Pixar Knows Employee Loyalty

As a follow-up to one of my recent posts, I thought I’d give a good example of how a company is keeping its employees loyal.  We all know that you’re never going to have 100% employee satisfied, happy and loyal, but you can come close.


A few weeks ago my brother-in-law invited me up to Pixar. He has been working there for about two years (he’s still considered the new kid) and has always spoken highly of the company.  And, to reinforce what a cool company it is, my nieces are very very very proud to tell their friends and anyone who listens that their daddy works for Pixar.


Let me back up for a minute.  If you don’t know what/who Pixar is, think Steve Jobs, Toy Story, Cars, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles…you get the picture (literally!) Okay, so now you’re with me.


My brother-in-law started his career at Pixar in the on campus theater. He was told to sit in the 6th row because that’s where all the directors sit.  He was told that he was a film maker (he’s in IT) along with everyone else at the company.  That’s everyone from the producer to the cafeteria person to the janitor to the graphics person. Everyone at the company is a film maker.  If that didn’t get him pumped up enough about his first day, Janeane Garofalo (the voice of Colette in Rataouille) was at the office. 


Sure, almost everyone likes their first day at the office, but Pixar has been able to keep employees happy and loyal for a lot longer than their first day.  As my brother-in-law was showing me around the office, I was surprised at the “un-office” feeling the company has.  Employees were zipping around on scooters, there were statues of characters from multiple films throughout the hallways, pictures of employees in the company dance, music, screen writing, fly fishing (yes, fly fishing) and art classes adorned one corner of the building.


In one section of the building I felt like I was back in college because some of the offices had a very dorm room feeling to them with two people per brightly painted, couch furnished room with the required lava lamp.


Three of my favorite aspects of Pixar are:

1) The conference rooms are almost like fish bowls with glass on at least two walls.  When you walk in the main door, look up and you’ll see conference rooms with the glass wall looking down to the “town hall” like square where people meet up and eat. This allows employees to literally see who they are making films for – talking about voice of the customer!


2) Being a movie production company, Pixar has access to lots of movies.  Their in house theater previews movies for employees and not always Pixar movies.  The day I visited, I was able to watch one of the movies up for an Oscar.  On a Friday night at 6pm, the theater was crowded!


3) Probably my favorite thing about Pixar is that children born during the production of a movie are listed at the end of the movie credits under “Production Babies”.  How cool is that? My youngest niece will be listed at the end of the next Pixar movie. 


There are so many different ways to make employees happy and loyal and Pixar seems to have captured it all.  From calling all employees film makers, to recognizing new babies born during production to offering free classes from movie writing to soccer to providing free cereal and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Pixar has captured the market on happiness. My brother-in-law being there two years is still one of the new kids.  That alone says a lot!


You can find Pixar jobs here but if you think you’ll have one interview and be hired, think again.  They carefully select only the top notch candidates to join their creative, talented, fun and energetic team.