They have claimed the top spot for the third time, but have ranked on the list for eight years straight. Not only are they one of the most influential companies in this decade, but they've somehow made it a great place to work. Besides the Disneyland-esque food affair, Facebook knows how to take care of their employees beyond the good benefits and the prestigious title.
So, how did Facebook become such a lovable workplace? Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, says this in her latest interview:
"We try to shift the focus onto strengths and spend more of our time identifying what people are good at and finding jobs for them that play to their strengths."
Instead of creating a role for people to fit into, Sandberg is all about starting with a role and having that role mold to their employees' strengths. This is a smart move because growth is the one thing we can count on. If we box people up into a job description listicle, they will feel like they're not impacting the company or bettering themselves.
In addition, Sandberg mentions one more hiring secret that separates Facebook from the rest:
"We believe that skills are more important than experience."
This is absolutely key. When people are hired for their grit and adaptability, then companies can truly flourish to unpredictable heights. Of course, basic experience is necessary, but it's the translation of one skill to another category that can help an employer create a really special work environment.
Hiring and recruiting is key to developing a unique and enjoyable workplace, but when things get serious, Sandberg says that criticism is okay (and expected) in a workplace. What matters is how everyone approaches and receives it:
"We try live that we all are trying to get better and we need to be open to feedback so that feedback can flow."
At the end of the day, she knows that everyone is different. They have different opinions. They have different experiences. It doesn't matter. In fact, that's what makes a team so unique. When it comes to creating and innovating, it's the unique ability for the team to handle these differences and voices in a respectful way that sets Facebook apart from the rest.
If you're looking to implement these cultural values into your company, remember that it all starts with you.
1. Know exactly what qualities you're looking for in an employee.
It starts with the interview. Perhaps you've already established a team, but keep this in mind if you ever think of bringing on someone new. Although Sandberg's tips above sound simple, they can't be implemented if an employee doesn't have the same outlook. Prepare several questions or activities that can help you understand how they view the world.
2. Be open to changes and an open-minded role shift, but internally, have structure.
Although I love that Sandberg mentions that she molds roles to an employee's strength, this could get out of hand without proper protocol. On the outside, live this truth because it will definitely help you build a stronger team.
On the inside, know exactly what this structure looks like. What does a "strength" look like and how will you know it's time for them to evolve into a new role? How do you react if they believe they have a strength but you feel like they're not ready to take on that responsibility? Creating structure here will make it flow much better.
3. Create a proper feedback loop.
It's human nature to not take negative feedback well. We feel emotions of rejection and inadequacy, which can be totally valid if the feedback is given in harsh way. Now, you don't have to baby your employees, but instead, teach them to give criticism in an effective manner. Then, have a standard protocol in which this feedback is given, received, and acted upon.