At our organisation, we strive to provide our employees with equal opportunities for advancement and a platform to make their voices heard in a strong work culture. Following the advice of Daniel H. Pink, a renowned author who has written extensively on workplace culture, we believe that providing our employees with autonomy, mastery, and purpose in their job will lead to increased happiness and productivity. This concept of creating a workplace culture around these three components is a practice that has been adopted by many successful technology organisations around the world.
Consider the following five businesses:
Netflix: Independence and ethics go hand in hand
Netflix is renowned for their distinct engineering culture, which holds their developers accountable for their work and requires them to independently run their applications and address any bugs that occur. Additionally, the company is well-recognised for granting their personnel a high degree of autonomy.
Additionally, the internet broadcasting platform does not have any restrictions regarding vacation time or employee attire. Employees are able to take as much time off as they need, and the employer does not keep track of the amount of time taken.
Netflix recognises that when individuals are provided with the chance to demonstrate creativity and self-governance, they thrive. To ensure that their employees are equipped to do so, they have identified nine core values that they believe are essential: judgement, communication, impact, curiosity, creativity, bravery, passion, honesty, and selflessness. By fostering an environment that encourages the development of these values, Netflix strives to create a workplace where individuals are given the tools to reach their highest potential.
GitLab: praise in public, critique in private
GitLab adopts a practice known as “dogfooding,” which involves having employees test their products in real-world scenarios to determine their usefulness. Additionally, the organisation does not brush off dull ideas; rather, it encourages them, believing that they can lead to straightforward maintenance.
GitLab is dedicated to promoting a workplace where the well-being of all employees is a priority. As such, they strive to create an environment where positive feedback is openly shared and any negative input is addressed promptly and in the most appropriate setting. Additionally, GitLab is committed to cultivating a culture of diversity, inclusion, and belonging in which everyone can thrive.
Facebook: improvise and adjust
Facebook, the social media behemoth, is inspired by the words of Mao Zedong and has taken a proactive approach to ensure that the company stands the test of time. To demonstrate this commitment, the company released their so-called ‘Little Red Book’, a collection of their core beliefs. One page of this book, for example, reads, “If we don’t design something that kills Facebook, someone else will.” This proclamation is an example of how the California-based corporation encourages its workers to stay agile and be proactive in their work environment. Facebook understands that brilliance and ease cannot coexist and, as such, believes in releasing quickly, failing quickly, and learning quickly.
The book makes it clear that there is no utility in establishing a five-year strategy within this particular sector, due to the ever-changing circumstances. Therefore, the organisation has adopted a different approach, focusing on developing and executing plans on a six-month basis with the aim of achieving its goal for the upcoming thirty years.
Buffer: Key to success is transparency
Buffer is on a mission to achieve success through openness and transparency. On the company’s transparency website, all financial information, including revenue, salaries, and code insights, is readily available to the public. Additionally, individuals can review the methodology used to calculate employee wages and provide feedback. Furthermore, Buffer has even gone as far as to reveal how it allocates its profits. According to the company, only $0.46 of every ten dollars earned is considered real profit.
In addition to this, the group is passionate about celebrating diversity. They have implemented a diversity dashboard which provides a comprehensive overview of all the employees, categorising them based on gender, race, language preferences, and other relevant criteria.
Buffer also fosters positivism and self-improvement and encourages its workers to work smarter, not harder.
Basecamp: work-life balance is important
Basecamp’s core values of quality, experimentation, honesty, and compassion are integral to the company’s success. By employing a team of less than 50 people, Basecamp is able to reduce complexity and increase efficiency. Additionally, the company has cultivated a culture of giving, encouraging its employees to give back to their community.
The organisation places a strong emphasis on employee satisfaction and wellness. To promote this, Basecamp has implemented a 4-day work week policy from Monday to Thursday from May 1 to August 31. Additionally, the company has established a monthly exercise stipend, a massage allowance, and a community-supported agriculture allowance to support staff in purchasing local products. Furthermore, Basecamp encourages its employees to work a maximum of 40 hours a week and recommends they get no less than 8 hours of sleep per night.
Creating a strong work culture is an essential element in any successful business. By recognising and retaining talented individuals, companies are able to ensure their long-term success. To achieve this, organisations should focus on building a culture that is based on core values such as freedom, responsibility, transparency, employee wellbeing, and giving back. By incorporating these essential elements into their corporate culture, organisations can foster a positive environment that promotes personal and professional growth. Additionally, businesses must ensure that these values are instilled in all employees, from senior management to entry-level staff, in order to ensure that the culture remains consistent throughout the company.