What makes a company a great place to work? It is a more subjective one. Multiple factors determine whether an organisation is great or not. Many working professionals may judge a company based on factors like monetary compensation, appreciation from leaders, growth opportunities, peers’ support, and others.
While there can be no definite answer, there is a consensus among HR leaders that an organisation’s culture is more influential than any one factor. Firms that have been able to nurture a strong value system, and practice transparency with aligned and supportive human resource processes and frameworks that promote open communication, feedback, and trust at the centre are more likely to become a great place to work.
That being said, not all companies can become great overnight. It requires patience, consistency, and commitment on the employer's end. Of course, employees play an equally essential role, but it is the founders' passion and vision, paired with their leadership team's inclusive mindset, that drives the engine of growth and success, thus, making their organisations great. Keeping this in mind, below are a few things that great companies value. Following these may assist firms in achieving one of the most desirable titles for any organisation, i.e., "a great place to work."
Understand the worth of your employees
How often do employers and employees hold discussions around the latter’s pay scale or even their experience of their processes, systems, their work environments? It’s more likely twice a year for most companies, first when the leaders review their team members and then during the annual increment cycle. And during these two discussions, the conversation more often revolves around, ‘You are doing a great job.'
This lack of 'in-time' communication and not establishing feedback as a feed-forward process results in the creation of employees making assumptions about their self-worth which can be both positive and negative. Leaders need to recognise their team members' achievements, maintain an open line of communication for frequent reviews, in addition to their annual reviews, and explain the rationale of their decisions, especially around compensation and benefits, promotions, role changes and other perks that they may be eligible for.
Our research suggests that year after year, great places to work keep employer communication at the centre, keeping employees updated about their strengths, potential areas for improvement, and areas in which they can excel and develop expertise. These companies treat their employees as an asset and not just a resource.
Provide more growth opportunities
Great places to work provide ample opportunities for their employees to learn, develop and grow in multiple areas. Companies currently focus more on mentoring team members to always reach for their personal best while benefiting from teachable moments along the way.
Taking such initiatives not only underscores employers' rising expectations from their employees but also gives teams an opportunity to learn and explore something new. For instance, a large number of working professionals fall under the Gen Z category, a segment that tends to utilise their existing job to learn more about other roles and growth prospects within a company. Once Gen Zs learn new skills, they are usually open to trying out different experiences to learn how the company functions as a whole.
Fairness at workplace
Fairness has always been considered the foundation for creating a great place to work. When employees experience the same amount of respect from leaders and other representatives, stronger and more meaningful relationships are established. The absence of fairness could lead to a negative or limiting environment in the organisation.
Companies that fall under the great workplaces category, maintain fairness throughout all segments and teams. Studies conducted by Great Places To Work show on average 24 per cent more employees at great workplaces report positive and consistent experiences in areas, like monetary benefits, recognition, and promotions. Additionally, such workplaces continuously work to create a growth-oriented environment that boosts their employees’ productivity, and attendance, and further allows them to upskill.
Furthermore, the leadership needs to hold themselves accountable, as this ensures fairness in the organization. It is leaders’ passion, hard work, consistency, and a vision to be equitable that nurture a great workplace. Lastly, every company is also an integral part of an industry, and employers must keep a check on the developments taking place within their industry, picking out areas that need to be revisited and refined to remain relevant.
Of course, equity, diversity, and inclusion should continue to be a critical focus as the company promotes a fair, more engaged, and productive working environment. Such an environment that promotes belongingness leads to a more satisfactory and engaged workplace, making any organisation great amongst its peers. It will be interesting to witness how the ongoing trends will shape the industries and the companies within them in 2023 and how leaders will continue to evolve, bringing new changes into their being and promoting authenticity and strong governance.
2022 brought us chaos, but also the opportunity to review, renew, and advance. Read the end-2022 issue of People Matters Digital Magazine for a look back, and some key takeaways to bring forward.