Over the years I have been with Adobe, the company has been named to many “Best Companies to Work For” lists and we are proud to be recognized for creating a great employee experience, especially since many of these rankings are determined by our employees’ own feedback. When determining a great company to work for, it can be easy to get caught up in the “perks” — free dry cleaning, unlimited free food, pets under your desk, posh game rooms and free massages to name a few. While we’ve got some great perks at Adobe, those aren’t among them. My dog is super cute but would be a disaster in the office.
The point is, after the novelty fades, perks are just one very small piece of what makes a workplace great and they certainly don’t influence employees to stay, grow and contribute. When looking for a great company to work focus on what makes a great corporate culture, rather than simply looking for elaborate perks.
Look for these five qualities when looking for your own best place to work:
1. Market and customer impact.
Ask yourself: Will you have the opportunity to make an impact and will your responsibilities align with the company’s mission and strategy? If yes, this is the best sign of an opportunity with the potential to provide a bright future and personal fulfillment.
You should never stop learning. If you aren’t feeling slightly overwhelmed with your learning curve, you’re not growing. Your company should provide you with the opportunity to seek out new challenges to accelerate your growth.
You should feel valued by your manager, team and broader corporate culture – regardless of your gender, ethnicity or background. Look for investments that the company makes in your continuing education, your ability to take time off for family needs and your ability to be your true self each day.
Your company’s values should align with your own. Ethical business practices, sustainability and community impact are just a few examples of things that could be important to you. If you don’t see them reflected in your company, you may struggle to feel connected.
You should have a supportive manager and a network of colleagues who care about your success. This includes giving and receiving honest feedback and enabling you to achieve your professional goals. While it may sound obvious, this is where I see the most frequent gap in employees’ experience across the industry, and it inevitably leads to frustration and departure.
You probably spend more time at work than you do anywhere else. So your company needs to be the right fit for you and have an environment that brings out your best so you can achieve great things. In the end, the overall employee experience (not the “perks”) is what will bring you joy.