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Conversation with SAS Institute

Leslie Caccamese

How SAS earned a spot on the 100 Best Companies to Work For® list 16 years in a row

SAS, the leader in business analytics software, is well known for being innovative in workplace culture as well as statistical software. Founded in 1976, SAS has been named a FORTUNE Best Company to Work For® since the list’s inception in 1998, and impressively held the #1 spot in both 2010 and 2011.

Last week we had the chance to speak with the HR team at SAS and discovered the key component to preserving this award-winning workplace culture:

“Our culture is built on trust. We go to great lengths to listen to our employees and to measure their sentiment. They are surveyed on the key characteristics of trust including open communication, respect from employees, transparency into career-paths, and how they are treated. We ask for their input on everything from how financial rewards should be distributed to what new item goes on the salad bar. Everyone has a voice.

We trust our employees by giving them the flexibility to get their job done when they are most inspired and productive. It’s common during the day to see people in the gym or using other campus services, such as attending a Work-Life workshop about parenting.”          

One tactic SAS has employed to increase trust and transparency in the workplace is an internal social media platform referred to as the HUB, where employees can communicate with one another on anything from technical problems to their favorite local dog park. Jim Goodnight, the CEO and Co-founder of SAS often contributes to conversations on the HUB and uses the platform as a way to effectively connect with his team.

In 2013, 27 of the 100 Best Companies had a significant percentage of their employee population residing outside of the US. SAS, with locations all over the world and more than 13,000 employees abroad, is also challenged with maintaining consistency in their corporate culture across borders. The HUB is just one tool used by the HR team to help connect their global workforce:

At each of those offices, you’ll find the same unique culture. Each has trust in our leadership, a common spirit, and a passion for our technology, our customers, and the people we work with. If your employees feel good about their work and their work environment, they are going to make your customers feel good.”          

SAS is an information technology company and “the heart and soul of the company is innovation”. That is why in 2012 they reinvested 25% of their revenue into R&D. No wonder this company understands the value in frequently asking for their employees’ input, and has built a world-class workplace culture as a direct result.

To learn more about the culture at SAS, join us at the Great Place to Work® Conference, April 17-18, 2013 in Los Angeles where SAS will present on The SAS Onboarding Experience: One Chance to Make a Lasting Impression.



Leslie Caccamese serves as Senior Strategic Marketing Manager with Great Place to Work® Institute.
 
 

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