3 Reasons Google and Other Fortune 500 Companies Have Great Workplace Cultures

It is no coincidence that many of the most profitable companies in the world also have the happiest, most engaged employees and the most positive workplace cultures. Google, Starbucks, Whole Foods Market and Aflac top the list of the eighteen best Fortune 500 companies to work for in part due to a dedication to making their workplaces great ones.

How did these large corporations create such an amazing workplace culture? What can we learn from them?

George Bradt, Contributor for Forbes, isolated three things that these eighteen companies all seem to do extremely well to make their employees loyal and happy.

They Clearly Demonstrate Their Appreciation for Employees

A quick display of appreciation can go a long way. It doesn’t even have to cost a penny or take more than two minutes of your time. The ways that you can show appreciation for your team are quite diverse.

There is the unconventional. Google gives out 100,000 hours worth of free massages to employees over a one-year period. Then there’s the free. The vice chair of NetApp calls 10-20 employees a day to tell them that they are doing a good job.

Other companies such as Qualcomm hold internal tech conferences to foster a sharing of knowledge and ideas. Administering safety bonuses, personalizing notes, booking special luncheons, recognizing and supporting diversity, offering low-cost insurance for part-time employees and setting up health and wellness centers are other interesting ways that companies say “we appreciate you!”

Takeaway: Showing appreciation for your employees can take a wide variety of forms and fit into any budget. Consistency is the key with appreciation programs.

They Give Employees Access to Leadership and Information

The tie between being a good place to work and consistent employee appreciation is quite logical, but this next theme might not be as obvious. Bradt finds that granting employees open access to senior leadership and company information is the second most common way that companies make their employees happy.

John Richels of Devon Energy said he gives his employees time with senior executives as often as possible. Whole Foods empowers employees in very unique ways. Employees have the option to vote on new hires, take field trips to visit suppliers and even view the salary of every employee in the company!

CarMax CEO Tom Folliard is known for mingling at town hall meetings and steak cookouts. CHWM Hill CEO Lee McIntire takes it to a new level. He posts his personal development plan on the company intranet!

Takeaway: Break down the barriers and allow communication to flow freely in your organization. Your executives should be accessible and open to suggestions from all levels. Transparency can also be important for companies that pride themselves on their integrity.

They Reward Employees for Their Achievements

Rewarding employees for their achievements is something that should always be a priority. At EOG, every employee is given stock. Not only is the stock a nice reward, but it is also a way to give an employee more reason to care about the success of the company. Their stock has risen 500% in the past decade, so it appears to be working.

Starbucks gives benefits and stock options to all employees who work at least twenty hours per week. The company culture emphasizes how it is possible for all employees to move up the ladder.

Other companies give their top performing employees travel incentives, merchandise and gift cards.

Takeaway: Employees who are rewarded and have a stake in the success of the company will typically perform at higher levels.

Is your company doing a particularly good job in any of these three areas? Feel free to share other ways your company has been successful in showing appreciation, granting access and rewarding your employees by commenting below. Also, please feel free to send me an email at khewkin@jnrcorp.com for more suggestions or to sign up for our newsletter.

By JNR Incorporated

Written by Kristopher Hewkin


JNR Incorporated is a results-based, globally recognized leader that specializes in creating custom travel, meeting, event, prepaid card and merchandise programs that motivate, engage and inspire the employees, customers and channel members of our clients. We have over 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 companies of many diverse industries. Our programs are tailored to fit the specific needs of marketing, sales, management and human resource professionals. The unique solutions we apply are measurable and proven to increase performance, loyalty and revenues.

Photo: “google_logo” by keso s is licensed under CC By 2.0

Two Ways to Grow Faster Than the Fortune 500

A group of businesses boasting annual growth rates of approximately double those of the Fortune 500 companies was surveyed recently, and they had some fascinating insights to share. The average annual growth rate of those included in the study was 15.3%, compared to 7.8% for the Fortune 500 companies. Improvements in the two areas highlighted below can be instrumental in helping your organization achieve similar yearly gains.

Prioritize Salesman Training and Employee Retention

Salesman coaching and employee retention topped the list of priorities for these organizations that grew so rapidly. The case for salesman coaching lies in the fact that it takes new sales representatives more than six months to start becoming productive employees. Decreasing the learning curve with improved training will lead to increased sales. The importance of employee retention can be summed up by the high attrition figures with 19-27% of the average sales force leaving the company from year to year. High attrition rates can stifle productivity and lead to increased training costs.

Improvements to your training policies and procedures in conjunction with a strong employee retention program will get you on the road to following in the footsteps of these envious organizations. Reinforcing training with employee recognition programs that utilize both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators is essential to maximizing sales performance.

Synchronize Sales and Marketing Efforts

The misalignment of sales and marketing is estimated to decrease annual revenues by over 10%. Also, 65% of companies that make sales and marketing alignment a priority state that their sales revenues are the main driver of their strategy. Ensuring that marketing collateral, sales materials, sales scripts, and discovery guides are received ahead of new product launches were the vital components that fueled sales and marketing synergy according to the study.

Enhancing communication between sales and marketing may sound like a simple objective but it’s not always that easy. It may be time to integrate both departments and share information without falling victim to inter-department politics. Both sales and marketing will benefit from knowledge sharing. Planning that ensures marketing is one step ahead of new products with quality collateral will also cure many problems.

How We Can Help

JNR incorporated has the unique tools necessary to allow you to prioritize sales training, increase employee retention and synchronize sales and marketing efforts. Our employee incentive programs include unique incentives, such as incentive travel, prepaid reward cards, merchandise, and meeting and event planning in addition to employee recognition programs. Each and every program cost effectively reinforces advances in employee education and employee retention.

We also have a full service marketing and advertising team complete with graphic design, web design, printing, purchasing, and fulfillment that makes it easy to have collateral, advertising, and communications that are delivered ahead of schedule and are effective, compelling, and aesthetically pleasing. Ask us how we took one company with 5 years of stagnant sales and engineered a 25% increase in revenues in just a few months. Feel free to visit our website at http://www.jnrcorp.com or read other blog postings at http://www.blog.jnrcorp.com for further resources.

Source: SAVO Group Ltd. White Paper “The 7 Attributes of Companies That Outpace the Fortune 500”