Mango sorbet and dentists. What do these two things have in common? Hint: it’s not cavities. During a meeting at Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, CA, we discovered the true connection between mango sorbet and the dentist: both had the impact of reducing stress and increasing satisfaction of Facebook employees. Before we dive any deeper, I can imagine there are many other reasons, connections, and intentions behind Facebook’s decision to include a dentist’s office and an ice cream shop on their campus. However, after meeting with one of their employees, I understand how much these two offerings contribute to most employees’ genuine excitement about working at Facebook.
From an organization’s perspective, dentists and sorbet are wonderful as are any perks that excite and unite employees. Imagine the impact on employee engagement and productivity if you could snap your fingers and replace every ounce of external stress and worry with moments of joy. Pretty idealistic and utopian. Well, when you’re Facebook, you have a few billion dollars to invest toward that utopia.
At We!™, our aim is to work with people and organizations to create a workplace where people want to show up because they are doing work that matters. Facebook is one of those places, so we thought we would share our one lesson we learned from visiting: invest in people.
This can and should be interpreted in multiple ways:
- Treatment of employees
- How leaders speak to “followers”
- The way employees are rewarded
- How employees are appreciated
When you have employees who feel important, appreciated, and rewarded, tangible differences begin to show up in your organization (e.g., higher motivation, lower turnover, etc.). For example, at Facebook all new employees partake in lunches where they pair up with old employees. It’s called the “buddy program.” This very tiny act can be a huge deal when practiced across organization. It’s also far more practical than hiring a dentist and building an ice cream shop in the middle of your office. Sometimes, the best way to start investing in people is to ask them: what do you need in order to love showing up to work each day?
There are just over a million ways (that cost less than a billion dollars) that organizations can invest in people to create great workplaces. Feel free to e-mail us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to ask for some suggestions specific to your organization. Ship us a question, and we’ll ship you some thoughts that just might change the way you see your world. We spend a lot of time working with organizations to make them excellent, and offering some thoughts to you would bring joy to us. Kind of like mango sorbet.
How do you invest in the people around you? We’d love to hear about how in the comments!