Employers-of-choice don’t win ‘best place to work’ recognition easily. These awards follow sustained commitments to workplace culture. In a continuous improvement approach, top workplaces stay attentive to evolving strengths and vulnerabilities. They harness their assets to recruit and retain the most talented workforce and devote resources to improve areas of relative weakness. At any given moment, they are always looking for an opportunity to solidify the culture. These ten strengths are a place to begin.
Clear mission/values: The organization is driven by clear values and a sense of mission and vision that permeates the culture, is shared by everyone in the organization, and serves a unifying purpose.
Open communication: Honest and transparent communication creates trust, enhances commitment, and encourages innovation.
Customer focus: There is an extraordinary focus on the client and an emphasis on building long-term relationships. These organizations take pride and purpose from participating in events and issues outside of the workplace in the communities in which they live.
Family-like culture: Leadership has intentionally created a sense of community within the organization.
Sustainability: Leadership takes a long view of the business in order to thrive in both prosperous and challenging economies.
Employee learning & development: The organization supports career path engagement by taking a comprehensive approach to developing employees.
Succession focus: The organization invests in their workforce and believes that most of their future leaders are already working in the company.
Teamwork: Teamwork is considered a core competency. Collaboration holds teams together and helps motivate action toward achieving goals.
Stewardship: Employees act like owners and are collectively committed to the long-term success of the organization.
When employer-of-choice application committees are evaluating best places to work, they do not expect that all areas are strong. They do expect that employers-of-choice are always assessing the anchors of their culture and dedicating resources to the areas that need strengthening. As is true with most organizations who seek continuous improvement, the gift lies in the awareness of relative weakness, not the celebration of strength. Constructive critique tells us where to go next.