World-Class Workplaces

 

Blog - China Gorman - October 23, 2014

World-Class Workplaces

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Thanks to the best workplaces, a better world is on the horizon. That’s the hopeful news as Great Place to Work reveals the 4th annual World’s Best Multinational Workplaces.

In announcing the list of the 25 best multinationals, Great Place to Work® also released a new study titled The Dawn of the Great Workplace Era. The report shares our finding that the best workplaces around the world are getting better, and are helping to shepherd in a new, more hopeful economic age.

That is to say, companies like beverage maker Diageo (#20 on the list), are making the world better by creating workplaces where people trust their leaders, take pride in what they do, and feel a sense of camaraderie.

Andy BrennaConsider Andy Brennan, a 43-year-old sales capability manager for Diageo brand Guinness, based in Ireland. Of Brennan’s closest dozen friends, 70 percent are people he met through Diageo. And he loves the way the company — despite operations spread throughout the world — feels like a single team. Brennan says that unity was on display this summer in Ireland when the company opened just the 4th brew house in the 255-year history of Guinness beer. Every Diageo employee in Ireland participated in festivities associated with the event. “We were all so proud and excited to be part of it all,” he says of the official opening, “It was like waiting for Christmas.”

If anything, excitement and team spirit are growing at the best workplaces. Levels of trust at the World’s Best Multinational Workplaces — as measured by our Trust Index© employee survey — have risen over the past four years.

The world’s best workplaces are getting better in large part because their leaders see a high-trust culture as an absolute business imperative today. Here’s how Eduardo Belmont Anderson, CEO of Peru-based cosmetics retailer Belcorp (#5 on the list), talks about the importance of workplace culture. “Creating a great workplace allows us to compete and succeed in today’s fierce talent acquisition battle, it provides us with a competitive advantage that will help us ensure sustainability,” he told us. “We look to stand out among the most prestigious and successful companies in the world, and being a great workplace takes us one big leap towards that goal.”

trustindex wb2014What are the best workplaces doing to improve their cultures? Among other things, they are taking steps to ensure that promotions go to those who best deserve them, to increase transparency and to encourage employees to balance work and life. These are the three Trust Index survey areas that have risen most among the 25 World’s Best Multinational Workplaces since 2011.

In other words, the world’s best workplaces are embracing the global wellbeing movement that has people in many countries seeking to reduce harmful stress levels. And top workplaces are showing themselves comfortable with the heightened transparency and information sharing that are hallmarks of the social technology and self-disclosure trends of the past decade or so.

Great workplaces also are in tune with people’s desire for purpose and meaning. In a number of cases, that means providing ways for people to give back to the community. EMC (#18 on the list) recently revamped its volunteer service programs so that every employee has three days a year to donate their time to causes they care about. The company also has focused attention on the issues of water and food. Earlier this year, EMC employees, customers and partners raised more than $300,000 to build wells in Africa to provide access to clean water. In connection with this charitable work, hundreds of the company’s employees participated in “water walks,” carrying 40-pound cans of water to experience what is a routine task for many people who must walk miles for water.

More uplifting experiences for employees are on the horizon. We at Great Place to Work believe the world is at the beginning of what we call the Great Workplace Era. A time when all people can expect to work at a workplace defined by trust, pride and camaraderie. Despite much gloomy news about workplaces these days, this sunnier era is emerging thanks to factors including the rise of balance-minded, meaning-seeking millennials, increased transparency into organizations, and mounting evidence that high-trust cultures lead to better business results.

These factors are propelling organizations across the globe to increase their levels of trust. The best workplaces are also affected by the forces behind the Great Workplace Era. At the same time, they are serving as the vanguard of the movement toward better workplace cultures. In other words, the world’s best are leading the way to a more hopeful future.

China Gorman