10 companies with employee feedback running through their culture
In today’s dynamic business landscape, the most successful companies are those that listen, adapt, and evolve based on the feedback of their most valuable asset: their employees. So today, as we delve into the world of corporate culture, we’ll uncover ten exemplary companies that have seamlessly woven employee feedback into the very fabric of their operations. From tech giants to innovative startups, these organizations have harnessed the power of feedback to drive growth, foster innovation, and create workplaces where employees don’t just work—they thrive.
Let’s start by getting right into the story of Mastercard, and discussing their journey to enhance employee engagement through feedback – but keep reading, as we have a whole bunch of case studies for you to learn from.
1. Mastercard: A masterclass in coaching for impact
Mastercard, the multinational financial services giant, recognized the need to elevate their organizationalculture. And so, they sought the expertise of performance consultants, to design a global-scale coaching program. The aim? To infuse coaching into the organization’s DNA, foster a culture of performance feedback, and ultimately, boost performance and employee engagement.
Ajaypal Singh Banga, the CEO of Mastercard, encapsulated the company’s ethos here, with his words: “You can change the entire look and feel of a company by making people realise they are not empowered to say no, they are empowered to say ‘yes, if…’ This changes the bureaucracy, the culture, the passion, the purpose. It changes everything.”
The challenge for Mastercard was clear. In their pursuit of “competing to win”, managers and leaders at Mastercard needed to seamlessly integrate coaching skills and behaviors into their management style. The Global Management Development Lead at Mastercard envisioned a coaching journey for their leaders that would meet them where they were, explore their strengths, address areas of growth, and most importantly, instil the critical feedback skills they were seeking. The ultimate goal? To enhance employee engagement and track progress through their annual Employee Engagement Survey.
Performance Consultants took a hands-on approach. They meticulously analyzed the annual Employee Engagement Survey, which served as a barometer for how well Mastercard was engaging its workforce. The survey touched upon various facets like Feedback, Teamwork, Communication, Opportunities for Growth, and more. Based on this, a tailored coach training program named “Coaching for Impact” was developed. This program was designed to equip managers with essential coaching skills, with a special emphasis on feedback.
The results were telling. Once all managers underwent the training, the subsequent Employee Engagement Survey showcased improvements across the board, especially in the feedback domain. And the cherry on top? After the completion of the “Coaching for Impact” training, Mastercard earned recognition from Forbes as one of the best companies to work for.
Now, maybe we don’t all have the budget or the resources to hire a professional consulting team in order to radically redesign our company-wide approach to coaching. But Mastercard’s journey still underscores the transformative power of feedback – and this is something we can all adopt, in our own way. By actively seeking it, valuing it, and acting upon it, companies can foster a culture where employees feel heard, valued, and engaged.
2. e&: A symphony of pulse feedback and active learning
Meet e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group), a global tech and investment conglomerate that’s been around for over four decades. With roots in Abu Dhabi, they’ve spread their wings across 16 countries, spanning the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. But what’s truly impressive about e& isn’t just their expansive reach; it’s their unwavering commitment to keeping their employees at the heart of their strategy.
Historically, e& relied on third-party surveys to gauge employee engagement. But they soon realised that this annual ritual was a tad too slow and clunky. They wanted real-time, meaningful insights into how their employees felt throughout the year.
Enter LinkedIn’s “Employee Voices” powered by Glint. This tool allowed e& to conduct quarterly pulse surveys, giving them a more frequent and clear snapshot of employee sentiments. And the results? Between their first and second pulses, response rates leapt from 71% to 82%. This uptick was attributed to growing trust in the survey and tangible positive changes made based on the initial feedback.
But e& didn’t just stop at gathering feedback. They acted on it. They established a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) think tank, bringing together voices from all backgrounds and levels within the company. This initiative was instrumental in shaping their DEI strategy, ensuring that every voice mattered.
Moreover, e& used the feedback to pinpoint learning needs and skill gaps. They then directed employees to LinkedIn Learning, allowing them to upskill or reskill at their own pace. Managers played a pivotal role in this, recommending courses that would bolster their teams’ skills and performance.
So, what can we glean from e&’s journey? First, feedback isn’t just about collecting data; it’s about acting on it. Second, when employees see their feedback leading to real change, trust and engagement soar. And lastly, continuous learning and development, fueled by feedback, can be a game-changer in driving a company’s success.
3. Sogolytics: Crafting a culture of constructive feedback
Sogolytics, a company that specializes in employee engagement and feedback, understands the profound impact of feedback on company culture and ROI. They believe that employee retention is the bedrock of a healthy ROI. The journey of an employee, from the interview stage to their exit, plays a pivotal role in determining their satisfaction level. Emotions stemming from constructive feedback can significantly influence the dynamics of the workplace.
Sogolytics emphasizes the importance of teamwork, project collaboration, and joint endeavours in job tasks. They recognize that positive feedback fosters an environment of encouragement, while negative feedback serves as an alert that things might be veering off course. Feedback, in their view, is a tool to regulate the emotional energy within an organization. It can be empowering, or if mishandled, can lead to discontent.
The company offers a plethora of employee feedback examples, highlighting the importance of recognizing achievements, pinpointing strengths, and addressing problematic behavior. For instance, when an employee excels in a project, they advocate for open praise, reinforcing the positive behaviors that led to the success. On the flip side, when challenges arise, they emphasize the need for support and constructive feedback to help employees navigate rough patches.
From Sogolytics’ approach, we can glean several insights:
– Feedback is multifaceted: It’s not just about pointing out flaws. It’s about recognizing achievements, addressing challenges, and guiding employees towards better performance.
– Timely feedback matters: Addressing issues or achievements as they arise can have a profound impact on employee morale and performance.
– Constructive criticism is key: When challenges arise, it’s essential to approach feedback with a constructive mindset, offering solutions rather than just highlighting problems.
In essence, Sogolytics showcases that a culture built around constructive feedback can significantly boost employee engagement, satisfaction, and ultimately, company ROI.
4. Netflix: A culture of excellence and daily feedback
Netflix, the global streaming giant, has always been about more than just binge-worthy shows and movies. At its core, Netflix believes in the power of storytelling to evoke emotions, from laughter to tears. But what’s equally compelling is the story behind its unique workplace culture.
Netflix’s ethos revolves around creating an “unusual employee culture.” They believe that what sets them apart is the emphasis they place on:
1. Encouraging decision-making by employees.
2. Openly and broadly sharing information.
3. Direct and candid communication.
4. Retaining only the most effective individuals.
5. Avoiding unnecessary rules.
For Netflix, it’s all about “people over process.” They aim to assemble a “dream team” where every member is extraordinary at what they do and is effective in collaboration. This dream team is not about perks or seniority; it’s about performance. They liken it to a professional sports team, where the focus is on excellence and collaboration, rather than tenure.
One of the standout aspects of Netflix’s culture is its approach to feedback. At Netflix, feedback isn’t an annual ritual; it’s a daily practice. They recognize that giving and receiving feedback can be challenging, but like any habit, it becomes easier with practice. They invest time in coaching employees on how to provide constructive feedback and emphasize the importance of trust in this process. This continuous feedback loop is seen as a way to strengthen the team, ensuring that everyone is aligned with the company’s goals and values.
Netflix’s culture is also about taking ownership. They want their employees to feel a sense of responsibility towards the company, akin to picking up trash at home. It’s about doing what’s best for Netflix, fostering a sense of care and commitment.
From Netflix’s journey, we can glean a few key takeaways:
– Feedback is continuous: It’s not a once-a-year event but an ongoing dialogue that helps align everyone with the company’s vision.
– Empower employees: Giving employees the freedom to make decisions fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility.
– Value performance over tenure: It’s not about how long someone has been with the company, but how effectively they contribute.
In essence, Netflix showcases that a culture built around continuous feedback, empowerment, and performance can drive a company to global success.
5. Quora: Pro-active mentoring and peer-reviewed projects
You’ll have no doubt come across Quora several times in your life – after all, it’s a platform that aims to answer our most pressing questions. But did you know that Quora’s internal culture is as intriguing as the platform itself?
Quora, the renowned question-and-answer platform, has always been about disseminating knowledge. But internally, the company has built a culture that emphasizes continuous learning and feedback. For Quora, knowledge isn’t just about answering questions on their platform; it’s about fostering a work environment where employees are constantly learning and improving.
From day one, new hires at Quora are paired with senior mentors. This mentorship isn’t just a fleeting orientation phase; it’s an ongoing relationship that ensures every employee has someone to turn to for guidance, feedback, and support. This mentorship system is a testament to Quora’s belief in the power of collective wisdom.
But Quora doesn’t stop at mentorship. They’ve cultivated a feedback-rich environment where peers regularly review each other’s work. This isn’t just about catching errors or ensuring quality; it’s about fostering a culture where feedback is seen as a tool for growth. Continuous feedback ensures that improvements are consistent and that every employee feels valued and involved in the company’s evolution.
This feedback-driven culture aligns perfectly with Quora’s ethos of continuous deployment. In a world where tech platforms are constantly evolving, Quora recognizes the importance of agility and adaptability. By fostering a culture of feedback, they ensure that their team is always ready to adapt, innovate, and move forward.
6. ServiceNow: Cultivating a culture of camaraderie and inclusivity
ServiceNow might be in the tech domain, but its approach to culture is refreshingly human-centric. Recognizing the profound impact each individual has on the company’s vibe, especially in a smaller setting, ServiceNow places a premium on inclusivity and camaraderie.
One of the standout aspects of ServiceNow’s culture is its emphasis on embracing customers as part of their community. It’s not just about delivering a service; it’s about building relationships. So much so, that they have a delightful tradition of baking a cake every time a new customer goes live. It’s these little acts that showcase the company’s commitment to celebrating milestones, no matter how small.
But it’s not just about external relationships. Internally, ServiceNow sponsors team outings ranging from karaoke nights to baseball games, ensuring that new hires feel welcomed and integrated into the company’s fabric. They understand the importance of shared experiences in building bonds. In fact, when an employee once opted to bring lunch from home while others ate out, the team decided to bring their lunch back to the office, ensuring everyone could dine together. It’s these gestures that underscore ServiceNow’s commitment to inclusivity.
What truly sets ServiceNow apart, however, is its hiring approach. Instead of solely focusing on traditional metrics like education and experience, the company actively seeks out non-traditional candidates. This means hiring individuals with diverse backgrounds, from teaching and firefighting to philosophy. It’s a testament to their belief that diverse perspectives enrich the company culture and drive innovation.
So, what does this have to do with feedback? Well, feedback isn’t always about giving people your opinion on how they are performing – it’s often about positive reinforcement in the way you respond to their actions. When that group of employees decided to dine together with that one lone employee? That was feedback that said “you’re a great person, and we like eating with you”
So if you want to take a few lessons from ServiceNow’s culture, we’d say it’s this:
– Inclusivity is paramount: When you include people, you’re reminding them that they matter – that’s a type of feedback worth its weight in gold. Whether it’s ensuring everyone feels part of lunchtime or embracing non-traditional hires, ServiceNow goes the extra mile to ensure everyone feels included.
– Celebrate the small qins: When you celebrate success, you’re feeding back the message: “We saw what you did – and it was great”. From baking cakes for new customers to organizing team outings, ServiceNow understands the power of celebrating both big and small milestones.
– Diversity drives innovation: When you search far and wide for diverse candidates, the feedback you’re giving them is that they were worth the search. By valuing diverse backgrounds and experiences, ServiceNow fosters a culture that’s ripe for innovation and growth.
In essence, ServiceNow showcases that a tech company can have a heart and give the subtle feedback that matters, by emphasizing human connections, inclusivity, and the power of diverse perspectives.
7. Imprivata: A culture of diverse backgrounds and unique talents
Imprivata stands out not just for its innovative security solutions, but also for its unconventional approach to building its team. While many tech companies might focus on traditional metrics like education and experience, Imprivata looks beyond the resume.
Jacob Venard, the director of customer success at Imprivata, emphasizes the importance of focusing on the individual and their abilities rather than just their past experiences. This approach gives Imprivata a significant advantage in the tech industry. Instead of sticking to the usual tech candidate pool, Imprivata actively seeks out non-traditional candidates. This means hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those with experience in teaching, firefighting, and even philosophy. Joel Burleson-Davis, Vice President of Technology at Imprivata, for instance, has a background in philosophy, ethics, ancient languages, history, and Greek.
This unique hiring approach has cultivated a rich and diverse company culture. By valuing diverse perspectives and experiences, Imprivata fosters an environment where innovation thrives. Different backgrounds bring different problem-solving approaches, leading to more creative and effective solutions.
But taking such an outside-lane approach means that feedback becomes a key part of making the culture work. When a person doesn’t fit the textbook description for the job, they may need a little extra feedback and positive confirmation to remind them that they’re on the right path – something that Imprivata has shown to do exceptionally well.
8. Envato: A digital marketplace with a heart for feedback
Envato, a global community for creatives, has always been a beacon of innovation, not just in the digital marketplace but also in its approach to employee feedback. With a sprawling team spread across different continents, the challenge was to ensure that every voice, no matter how distant, was heard.
Envato’s approach to feedback was both systematic and empathetic. They used regular employee engagement surveys to gauge the pulse of their workforce. But more than just collecting data, they acted on it. When feedback indicated areas of improvement, they didn’t just make a note; they made a change. This proactive approach ensured that employees felt valued and heard, fostering a culture of trust and open communication.
The results? A highly engaged workforce, lower turnover rates, and a company that consistently ranks among the best places to work. Their commitment to feedback has not only improved their internal culture but has also driven business success. After all, a happy employee often translates to a happy customer.
For companies looking to emulate Envato’s success, the lesson is clear: feedback isn’t just about collecting data; it’s about listening, understanding, and most importantly, acting. In a world where businesses often chase numbers, Envato stands as a testament to the power of genuine human connection.
9. Stratis Industries: Cultivating a positive corporate culture with feedback as a foundation
Stratis Industries, a growing manufacturing company located in rural Wisconsin, is a shining example of a business that takes its corporate culture seriously. They understand that a company’s culture, which encompasses its values, ethics, vision, behaviors, and work environment, plays a pivotal role in everything from public image to employee engagement and retention.
Of course, culture is a hazy word to many – there isn’t a single magic ingredient that “makes” a culture. Stratis Industries, therefore, recognizes that various factors influence its culture, from values and behaviors to economic trends and company size. They also understand the quantifiable impact of a positive culture. After all, research indicates that employees who love their jobs are more productive and invested in the company’s success. In fact, a positive culture can lead to better employee retention, improved hiring decisions, higher performance quality, and a more favorable company reputation.
As part of Stratis Industries’ culture ethos, they believe in a few key ideas:
– Communication: Stratis emphasizes open, two-way communication at all organizational levels. Recognizing individual and company achievements is a part of this.
– Opportunities for growth: The company invests in employee development and training, ensuring opportunities for both professional and financial advancement.
– Clear vision & mission: Every employee understands the company’s purpose and goals.
– Leadership: Stratis’s leadership values its employees, showing appreciation, trustworthiness, and effective communication.
– Teamwork: Collaboration is encouraged, fostering unity and camaraderie.
– Good values: The company has a clear set of core values and professional standards, which include respect, trust, innovation, and communication.
Stratis also believes in feedback as a foundation. Which is why they foster an open, communicative atmosphere through regular meetings, performance reviews, and open-door policies. They also utilise employee surveys to gather genuine feedback. Positive feedback is warmly received, but the company views negative feedback as an opportunity for change and improvement.
In fact, so strong is their belief in feedback as a foundation, that Stratis recently conducted an open-answer, anonymous survey among its employees, touching on various topics, including the core components mentioned above. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with employees praising the company’s communication style, growth opportunities, leadership strengths, teamwork emphasis, and values. And as the company has grown, this feedback has proved invaluable for Stratis, allowing them to further enhance their positives and address areas of improvement.
10. Buffer: A high-communication remote work pioneer with employee wellbeing at its core
Buffer, the social media management platform, has been making waves not just for its product but for its unique approach to company culture. Imagine a company where everyone works remotely, scattered across the globe, yet they all feel connected, valued, and motivated. That’s Buffer for you!
Now, it might not seem so crazy to have a company made entirely of remote workers. But what makes Buffer the exception to most, is that it has been fully remote since its inception – i.e. before it became the norm.
One of the most important parts of making this successful, has by far been about keeping a constant feedback loop open with team members, in order to truly understand their needs and provide a culture that clicks.
One such example of a policy that they implemented due to their excellent focus on internal communication, is a policy that comes as part of their commitment to work-life balance. And that’s that they offer a “no questions asked” vacation policy with unlimited sick days. And they’re not just for show; Buffer actively encourages its employees to take time off, even setting a minimum of 15 days off per year. It’s not just about getting work done; it’s about ensuring that every employee feels rested, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle challenges head-on.
The results? A team that’s not only dedicated to the company’s mission but also feels valued, listened to, and empowered. Buffer’s approach to remote work, feedback and employee wellbeing offers a lesson for all: trust your employees, listen to their needs, prioritize their wellbeing, and watch them thrive.
What we can learn from all of these examples
As we reflect on our journey through these ten companies, a few golden threads emerge.
First, open communication is paramount. Whether it’s through regular surveys, town hall meetings, or casual coffee chats, these companies have created platforms where every voice matters.
Second, it’s not just about collecting feedback—it’s about acting on it. From Buffer’s emphasis on work-life balance to Stratis Industries’ commitment to positive corporate culture, the real magic happens when feedback is transformed into actionable change.
Lastly, trust is the cornerstone. When employees feel trusted and valued, they’re more engaged, more productive, and more loyal.
As we step into the future, let these lessons be a beacon, guiding us towards creating workplaces that resonate with respect, trust, and continuous growth.