who respond to the 18-question survey between November 24, 2011 and November 13, 2012. The survey asks employees to rate their satisfaction with the company's overall and key workplace factors such as career opportunities, compensation and benefits, work-life balance, senior management, culture, and values.
It is no great surprise that the millennial-led Facebook was the hands-down winner for a second time. According to an article in Forbes magazine, Facebook received an overall company rating of 4.7 out of a possible five and was also the recipient of the highest rating in the 2011 Employees' Choice Awards. Bear in mind that some of us have in our possession pairs of shoes, and other such personal items that are older that Facebook's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerburg, who was himself born in May 1984. His personal wealth is estimated to be US$9.4 billion in 2012.
Zuckerburg's company offers great perks and benefits to help employees balance their work with their personal lives. Some of these include: paid vacation days, free food and transportation, US$4,000 in cash for new parents, dry cleaning, day care reimbursement, and photo processing. While I am still wrapping my mind around just which bright spark of an employee argued strenuously for photo-processing over, I don't know, more stock options, I give all Facebook perks two thumbs up. Employees in their comments about their company spoke highly about the chance their jobs gave them to impact a billion people as well as their trust in their CEO, Zuckerberg.
Here is one of the comments posted by a FaceBook employee on the Glassdoor's website:
"Pros: Facebook is full of extremely capable and smart people. The lines are very short, and it is easy to get a hold of the right person to talk to on any topic. There is no red tape, so it's really up to you to have a big impact on the product and the world. People who make a big impact are recognised and rewarded, regardless of their job title or level of experience. The company's leadership truly believes in Facebook's mission to make the word more open and connected. Teams are small and have a lot of autonomy, and it's amazing to see how much of a difference a single person can make at this place.
Cons: The downside, having so much going on all at once is that it takes energy and discipline to stay focused on those things that matter most. You need to embrace this challenge to get the most out of your experience."
Second on the list was global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co, with a network of about nine thousand consultants in 101 locations all over the world, with a 4.5 company rating. The employees commented that they prize highly the impact that they have on organisations worldwide, the opportunity to connect with top executives, and the access to valuable network of global colleagues. Says one McKinsey employee: "Pros: US$50 for dinner and US$35 for lunch means great food all the time! Lots of miles and Starwood points due to travel and hotel stays and incredibly smart colleagues to learn from top MBA and PhD programmes. Very caring environment; instead of flying back home for the weekend, you can leverage to fly out go anywhere you want! Exposure to top management in industry. Ability to be exposed to multiple industries through different studies."
Cons: Long hours (8:00 am to 1:00 am) occasionally. There is a lot of travel, which might be a bummer if you dislike travelling. There is always high pressure to perform.
Coming in third with a 4.5 rating was the San Francisco-based technology company Riverbed. Says one employee: Pros: Get to implement your ideas! Excellent work culture. Everyone is accessible. Even our CEO Jerry Kennelly is only a few cubicles away. There is a really cool game room.
Cons: I can't think of any as of now.
How does your workplace measure up?
Yvonne Grinam-Nicholson, (MBA, ABC) is a Business Communications Consultant with RO Communications Jamaica, specialising in business communications and financial publications. She can be contacted at: email@example.com. Visit her website at www.rocommunications.com and post your comments.