It seems like everyday you hear about another big company offering some amazing perk (napping pods, weekly Xbox tournaments, and a month of paid paternity leave, anyone?). Beyond those Google-esque amenities, though, more and more organizations are working to provide a dynamic workplace culture that encourage teamwork, respects work/life balance, offers great benefits, and incentivizes employees to take chances and do innovate work.
While your company may never make those “Best Places to Work” lists such as the recent one released by Glassdoor, you can certainly get inspired by those that do to make improvements to your own organization.
Here are some recurring themes among the best places to work that you can emulate:
You know you’ve got a great corporate culture when your employees brag about their jobs to their social networks, constantly bring in referrals for job openings, and seem happy and positive overall. From Guidewire (#3 on the list) to Delta Airlines (#21), employee reviews discuss how great the people they work with are, and that they love their jobs. That’s certainly something to aspire to.
Make it happen: A vibrant corporate culture starts at the top. Management needs to be accessible and offer positive feedback, and employees should understand that their contributions matter.
It can be frustrating to work somewhere in which only the opinion of upper management counts. Facebook (#5) is not one of those places. One reviewer described it as “an amazing collaborative experience.”
Make it happen: Offering opportunities for staff suggestions, putting together project committees, and having an open-door policy can help encourage an environment of collaboration.
At Nestle Purina PetCare (#9), employees are made to feel welcome from day one, and offered a path to advancement. There’s no sense of burnt out employees stuck in dead end jobs, since the company considers its staff to be its greatest asset.
Make it happen: To improve employee retention and reduce turnover, people need to be challenged and be offered opportunities to grow. Give them a reason to stay, and they won’t be lured away by your competitors.
Incentives and Benefits
Perks do count, as does fair compensation – just ask the employees of In-and-Out Burger (#13). Even lower-level staff members are pleased with their starting salaries, and are excited to learn that their managers worked their way up. A free meal every shift and bonuses are great, too.
Make it happen: Find some wiggle room in the budget to make employees feel appreciated. It doesn’t have to be over the top — but the extra motivation will provide a great return on your investment.
The next time you’re stuck on how to improve an HR objective, turn to past and current employees for some insight into what they love about your company, and what they wish could be better. Follow their lead, and you could very well end up the “best company” they’ve ever worked for.
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