Beginning as a student hobby, Yahoo today has evolved into a global brand that's changed the way people communicate with each other and access, share and create information.
The site started out as "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web," but established a new name with the help of a dictionary. The name Yahoo! is the short form of "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle," but the co-founders insist they selected it because they liked the general definition of the word yahoo: "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth.
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This study analyzes the reasons behind the ranking given to Yahoo by Fortune 100. The magazine ranks Yahoo 44th in the list of 100 “most preferred companies to work for in 2007”.
The research about the company showed that Yahoo values its employees above all else. All the programs, activities and events that Yahoo develops are directed towards increased job satisfaction of the employees. The philosophy that is your employees are happy they will keep your customers happy and that will keep the profits coming in, seems to be working for the web giant.
About Yahoo: Services offered
Yahoo is in itself a definition of services that it provides, a wide variety of tools ranging from free portal services to financial market news to e-commerce-gateway; following is the range of service provided by YAHOO:
Search: Yahoo! has become one of the leading search engines on the Web. Yahoo! Search enables users to find anything they need on the Internet instantaneously through Yahoo! Web Search, as well as ‘vertical search’ products such as Yahoo! Image, Yahoo! Video, Yahoo! Local, Yahoo! News, and Yahoo! Shopping Search.
Communication: Top-notch communication services, such as Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger, ensure that users can stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues any time, from anywhere in the world. As part of communication services, Yahoo! has also become a pioneer of social networking, offering innovative services and user-generated content in products such as My Web, Yahoo! Personals, Yahoo! 360º, Yahoo! Photos, and Flickr.
Content: Yahoo! partners with hundreds of premier content providers to bring entertainment and high-quality media content to its users through products such as Yahoo! Sports, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Music, Yahoo! Movies, Yahoo! News, and Yahoo! Games.
Mobile: Committed to extending our content and services beyond the desktop, Yahoo! has the largest global mobile audience and the greatest breadth of wireless products and services of any online network.
Connectivity: Recognizing that the Web's future will be fueled by broadband connectivity, Yahoo! has developed successful partnerships with the world's leading broadband providers.
Commerce: Yahoo! is also one of the world's largest enablers of consumer transactions on the Web, offering commerce services such as Yahoo! Shopping, Yahoo! Autos, Yahoo! Auctions, and Yahoo! Travel, which gives consumers the relevant information they need to make informed purchases online.
Small Business: Yahoo! Small Business enables small business owners and professionals to establish and grow a business presence with services such as Yahoo! Domains, Yahoo! Web Hosting, Yahoo! Merchant Solutions, Yahoo! Business Email, and Yahoo! Store. Yahoo! also offers HotJobs to help recruiters find the talent they seek.
Advertising: An industry leader in online advertising, Yahoo! provides a comprehensive and effective set of marketing solutions, offering tools for businesses of all sizes. Unique and powerful brand advertising solutions allow clients to build awareness among the world's largest engaged audience.
Being in the IT industry Yahoo faces challenges every day. Since its modest beginnings, Yahoo has come a long way and grown to become one of the worlds’s most prominent Internet service both for consumers and businesses.
Motto of an organization can be referred to as the slogan that eventually develops motivation amongst its human resource. The YAHOO motto is given as follows:
Work hard, play hard and don’t take yourself too seriously.
The Core Values and Guiding Principles:
Each organization has its core values and guiding principles that mold the behavior of individuals towards the sculpture that the organization is more willing to have in its employees. The core values and guiding principles of YAHOO are Excellence, Teamwork, Innovation, Community, Customer Fixation, and most importantly Fun.
How does Yahoo justify its position in the Fortune list of “the best companies to work for”?
This section discusses the justification of YAHOO’s presence in the fortune list of most like employer  i.e. the reasons that make the a desirable place to work.
YEF: the Yahoo! Employee Foundation:
At Yahoo!, it is a belief that people are prime assets and the best way to support budding non-profit organizations. YEF, the Yahoo! Employee Foundation, is a grassroots altruistic organization that brings together the time, talents and financial resources of Yahoo! employees to help communities across the globe.
Started in 1999 by Yahoo!’s co-founders as a means for employees to personally give back to their communities, YEF offers three key opportunities for participation: donation to the YEF Fund, starting an organization to get a grant from YEF and volunteering through YEF.
The culture at Yahoo! attracts employees who not only think out of the box, but want to make a difference as well and who are often already connected or involved with compelling organizations. Since its commencement, YEF has donated over $2.7 million to non-profits championed by employees.
The Uniqueness of YEF
YEF is exclusively employee-driven. All of the funds are donated by Yahoo! employees; all grant beneficiaries are championed by the employees, and all YEF activities are run by a volunteer group of employees as well. Key focus areas for YEF include supporting education and youth, building communities and families, and environmental protection.
Salaries pay, perks and rewards constitute one of the most important factors leading to job satisfaction and Yahoo strives to provide the maximum to its employees. Apart from the highly ingenious (and highly casual) work environment coupled with the fact that almost every success is celebrated with a party; Yahoo! offers plenty of other perks as well. Foosball is popular to the extent of becoming the official Yahoo sport, and video games exist throughout the company complex. Following are some unique benefits that Yahoo offers to its employees.
- Back-up child care
- Commuter options
- Discount movie passes
- Free one-year Yahoo! Music subscription
- Free sodas and specialty coffee drinks
- Game room
- Health club and massages
- Matching charitable gift program
- On-site cafeteria
- -site car wash and oil change
- On-site dental care
- On-site dry cleaning
- On-site haircuts
- Yahoo! Mart
- Yahoo! Store
The key benefits for full-time Yahoo! employees (with the exception of some variations) are:
Stock Options/Employee Stock Purchase Plan:
Yahoo! stock plans were designed to offer employees the opportunity to share in the success of the company. Employees pay only 85% of market value for the stock.
Yahoo! recognizes that everyone needs a little break and so vacation accrual is based on term with the company. Yahoo employees accumulate two weeks in year one, three weeks in year two, and an additional day for each year worked thereafter. This is apart from 12 paid holidays a year.
Yahoo! offers health care coverage for employees and their entitled dependents.
Yahoo offers its employees several plan choices which include: Aetna PPO, Open Choice; Aetna EPO, Elect Choice, Standard CPOS II and Kaiser HMO.
Delta Dental - (DPO) with 100% preventative care coverage plus orthodontia for adults and children.
Vision Service Plan (VSP): One examination and frames/lenses per year.
Yahoo! provides basic life insurance to all employees at no cost (two times their annual salary).
Fun is an integral part of life at Yahoo! In fact it’s almost one of the primary objectives. Apart from work, Yahoo employees busy themselves celebrating the successes of other Yahoos and enjoying at company events, which include:
Influential Speaker Series:
Yahoo! hosts a continuing speaker series which has invited well-known names like Tom Brokaw, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg and Thomas Friedman. These stars visit Yahoo! to discuss a variety of current events with employees.
Quarterly All-Hands Meeting:
At the quarterly meetings Yahoos gather in the headquarters’ cafeteria to hear from top executives about company goals and objectives. There's a unique way to honor employee accomplishments in the Yahoo! fashion. After every third quarter All-Hands Meeting, there's an Oktoberfest celebration. It's an entertaining and informative meeting that Yahoos around the world can also enjoy via web cast.
Music on the Green:
Yahoo! Music on the Green is one of the favorite pastimes. Its lunch and musical delight combined into one.
Camp Yahoo! Summer Picnic:
Every summers Yahoo employees enjoy a wonderful summer party. The Summer Picnic features food, games for adults and kids, music, swimming and good times for everyone.
Yahoo! at the Park:
Every summer, Yahoo employees are invited to bring their families to catch the San Jose Giants at Municipal Stadium in San Jose. A pre-game barbeque is available and the game is followed by fireworks.
Yahoo! Year-End Party:
The Yahoo! Year-End Party is one of the best company events around. Each December, Yahoo celebrates the past year's achievements and prepares its employees for the challenges of the coming year. This themed party features live bands.
Take Your Daughters & Sons to Work Day:
A very interesting feature(its more appropriate to call it a feature than an event) is that Yahooligans ages 8 to 12 come on campus for a day to experience a little bit of life as a Yahoo employee. They get to hear about several Yahoo! products, see the campus, eat in the cafeteria with their parents and enjoy fun activities.
The founders, Jerry and David, personally thank each employee by giving them a special holiday gift. It's can be a Yahoo! blanket, purple sleeping bag, MP3 player, gym bag or jacket all specially designed and branded for occasions.
Problems/Room for Improvement:
Currently Yahoo is ranked 44th in the list for most desirable companies (to work for), the ranking clearly suggests that there is room for improvement in the current prevailing norms and customs.
Certain identifiable problems that exist are:
There are so many people in charge (or believe that they are in charge) that it's not clear if anyone is in charge.
In the case of large corporations such as Yahoo, the propagation of information dictates how operations flow in terms of strategic and tactical planning as well as execution of initiatives. Large organizations tend to end up with contending (or redundant) initiatives surfacing and operating in the different parts of the company.
It is appropriate to conclude from the discussion cited above that even though Yahoo is striving hard to increase the job satisfaction of its employees but there are still some deficiencies such as hierarchical imbalance and strained communication. So if Yahoo improves on these fronts as well then its position in the list of “100 most desirable companies to work for” is sure to ascend.
- Yahoo! Company Information. Retrieved April 18, 2007, from YAHOO! Corporate Information Center Web site: http://info.yahoo.com/
- How big can you think? April 18, 2007, from Careers at Yahoo! Web site: http://careers.yahoo.com/
- Fortune Magazine on CNN Money. Retrieved April 18, 2007, from CNN Money Web site: www.money.cnn.com/fortune
- A Systemic Analysis of Yahoo: Parsing the Garlinghouse Letter. Retrieved April 18, 2007, from Eight Fat Swine Web site: http://www.eightfatswine.com/View.aspx?bid=15
- It started as 2 guys in a trailer Yahoo stands as one of Internet's biggest success stories. Retrieved April 18, 2007, from San Francisco Chronicle Web site: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi- bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/02/28/BUGJUBGR5D1.DTL&type=business
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