Empowering our employees

Our leadership is focused on bringing out the best in people, supporting their goals, and allowing them to find deep meaning in their work.

Our commitment and approach

At Microsoft, we strive to create a respectful, rewarding, diverse, and inclusive work environment that enables our employees to create products and services that help others to achieve more.

Our culture

Perhaps the most important driver of our success is culture. We fundamentally believe that we need a culture founded in a growth mindset. It starts with the belief that everyone can grow and develop; potential is nurtured, not predetermined; and anyone can change their mindset.

Learn more about our mission and culture

Respecting human rights

Through Microsoft’s Global Human Rights Statement, and as a signatory to the UN Global Compact, we’re committed to respecting the following human rights covenants and declarations:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work*

Compensation and benefits

Our Performance and Development program applies to Microsoft employees globally at every level of the organization to the extent permitted by local law. Stock-based compensation is a key component of our rewards programs at Microsoft, as it provides an ownership stake in the company’s success. Over 85 percent of Microsoft employees are eligible for an annual stock award. In addition, 90 percent of Microsoft’s employees are eligible for a cash bonus. Bonuses focus on an individual’s business impact over the past year.

Learn more about our benefits

Diversity and inclusion

For more than two decades, our Global Diversity and Inclusion Office has evolved and enhanced the company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives so that we can continue to meet the changing needs of our workforce and business. We are deeply committed to creating an inclusive environment where all employees can do their best work. Our commitment is based on strengthening our diversity and inclusion acumen; deepening leader and manager understanding of our diversity strategy and its value proposition; and increasing senior leader accountability for their diversity plans.

Learn more about global diversity and inclusion at Microsoft

Training and development

To support our growth mindset culture and meet the learning needs of our employees around the world, we offer a diverse range of learning and development opportunities. We believe training is not limited to formal instruction, and our training philosophy focuses on providing the right learning, at the right time, in the right way. Opportunities include:

  • Training in the classroom, online, and through videos, mobile apps, podcasts, and other formats in multiple languages.
  • On-the-job “stretch” opportunities for advancement.
  • Frequent promotion opportunities.
  • Coaching on career development through ongoing connections with managers.
  • Customized training for managers to enhance skills in coaching and mentoring.
  • Robust new employee orientation on a range of topics including exploration of our company values, culture and Standards of Business Conduct.

Wellness and safety

Microsoft is committed to supporting our employees’ well-being with comprehensive benefits to help employees maximize their physical, financial, and social wellness. In addition, Microsoft’s Health and Safety program integrates appropriate practices into our operations, and works for continual improvement in employee health and safety. As part of this commitment:

  • Professionals assess the safety risks of Microsoft work activities and engage with workers and management to implement safe work practices, hazard controls, and training to minimize safety risks.
  • New workspaces and existing workspaces are periodically assessed to ensure they’re constructed with sound design-for-safety principles and so that controls are implemented effectively.
  • Microsoft involves employees and managers in Health and Safety Committees specific to our datacenters, retail operations, and our manufacturing facilities.
Learn more about our culture of wellness and balance

*Those ILO principles are freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor; effective abolition of child labor; and elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.


FY17 Highlights

We spent 2017 deepening our commitment to diversity and inclusion, offering our employees valuable training, and finding better ways to support both them and those they care about.

  • Employee feedback counts

    In FY17, 86% of employees participated in an annual anonymous poll conducted by a third-party vendor. We received record high scores: 92% feel proud to work at Microsoft; 88% would recommend it as a great place to work.

  • Ethical business decision making

    All Microsoft employees must complete annual training on our Standards of Business Conduct. The training course is available in 16 languages. In FY17, as in previous years, we achieved a completion rate for the course of greater than 99 percent.

    Read the standards
  • Committed to diversity and inclusion

    Building on our commitment to create a more diverse Microsoft, we announced our dedication of resources against a range of priorities and initiatives focused on retention, culture, and pipeline expansion pivots.

    Hear from Gwen Houston
  • Family caregiver leave

    Microsoft is now offering its employees family caregiver leave, a new global benefit that will allow workers to take up to four weeks of fully paid leave to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition.

    Read the announcement

FY17 Reporting resources


Get the bigger picture

We offer many key resources across microsoft.com to help visitors gain a more comprehensive understanding of our commitment to empower our employees.

Ladders in a field, reaching up to the sky