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What Founders Can Learn From The World's First Trillion-Dollar Company

Leaders at Apple understand the importance of a healthy workplace

Tim Cook has had an unforgettable year. First it became the world's third-largest mobile phone manufacturer after Samsung and Huawei and now it has reached the milestone of $1-trillion market value, the first US company to do so. In a memo sent to 120,000 employees, Cook credited Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and thanked workers for their efforts in helping the company reach the historic mark.

“It's you, our team, that makes Apple great and our success is due to your hard work, dedication and passion. I am deeply humbled by what you do, and it's the privilege of a lifetime to work alongside you,” Cook said in a memo.

Leaders at Apple have always embraced the idea of treating their employees as their best customers. After all, employee performance is critical to the success of any business. According to Fortune Annual Survey 2017, for the past 10 years in a row, Apple has been considered as the most admired company in the world.

We take a look at some instances when the chiefs of the biggest technology company have gone a step ahead to ensure the well-being of their employees.



Standing is The New Healthy
To stand or not to stand? This is a never ending debate but Apple knows what’s best for their employees’ well-being. In an interview to Bloomberg, Cook said, “We have given all of our employees, 100%, standing desks. If you can stand for a while, then sit, and so on and so forth, it’s much better for your lifestyle.” He said that doctors think sitting is the new cancer, and people should stand and work, if possible.

Walk And Talk

Apple has long practised the idea of walking meetings. Jobs himself used to do meetings while walking. Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs mentions various instances when he would attend the events to just take walks. "I didn't yet know that taking a long walk was his preferred way to have a serious conversation," writes Isaacson. "It turned out that he wanted me to write a biography of him."

No to Micromanagement

Micromanagement is common among companies. A 2016 November study from the Indiana University Kelley School of Business in the US, looked at how stress and levels of control affected 2,363 employees. When comparing highly-demanding jobs, employers that gave employees less control were associated with a 15.4 percent increased chance of death.

In 2014, the Business Insider website did research on employee reviews site Glassdoor to learn what Apple employees love about the company.

It found that employees praised the leadership of the company, with Cook notching up an impressive 94 percent approval rating. This went hand-in-hand with being trusted to do their jobs without micromanagement.

Run by Ideas, Not Hierarchy
Jobs never believed in the workplace culture of rigid hierarchies. In an interview with the American journalist, Walt Mossberg at the D8 conference in California, US, Jobs said, “If you wanna hire great people and have them stay working for you, you have to let them make a lot of decisions and you have to be run by ideas, not hierarchy. The best ideas have to win, otherwise, good people don’t stay".

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