Creating Connection: How a Great Technology Workplace Keeps Its Talent Happy

At Great Rated, we recently analyzed 50,000 confidential employee surveys to create our list of People’s Picks: 20 Great Workplaces in Technology. For human resources professionals, the no.1 organization in the large-companies category offers a telling example of the practices that help create a true sense of connection between team members and their organization.    

"Find a Need and Fill It"

This phrase sums up the open-minded management philosophy of cloud solutions company Workday.  Even as the business has grown to employ 3,100, managers still encourage people to explore new talents, rather than confine them to existing job descriptions. Likewise, the office culture at Workday proves that casual and hard-working need not be mutually exclusive. People work where they feel comfortable, whether that's in a cubicle, at a treadmill workstation or anywhere else in the spaces shared by executives and entry-level employees alike. There are even days for bringing dogs into the office. Behind all of this is a widespread sense of responsibility among team members, 96 percent of whom say their managers trust people to accomplish their work without looking over their shoulders.

"Workday leadership is honest and transparent, and they trust employees with information so that we never feel as if we are in the dark. There is never a sense that information is being filtered or withheld," says one employee.

A degree of autonomy, though, does not come at the expense of support for the employee. Workforce offers a long list of the playful perks synonymous with tech startups: game rooms, "napping stations," daylong celebrations at amusement parks and so on. These fringe benefits are remarkable, not so much for their cost, but for the fact the company recognizes its team members are human and need to blow off steam occasionally to stay productive. To that end, Workday's unlimited-time-off policy stands apart from those of some other organizations because its employees actually use it. Nine in 10 Workday team members we surveyed say they're offered a good work-life balance – an outstanding percentage given the demands of the tech sector – while nearly all employees say they can take time off when they need it. This circles back to an overall culture of respect for employees as people with unique needs, both on and off the job.

"It sounds cliché, but Workday truly is a family. We feel protected, included and respected, like we are part of something much bigger than just our job title," one employee says.

Of course, day-to-day job satisfaction is a lot easier to cultivate when employees feel the ship is being steered in the right direction. At Workday, 97 percent of employees agree that the company's leadership is both competent and ethical. Even beyond employees' satisfaction with their careers and their benefits, Workday also shows how a broader culture of integrity can pay dividends in the workplace: An overwhelming 98 percent of team members say they are proud to be a part of the company.

"Workday is rigorous about the people it lets in the door," says one. "The people that work here preserve the company culture of honesty, excellence and fun. This place is paradise because Workday puts people first: employees, customers and the community."

Kim Peters is CEO of Great Rated!™ at Great Place to Work®, where she is focused on helping job seekers understand companies’ workplace cultures and find their best fit. Kim has over 15 years’ leadership experience in the online recruitment industry. Prior to joining Great Rated!, Kim held leadership roles with a number of successful businesses in the recruitment sector, including, Canwest Mediaworks and

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