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Fortune 100 Best Work Places

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Best Work Places
MGT415: Group Behavior In Organizations

Best Work Places
With millions of existing companies, and over half a million new businesses attempting to start and develop every year (SBA, 2012), it is no small feat to be recognized in Fortune Magazine’s annual list of the 100 best workplaces for employees. Since 1998, Fortune Magazine has compiled this list of exceptional companies by taking into consideration employer and employee relations, workplace environments and employee satisfaction. This year’s top spot belonged to Google, with Wegman’s Food Market coming in at the number 5 spot, and Dreamworks Animation just missing the top ten with a spot at number 12 (Fortune, 2013). For each of these companies, it is easy to see they set an exceptional example of fostering group cohesiveness and rely heavily on employee motivation.
For another year, Google Inc. has clenched the top spot on the list of best workplaces by Fortune Magazine. With over thirty five thousand employees, Google has made it a top priority to foster its work environment to offer its employees a rewarding work experience. According to George Homan’s theory of exchange in groups, a group becomes more attractive to potential members by offering maximum rewards but at a minimal cost to the new member (Losh, 2012). Google knows “that every employee has something important to say, and that every employee is integral to our success. We provide individually-tailored compensation packages that can be comprised of competitive salary, bonus, and equity components, along with the opportunity to earn further financial bonuses and rewards.” (Life at Google, 2013) These rewards, including one hundred percent pay for twelve weeks of maternity leave, free laundry, gym and health services on the job site, bowling alleys, dozens of cafes, flexible vacation scheduling, and an open policy to creative solutions are attractive to new members. Even with the cost of a college degree and potential lengthy work days, the rewards outweigh these “costs of group membership” and serve as great motivation for employees, which ultimately leads to employee satisfaction and long term retention (Losh, 2012).
At Google, employees will work on tons of projects with different groups of Googlers, across many teams and time zones. As stated on its website (2013), Google with implant some of the interviewers directly into the different teams to evaluate and engage new members in tasks. It not only gives the new member a sense of what working for Google is really like, but also allows the interviewers to see how the employee might collaborate and fit into the work environment. This ensures that there is team cohesiveness and unity within the group. According to Losh (2012), the most effective teams come from collective behaviors that members must master and display in order for the team to operate effectively and mentions that “on-site team member training with the intact group is typically the most effective”. Google has definitely hit the mark with group cohesion.
Rounding out the top 5, Wegman’s Food Market, Inc, is an east coast, family run business of supermarkets that has spent every year on the Fortune Magazine best place to work list since the list started in 1998 (Hess, 2011). A grocery store chain with over forty thousand employees, Wegman’s makes it a mission to be an exemplorary employer to each one of those employees. Employee motivation is an integral part in making sure that each and every employee is well cared for, happy and given extensive avenues for advancement and growth. Wegmans' employees enjoy flexible schedules, a family friendly approach that offers what might be considered unusual benefits such as adoption assistance, and broad career track opportunities (Wegmans, 2013). Employees are also eligible for the company’s very generous scholarship program, which to date, has distributed over eighty million dollars in educational assistance to more than twenty five thousand employees.
Group cohesion is a foundation for this successful business, as can be seen in their company philosophy: “At Wegmans, we believe that good people, working toward a common goal, can accomplish anything they set out to do” (Wegmans, 2013). There are many possible positive outcomes of high group cohesion. According to Hess (2012), group members definitely have higher satisfaction in cohesive groups and choose to remain in cohesive groups longer when the choice is available. With satisfied employees and higher retention rates, the positive cohesion within the company directly is reflected in the superior customer service and dedicated shoppers the company has obtained through the years (Hess, 2011).
Finally, Dreamworks Animation makes the 100 best workplace list at number twelve. A significantly smaller company, with just over two thousand employees, this company has much to boast about having a 97% retention rate (Henneman, 2012). This retention rate can be directly attributed to the culture of the company and very attractive employee perks and motivations. The main campus of the company was designed to reduce stress and distractions, but was laid out to encourage spontaneous conversation, interaction and group activity. On location company perks include a doctor’s office, yoga and kickboxing classes, full sized kitchens with complimentary food, a free cafeteria and free family movie night screenings (Henneman, 2012).
Aside from the motivating perks the company offers to it employees, the high retention rate and strength of the group within the company comes from a sense of job security. Hess states that financial and emotional security within a group offers a comfort zone and often can be the most influencing of group cohesion (2012). Dreamworks Animation proved this to be true during the 2008 financial crisis when stocks fell, cost of movies soared and DVD sales crashed. As other movie studios, and companies in general, were implementing massive layoffs, Dreamworks executives made a bold promise that the company would avoid any layoffs at all costs (Henneman, 2012). By offering this promise and creating an environment where individual creativity becomes a central component to the group, the company’s retention rate is proof that each employee is valued for their contributions. Group cohesion and employee motivation are foundational aspects of a successful business. As described above, it doesn’t matter how large or small the company is, it’s a matter of how each employee feels in the exchange within the group. If the benefit of being a part of group outweighs the cost of membership in the group, companies are able to retain employees and have a higher rate of employee satisfaction. As illustrated above, these three companies are making sure to reward and compensate their employees to a noticeable level, and securing their top spots on Fortune Magazine’s best workplaces.

REFERENCES
CNN Money (2013). Fortune magazine’s 100 best companies to work for. Retrieved from the CNN website: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/best-companies/2013/list/?iid=bc_sp_full
Google Website (2013). Life at google. Retrieved from the Google company website: http://www.google.com/about/jobs/lifeatgoogle/
Henneman, Todd (August 4, 2012). Dreamworks animation cultivates a culture of creativity. Retrieved from the Workforce website: http://www.workforce.com/articles/dreamworks-animation-cultivates-a-culture-of-creativity
Hess, Michael (Sept 13, 2011). Could this be the best company in the world? Retrieved from the CBS News website: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505143_162-45340815/could-this-be-the-best-company-in-the-world/
Losh, S. (2011). Group behavior in organizations. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Small Business Advocacy (2012). Advocacy: the voice of small business in government. Retrieved from the website: http://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/FAQ_Sept_2012.pdf
Wegmans Food Market (2013). Company profile retrieved from the Wegman’s website: http://www.wegmans.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CategoryDisplay?storeId=10052&catalogId=10002&langId=-1&identifier=CATEGORY_507

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