Pay it Forward: What It Means to be a Fortune 100 Best Company to Work For
Last week, after Fortune magazine announced that Hyland Software was named a Fortune 100 Best Company to Work For 2014, I asked some fellow colleagues what that meant to them, personally.
I expected everyone to answer with a favorite perk – the on-site diner, barbershop, fitness center, flex schedules, relaxed dress code and so on.
But that’s not what people talked about. Turns out, for most, material things don’t make Hyland special or successful. They are barely top of mind. No, it is something else entirely.
“The camaraderie and the team-oriented culture make Hyland a great place to work,” Bill Priemer, Hyland Software CEO, told me. “Succeeding as a company is much more fulfilling because it benefits people I genuinely like and care about.”
That’s right. People. Above all else, Hylanders wanted to talk about their friends and co-workers.
The people place
Great companies to work for are often viewed as “great to work for” by employees because of an inclusive environment.
“It’s the people,” says Kathleen Vegh, employee engagement manager. Vegh is responsible for leading the team in corporate environment, wellness, community engagement and culture events and perks. “I love all of the passionate, intelligent, caring and fun people that make up this company – from my wonderful department and team to the new faces I meet every day, it truly is my extended family.”
In other words, twisty slides and pick-up dodge ball games are part of the culture, but not the foundation for what makes a company like Hyland great to work for. Instead they nurture an inclusive environment. Dodge ball, you could say, brings people together.
And, yes, a lot of this “family” talk can seem just like that – a lot of talk. Andrew White, one of Hyland’s exceptional tech support associates, even says the one-team mentality can sound a little cultish.
“But it’s a real thing here,” he says. So real it is one of our core values: Our employees are our family.
“I’ve never had a problem working not only cross-departmentally, but also above my rank,” White adds. That’s important for someone like White, who regularly interacts with customers. “Hyland technical support is unique. We aren’t here only to resolve error messages or provide license response codes. A customer will call in just for help on implementing a new configuration or a question on some functionality they are not familiar with. I think our entire department exemplifies the core value that ‘our customers are our partners.’”
“Our employees are our family.” “Our customers are our partners.” Now we start to see how that inclusive environment – that family talk – extends well beyond a company’s four walls. Being a great company to work for impacts the bottom line.
It inspires the way we interact with our partners, customers and prospects. Just listen to Julie Mizener, Customer Experience project coordinator.
“Hyland cares about employee well-being and constantly looks for ways to improve that,” she says. Mizener’s department ensures Hyland is consistently delivering superior customer experience by being the voice of the customer to Hyland employees.
“We help our customers develop better work-life balance, too. Because people are such a big part of work satisfaction, we help ensure our customers’ organizations are great places to work as well.”
Pay it forward
In a way it all pays forward: work/life balance perks nurture a family environment that influences the way we work with customers. In other words, working for a great company often inspires you to help other companies become great to work for, as well.
Don’t take my word for it, though.
“By my count, more than 10 percent of the Great Companies to Work For list is composed of Hyland customers,” says Shane Winnyk, licensing manager in our Strategy Department. “Perhaps Hyland helps make those companies better companies to work for, too?”