Great Place to Work® just announced the 100 best workplaces in Europe in 2012. They have been making these lists since 2003 and this year more than 1.500 companies from 18 countries participated in the contest.
Multinational companies, middle-sized and small companies have their own lists. The good news is that a Finnish company called Futurice gained the first prize in the category of small and middle-sized companies. What is so special in them? Or in general: what makes an excellent workplace?
I’ve been pondering this question a lot during the last couple of months, as I’ve been thinking of my future (working) life and where I’d like to see myself. I’ve also noticed quite a few things at my current and previous jobs that could be developed or done in another way – well, each and every workplace has its pros and cons.
I certainly agree! Trust is the key issue – like in any relationship. Without trust there’s nothing. Talking with my friends about their work experiences, I would say in most of the workplaces the trust missing or at least is not on the level where it should be. The boss doesn’t trust his employees, who get frustrated and feel that they are treated like children. For return, they don’t trust the boss and think that he has bad intentions. This is where everything fails. If you’re not being trusted, you don’t feel ownership of the company and in the end nobody wants to take responsability of anything. And that’s really bad.
As to Futurice, sure the employees enjoy some special benefits there like having breakfast together once a week, a billiard board and, naturally, a sauna at the office. All these are nice examples of taking the employee’s wellbeing seriously, but of course the true reasons of success lie behind the surface.
One Futurice employee comments that important aspects are the open culture and that you don’t have to be a boss to be able to influence in things. Another employee says that the company has a great spirit of doing things. Sure: things get done fast when you have motivated workers!
Openness, innovatiness, love. For Futurice these 3 things are considered essential for leading a company. Sounds good to me.