by Carol Nibley
A few years ago, I attended a Great Place to Work conference.  I learned from senior leaders, of many of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, the strategies that make them successful. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this conference for me was the link between financial success and employee satisfaction. These companies have half the voluntary turnover and outperform their competitors by four times the market average.

According to Robert Levering, Co-Founder, Great Place to Work, “A great place to work is one in which you trust the people you work for, have pride in what you do, and enjoy the people you work with.” (For more information, go to: What is a Great Workplace?

Not every company may make it on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list, but every company can apply the basic principles practiced by Fortune 100 companies and enjoy greater bottom-line rewards. It’s not just about perks and benefits, although these are important. Great companies treat employees with respect and earn their trust by living the corporate values. The relationships between managers and employees, and between employees and their co-workers, are also critical.

Consider taking the following baby steps in order to make your company great:

  1. Implement careful hiring standards to ensure that each employee fits the culture and has the skills and work ethic to contribute to the team. Also consider “likability” when hiring new employees. Involving team members in the interview process helps ensure their buy-in and warm welcome of new teammates.
  2. Carefully select and train managers. Make sure managers understand that they are servant leaders and not sultans.
  3. Religiously live by your stated corporate values as well as general values of integrity and decency. Make sure all employees understand what is expected in this regard.
  4. Do the right thing for employees. Perhaps your time-off policies need to be revamped to allow a greater work-life balance for your employees.

In the annual Work/Life Award contest, Utah’s Department of Workforce Services recognizes employers that provide innovative and flexible workplace experiences. These companies also see increased productivity, loyalty, retention, and financial rewards. The application deadline for 2012 is coming soon. For more information, go to


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