Glassdoor recently announced its sixth annual Employees’ Choice Awards for 2014, honoring the 50 best places to work as chosen by employees. Qualifying companies had to have a minimum of 1,000 employees and 50 approved company reviews on the site. Tech and social media companies were prominently featured on the list, with a strong representation in the top 10.
Why do tech and social media companies rank so high among employees? Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are part of the top five, with software companies Guidewire and Interactive Intelligence placing in the top 10 alongside Google. There are a few reasons that these companies ranked so high.
Age of the workforce
One possible explanation is that tech and social media companies have a very young staff. The median age of workers at Facebook is just 28. Google boasts one extra year of experience, with the media age of its employees being 29.
So what does age have to do with the ranking of an employer? Is it that young people with fewer years of experience in the workplace haven’t yet adopted the cynicism towards Corporate America of their older counterparts? Are twenty-something workers just one promotion pass-over away from turning on their employers? Possibly. But the more likely explanation for companies with a young workforce ranking so high on Glassdoor’s list is because young people are more likely to use online communities like Glassdoor. This gives more weight to young companies in the rankings, making it easier for companies with happy employees like Facebook and Google to reach the top 50 versus companies whose employees are just as happy but older.
Structure of the companies
Social media and tech companies need to be able to adapt quickly to change. Agility and innovation is crucial in the tech space and the organizational structure of successful tech companies tend to reflect that. Frustrating bureaucratic structures that would slow these companies to uncompetitive speeds have been abandoned in favor of flat structures that allow for quicker decision-making and adaptability. Of course, most large companies need to have a little bit of red tape. Larry Page, Google’s CEO, acknowledged that Google needed to reel in some of the bureaucracy that had gotten out of control at the internet giant’s offices. Nevertheless, social media and tech companies tend to have structures that embrace employee contributions and increase job satisfaction through improved task significance and task identity.
Plain and simple, these companies are cool. Their offices are modern, the dress code is casual, and the rec center stocks Guitar Hero. These companies made a conscious effort to be an employer of choice and designed very hip and fun environments in which their staff can thrive. Clearly, their efforts paid off.
Photo credit: Dan Feltcher/Facebook