Welcoming cultures and string bonds shine at Europe's best
Great Place to Work is a global analytical authority on building and sustaining high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Using our 30 years of research with thousands of companies in more than 50 countries around the globe, we work with leading companies to build cultures that bolster long-term business strategies and nurture environments where people bring their best selves to work. We recognize outstanding organizations on our annual national, regional, and global best workplaces lists, including this year’s Best Workplaces in Europe.
Our 2018 Europe list comprises 19 countries:
These countries represent a diverse mix of cultures, socioeconomics, and political environments. However, we’ve seen this year that despite the differences, there are a few key factors common to Europe’s Best Workplaces that transcend geographic boundaries.
A WARM WELCOME AND FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT
Our research shows that employees at this year’s Best Workplaces in Europe agree that their workplaces made them feel welcome from day one. In fact, 96% of survey respondents at the 125 Best say that when people join their organizations, they are made to feel welcome. This extends far beyond the first impression, too. Ninety-five percent of employees say that their company is a friendly place to work. As one employee from conference hotelier Schindlerhof Kobjoll GmbH, #15 on the Best Small & Medium list in Europe, notes, "We are a family with a unique cohesion in which everybody is able to develop freely and gets support from the community."
One great example of a tight-knit workforce is this year’s #1 Best Multinational Workplace in Europe, Salesforce, which is well-known for cultivating its Ohana, or family, culture. As the company shares on its website, “Ohana represents the idea that families — blood-related, adopted, or intentional — are bound together, and that family members are responsible for one another.” This idea of family permeates throughout the company’s practices but starts as soon as people join the company. Salesforce recruits Aloha Ambassadors to welcome new people and set the tone of togetherness. Selected from a pool of their longest-tenured employees and other passionate employees, Aloha Ambassadors bleed Salesforce blue and have a proven track record of success at the company. They demonstrate an ardent desire to help immerse new hires in the culture and instill their values in people joining their rapidly growing Ohana. They are an integral part of the success of both “Day 1” and “Becoming Salesforce” new-hire events, welcoming people as they arrive, presenting stories about their experience and how they live the Salesforce values, and hosting volunteer activities and end-of-day happy hours.
Salesforce employees in the Netherlands keep the camaraderie alive.
Another way to facilitate this type of strong team cohesion is through providing avenues that allow people to share their own stories and connect on a human level. At the German-based IT consultancy, viadee, which ranks #43 on Europe's Small & Medium category, employees are encouraged to get to know one another through the Authentic Video Portraits campaign. This series invites people to film themselves in their daily work routines and to participate in interviews. People across all ages, tenures, and roles have starred in the video series that has garnered extremely positive feedback.
In Norway, IT company Webstep, #44 on the Small & Medium list, extends the family feeling to employees’ actual families. Webstep acknowledges that work is a part of life, and life is a part of work. They believe that they only have each employee “on loan,” meaning that the job is not the whole life of the employee. Webstep involves the employees’ families in several events throughout the year, including a trip to Lisbon and the company’s annual cabin trip.
Key drivers for people feeling that their company makes new joiners feel welcome
This table illustrates the key drivers in people feeling that their company makes new joiners feel welcome. One of the strongest drivers is the Trust Index© statement, “There is a family or team feeling here.”
Key drivers in people feeling that their company is a friendly place to work
This table illustrates the key drivers in people feeling that their company is a friendly place to work. One of the strongest drivers is the Trust Index© statement, “People care about each other here.”
Creating cultures where people feel cared for by their peers and their leaders is essential to driving a great workplace environment. Focusing on building strong bonds within and across teams helps people bring their best selves to work, and ultimately, bring their best work to deliver success for the organization.
BETTER FOR BUSINESS, BETTER FOR PEOPLE, BETTER FOR THE WORLD
The companies on the 2018 Best Workplaces in Europe list serve as yet another example that when organizations do the right thing for their people, their people will do the right thing for their companies. This virtuous cycle of caring relationships and impactful work serves as a model for companies all over the world. We congratulate the 125 outstanding organizations for their unwavering commitment to creating great workplaces that serve their employees, their clients, and their communities.