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Tips for Becoming a ‘Great Place to Work’

Whether you own a startup or a well-known corporate company, you’ve certainly heard of the world renowned ‘Great Place to Work’ certification.

Thousands of employees from across the country take this survey every year to help recognize the unique company they work for. By answering a range of questions about their company culture, job satisfaction, and comfortability at their organization, the certification is awarded every year to the best overall employer.

Companies like Hulu, Adobe, and AT&T have received this certification over the years and leave others wondering what were their steps to get to such an achievement. Luckily, we’re able to pull some commonalities between these successful, certified companies to show others how to make their way to becoming a ‘Great Place to Work’.

Quality Recruiting 

The best places to work are built during the recruitment process. In other words, great people make a great company. 

Commonly, many corporate companies hire only based on who can get the job done the best. However, the person who has potential to take the company the furthest is not always the most qualified candidate right off the bat. Outside of the basic qualifications for an open position at your company, you should also prioritize soft skills because they often impact the success of the employee base as a whole. A candidate with a slew of positive soft and interpersonal skills has the ability to drive a quality company culture, support coworkers, and contribute unique perspectives on a daily basis. Forming a team with candidates like this can help increase overall job satisfaction and decrease turnover—which are both pertinent in becoming a great place to work.

Implement Diversity

A diverse employee base is essential to any quality organization. In recent years, it has become a huge driving force in company growth and culture. Diversity can come in many forms such as:

  • Age
  • Sex/Gender
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Cultural Background
  • Disability
  • Religious Background

In order to successfully implement diversity into your workforce, you need to keep it at the forefront of your mind during operational processes. For example, when hiring, try going outside of your typical corporate network to find talent. This can mean partnering your recruiting efforts with colleges and universities, or expanding your office locations. 

Additionally, it’s important to develop training programs around diversity to eliminate unconscious biases and prejudices within your organization. Even before you achieve your diversity goal, every employee should be learning what is and isn’t acceptable when working with coworkers of different backgrounds. Small changes in your operations such as these can encourage candidates of diverse backgrounds to join your workforce and feel supported throughout.

Communicate Transparently

The best thing you can do for your organization is communicate transparently to every employee at the company. Transparency is notably different from honesty because you aren’t just sharing the truth when someone asks but instead are offering it up voluntarily. 

It’s important to understand that every company success and failure affects all of your employees, so you should aim to communicate information whenever you can. Doing so will help your employees feel connected, even to coworkers who they may not interact with on a daily basis. It drives a sense of community and camaraderie to know you all reached a goal together, or will work through a difficult time with one another. It also encourages employee feedback—which can be pertinent to a company's growth.

Develop an Employee Recognition Program

In order to have satisfied employees, you must make sure that they know they are valued and appreciated at your company. A Harvard Business Review study found that it had been about 50 days since responding employees last felt recognized at work. In return, this has led to a lack of employee engagement—which negatively impacts workplace culture and overall productivity. This is why establishing a robust employee recognition strategy is so important.

To do so, you must determine the forms of recognition that you aim to achieve and how you will consistently do so. Then, you should make your objectives and tactics readily available to the entire company. For example, for peer-to-peer recognition, develop a list of quality characteristics you’d like your employees to reflect and allow them to recognize one another for them. Consider giving out monetary awards for being recognized for these qualities. This will give employees something to work towards and provide them with a tangible form of recognition for their hard work. By introducing a recognition program, you can provide structure to your strategy and track its overall success within the organization.

Offer Support

Outside of the typical retirement and healthcare benefits that many companies offer, you should also make efforts to support and care for your employees, inside and outside of work. 

Since the start of the pandemic, a range of companies have offered financial support to assist their employees in challenges outside of work. However, given that it may not be within the company budget to roll out a support program so quickly, you can also provide virtual assistance workshops. From Federal Housing Administration and loan information to relevant insight about Coronavirus relief, employees struggling to get back on their feet during this time can find support through those resources. Not only will financial aid or seminars help your employees in their own lives, but it will also show them how much you care about their personal well-being. This can go a long way and certainly increase job satisfaction overall.

Receiving the ‘Great Place to Work’ certification is certainly something to be proud of. For many companies, it takes a complete shift in focus to implement the right strategies to get there. However, by trying out these tactics, you can certainly create a positive workplace that drives individual and overall company growth.

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