What caught my eye was the fact that only 37 companies from 147,071 received a 5 star ranking from their employees. While this is an extremely high bar, I expected there would be more companies achieving this top-level status.
Of the 37, almost half (16) are headquartered in our region of the US, the Silicon Valley. I believe there are a number of reasons for this:
- Silicon Valley is still the benchmark for innovation, new ideas and disruptive business models. That mix can be an intoxicating environment for the right type of people, people that really want to change the world. From my experience working with companies to become more customer centric, one thing that is often lacking is a compelling vision and strategic alignment around that vision. In general people are interested in being part of something bigger than themselves and certainly the powerful entrepreneurial visions in silicon valley fit the bill.
- A second reason is the valley has always been ahead of the curve in how work actually gets done, the tech companies were the first to introduce remote working (although some have since reversed this trend as the right levels of social bonds among workers does need to be in place for remote working to be effective “See Yahoo”). Regardless the underlying theme behind this is empowerment, flexibility where getting things done matters more than politics and busy work. People respond well to being given flexibility and the tools to get their work done.
- Thirdly, by there very nature start-up businesses are customer centric, they are solving a problem that either no one has solved before or doing it in a way that is 10 times better that the current options available. This creates alignment with customers and a compelling value proposition that excites and motivates people.
- Finally, Silicon Valley is collaborative by nature, there are diverse pools of talent with different cultural and social backgrounds coming together with a single purpose to solve difficult problems with technology
These factors combine and attract world-class entrepreneurs, which through their vision and leadership create insanely exciting companies.
These companies by their nature have to create unique and valuable customer experiences around their core product or service to stand out and be different. This drive to do this requires teamwork, personal development and hard work, some of the attributes cited by employees as reasons they like working for these firms in the chart below:
The bottom line is without passionate, engaged and excited employees you cannot have passionate, engaged and excited customers.