Key Lessons from Fortune 500 Companies

Key Lessons from Fortune 500 Companies

The following lessons have been extracted from key case studies of Fortune 500 companies around the globe. Lessons that we believe are just as valuable as revenue, cash flow, and growth.

Lessons from Twitter:
Strong company cultures practically pay for themselves

Twitter has one of the most celebrated workplace cultures in the world. And rightly so, given how heavily they have invested in this aspect of working for the company.

Aside from free lunches, unlimited annual leave, and yoga lessons, Twitter has an open and ongoing dialogue between management and employees. This is how they have fostered a supportive and motivational team-oriented environment. Subsequently, employees love working there because they sincerely believe in the company which leads to positive and productive contributions.

We understand that not every company will have a similar budget at their disposal. There are other ways, however. Small businesses can engage staff with team lunches, birthday celebrations, or even getting involved in group activities to build a sense of community and reinforce values.


Lessons from Toyota:
If it can be done via email, don’t even think about calling a meeting

Toyota is known for its efficiency through and through, so it’s no surprise that their entire ‘lean’ value has made its way into how the company conducts meetings.

They classify work by a strict dichotomy: it’s either a) value-adding or, b) non-value-adding. With the goal of becoming ‘lean’, Toyota has been fulfilling its objective of adding value by eliminating anything that doesn’t.

Keep Monday morning sit downs minimal, on-topic (preferably one topic per meeting), and focused. If it isn’t absolutely essential, leave it to an email.


Lessons from Netflix:
Trust your employees and you’ll never have to manage a day in your life

Anyone that genuinely considers micromanagement to be effective is setting themselves up for failure. On the other end of the spectrum is the success story of Netflix, which:

  • Has no set schedules
  • Does not use hours worked as a metric for employee effort
  • And offers employees unlimited vacation days

So how hasn’t their entire operation fallen apart? Trust – unwavering and reciprocal. Management is fully transparent about the set expectations and gives workers free rein to hit the desired targets without being hampered down by a corporate babysitter.


Lessons from Google:
The right purpose trumps a fancy title any day

Contrary to the general assumption, a fancy title does not yield as much return as one would think. Purpose and impact are the true commodities of the career game. Incidentally, purpose and impact are deemed essential over at Google where employees care less about their title/level within the company and more about direction.

Google’s staff retention is due in part to being provided with the right motivations as well as security, perks, compensation, family benefits, etc. The company’s overall mission imbues individual work with more profound meaning as opposed to the straight-lined blueprint of KPIs.


Lessons from BHP:
Take care of your employees and they will take care of you 

BHP is a company that has actively worked towards improving support for employees’ mental health and wellbeing. Their current mental health framework has been updated on several occasion in order to better accommodate the worker. It comprises four pillars:

  • Culture
  • Capacity
  • Prevention
  • Recovery

Between 2017 to 2018, BHP saw a statistical improvement in their Wellbeing Index. Naturally, this has had a positive impact on productivity and more.

Never forget that the employees who work for you are only human. Humans have limits, they have hopes, dreams, ambitions, flaws, and everything else in between. It simply won’t do to treat them as nothing more than a unit of productivity. Take care of them, and they will take care of you.


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