The speed of change is accelerating, Chambers said. And that means, more than ever, everyone in the organization counts. Companies won't be able to win if they wait for senior executives to learn about problems and make decisions. Today, there are 17 billion devices connected to the Internet, Chambers said, and that number will explode to 500 billion in 10 years, meaning companies will have to make sense of unprecedented amounts of data. "You're going to have information coming into your company in ways you never imagined before," he said. "Decisions will be made much further down in the organization at a fast pace."
The upshot of his message is agility and success in today's chess matches require getting all your people into the game—making decisions rather than serving as passive pawns.
What John Chambers told our conference audience gets at the heart of this book. What was good enough to be great 10 or 20 years ago is not good enough anymore.
DECADES OF STUDYING GREATNESS
Our organization, Great Place to Work, should know. For more than two decades, we have conducted one of the largest employee surveys in the world, mainly through our research for the many Best Workplaces lists we produce in partnership with business publications spanning the globe. In the United States, we are best known for producing the annual FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For in America and other Best Workplaces lists. However, we create
similar lists in more than 50 countries across six continents.
Each year, we survey as many as 4 million employees globally at more than 6,000 companies—firms that collectively employ roughly 10 million people. In the United States alone, we polled nearly 650,000 employees in 2016, obtaining results that reflect the views of about 4.5 million American workers. The companies we survey represent virtually every size and industry.
Over time, this has amounted to a trove of data on what employees experience when their company is a Great Place to Work—and how leaders can build one. We have learned great workplaces are not created through a particular set of benefits, unique to a particular industry, limited to public or private organizations, or the advantages of large or small organizations. Instead, universally, a Great Place to Work is one where employees trust the people they work for, have pride in the work they do, and enjoy the people they work with.
GREAT PLACE TO WORK TRUST INDEX EMPLOYEE SURVEY
One of the World's Largest Employee Surveys
* 3 million+ surveys representing roughly 10 million employees per year
* 58 countries across six continents
* 6,000+ companies per year
* Based on 30 years of data
"Our 30 years of research shows a Great Place to Work is one where employees trust the people they work for, have pride in the work they do, and enjoy the people they work with."
When we started this work, our goal was to understand and celebrate what type of work experience was considered "great" by employees. In the process of that analysis, we discovered something even more powerful. The same qualities employees around the world report make a great workplace—trust, pride, and camaraderie—also fuel business performance.
For example, as we will discuss in Chapter 1, the publicly held companies that appear on the FORTUNE 100 Best list have delivered stock market returns two to three times greater than major stock indices. And it doesn't stop there. Relative to their competitors, great workplaces win when it comes to revenue growth, employee retention, productivity, innovation, resilience, agility, customer service, employee engagement, and more. Internationally, we have found the same holds true.
Thanks in large part to our data and the findings of other researchers, leaders over the past 20 years have increasingly
recognized that doing well by their people also serves their business.