Great Companies to Work for Share These 7 Traits
If there’s one positive thing that’s come out of the last few years, it’s that a large number of employees are finally taking a long look at their relationship with their employer, their career, and their future— demanding where they work be a place that fosters growth, pays fairly, and supports a healthy work-life balance. If where you are currently doesn’t meet your needs, it’s time to start pursuing new opportunities. But what should you be focusing on when considering a new employer? Great companies to work for share some or all of these traits.
1. Great companies have strong, supportive leadership
The pandemic showed the cracks in many companies’ styles of leadership, but some managed to shine. Employees trust leadership to lead and guide the company to positive growth while supporting and encouraging employees. According to CNBC, “the best employers offered clear communication and support during the pandemic.” It may sound simple, but great companies rise to the occasion in difficult times.
2. Great companies value their employees as much as they do their client
After all, without employees, there would be no clients. But it’s easy for companies to lose sight of who makes business possible. Great companies show the same respect, interest, and commitment to their employees as they would to a valuable client.
3. Great companies have a balance of top-down and bottom-up culture
It’s important that at the top level, there is clearly defined and communicated purpose, vision, and values. Do you know what the company stands for? Do you know what they believe in? Are their values apparent? The people at the executive level and leadership should be transparent about the company’s purpose and the common goals you all share as an organization.
What’s bottom-up culture? It’s when the direction the company is going—whether it’s the projects it takes on, its short and long-term goals, and process (formal and informal)—is shaped by employee feedback. Because the facts are, it doesn’t matter what inspiring thing leadership communicates if it isn’t reflected in the organization itself. Top-down and bottom-up work together. Great companies are a good balance of both.
4. Great companies offer competitive compensation
Great companies pay competitively and fairly. Look for a wage that will ensure you can live comfortably, and seek organizations that offer extra incentives such as covering all or most of healthcare, offering generous maternity or paternity leave, stock options, 401k matches, bonuses, daycare options, or unlimited PTO. By compensating appropriately, great companies show their employees they are valued and by showing them they’re valued, they more successfully retain top talent.
5. Great companies trust their employees and are trustworthy themselves
Employees are trusted to do their jobs and do their jobs well. Leadership believes their employees know how to manage their time, accomplish tasks, and foster positive relationships with clients and internal teams. They believe in the people that make up their organization. On the flip side, management is trustworthy and transparent. They are straightforward about the company’s highs and lows and create an environment where employees are able to ask questions and know they’ll receive honest answers.
6. Great companies encourage and foster constant communication
ABC—always be communicating. This ties into being trustworthy, but great companies keep the lines of communication open at all levels. They ask for feedback on best practices and process and can take criticism and work for positive change, but they also create an environment where managers regularly connect with their direct reports, both as a group and individually, and coworkers feel comfortable asking for feedback from their peers.
7. Great companies offer clear paths to promotion and growth
There are some people who are happy with where they are and the level of responsibility they have, but others hope to move forward and “up the corporate ladder.” Having a clear path to promotion isn’t just good for the employee, it’s good for the company too, keeping employees motivated and interested. Great companies facilitate their employees’ success and celebrate it.
There are many more traits we could list, but at the end of the day, great organizations to work for put employees first—in growth, compensation, communication, and support, and those companies see a reward in talent retention and the bottom line. A lesson hopefully learned during The Great Resignation—what’s good for the employee is actually good for the company.