Monday, October 06, 2008

Corporate Workplace Culture: the Good (Not the Bad or Ugly)

While Corporate America often gets a bad rap (justifiably so) for the environment (not CFC-type environment, but employee mattering-type environment) it's people work in, there are some stories out there of companies that do it right...

In a September 2007 article, BusinessWeek ran "Netflix: Flex to the Max" about the efforts at Netflix to both attract and retain the best employees... through extreme "flexibility and responsibility" provided from CEO Reed Hastings on down.

Also, from September 2007, BusinessWeek published "How to Make a Microserf Smile" about the efforts at employee responsiveness done at the tech behemoth. Led by HR chief Lisa Brummel, Microsoft has fought gamely over the last few years to keep both it's star employees and overall moral up.

It's probably not necessary to point to Google as a company that treats it's employees well (given the legendary free cafeteria, child care, laundry, etc), but in it's March 2008 "50 Most Innovative Companies" issue, Fast Company has a piece about the perks enjoyed at Google, including an author and Presidential Candidate speaker series (pretty good stuff).

Finally (and more recently), Fred Kiel in his October 6, 2008 BusinessWeek opinion piece, tears apart the notion that employees are motivated only by self-interest. Kiel argues that rather than this, employees greatly value a workplace culture that trusts it's people (REI as an example) and gives them opportunities to advance (i.e. Costco Wholesale).