The “Best Places to Work” Aren’t Places at All

tech brands

There’s a new trend in Silicon Valley with tech brands. Famous tech brands are building enormous headquarters designed by famous architects. They’re using the greenest, healthiest materials, the latest environmental technology, creating the most unusual, innovative workspaces, and bringing thousands of employees under one roof.

What’s the goal?

Some companies say to foster innovation. Others tout togetherness. Some have interior design strategies that force ad hoc employee interactions. Others describe the spontaneity that will happen in casual communal meeting places.

But it turns out that the best places to work aren’t places at all.

When you ask people why they like their workplace, they rarely mention furniture or food. What do they really like? Relationships with the people they work with and the opportunity to do work that matters.

The best places to work are groups of people aligned to work for a common purpose. Like-minded people united by a culture driven by a higher purpose that can be attained only by individuals working together as a team. Which is why even a raw startup with desks made of doors laid across sawhorses can have an inspiring working environment.

It doesn’t come from the desks, the chairs, the carpets, the pingpong table or even the lounge that looks like a nightclub next to the kitchen that looks like a bistro. It comes from your colleagues, it comes from you, and it comes from your brand.

Meaningful employer brand strategy programs should help companies identify the core purpose that drives the company culture and gives the entire employee base a true sense of meaning. People work harder and have greater job satisfaction when they know why their company matters and why the world cares. Your best employees stay in their jobs longer when they have a reason for coming to work beyond the paycheck. And they help you recruit needed staff by bringing in qualified friends and peers to join the team.

If your company needs a new headquarters building, by all means, hire a great architect. But if you need your employees to connect with the mission and work together toward a common purpose, hire a great employer brand architect.

Download our paper on The Meaningful Workplace to learn about the advantages of a purposeful, values-driven workplace and how to being to make those shifts.

Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy firm that helps emerging and established tech brands find their purpose and put it to work.

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Comments (1)

  1. A building doesnt a brand or culture make. Neither would any architect – building or brand or culture. A brand objective MAY be described by an architect, but only the customer experience will MAKE a brand. And that takes tome. McDonalds IS a brand, the Slanted Door is not. GM and Ford are branda; Tesla isnt yet. Many may consider Sony a brand, but it isnt one at the same level as Mutsubishi. Uber has a ‘reputation’, but it will be a long time before it is a ‘brand’. A brand immediately brings images of service, quality, trust, and usually positive ones, to mind. Silicon Valley IS a brand, but San Francisco is not a technogy brand — it will always be a ‘great place to visit’ brand.

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