When your company is a best place to work, it attracts and produces employees who are eager and determined to drive your business forward. Achieving this status can create immense benefits for your business.
But these types of organizations don’t just appear out of thin air and well wishes. They are carefully constructed and iterated upon. Like any strong bond, marriage or partnership, you must start with a strong foundation of trust and understanding that evolves and adapts over time as circumstances change and grow increasingly complex.
When challenges arise, your company will be tested. How you respond will separate the best companies to work for from the rest.
The rewards for being a best place to work first materialize internally. A strong, collegial atmosphere allows your team, and your company, to overcome obstacles and to truly flourish. Overtime, your company can gain recognition from customers, competitors and the community. The power of the spotlight is undeniable.
So how can you become a best place to work, and how can this impact your bottom line?
Let’s find out.
How to become a best place to work
Think being a best place to work simply means generous paychecks and cappuccino machines? While your employees probably won’t mind either, don’t fall for the myth that salaries and perks are all that it takes. Building a company that employees admire, respect and want to help succeed goes far beyond good coffee.
The best companies to work for usually have a few things in common. They offer employees flexibility and strong benefit packages, including fair wages. They have environments that inspire people to give their best every day, and they value employee feedback, recognizing that employee engagement is paramount to success.
To foster a business environment that achieves crave-worthy status:
1. Define your mission, vision and values
Mission: What you hope to accomplish
Vision: How you will accomplish it
Values: How you and your employees will behave along the way
These elements are your company’s DNA. Everyone on your team should embrace them. If employees aren’t aligned with the mission, vision and values, they won’t be working toward the same goals.
2. Build a strong company culture
Your culture should be the living embodiment of your values. A strong company culture offers a nurturing and supportive environment, has clarity of purpose and is committed to excellence. That means dialogue and transparency to build trust.
3. Inspire employee engagement
Employee engagement flows down from the leadership and goes hand-in-hand with your culture. Engaged employees feel valued, supported and eager to provide discretionary effort.
4. Nurture employee morale
Conduct climate surveys to determine how your employees feel about working for your company. If the scores are not what you hoped, identify areas where you can improve. Approach solutions to these issues authentically, and clearly communicate what you’re doing to address them.
5. Take care of your employees
Fair pay and employee recognition is one key aspect. But also pay attention to the intangible benefits you offer, like flexible scheduling or time off for community volunteerism.
People want to have a life outside of work. If you allow them to tend to their personal needs, then they may just give you their full attention when they’re at work. That can go a long way toward attracting and retaining good employees.
6. Don’t rest on your laurels
Being a best company to work for requires a concentrated, consistent effort – not just a one-time push. You must use every opportunity to continuously improve the employee experience, focusing on the elements that make your company stronger overall.
The benefits of being a best place to work
As you build your company into a happy, high-functioning machine, you begin to realize benefits both internal and external. Each benefit is additive and complimentary.
Achieving this coveted status can refine your environment, grow your business and make your company stronger. Internal benefits to being a best place to work include:
1. A unified team
When you have your mission, vision, values and culture in place, the team has one unified path forward. It starts from the top down, and it’s more than lip service. When everyone throughout the organization feels recognized and appreciated, you can achieve productivity gains that move the company forward.
2. Clear communication
Your employees are on the same page and focused achieving the same goals. Clear, two-way communication – both top-down and bottom-up – keeps the entire team moving in the same direction.
3. Increased productivity
A strong, positive environment with good engagement and shared values makes work enjoyable. That sort of workplace can spur increased employee productivity and further contribute to your bottom line.
4. Top-notch customer service
When employees are happy, it makes sense that your customer service is stronger. It’s easier for an employee to provide good customer service when they’re flourishing in the right environment. Happier employees make better products and better products attract customers.
5. Better employee retention
When a company offers the right mix of benefits, is concerned about employee satisfaction and fosters a positive environment, employees will want to stay.
6. Active employee ambassadors
When employees are happy and share the company’s goals, they become enthusiastic ambassadors. Everyone they meet and interact with is influenced by their satisfaction with the company. From current and prospective customers to potential new hires and community leaders, that enthusiasm is contagious.
7. Insight on where you can improve
Strong companies are always looking to do better. Employee survey results can shed light not only on what you’re doing right, but where you may be offcourse. The feedback can identify areas to further strengthen your business and help maintain a workplace always worthy of recognition.
Once you have your house in order and operating smoothly, your hard work may begin to be noticed beyond your company’s walls. Overtime, that can shine quite the spotlight on your company.
1. Publicity in the media and community
You could gain recognition from local and national media or organizations like the chamber of commerce. Positive publicity and third-party validation of your company’s environment draws attention to your company.
2. Increased awareness from other businesses
Once you’re in the spotlight, other companies may be more aware of what you offer. Businesses want to work with good companies who treat their employees well. They may see that your companies share the same values and want to partner in some way.
3. Recognition from customers
A company recognized as a great place to work gives customers another reason to work with you. After all, if you treat your employees well and have a strong culture, it makes sense that you’re a good company overall – and one they can feel good about working with.
4. Simplified employee recruiting
When you’re recognized as a best place to work, it is easier to attract top talent to your team. Potential employees will be more interested in joining your ranks.
5. A strong sales tool
When you’re working to gain new clients, being a best place to work is validation of the strength of your business and why customers should work with you. Earning the status encourages prospective clients to take you seriously.
Summing it all up
Creating a best place to work takes time, commitment and investment. But the effort can drive results to positively impact your business.
Your strong workplace turns your employees into high producers and company ambassadors that see no reason to leave. That in turn can attract new employees, customers and the attention of the community. As your profile in the community grows, your brand awareness grows, which can simplify your sales and marketing efforts. Over time, these things feed each other.
The process can also yield valuable information to help improve your company across the board. You’ll see your company through your employees’ eyes, including where you might need to improve in order to continue being a best company to work for.
To learn more about how to create a business so great that employees never want to leave, download our free guide: The Insperity guide to being a best place to work.