Sometimes, the Very Best Places to Work Aren’t Really Places at All

There’s a new trend in Silicon Valley.

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?

What REALLY makes a best place to work

Some companies say it’s to foster innovation. Others tout togetherness. Some have interior design strategies that force ad hoc employee interactions. And, 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 ping-pong 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.

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Your employer brand is the key

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.

Tracy Lloyd is Co-Founder and Brand Strategist at Emotive Brand, a brand and design consultancy specializing in emotive branding based in San Francisco. Emotive Brand bridges the gap between the rational needs of your business and the emotional desires of people. We show how to blend facts and feelings to create truly meaningful and richly rewarding connections with all the people vital to your brand’s success.

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