Ten Things Top Companies Do Right for their Employees

If you had a magic wand and could change anything about your current job, what would it be? Your first thought might be a bigger salary, but would that truly make a difference to your overall satisfaction with your job? You might be surprised to learn most employees don’t put a high salary as their number one workplace priority. There are other factors that make top companies work for their employees.

top companies

According to a recent Cleveland Plain Dealer , identifying the top companies to work for in the northeast Ohio area, employees were asked to rank their employer based on these factors:

  1. Leadership and Direction—The company instills confidence in its employees through its leaders and its clear vision of where it is going.
  2. Managers and Clued-in Senior Management—Management knows what is going on in the company and understands how to motivate employees to thrive.
  3. Benefits and Training—A well-designed package of benefits based on what employees want and training programs to help them succeed and grow.
  4. Meaningfulness—Employees derive meaning from their work and how it affects not only them, but also the local and global communities.
  5. Doers—Incorporates a culture of doing things to get them right.
  6. Ethics—Visible policies that demonstrate a company’s strong values.
  7. Work-Life Flexibility—Company policies adjust to determine the best ways for each employee to achieve personal and professional success.
  8. New Ideas—Encouragement of new ideas from all levels of the organization.
  9. Communication—Keeping all employees well-informed about company decisions.
  10. Appreciation—Providing feedback to help employees grow and feel valued by the organization.

As you can see, salary didn’t even make the list! On a broader scale, Forbes determined some other aspects of top companies that impact how employees feel about their employer:

  • Flexible hours and telecommuting
  • Easygoing about breaks
  • Feedback systems at all levels across the organization
  • Limit unnecessary personnel policies
  • Recruiting process is fun and friendly
  • Performance reviews are individually-based
  • Relaxed dress codes
  • Respect for work-life balance and latitude
  • Share the wins with employees and value their contributions

top companies

Some organizations feel changing a culture to be more employee-centric might result in lowered productivity, less employee engagement, or a sense that no one is in charge. A key factor is to treat employees as people, not as disposable cogs in a machine. It is necessary to foster a sense of growth and remove obstacles from employees’ paths so they can achieve their best and bring commitment to the organization. A company with an organizational culture that promotes work-life balance, humor, fun and trust is a company most people would choose to work for over one where employees feel devalued, stressed and unappreciated.

If these ideas can motivate employees, what are companies doing to demotivate them? In 2013, a Gallup poll found 70 percent of U.S. employees were disengaged from their jobs, and the loss in productivity cost companies billions each year. What did the workers say were the reasons for their disengagement?

  1. No meaningful feedback, either positive or negative
  2. No opportunities for career advancement
  3. No learning/training opportunities
  4. Overdone policies and procedures
  5. Employees have no input into company operations
  6. People in leadership positions all look and act the same way
  7. Employee performance evaluates on amount of hours worked, not the work completed
  8. Communication is not transparent
  9. Managers work late too often
  10. No team bonding activities

Most of the ideas that can make a difference to employees and their productivity are not expensive and are relatively easy to implement. Eliminating some of the motivation-killers from the other list can be a start for a company to change its culture and create a workplace that enhances productivity and employee satisfaction.

In these days of lower unemployment, a more responsive organization can be number one in recruiting and retaining workers, ensuring they can work in a positive atmosphere where they can achieve their personal and professional goals while bringing their best to their employer.

What are you doing to make working for you worthwhile? What changes would you like to see in your own workplace to increase employee satisfaction?

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