My colleague Allison Lane posed this question in a blog post earlier today: What gives you a sense of awe at SAS?
I hesitated to post an answer. I mean, who cares what somebody in public relations says? As an 18-year PR veteran here, I’m not exactly objective.
But here’s the thing: the PR story and reality square with one another. SAS, which grew big and successful by counting and categorizing everything imaginable since 1976, really IS as awesome as you’ve heard. That means I get to do my job with integrity. In my book, that’s the best PR position on Earth.
That also means there’s something unusual about this place. So as I’m agreeing with everything Allison wrote about the people here being humble, grateful, and innovative, a new question emerges. Why are SAS people that way? Does the HR department have some kind of special x-ray screening?
I think it boils down to one thing: Our operating system here is trust. As CEO Jim Goodnight is fond of saying, “When you treat people as though they’ll make a difference, they’ll make a difference.” SAS has a pay-it-forward, believe-the-best-about-people atmosphere that is pervasive and highly motivating.
Here’s an example of the principle in action from the realm where I spend a lot of time: social media. We trust our employees to interact appropriately with one another and people outside of SAS through myriad social channels. We provide guidelines and training, and we trust them to do the right thing. The resulting connections between individuals at SAS, customers and the wider community pay off in innumerable ways.
Congratulations, SAS, on the new rank on the Great Place to Work’s "Top 25 World's Best Multinational Workplaces"!
Thank you, Dr. Goodnight, for creating and keeping the operating system that helped get us there.