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People Geekly #66

Issue No. 66, brought to you by Culture Amp
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This is the sixty-sixth issue of Culture Amp's weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around.

 Tweet of the week (2.5 sec)

"I’ve never thought of work as work and play as play – to me, it’s all living."

Richard branson  (@richardbranson)

Google’s SVP of People Operations, Lazlo Bock, recently revealed that there are only two important ways of retaining the best people at your org. According to Bock, people will stick around because of the quality of people they work with and the feeling that the work they do is meaningful. At Google, every candidate is screened by their potential boss, potential coworkers, a hiring committee and CEO Larry Page. This is how they make sure they are hiring only high-quality people. Google also found that people will stay with a company that makes them feel like what they do has meaning.  The company is famous for its perks, but discovered that is not the main reason people stay.

Workplace design influence on culture (4 min)

Exploring how the physical spaces in which we work can reflect our workplace culture, this article focuses on Facebook, Airbnb, and Ademco Security Group as examples. While Facebook and Airbnb take the time to design their workspaces to reflect their values, Ademco has chosen to spend that money on company outings. The pros and cons of each company’s choice are discussed. 

Culture at Pixar (18 min)

In this interview, Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, answers questions on staying creative, taking risks, confronting fear, understanding failure and company culture. Catmull speaks to the challenge of truly understanding company culture as a new employee and how management at Pixar keeps culture top-of-mind saying, “Today, much of our senior leadership’s time is spent making sure our values are deeply embedded at every level of our organization. It is very challenging—but necessary for us to continue making great movies.”

After Molly Graham joined Facebook, she teamed up with Sheryl Sandberg and Lori Goler to create an honest, functional, fair and transparent system for compensation and equity. She believes being as transparent as possible when it comes to people’s pay is key. “You can't be transparent if you're not paying fair, and if you are, there's no reason to not be transparent,” she says. Graham says people will always find out what their coworkers are making, so having a known formulaic pay scale will help cut down on employee resentment. She says raises should be once a year, and dealt accordingly. But even before paychecks and pay raises, she says that compensation shouldn’t be the main reason anyone wants to work for your company - they should want to work there because they believe in the cause. 

In a somewhat contrary point of view to the above article, HBR author Tim Low takes a look at companies that have been much more successful using a system of compensation that rewards employees based on performance. Low cites results from a 2015 Payscale survey that shows 81% of the top-performing companies use some form of pay-for-performance practices.  He suggests broad pay increases don’t help with people retention because people who actually worked harder get the same increase as those who don’t. It rewards the average the same as the exceptional, thus acting as an insult to the exceptional. When adopting a dynamic payscale however, he suggests these tips: Start with market rate; identify the people you can’t live without; establish performance metrics and train managers.


We’ve got a lot of People Geekups planned for 2016. If you’d like to host a People Geekup in your city in 2016, reply to this email and we will be in touch.

Philadelphia on April 6th.
San Francisco on April 12th.

If any of the events are sold out, make sure to grab a waitlist ticket as we’re looking to expand some of the venues.

Check out back issues of the Geekly and other things going on at Culture Amp over at our Blog and PeopleGeeks.com.

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