Business

Why Are Tech Companies Great Places To Work?

A recent study from the Great Place to Work Institute leaned heavy on tech companies. So why is that?

Tech companies such as Google are known for aggressive perks and their efforts in creating great places to work.

That might be why the Great Place to Work Institute cited Google and numerous other tech companies for its 2012 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list. Is there anything your association can learn from these companies? Let’s do a quick roundup:

The good ones, like Google, know it takes an actual culture of support, and they’ve built that, as much as that makes my life hard when I have to recruit tech people in California.

Who’s on the list? Of the 25 companies listed, nine are in the technology sphere, and of the top five, two (Google at No. 2, Microsoft at No. 5) are top household names. The top company, software provider SAS Institute, has an incredibly low turnover rate, at 2.6 percent, and offers perks such as free on-site health care and a work-life center to help employees balance outside-of-work needs. “SAS has been doing what we do for going on 36 years,” Jenn Mann, SAS’ vice president of human resources, told the Raleigh News & Observer. “There is nothing new in what we are doing. I think we are just getting recognition because we are a growing, global organization.”

Why these companies top the list: ReadWrite’s Cormac Foster, discussing the survey’s findings with an unnamed federal human resources employee, suggests that the reason tech companies do so well in this study is because they have more competition and therefore up their game. The federal employee explained it like this to Foster: “Part of it might be their lack of legacy, sure. But mostly, I think it’s because they’re used to competing for the best, and they know what that takes. The good ones, like Google, know it takes an actual culture of support, and they’ve built that, as much as that makes my life hard when I have to recruit tech people in California. They’re just ahead of the curve, and most of us have to catch up.”

Advice from a winner: Data management company NetApp, which has been on this list numerous times, is a good model to follow for long-term success. Tom Mendoza, the vice chairman of the company, says NetApp’s path to getting on the list was to focus on being better, using feedback from its employees to achieve this effect. “To be a great company, you have to be proud of what you’re doing, and you have to believe you’re doing it extraordinarily well,” he wrote on Forbes. “You also have to believe you’ve the chance to build a company as good as or better than any other company in the world.”

So, is it a matter of raising your game? Do you need stronger perks? Or are you overthinking it and is it a matter of understanding feedback from your workers?

Let us know what’s worked for you, and what you might take from these tech companies, in the comments.

(Digital Vision/Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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