Going Beyond the List: The Whys of a Great Workplace

We see the articles and lists all of the time.  16 Companies to Work for in 2016. Best Places to Work and Why.  Top Ten Companies for Employees.  Being a professional who works to help companies and their cultures every day, I know that the impact of these types of articles is not really about the companies in the list. Unless you happen to be one of the ten companies mentioned, WHO is mentioned is not important at all.  What’s key is WHY they are listed?

I recently came across an article in FastCompany Magazine by Lydia Dishman titled “These Were The Best Places to Work in the U.S. This Year.”  When I took the time to reflect on the best places I have worked or been associated with, the companies are all very similar to the litany of high-profile companies in the article.  The message can easily be adapted into a small to medium-sized business, a fast-growing or established one, as long as you are willing to open your mind and listen to your employees.  I made a list of 11 points that are a part of every successful and dynamic company I have worked with, then compared it to the FastCompany article.  Surprise!  They were very similar.


Why companies are great places to work…

My list

Compared to FastCompany

Caring starts at the top.  The company has a long history of success because the senior leadership cares.

Mission and values driven.  Excitement for the company’s business outlook.
The best talent is attracted and retained. Great career advancement opportunities.  Smart colleagues
Employees are given flexibility and some autonomy to develop their skills and interest. Challenging and exciting work.
Leadership is humble and passionate about what they do. Great leadership.  Transparent leadership.
Cross- functional communication and collaboration is a part of the culture. A sense of community.
Recognition and encouragement is an every day occurrence. Feel valued at work.
Everyone is clear about the purpose and goals. Mission driven company culture.
Compensation, benefits, and perks are unique, transparent, and competitive. Amazing compensation, benefits, and perks.
Informality within structure helps employees understand their contribution while having fun. Culture that aligns with mission.  Achieve big while having fun doing it.  Good working relationship with coworkers and managers.
Employees are self-motivated and held accountable for specific high standards. Clear direction.
Customers are treated as truly valuable. Work has impact.

What do you and your fellow leaders/employees have to say about your organization?  No company can get it perfect all the time but it sure is nice when they get it right most of the time.  I heard someone say recently, “The largest room in the world is the room for improvement.”  What can you do to help your company improve so that it is not only successful, but that it is also a great place to work?  Be a part of the solution.  Start today and if you are not sure where to start or where you stand let’s talk soon.



“If you have created the best workplace possible, the natural result is happy employees making customers happy, which has a positive impact on the bottom line, making it easier to improve the workplace.  That’s a win all the way around and it is exciting to keep the wheel turning.”

– Tim Hohmann, Company Captain, AutomationDirect


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