A Culture of Fun
Walking into the lobby at National Instruments Austin headquarters, a visitor immediately sees a large display depicting four overlapping triangles that fit together to form a larger, complete triangle. Each smaller triangle represents the four main NI stakeholders - employees, customers, shareholders, and suppliers. The National Instruments approach to business is that while no one stakeholder is larger than the other, all must work in unison to succeed. By working to actively balance the needs and interests of these stakeholders, National Instruments has created a unique culture that supports the success of everyone impacted by both day-to-day, short-term interactions and long-term vision.
National Instruments views its employees as its most valuable resource, and views its "people advantage" - hiring the best and the brightest, creating a great work environment, and offering superior employee development - as central to the long-term success of the company. National Instruments actively pursues a culture that appeals to aspects of employees' lives, and as a result, has been named one of FORTUNE's top 100 Companies to Work For seven consecutive years.
In the company's early days, all NI employees could fit into one room to hear directly from CEO and Cofounder Dr. James Truchard (affectionately referred to by employees as "Dr. T"). As NI has grown into a global organization with thousands of employees, Dr. T's "sneaker management" philosophy has been woven into its global culture of having fun, maintaining open communication, setting challenging goals, and sharing in the team's success.
From annual company picnics to townhall-style company meetings, NI employees are encouraged to interact and have fun with their coworkers and company leaders. The global NI family is connected through the company's weekly internal newsletter that features success stories and photos from NI branches, while product launches are marked with company-wide celebrations. Together, more than 3,800 NI employees maintain the spirit of teamwork on which the company was founded.
Education forms the backbone of the industry NI serves, and NI works to support the engineers of tomorrow as they discover the challenges and rewards of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). National Instruments employees share their expertise and goodwill in many ways by creating high-tech tools for the classroom, volunteering as tutors in K-12school programs, and participating in interactive learning experiences. Through National Instruments programs such as ROBOLAB, FIRST LEGO League, and general classroom volunteer activities, National Instruments employees have contributed more than 5,600 hours of volunteer time in 2005.
Employee Involvement Programs
NI encourages employees to adhere to a code of ethical integrity and to always "do what is right," whether it is in business or in the community. Many NI employees are active in their local communities and find support from the company for these endeavors, while others find new opportunities for volunteerism through activities sponsored by NI. National Instruments employees enjoy a flexible work environment that encourages them to participate in volunteer activities ranging from participation in local business organizations to housing efforts for the less fortunate to support for the arts. Throughout the year, employees reach beyond the NI campus to make a meaningful impact in the community.