What makes a company a great place to work?
While much attention has been given over the last several years on unemployment, it doesn’t mean that today’s job seeker isn’t looking for a company that meets more than their financial needs. People are looking for a company that will offer good pay, good benefits and so much more.
Glassdoor, the job and recruiting website, after analyzing their database and users’ reviews, came up with the Employees’ Choice Awards, which features the 50 best places to work in 2017 across the U.S. I was not only interested to see what the companies were, but I was really interested to see what characteristics made them great companies to work for. Here are my top findings:
1. Great corporate culture. Corporate culture speaks to what it is like working at a company — the beliefs and behaviors that direct how management and employees act, interact, dress, communicate, conduct business, and work.
For many of the companies highlighted, the corporate culture was one of learning and growth, advancement — even internationally — sharing information, fast-paced, fun, innovative, and delivering on high standards of customer service. People also want to connect with companies that have a strong sense of community, charity, and corporate social responsibility. Employees want to have a sense of meaning and fulfillment not only in the work they do, but also in the projects they can contribute to and participate in that help the greater good, causes that are important to them, and the betterment of humanity.
2. Great coworkers and management. It is now a proven fact that people leave people not organizations. In companies considered great places to work, people want to work with people who are passionate, driven, smart, and supportive. They enjoy people who are willing to share what they know and a company that allows them to try ideas and learn from them. People like to have the freedom to work on their ideas and not be micro-managed either.
3. Great pay, benefits and perks. Of course, great pay and benefits have made the list. Most people want their personal needs and expenses to be met. Depending on where people are in their lives, the types of benefits and perks will differ. For some, they like getting discounts at other businesses like gym memberships, travel etc. Others like savings and investments, including profit-sharing and stock options. For others, it is healthcare and benefits as a parent. And for others, work-life balance and schedule flexibility are great benefits.
4. Great opportunities to advance and grow. Contrary to the belief that employees just want a paycheck, the feedback on great companies shows that employees want opportunities to learn, grow professionally and advance in their careers, whether domestically or globally. Learning opportunities aren’t just limited to the classroom either. Learning from managers and coworkers is also a plus, creating an environment of trust and collaboration.
5. Great work-life balance. Gone are the days where people felt that working a 60-hour work week meant they were doing something good, getting them further in their careers, and providing better perks and recognition. People want to give priority to the things that are important to them holistically, which may be family, children, hobbies, travel, continued education, health and wellness, and spiritual growth. People do not like knowing that the company they work for wants to take the best of them — talent, energy and focus. That’s why some people turn down promotions, because of the perception that the company will own them and diminish their quality of life, despite increases in pay, benefits and status.
These qualities of a great place to work are worth paying attention to as societies continue to grow and evolve, as do the values of people who live and work in them. It will surely help companies to remain relevant and attractive to talented and committed employees.
• Simmone L. Bowe, MSc, SPHRi, is a seasoned human resource and organization development consultant & trainer, speaker, author, and mentor who focuses on helping business owners, leaders and professionals diagnose their people and performance problems and implement strategic solutions. For comments, queries and bookings, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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