eBay: Creating a Marketplace for Engaged Workers

Posted on February 8th, 2016

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Innovations in Attracting and Retaining Top Talent

eBay, the company synonymous with e-commerce, continues to innovate, and not just with the data it manages and the transactions it oversees. It’s innovating how it attracts and engages employees. Look no further than Austin, Texas as an example.

The company, headquartered in San Jose, California, has about 20,000 employees worldwide. Yet even in its smaller locations like Austin, which has about 400 employees, a deep investment in employee engagement is helping the company stay focused.

An engaged workforce is the key to retaining top talent

As a business, eBay is no youngster, recently celebrating its 20th anniversary. Part retailer, part technology powerhouse, it continues to transform how people shop and do business worldwide. As a workplace, eBay leadership understands employees are the foundation of its success. The company recently announced expanded family leave benefits for new mothers and fathers as well as employees who are caring for sick family members.

Leadership believes an engaged workforce is key to employee retention in a competitive environment, said Zachary Jacobson, General Manager. He’s part of the Austin team that has been a perennial winner on the Top Workplaces list. In 2015, it ranked No. 26 among mid-size organizations (150 to 499 employees) in the Austin area.

A talent war in the local job market creates competition for good employees, and eBay competes for all levels of talent, Jacobson says. On top of that, the recent split of PayPal from eBay has added another sense of importance to the efforts. Given the strong competition for top talent and the perceived threat of layoffs, eBay wants to ensure it nurtures as strong a workplace culture as possible to retain employees.

Success is a “we” thing at eBay

Among its leadership principles, Jacobson said:

To support those principles, eBay’s leadership in Austin decided to create—and support—four different committees from which employees could choose to get involved:

Employees could choose whether or not to get involved with a committee. Leadership provided the resources, support, and mentors; the rest was up to the employees, including an action plan and monthly review meetings. “We empowered our employees to do great things and to apply their passion to something meaningful,” Jacobson said.

An investment in employee engagement speaks volumes

The Austin team recently measured employee engagement through the WorkplaceDynamics survey, and the results did not disappoint. In anonymous comments, Austin’s employees repeatedly said they felt appreciated, motivated, and supported.

“The leadership is awesome and there’s peace of mind knowing people stand 100% behind you, whether it’s a manager or a teammate,” one employee said. “eBay encourages me to be the best I can be. I love eBay and I love what we do,” another commented.

Leadership’s efforts are showing results. Workplace positivity among eBay’s Austin employees measured 12 percent higher than the benchmark for the information technology industry.

“Never before have I worked for a company that takes employee engagement so seriously,” Jacobson said. “We want to promote the eBay brand as being a great place to work in and around Austin, Texas.”

Top Tips for a Top Workplace

Posted on January 13th, 2016

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Some of the powerful ways you can (and should) use your Top Workplaces award

Congratulations! Your organization is a Top Workplace—and it’s a big deal. That’s because being a Top Workplace isn’t something you can buy. It’s an achievement you’ve earned and a distinction that will give your organization a competitive advantage.
Top WorkplaceFirst things first. Celebrate your achievement.

Once the award has gone public (mum’s the word until then), it’s time to celebrate! Your employees are the ones who told us you deserve this award, so take time to share this victory with them. Throw a surprise party, give them some Top Workplaces swag, and let them know just how much they’re appreciated. Get creative and have fun with it!

Make it part of your employer brand.

A recent study of 2,250 corporate recruiters reported that companies with a strong employer brand can reduce their cost-per-hire by as much as 50% and they benefit from a significantly lower turnover rate too. Not to mention, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. These candidates are driven by purpose, a sense of connection, and a healthy work/life balance—many of the same things required of Top Workplaces. Promote your award in your recruiting efforts and they’ll be sure to notice.

Win that big contract.

Being a Top Workplace helps you to stay a step ahead of your competition. Clients notice this distinction as a mark of confidence and an indication of quality and service, so don’t be shy about adding the logo to your marketing materials, your website, and your packaging.

Network with other Top Workplaces.

Top Workplaces share a passion for organizational health and workplace culture. We encourage you and your management team to network with the leaders of other companies. Share best practices, swap stories, and learn from each other. We like to be social too! Follow Top Workplaces and WorkplaceDynamics on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Cultivate employee engagement.

Engagement has a significant impact on the bottom-line, from employee turnover, productivity, quality, and client retention. But engagement doesn’t just happen. It’s a direct product of the actions top leaders take to shape workplace culture.

Stay in “Top” shape.

Even the best athletes have trainers, right? While your organization earned the award this year, Top Workplaces is a highly competitive program. Organizational health is critical to meeting our standards for the list, and it requires determination and commitment from your senior leadership team. So use your survey results to cultivate an outstanding workplace culture and get ready

to participate again next year!