Not only are employees of Facebook and Google some of the happiest in the workforce, they are also some of the most productive. That's because the onboarding process is set up for success. One of the major factors that makes these companies, along with others like Apple and Netflix, so enviable is that they know how to hire. They seek out the most brilliant candidates and pose some of the most intriguing (and sometimes very tricky) questions during the interview. Ace that phase, get hired and then they'll figure out a job for you – based on a web-based assessment tool. In essence, they hire people, not positions.
Here are some ways that these companies manage employees differently than most.
- They create a culture that does not involve cubicles
While the trend doesn't work for all companies, the open-office concept is a key part of the fabric of Google and Facebook. Start-ups and small businesses may enjoy the cost-cutting aspect that these new designs offer, but, as is the case with many Silicon Valley tech companies, implementing the 'no cube' rule is more so about spurring spontaneity and inspiration than it is about saving money.
In addition to encouraging freeform conversation and idea creation, the layout is designed to emphasize transparency and support the flat organizational structure that is in place. For those craving some privacy, noise-canceling headphones and small meetings rooms are at the ready.
Googlers also have the option of leaving the office altogether and using an allotted percentage of work time to spend on their own projects. The “20 percent policy" has been hugely successful and resulted in some of the company's biggest innovations – including Gmail.
2. They have a remedy for rush hour
Employers are always looking for ways to increase productivity in their workforce. However, in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, where employees are arriving at work already irritated and drained from the morning commute, inspiring a can-do attitude can be particularly tough. A brilliant solution comes in the form of free Wi-Fi-enabled shuttles that run every 15 minutes in the morning and evening, getting employees to and from work at Google and Facebook. And, of course, the shuttles are eco-friendly, running on biodiesel.
While most people use the Googled-owned Waze app to avoid traffic and navigate their way to work, Googlers use that time to actually DO some work. Meanwhile, a team of designated transportation specialists spends their days at Google headquarters plotting new routes around increasing traffic.
3. They keep meetings to a minimum
Mark Zuckerberg isn't a fan of meetings. Back in 2015, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg told Business Insider that Zuckerberg was changing the way he was preparing for meetings. Still, he much prefers one-on-ones. And you won't find him in a penthouse office – he sits where his employees sit and enjoys mulling around and interacting with them. This sets the tone as to how the company is to operate – fewer meetings and far more open collaboration.
Rather than micromanaging and holding daily meetings on every topic from A-Z, Google holds a weekly "all-hands meeting", where employees direct their questions to top execs and leaders about any and all issues and ideas.
4. They play an active role in the health and happiness of their people
If you consider your job nothing more than a neccessary evil, it's highly likely that you aren't working at Google or Facebook. Quality of life is practically a requirement in these companies. Beyond having free, organic, gourmet food constantly within reach (never more than 150 feet away), Googlers have access to chiropractic and massage services, as well as on-site physicians. Private yoga sessions are also available, ensuring that both your body and your mind are kept in peak condition.
Facebook's "Building 20" boasts a rooftop garden that spans nine landscaped acres – an ideal setting for the one-on-one "walking meetings" that Zuckerberg prefers.
5. They make you proud to represent their brand
Branding is an art and perception is reality. Companies with a strong, consistent and appealing brand attract employees with the same sought-after qualities. Before they even walk thru the door, employees know what they're getting and why they want to be a part of it. Clearly, Google and Facebook are two of the best examples of companies who have built a very specific and universally attractive culture.
Pampering their employees isn't the only way these companies make cheerleaders out of their employees. It's also intentional that new employees be warmly welcomed and immediately included, as part of "casual collisions" that take place amongst employees at all levels in all roles at dining booths and community tables. In creating this type of environment – where all are treated as equals – it is also encouraged that employees tear apart ideas and poke holes in products. This is how innovation happens and fear of failure wanes. And this breeds happy employees who can't help but sing their employer's praises at every turn.
Even if you can't emulate the corporate structure (or lack thereof) of the Silicon Valley elite, all companies can certainly learn a thing or two from them about outstanding employee engagement.