Each year, companies around the country strive to be among those chosen as the greatest places to work. The most respected list is produced by Fortune magazine, which published a list called the 100 Best Companies to Work For. The list is highly regarded, with winners achieving nationwide recognition and gaining the ability to attract even more top talent to their organizations. Every business can learn more about employee satisfaction, simply by taking their cue from the best places to work.
The Best Places to Work
For the 100 Best Companies to Work For , the organizations chosen must be at least five or more years old and have at least 1,000 employees in the United States. The list is nomination-based, and winners are chosen based on several factors, including:
- A thorough employee survey, which includes the Trust Index-Employee Survey and The Culture Audit. Although the surveys are anonymous, they truly provide the best insight into the company’s employee satisfaction, perceptions, opinions and attitudes. These surveys count for 2/3 of the decision.
- An in-depth evaluation of both surveys, as well as an analysis of company programs and policies according to the Great Place to Work Model.
Most organizations choose to take advantage of the feedback provided to improve their company’s culture for employees, hoping to find a place on the list for the next year. For companies that are looking to improve their workplaces and keep their employees happy, the best way to learn is by example.
The 2013 100 Best Companies to Work For include Google, SAS, CHG Healthcare Services, The Boston Consulting Group, Inc., Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., NetApp, Hilcorp Energy Company, Edward Jones, Ultimate Software and the Camden Property Trust. Here is what makes the top two companies, Google and SAS, so fantastic.
The recent movie The Internship opened America’s eyes to what a fun place to work Google seems to be, but the real reasons for employee satisfaction in this industry giant’s workplace goes far beyond just a fun atmosphere. (Although these onsite perks aren’t bad, either: medical and dental facilities, valet parking, oil change, bike repair, laundry rooms, and free gourmet meals).
- Focused on women’s needs: A good percentage of Google employees are women, and when the HR department noticed a lower retention rate that seemed to center around a too-short maternity leave, changes were made. Rather than a standard 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, Google employees were given five months, with full pay and benefits, and could even divide that time out however they pleased. The focus even extended the new fathers.
- Thought for family: Forbes magazine recently revealed that if a Google employee dies, the company will pay his or her spouse half of the employee’s salary…for a decade. Recognizing the importance of family and showing compassion are two main reasons Google succeeds in keeping its employees happy.
- Investing in employees: Google’s Global Education Leave program allows its employees to take up to five years to further their education, and reimburses up to $150,000 to do so. Google proves to employees that they are believed in, at the same time strengthening the company’s brainpower and skills.
Google is a company of around 45,000 people and worth around $245 billion dollars, making it easy to provide these kinds of benefits. However, there are valuable lessons to be learned that any company can accomplish: recognize the importance of family, show compassion and invest in employee education and training when available.
The second best place to work is SAS, an analytical software company in Silicon Valley, California. With over 6,300 employees, and a 5.6% job growth, this company is known for taking care of its employees and recognizing their hard work.
- Putting the people first: When the 2008 recession caused massive job layoffs of SAS competitors, CEO Jim Goodnight held a webcast to all employees that assured them their jobs were safe, but that everyone’s help would be needed to watch spending and push through. SAS is a company that values its employees and shows them that they are considered in decisions. Family members are also included in importance, with an extensive family resource program that includes family counseling, adoption, eldercare and childcare.
- Flexible hours: SAS prides itself on giving employees flexibility on the hours they choose to work. While a 35-hour work week is what is expected, the hours can be accomplished when and how the employee chooses, and the CMO, Jim Davis, pointed out that most work many more hours that required because they “enjoy those hours as opposed to ‘slaving in the office.’”
- Promote pride in work by recognizing accomplishment: SAS takes large measures to recognize employee successes and give credit where credit is due. In identifying achievement, SAS finds that employees are more likely to take pride in their own work. The company even designates certain areas of their property to individual landscapers, so that they will treat it as their own.
SAS leads by example in its treatment of family members, employee consideration and recognition of employee successes. Other businesses can take these lessons home, finding ways to incorporate family values and showing acknowledgment and appreciation for hard work and success.
Regardless of size or financials, a company can always show its employees how important they are. Whether through considerations for family and personal time or awarding recognition for jobs well done, a company can always find ways to prove to its staff that they are appreciated and understood.
Find some simple ways to recognize achievement in your organization, with EDCO Employee Recognition Awards. Since 1969, EDCO has provided quality motivation and recognition tools for any occasion. From sports trophies, to corporate awards and promotional items, EDCO carries all types of awards for any organization’s corporate needs. EDCO’s products are fully displayed on its website and can be customized and shipped in a week or less in most cases.