| 4 July, 2021 | 6 Min Read

Inside Microsoft company culture: Intriguing and functional

Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, has redefined its culture that facilitates the growth of this company. Due to the transformation, many employees at Microsoft now find working at this company a lot more bearable. Here’s how Nadella switched things up.

Microsoft is adopting a growth mindset in its work culture, which seems to be taking it to greater heights. Nadella has created an organizational structure that focuses more on challenging employees at Microsoft to be more innovative than they’ve ever been.

Nadella’s quest for a long-lasting culture prompted him to empower employees. The company culture at Microsoft ensures that the company's objectives are aligned with employees' goals as they both develop together.

Here are some details on Microsoft company culture that you’ll need to transform the work culture at your company.

About Microsoft

Microsoft is an American multinational company founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975. The company aims at producing computer software and other related products that help people and organizations achieve more. The software giant has some of the most used computer products and services in the world today: Skype, Office, Outlook, LinkedIn, and many more.

Today, Microsoft has over 166,000 employees and 177 office locations spread across 96 countries. The size of this company is not the only part of it that’s commendable - Its corporate culture has earned it numerous Comparably awards. In 2021, Microsoft was awarded as the Best Places to Work in Seattle, Best Global Culture, and Best Company Outlook.

Their unique approach

Here are the different ways Microsoft company culture proves to be different:


1. Empathy

At Microsoft, their primary concern is not how to create new products, but how empathy can create an innovative mind. Employees are encouraged to take up real-life lessons that help them see things from the perspective of others. Nadella strongly believes that the ability to empathize sparks the innovation that helps employees create products and services that meet the unmet and unarticulated needs of customers.

Employees at Microsoft live with the ideology that the source of innovation is empathy, and not endless training and meetings.

2. Growth mindset

With the Microsoft supports the growth of employees as individuals since their development directly influences the company's growth. Managers encourage employees to be a part of something beyond Microsoft. Employees are prompted to do things that make them happy and may be completely unrelated to their job at Microsoft.

This way, employees come to work every day with a healthy mind. Employees have also realized that their mandatory participation in other activities help them acquire more skills. Over time, employees get to monetize their newly acquired skills, giving them the chance to make an extra profit while doing what they love the most.

Grove HR - Satya Nadella quotes


3. Collaboration

Microsoft put a lot of time and effort into ensuring that everyone comes together as one. They host meetings and programs to encourage team bonding, and then tasks are assigned to groups to put their team spirit to the test.

Employees are encouraged to work together as a team, as no big thing gets done individually. Big dreams only come true through collective efforts.

To enable collaboration across the company, Microsoft organizes an annual global Hackathon where employees come together, rub minds, and get creative. Hackaton is an open invitation to all employees with innovative ideas, regardless of their department. This way, employees get to experience the power of teamwork and embrace it.

Grove HR - Hackathon

Annual global Hackathon at Microsoft. Source: Microsoft


4. Diversity and inclusion

Microsoft pays no attention to gender, country, or skin color. One thing that matters at Microsoft is your ability to deliver high-quality services. Diversity embraces the idea of having representatives from different backgrounds and cultures. This allows them to view things from various perspectives, which in turn makes it easier to empathize and meet their demands.

5. Customer-oriented

Microsoft maintains a feedback system that allows customers to narrate their experience using the company’s products and services. Employees are then trained to pay attention to such feedback to take note of where improvements are needed. This way, customers get to be a part of the Microsoft team and have their ideas, opinions, and concerns tended.

Moreover, Microsoft awards every remarkable action. To ensure accountability, employee surveys are carried out to measure Customer Partner Experience. Recognition and awards are also given to the best performers to motivate them to do better.

Why it works

Employees at Microsoft are not confined; the company’s self-development program helps employees do what they love the most. This brings creativity and versatility that makes handling internal businesses easier. Employees also feel that the company works for them and vice versa. The benefits are mutual.

At Microsoft, employees are taken out of their boundaries. Managers understand that employees have dreams and a bucket list outside the four walls of the company and create the time and space for them to chase these dreams. In return, employees are prompted to give the company just as much as they receive.

How to apply it

If you find the Microsoft company culture appealing and wish to apply it at your company. Here are some tips that’ll guide you through the process.

1. Give your employees the respect they deserve

If you want to keep your employees motivated, give them their accolades. At Microsoft, employees are rewarded and given the recognition they deserve every time their ideas and contributions add to the company's success. Employees are motivated when they see how much impact their services have on the company and its customers.

2. Embrace teamwork

Allow employees to work as a team and not individually. Your company will thrive when employees contribute both physical and intellectual efforts to complete tasks. Their collective ideas birth innovation.

3. Align company’s objectives with personal goals

Encourage your employees to chase their dreams, not just the goals of the company. They think and work better when they understand that achieving the company's objectives help them reach their personal goals.

4. Diversify

Let all voices be heard at your company. Let there be people of different races and genders at your company. This way, employees feel safer at work. Do not limit certain roles to people based on their physical composition. Focus more on their mental and physical capability.

The cultural transformation at Microsoft

Microsoft has made even more progress with Nadella as CEO. Prioritizing the company’s culture has created a successful approach to the company's growth. The Growth Mindset imparted in employees lets them try without being afraid to fail. Since employees were given the opportunity to experiment, the demands of customers of all ages across all countries are gradually being met.

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