May 8, 2017 BestCompaniesAZ

What Makes a Cool Company Culture in 2017?

It’s not just about foosball tables and happy hours anymore. Yes, “cool companies” are still known for their fun workplaces, but while the game spaces and free sodas are still there, the focus has evolved into more meaningful company culture building. After all, what is it that makes for a cool company culture these days?

Here are some of the more exceptional company culture characteristics we found in a few of the 100 Best Arizona Companies:

Fabulous Conferences

Workiva TEC ConferenceIt’s all hands on deck as employees of leading tech companies work together across functions to create exceptional customer experiences. Anyone who has worked on productions ranging from major motion pictures to local amateur theater understands the satisfaction of joining together diverse skills, talents, and technologies across functions to create something none of them could accomplish alone. The ultimate team-building exercise, producing a user conference results in stretch challenges, broader perspectives, and greater benefits than simply imparting information about products and features. Putting together a conference creates a sense of pride and fulfillment for employees. One great user conference example: Workiva’s TEC (The Exchange Community).

Pet-Friendly Offices

meltmedia pawsome pupsWe knew it all along – and now we have the research to prove it. Dogs in the office reduce stress, improve workplace relationships, and even increase productivity. The “awww factor” of dogs adds sparkle to a company’s talent acquisition efforts. Like most worthwhile efforts, making a workplace successfully pet-friendly can pose challenges and also requires planning. Sometimes they mistake the astro-turf rug for actual turf. Yes, dog parents have to doo-doo the right thing when there are accidents. But the more we learn, the more we find more pluses than minuses in including four-footeds on the team. You can learn more about the job descriptions of actual office dogs by reading about meltmedia’s pack of pawsome pups.

Thoughtful Workspace Design

Goodmans Living OfficeCool companies have always been conscious of their physical space. While industrial-inspired, open-plan interior designs are currently fashionable, the latest design fads don’t always make sense for every company. The best workspace design not only is shaped by company culture, it influences its character in powerful ways. Adam Goodman, CEO of Goodmans Interior Structures, advocates for a “Living Office” as a more natural and desirable workplace that fosters greater connection, creativity, and productivity. Says Goodman, “Organizations need to balance purpose with profits, and the needs of the individual with the needs of the group. When all of these factors are in harmony, you can achieve prosperity.”

Employee Resource Groups

GoDaddy Employee Resource GroupsCompanies with a cool company culture not only hire diverse staff, they also support them through Employee Resource Groups. ERGs increase engagement, maximize the benefits of diversity within the marketplace, and develop leadership skills among participants. Also, GoDaddy’s ERGs support Veterans, Latinos, Blacks, LGBT, Fitness, and Women. GDVET (GoDaddy Veterans) creates a welcoming and vibrant community with shared experience and values of military service. This ERG promotes career development and continued skill development of Veterans at GoDaddy. GDWIT (GoDaddy Women in Technology) serves to create an ongoing conversation among employees regarding issues of interest to women in the workplace, and to provide new opportunities to create impact for women and girls in local communities. In addition to a robust speaker series, who have included BlogHer founders, Lisa Stone and Elisa Camahort to Anita Borg President Telle Whitney, GDWIT hosts networking events and community activism.

What’s “cool” has changed as well as evolved over the years. From the soothing effect of an office dog to the energizing impact of a fitness-focused employee group, these 100 Best Arizona Companies stay ahead of the curve.

What elements of your company classify it as a cool company culture? Let us know!

Office featured in header image is the GoDaddy Tempe location.