Fortune has published its annual “The 100 Best Companies To Work For” (Milton Moskowitz and Robert Levering, March 15, 2015, pp. 97–154). Impressively, Twitter made its debut appearance ranking at number 24 on the list. Apparently, many Twitter employees believe it is one of the best workplaces. So much so, that on average, Twitter has 230 applications for every open position. Given that 623 positions were open at the time the list went to press, that represents over 140,000 Twitterite wannabees.
In many growing, busy, successful companies, the CEOs feel too busy to visit much with the rank and file. Simultaneously, they often directly or indirectly surround themselves with “yes” people. Both of these behaviors will not contribute to the long-term quality, growth, leadership, and prosperity of those companies. Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo seems to understand these truths because he intentionally takes an opposite approach:
“‘I’ve always felt it was important for me to be present, for anyone in the company to feel like they could walk up to me and have a forthright conversation with me. . . . As you grow as a company, the view from the top becomes more and more distorted. So I really go out of my way to be present and show the employee base that I think of them as peers and colleagues, and I encourage them to challenge my thinking and engage in sharp questions with me.’” (p. 121)
That is a great attitude. To help with the execution, Costolo and his leadership team hold a companywide informal meeting twice a month. With 3,600 employees, that is quite a commitment. However, it is an essential commitment for Twitter and for every likeminded company that is genuine about its future prosperity. When leadership stays in touch with its workforce, everyone wins. And that is exactly what makes Twitter one of the 100 best workplaces.