In a note sent to all employees at 12:45 AM Saturday morning, new-ish Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced a program called “PB&J” that she hopes will make Yahoo “the absolute best place to work.” “PB&J” stands for Process, Bureaucracy, and Jams.
The program is a fancy version of the old suggestion box in the office. In the email, Mayer and PB&J leader Patricia Moll Kriese say that they want Yahoo employees to “Share your ideas on what would make your job easier, boost your productivity, and help solve problems.”
“What’s on your wish list for our corporate culture and work environment?”
The note goes on to detail some of the things Mayer has already done since she’s been at Yahoo:
- Give all employees free food.
- Keep the lights on longer.
- “Turning off the turnstiles in building D.”
- “Removing parking lot barriers”
- “Eliminating mandatory orientation at the gym”
- (Mayer is also thinking of giving every Yahoo a free iPhone, but the note doesn’t mention that.)
“We know there is more we can do!” write Mayer and Kriese.
“Do you see a problem and know how to solve it? Want to brainstorm with colleagues about what to fix and how to fix it? Give us your ideas. Or be heard loud and clear by simply voting.”
The most telling thing about the email is when it was sent – after midnight on a Friday. The sub-textual message for Yahoo is this: I’m working late to turn this company around, and you should too.
A Yahoo employee tells us that the free food and iPhones are nice, but that it was this email in particular that finally “won my heart.”
“Redundant process and policy, bureaucracy, are the worst enemy to innovation and efficiency,” says this employee.
“Of course, change will not happen overnight. There are so many things need to be improve in order to get us back in the same league as Google and Apple. But I have faith in the company and Marissa. And I truly hope the company will be great again.”
Here’s the full memo:
Process blocking your success? Bureaucracy getting you down? Jammed by problems and see a solution? We’re looking at how to streamline process, reduce bureaucracy, and remove jams – PB&J!
We’re launching PB&J today to gather your feedback on how to make Yahoo! the absolute best place to work. Share your ideas on what would make your job easier, boost your productivity, and help solve problems.
What’s on your wish list for our corporate culture and work environment?
- GitHub for Code Review
- Dogfooding Yahoo! Mail & Calendar
- SSD’s (Solid State Drives) for faster machines
- Mi-Fi’s (mobile wi-fi cards)
We’ve done a few things already – free food, FYI, turning off the turnstiles in building D, removing parking lot barriers, eliminating mandatory orientation at the gym, etc. However, we know there is more we can do!
Do you see a problem and know how to solve it? Want to brainstorm with colleagues about what to fix and how to fix it? Give us your ideas. Or be heard loud and clear by simply voting. PB&J is available globally on Backyard:
We’ll review your ideas and votes, reporting back in FYI each month on actions taken. August PB&J starts now – and look forward to an update at the next FYI in early September! Questions/concerns/suggestions around PB&J, please contact Patricia Moll Kriese ([redacted]) who is our lead on PB&J.
Marissa & Patricia