Talking tech since 2003

While sometimes replaceable, an enterprise’s workforce is truly its most important asset.  Without a strong, motivated, and weathered workforce, a company cannot survive.  For this reason, companies large and small often try to make their workplaces enjoyable and comfortable for their employees in hopes that a desirable workplace will lead to higher levels of innovation and productivity – and ultimately a greater success for the company.  In a sense this is a win-win for both the employer, who sees a higher return on investment, and the employee who can look forward to going to work each and every day.

GlassDoor is a site where employees come together to rate their employers and workplace environment in order to give potential job-seekers a better understanding of the culture behind a company.  Based on results from a recent survey, GlassDoor has recognized Facebook as the best large-scale employer to work for – beating other large and prestigious companies such as Google, which came in at number 30 in the survey.

While it may be simple enough to chuck this result up to the fact that a Facebook employee can safely utilize the social networking site at work without getting a death-stare from their supervisor, the reviews of Facebook as an employer really tell a tale of an open-minded and innovative company; one that cherishes their workers and allows for unorthodox thinking.

One reviewer writes that working for Facebook “is all about cooperation, not competition.”  Anyone who works in a highly-competitive workplace has likely experienced the stress that can be brought on by inner-workplace competition.  In Facebook’s case, I feel that their friendly and non-competitive environment allows users to collaborate and share ideas without the risk of being looked down upon.  More importantly, eliminating the competition within the workplace also eliminates the waste of time involved with said competition.  This means that Facebook as a whole is able to focus on competing amongst other social networks as apposed to their teammates.

Going hand-in-hand with the lack of competitiveness between colleagues, reviews of Facebook also shed light on the overall open atmosphere that the company gives to its employees.  One reviewer writes that employees are encouraged to fix problems and make improvements on their own.  This reviewer even takes it a step further in saying that employees are given the “[f]reedom to think outside the box. In fact, there is no box.”  Personally, I feel that this is one of the best things that Facebook can do for their employees and for their overall venture.  By not limiting the creativity on the employees, Facebook creates an unlimited number of possibilities and opportunities for their employers.  These “ideas”, which are seen from the viewpoints of multiple employees who work hands-on with the social networking site are surely a key component in Facebook’s constant drive of innovation.

And of course, one contributor was absolutely shameless in pointing out three of the best perks to working for Facebook; “[f]ree food, dry cleaning, [and] snacks.”  Combined with another review that spoke highly of employee compensation, and it’s easy to see that Facebook takes good care of their employees.

With all of the positive feedback by Facebook employees, I personally wondered why Google had scored so low.  After all, Google is notorious for their free food, child care, gym service, and overall positive atmosphere.  However, Google employees have shared some less-than flattering opinions about the company.  One reviewer stated that “the reality of being in a fast-growing highly innovative company is more work than in a slower paced environment”, while another flat-out listed Google’s being a large company as a downside to working there.

At the end of the day, I applaud Facebook’s open environment and the power that it gives each and every one of its staff members.  I honestly feel that this type of administration will help to further develop Facebook into an even bigger enterprise in the years to come, and will be directly responsible for a great deal of Facebook’s innovations.  At the same time, I am worried that Facebook’s open atmosphere will eventually be polluted by the bureaucracy and hierarchy that growing companies fall to all too often.

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