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How to be the world’s best place to work - from the world’s best workplace

How to be the world's best workplace. Source: Getty

Nabbing a 4.8-star staff review on Glassdoor is tough work - and being crowned the best workplace for millennials in 2019 is even tougher. 

But multibillion-dollar US-based software company, HubSpot, has managed to get it done.

HubSpot was founded by MIT graduates Brian and Dharmesh, on the basis of the ‘inbound movement’, which empowers businesses to return their focus to the customer. 

But it’s not just the customer HubSpot focuses on - it’s the staff too. 

“We have two major commitments,” chief people officer Katie Burke told Yahoo Finance.

“The first is to our customers - the customer code - and the second is to our employees - our culture code, which has been viewed over 4 million times [on SlideShare] globally.”

And it’s this emphasis on keeping a happy workplace that’s helped HubSpot stand out in the market competitively, Burke said. 

So how do they do it?

Think about staff needs like a product

Burke, who views herself as a product manager rather than her actual title, says attending to staff needs is much like developing a new product. 

“I’m always thinking about what’s working, what isn’t, what we can tweak and how we can make changes. We’re listening to feedback about what’s working on each level - team by team,” she said. 

“Companies need to think about and treat their culture like they would a new product line. Obsess over it, and put the same amount of effort and focus into creating happy employees that they would create happy customers.”

A notable way HubSpot set out to create happy employees was by becoming the best place to work for women. 

Staff provided feedback that they wanted more programmes for women, so they initiated the Women on Board program, which trains employees at the highest and lowest levels to think about being at a board level. 

Then, they sought to diversify their own board, adding three women to it. 

Taking it one step further, they subsidised fertility benefits for women. 

Ask for your staff’s feedback

Seeking staff feedback seems obvious, but businesses often fail to act on the feedback they receive.

“We do quarterly surveys for all of our employees across the world, and then we share the raw comments with the whole company,” Burke said.

“We talk about what’s not working and what we’re going to do to fix it, and then we publish an action plan around what we’re going to do.

“So I think what you're seeing on Glassdoor is really a result of that day to day effort to improve on our product and what we deliver for employees.”

And if your business is finding it tough to get workers to engage in surveys, it could be because they don’t feel like they’ll get a result. 

“I think the assumption around employee surveys is that employees don't care, and I don't think that's true,” Burke said. 

“We try and make it super clear to them that it’s worth their time and energy and effort. And the best way to do that is by publishing all their answers and then taking the feedback really on board and taking action with it.”

Be transparent

Being transparent with your staff as well as future candidates and even customers is key, Burke said. 

“We believe that the choice of where to work is one of the most important decisions people make on a regular basis, and oftentimes the only information you have to make that decision is the career their jobs website, which tends to be like brochure. So instead, we're really transparent about the things we do well, but also about what we stand for as a company,” Burke said.

“I think one of the most innovative elements of the culture code is that it's explicit about who we are and who we're not.”

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