Glassdoor on Tuesday evening published its 11th-annual “100 Best Places to Work” list and notably, the social networking giant has dropped from No. 1 to No 7, now trailing Zoom Video Communications (No. 2), Procore Technologies (No. 4) and LinkedIn (No. 6). Glassdoor’s “100 Best Places to Work” list ranks companies based entirely on anonymous reviews that employees post to Glassdoor.
The No. 1 place to work is now Boston-based Bain & Co., one of the “Big Three” management consultancies.
“As most people know, Facebook has had a tough year, so it’s not surprising to see the tech giant fall from the number one spot to number seven this year,” Glassdoor spokesperson Sarah Stoddard tells Yahoo Finance. She reiterated that despite this year’s scandals, the social network still maintains a strong work culture for its 33,600-plus employees.
One current Facebook employee Yahoo Finance spoke to under condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to talk to the press, expressed disappointment with management’s handling of recent scandals, including Cambridge Analytica. They also disagreed with the company’s hiring of Definers Public Affairs, a Republican-allied firm, which pushed reporters to examine financial ties between billionaire George Soros, Color of Change, and Freedom From Facebook.
“When I joined Facebook, it was under the guise of doing good work, but it’s hard to feel like you’re doing good work when you keep reading stories about your employer’s gross mistakes and shortcomings,” the employee said, adding they would give Facebook another six to 12 months before deciding whether to move onto another job at another company.
Peruse Facebook employee reviews on Glassdoor’s site, and many past and present workers highlight the advantages of working at the social network, including generous salaries and benefits, the ability to work alongside smart people, lots of autonomy, and free food. But a crop of negative reviews posted in recent months also point out the downsides of working at the social network.
Some employees also complained of extremely heavy workloads — work-life balance is Facebook’s lowest-rated area with a 3.8 out of 5 — and a competitive, fast-moving environment. They also called for more internal communications from management about the company’s strategy and goals.
Facebook’s ranking plunge comes amid the social network’s most challenging year to date. The Cambridge Analytica scandal in March marked the beginning of multiple controversies that rocked the company and also included multiple user privacy hacks, questionable moves by management, and allegations of racial bias in the workplace. Shareholders have responded in kind, driving Facebook stock down 22% year-to-date.
A nosedive in morale
Morale at the company, unsurprisingly, has taken a major hit in recent months. Similar to many other companies, Facebook conducts internal surveys twice a year to gauge employee sentiment. One internal questionnaire conducted this October, which surveyed roughly 29,000 Facebook employees, indicated that 52% of employees remained optimistic about Facebook’s future — down a whopping 32% versus the year before. Meanwhile, the company ramped up social events earlier this year, ostensibly in an effort to shore up employee sentiment.
A second Facebook employee who spoke to Yahoo Finance said they would very likely ride out this current “rough patch,” because they believed in Facebook’s “ultimate mission of connecting people.”
“It sounds like I’m drinking the Kool-Aid — and for a long time, I guess I was — but working at Facebook, you felt like you were really making a positive impact,” the Facebook employee tells Yahoo Finance. “Right now, it’s really hard to feel that way, given that the public seems to hate us, but I also believe Facebook has what it takes to rise above all of this. At the end of the day, most of us are trying to do something good.”
If there’s any silver lining, perhaps, it’s that the year’s events have also doubled as motivation internally — at least for some workers.
“The challenges we face in the wake of press mentions and bad actors abusing our platform causes us to band together and focus in on fixing problems,” one Facebook employee on the media partnerships team wrote in a review this October.
That’s the kind of attitude Facebook employees will need in the months ahead as the social network tries to navigate beyond this disastrous year.
Facebook declined Yahoo Finance’s request for comment.
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