How Zappos, Unity Technologies, and Atlassian Create the Ultimate Employee Experience

By: Rebecca Connolly
04/12/2019

Employees want work environments and experiences that are going to assist, not inhibit, in their path to success. The three elements that companies should implement to create this path are company culture, technology, and the physical office environment. Studies show that all three elements have to align in order to create the ultimate employee experience and maximize employee satisfaction.

Company Culture

Although not an uncommon concept, company culture is rarely implemented to the full extent despite the studies that have been performed on the benefits of company values. Strong company values has shown to reduce absenteeism at work, improve retention rates, lead to happier customers in customer service positions, increase in profitability, and result in better quality job candidates according to a study by TamRecruiting. A Columbia University study found that job turnover is only 13.9% with a company with high company culture compared to 48.4% for a company with little emphasis on culture. Examples of core values in companies include compassion, commitment, reliability, and optimism.

Employee engagement is a direct result of the company culture. About 63% of employees are not engaged at work and 24% are actively disengaged at work with only the remaining 13% of employees engaged at work. Flashpoint estimates that $483 billion to $605 billion is lost annually due to disengaged customers in US businesses.

Zappo’s creates and emphasizes company cultures starting from the hiring process. When hiring workers, 50% of the ultimate decision to hire a new employee is dependent on skills and 50% is how well they fit into their company culture. Zappo’s hires candidates based on how they reflect on the company’s ten core values that are established in every worker hired. Zappo’s believes that focusing on core values is the reason for their overall financial success because of their quality customer service as a result of happy employees. If the employees have a positive workplace experience, they are more likely to reflect that positivity into their sales approach.


Technology

According to PwC, 73% of people surveyed know about technology software systems that would improve their everyday work. Software like cloud-computing collaboration systems, file sharing, and systems for remote working improve the experience and productivity of employees. Improved technology can also be used for increased security, facilitating the workload, and improved cost management techniques. To improve cost management, automation software can increase office efficiency by performing the routine tasks which allows employees to instead perform thoughtful and creative projects. Although technology is an expensive initial investment, 40% of companies report having improved agility and responsiveness after implementation of cloud-computing technologies.

A company that has implemented advanced technology is Unity Technologies. Unity’s Austin office features a unique viewfinder wall that features slides from their San Francisco office. Unity offers their employees advanced AR and VR technologies around the office to increase efficiency and productivity in work tasks.hysical Environment

From the office floor plan to the building amenities, the physical environment of a workplace greatly impacts employee well-being. Employee wellbeing directly correlates to increased employee productivity and performance therefore increasing profitability. Organizations are investing millions into experiential offices to give their employees the tools they need to succeed in their jobs. The experiential offices have four times higher profits and 40% lower turnover than the average office environment. As of 2019, only 6% of U.S. workplaces are experiential offices based on their investments into culture, technology, and physical office environment. Similar to the company culture, the physical environment helps employees feel engaged, connected, and creative in their positions at their company. Some of the popular aspects that employees look for in “experiential offices” are seating flexibility, modern/updated design, and amenities like catered food or outdoor-working options.

Atlassian’s downtown office is an example of an office that is designed around employee experience. Atlassian’s office features a full service bar that serves coffee and beer, open-space lounges, outdoor spaces, and game rooms for their employees. They offer their employees an office experience to encourage them to do their best work possible.