How technology companies manage to keep employees happy and productive
This week, the LinkedIn 2014 ranking of the 100 most-in-demand employers was released. The professional networking site based its ranking by looking at how many people viewed employees’ profiles and how many users followed the company’s Company or Career pages within the last year. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon dominated the top ten, and this raises the question of how technology companies manage to keep employees happy and productive. Employee opinions reflect basic measures, such as pay, perks, benefits and hours worked, but they are also influenced by intangibles like a company’s culture, internal politics and general mood. Tech companies are the most flexible about working hours, hierarchy, informality and office culture. They also offer generous perks, but that is largely seen as secondary to the culture they promote.
One key reason why Google, Apple and the rest offer such generous perks and work conditions are that they are market leaders who make a lot of money. This gives them the luxury of worrying about the best way to give employees more instead of the ideal manner in which to lay them off. All of them offer outdoor sport facilities, gyms, free food, free laundry services and perks that go beyond normal. At Google, if an employee dies on the job, his spouse or ‘domestic partner’ receives 50% of the deceased’s salary, no matter how long or short his tenure, for the next decade. Google calls its HR department ‘People Operations’. That says it all.