The question about ‘what makes a company a great place to work for?’ is a very debatable one. In short a company can be said to be great when you can without doubt say, “I love my job”. Thus, any work place that gives you that magical feeling of job satisfaction can be safely assumed to be a great place to work.
Every year we hear some popular business journal or magazine ranking top 10, 50 or 100 of the best places to work for. It is a proud moment for those who are working in those companies and can relate to a great extent about the credibility of the rankings. But for the others, most of the times, it is difficult to comprehend their rating systems or understand on what basis the rankings have been done. Yes it is true that no company has 100% of its employees shouting out that they love their jobs, but there must be something that has enabled those companies to be ranked above others.
It should be clearly understood that a company cannot be termed as a great place to work for based on just individual appreciation. When we are talking on this topic, it is more than just salary, leave periods and flexibility of work. There are lot of other criteria that constitute the decision of terming a company as a great place to work for. This article will discuss some of these elements that are essential for deciding it.
Let us look at some of the basic qualities that can attributed to any company which hold the honour for having one of the best places to work:
- You do not feel different from the rest
It is common for big companies to have a workforce comprising of people from different cultural, racial and social backgrounds. So, to create a single work culture where everyone feels connected is a daunting task, but if successfully created can make it one of the best philosophies that will make it a model for others to follow. Those companies that you find in those rankings have all have ‘one workplace culture’ ideology that have put all their employees under the aegis of a singular way of working. This puts everyone on the same level and removes any differences that otherwise may arise.
You can take the example of Google or any other big company like Zappos. Google has been synonymous with the ‘one workplace culture’ method for years and it is more than justified to mention their name. ‘Googlers’, as the employees are called, like to associate themselves with a common idea of work. The same goes for Zappos, an online shoe and clothing store, which has become famous for its work culture.
- You get support in your professional growth
Every employee wants to grow in their area of work and has the passion to achieve something. Good companies understand the requirements of individuals to grow their skills, which will be mutually beneficial. Great companies are always on the lookout to improve the company based on the employee’s passions and consistently hold talks with the employees on how they are going to help it grow.
They also understand the all the employees are not the same and their foundations are different. So they have strong training programmes, and knowledge and skills sharing platforms which help them to develop their career.
- You feel connected with the rest of your team
It is not just the company that makes a company a great place to work but it also greatly depends on the co-workers. You must be able to feel connected with the rest of your team members, since we spend most of the time with our co-workers. Great companies facilitate the communication between other members apart from their work through various modes like social media or internal communication platform. E.g. SAS uses the help of technology to maintain employee ties through its internal social platform call the Hub, which enables employees to connect and ask questions or queries.
- You feel there is no gender discrimination
Gender discrimination is a silent problem that affects the workplace in a very negative way. Great companies try to create an environment where there is no scope for such discrimination and has good policies that help them to prevent the same from happening. You will find that most of the great work places are equal opportunity employers and has no office politics associated with their functioning of business.
Let us take the example of IBM, which have an impressive share of female managers (around 26%) and senior female executives (22%). It also offers continuing education and networking to female employees who have left the company through their Reconnections initiative. Honeywell is another company who needs mention. Women in engineering has always been considered a rare breed, but the number of initiatives that Honeywell has for women, especially engineers, go against that line of thought. There are initiatives that encourage women to go for engineering careers in Honeywell. It is also prominent sponsor of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
- You feel your work motivates you
The most important factor that pushes you to come to the office every day in the morning is the motivation to work (apart from the obvious reason of getting a salary). Great companies provide a congenial environment that is challenging and motivates the employees to succeed in their line of work. Most of the ‘great places to work’ offer incentives, rewards and other accolades that let deserving employees know that their work is being valued in the company.
The Bottom Line
As mentioned there are a lot of criteria that needs to be fulfilled for a company to become recognised as one of the best places to work for. It is impossible for any company to maintain all of these criteria to the fullest, but that what differentiates the best from the rest is the desire to achieve it.