This article was contributed by Cynthia Madison who works as an author at SmallBizClub.

Working at Microsoft has several perks. The company has an employee-centric culture, meaning they constantly aim to offer the best to their team members. This is because the organization knows how important it is for employees to feel valued and how this factor affects their performance.

Not so long ago, the company announced new changes that aim to enhance employee relationships and workplace culture. More specifically, they have made shifts to their policies related to non-competition clauses, pay transparency, as well as the implementation of a civil rights audit. 

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Microsoft doesn’t distinguish itself from other companies only for its numerous benefits but also for its constant focus on improvement. In this respect, every company should view Microsoft’s ‘listen first’ approach as a model and start looking at their own practices. The approach is about evaluating employees’ experience and determining what changes are required to match their needs better.

Microsoft didn’t hesitate to embrace hybrid work to increase employee flexibility. Moreover, the company invested considerably throughout the years in mental health resources as part of employee wellbeing.

An increased focus on employee wellness

For companies like Microsoft, employee wellness and safety, as well as continued innovation, are invaluable when it comes to the success of an enterprise. In other words, you can’t expect your company to thrive unless you place employees at the centre of your business practices. At Microsoft, employees have flexible work hours that allow them to perform when they are the most productive. This flexibility plays a significant role in the success of a company. 

Microsoft provides health plans for employees that help them save for further healthcare costs. These benefits include: 

  • Life insurance;
  • Health insurance;
  • Dental insurance;
  • Mental health care;
  • Sick leave – 12 days; 
  • On-site fitness classes, such as yoga;
  • Family sickness leave;
  • Paternity leave – 12 weeks. 

This isn’t a comprehensive list of Microsoft’s employees’ benefits. The company is top-tier because it provides unparalleled comfort, lifestyle and security. All these things are essential so that employees can achieve the work-life balance they desire. For employees, it’s paramount to feel safe and motivated at work. Unfortunately, safety isn’t a priority in many workplaces, and workplace accidents are still an issue.

This leads to workers being severely injured and dealing with all the consequences. While you can make a claim for an accident at work in the UK, this is by no means enough to cope with the effects of the unfortunate event. In the aftermath of an accident, some employees could deal with PTSD. All these things weigh down both on the injured employee and the employer. But all these consequences can be avoided if companies focus on creating a culture that prioritizes wellness.  

Implementing new changes to enhance the workplace culture even further

If you want your company to be successful in the long run, you must constantly be ready to adjust. No enterprise is perfect from the very beginning; the secret lies in putting efforts into improving continually. In this respect, Microsoft has made several changes that aim to improve its workplace culture. 

Empowering workers mobility

As already mentioned, Microsoft is well aware of how valuable team members are for a company. The enterprise believes employees should feel empowered at the workplace and have a role that allows them to evolve. As a result, they focus on retaining top talent by prioritizing employees above all. 

Microsoft has decided to remove non competition clauses from employee agreements. They will not enforce current non competition clauses within the U.S., except for Microsoft’s senior leadership. This means there won’t be any non compete clause that could restrict employees from looking for employment at another company that may be a Microsoft competitor. Therefore, employees are responsible for complying with the company’s standards of business conduct.

Increasing pay transparency

Ever since 2014, Microsoft has focused on reporting on equal pay. To this end, they started conducting equal pay analyses, making the data public so they could hold themselves accountable. Moreover, they aim to implement excellent practices to strengthen their equal pay approach. 

Microsoft has decided to exclude the practice of asking candidates about their salary histories. The company has recently announced they will publicly reveal salary ranges in their job postings starting with January 2023.  

Implementing a civil rights audit

Microsoft is committed to inclusion and diversity. The company focuses on transparency and accountability and constantly seeks to improve. To this end, Microsoft has decided to conduct a civil rights audit of its practices and workforce policies. 

Civil rights law will guide the audit, and a third party will conduct it. This practice aims to identify areas of opportunity that the company can address. Microsoft commits to complete the audit in FY23 and publicly post a summary report. 

Creating a safe space for concerns

Microsoft’s new policies are intended to emphasize the fact that the company is a safe space where employees can raise concerns. Their employee agreements point out employees’ rights to share concerns regarding possible misconduct under the company’s policy. Besides employee agreements, at times, Microsoft managed to resolve disputes with team members. Moreover, the company offered separation benefits via agreements that involved confidentiality provisions. 

Paying attention to feedback can be very effective for companies, allowing them to figure out where they can improve. Microsoft has used feedback to address nondisclosure clauses and thus, strengthen its workplace culture. As a result, it has eliminated confidentiality language from settlement and separation agreements. This confidentiality language prevents employees from revealing alleged conduct they perceive as harassment, sexual assault, illegal discrimination, and so on. 

Employee-friendly practices are the key to a company’s success

As already mentioned, a company can’t run smoothly without employees performing at their best. They are at the core of an enterprise’s success. Therefore, when thinking of how they can achieve growth, companies should first take a look at their current practices and determine whether they benefit employees.

Microsoft’s new policies could foreshadow changes in the employment relationship. Supposing the shifts bring a competitive advantage to Microsoft, other employers may also consider reforming their policies and implementing employee-friendly practices. 

About the author

Cynthia Madison is an author at SmallBizClub with a solid technical, business, and financial foundation. She’s responsible for providing share-worthy articles that deliver value straight to the point. Cynthia enjoys watching thought-provoking TED talks on technology advancements in her spare time. She lives a “never stop learning” life.

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