I don’t know about you, but when looking for a job I’ve always aimed to apply to the biggest companies – the Fortune 500s and such. It has just been ingrained in me, “bigger is better.” However, a few years into my career and almost half way through my MBA program, I’ve realized I’ve been looking at things all wrong. Just because a company is large in size and is very profitable, it doesn’t mean they are the best places to work.
Some companies you’ve never heard of are some of the best places to work. How do companies which aren’t the most recognizable companies become such a top place to work? Why do people want to work for a company that isn’t the best in their field or isn’t a household name? It’s because these companies understand one thing above all else…
Quality of life.
They don’t only care about their customers; they care about their employees. They want their employees to be happy and excited about coming to work. Whether it’s sleep chambers for naps, three month sabbaticals or tuition reimbursement, one thing is clear within these companies – they invest in their employees. There is nothing better than having all of your employees feel appreciated because if they truly enjoy coming to work, the company will be in a better place.
And I don’t think I’m the only person changing my mind on how I look for a potential new company to look for. I think a lot of people are looking for the best place to work instead of the biggest company to work for. There are dozens and dozens of lists every year, which break down the best places to work locally, regionally and nationally. People want to be happy. People want to feel appreciated. They don’t want to simply feel like another cog in the machine.
If you are a business, then you need to start thinking about how you are going to invest in your employees and make your business a place people want to work. Not just one that is just there for them to work. It may not be easy to do, but people notice the difference. Think of it this way, if it were easy, then everywhere would be a “best place to work.” However, the following can point you in the right direction.
Give a sense of family – If you create a sense of family at the workplace, I think it goes a long way. You can always talk to your family about anything, you genuinely care for your family and you always have your family’s back. If you create an atmosphere where everyone, managers and non, feel like they are one big family, people will enjoy coming to work.
Give a sense of purpose – Why are people doing their jobs? No matter what they do, your employees are part of a bigger picture. However, a lot of times, employees forget this and managers forget to remind them why they are important. What is the purpose of this task? What’s the end game of that project? Why am I doing this? These are questions employees should never need to ask because they should be told all of these ahead of time.
Give a sense of fun – Work doesn’t always have to be black and white. Don’t be afraid to splash some color into it. People are human and humans need to able to unwind. Whether it’s a happy hour, themed days, or just being able to joke around openly, work needs to sometimes be fun. If you never make an effort to do something fun at work, no one will want to work there. Now, it doesn’t have to be a circus, there can be a balance. There needs to be a balance.
All of these simple, yet not every workplace emphasizes these things and that’s a shame. Wouldn’t it be nice to work in a place that did? Wouldn’t you want to work in a place where you felt you had a purpose, had fun and worked with people you considered family? Why would you ever leave? If you own business, you need to not only make people want to buy your good or service, but you need to make people want to be part of your business. Here is the 2014 list Fortune ranked of 100 best companies to work for in case you were curious.