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What we can learn from Glassdoor's 2017 list of Best Places to Work

For the past few weeks, Glassdoor has been hitting the road and visiting cities across the country to share insights from some of the companies on their 2017 Best Places to Work list. Last week, they were in Chicago with Bain, Sprout Social, Greenhouse and Facebook.

Here are a few of our favorite takeaways from the powerhouse quartet.


-Mark Zuckerberg has a Q&A with staff every Friday. Questions are submitted by staff, and it’s live streamed and recorded so all employees can view at their leisure or in real time.

-Managers have regular one – on –ones with staff. It’s not sporadic. They are scheduled and structured.

-Employees and managers celebrate a fail of the week. All employees openly discuss failures and lessons they had that week. In order for their culture to continue to scale rapidly, they need employees to fail fast and not be afraid to fail and take risks.



-During reviews and one-on-ones, Greenhouse managers ask their staff: “What can I do to help you be successful?” Asking the question opens the door to two way transparency and feedback.

-Greenhouse Afterhours: if a group of more than 4 employees from different groups get together outside of work, Greenhouse will reimburse up to a certain percentage of the cost of the activity. It’s their way of fostering community and helping to create organic relationships across teams.

Bain & Co:

-To screen for fit, Bain uses reference checks as an opportunity to vet culture. They ask the candidate’s reference: “If this person didn’t work out in 6 months, what would you say the reason would be?” The answer can be very telling whether this candidate will fit with their culture.

-During management meetings, managers discuss who in the last week has had a hard conversation. Then, they discuss the conversations. They also talk about who wants to have a hard conversation, and why they haven’t yet? Being able to talk openly about feedback and tough conversations helps make it easier the next time.

-Bain facilitates and supports hard conversation that employees want to have. They give them an avenue to discuss race, gender inequality and other things that are happening in the world and affecting them.

Sprout Social:

-Gives their employees permission to share and engage on social. It may seem intuitive since it’s the nature of their business, but it’s important to make it accepted and welcomed. Employees can be your biggest brand advocates if you activate them.

-Sprout believes that if employees are unhappy, it’s likely that things haven’t been communicated clearly. They hold town halls with their employees to make sure everyone knows where the company stands, and leaders are accessible.

For more insights, head over to Twitter and search the hashtag, #GDRoadshow.