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Fortune Magazine named FedEx one of the “best places to work” once again this year – an honor we have received for 11 of the past 12 years. At FedEx, we have built our company with the philosophy of “People-Service-Profit.” Focusing on each element in that order has been key to our company’s growth and to achieving an outstanding work environment. Here are six best practices we follow to ensure our employees work in a supportive, balanced, productive environment which in turn contributes to our continued success:
Put people first: Advances in technology, communications, and global networks have eliminated many of the competitive advantages that large companies once enjoyed -- the new competitive edge is finding and retaining the very best people. We strive to create an inclusive environment where team members are proud of the work they do. We’re committed to making every FedEx experience outstanding for both our customers and the people we work with everyday.
Share information – and listen. Employees are a crucial stakeholder, and we keep them in the loop with newsletters, blogs, meetings, events and even an in-house TV network. We appreciate that communication is a two-way street. We conduct online surveys, followed by feedback sessions with managers, to discuss the results. Employees are a great source of ideas and innovation, and even not-so-positive comments can have a “silver lining” that leads us to better ways of doing things.
Encourage work/life balance. Job sharing and flexible work schedules encourage work/life balance -- and provide a company with access to more employees with a wide set of skills. At FedEx, “people help” benefits provide team members with the resources to deal with many difficult times in life. Also, the nature of our work allows employees to have a great deal of choice in arranging their work schedules to accommodate family commitments, education needs, or other personal goals.
Embrace diversity. A diverse and inclusive workforce contributes a range of perspectives and traits that strengthen a company. By tapping the creative, cultural, and communicative skills of a variety of employees, we can improve company products, services, and customer experiences. FedEx has leadership development, mentoring and coaching programs designed to retain and advance women and minorities. We demonstrate diversity in our employee base, management, board of directors, and the suppliers we select. As a global company in an ever-shrinking world, we appreciate that success will come increasingly from the unique contributions, perspectives and differences of our team members.
Help the community. We can all take pride in working for a company that assists in its’ communities. At FedEx, we picked our top charitable efforts partly by polling employees about the issues they care about – as a result we have thousands of passionate and active volunteers. Rose Flenorl, manager of Social Responsibility for FedEx, recently wrote an article for OPEN Forum showing how small businesses can choose philanthropic activities that reflect well on your business and create a sense of camaraderie that carries over to all your employees’ job efforts.
Recognize and reward. Promotion from within is part of the FedEx culture: Ninety-two percent of our managers came from within the company. We give out numerous merit awards such as the Bravo Zulu, which applauds team members for “above and beyond” performance. Our Purple Promise awards recognize those who have saved the lives of others or who have demonstrated the true meaning of the “Purple Promise” to make every FedEx experience outstanding.
We are delighted to receive “the best places to work” award and hope our experiences provide ideas for how you can create a strong workplace that will lead to your company’s long-term success.
Judy Edge is Corporate Vice President of Human Resources for FedEx.
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