National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

What Do “Top Companies to Work For” Have in Common?

You may have read about tech companies like Google that treat employees to notable perks like free food, massage therapists, free onsite gym, and more. But is that really what employees look for when deciding where to work and stay?

Early this month, I wrote an IdeaXchange blog on employee engagement. That blog referenced a presentation at a recent NationaLease meeting by Thomas J. Walter, chief culture officer at Tasty Catering. Tasty Catering has won a number of awards that attest to their dedication to employee engagement and encouragement, including Caterer of the Year, Top Small Workplaces, Psychologically Healthy Workplaces, and Coolest Places to Work, among others. You get the point. Tasty Catering is a great place to work.

I recommend you read the blog linked above to see how Tasty Catering has received such recognition. But this started me thinking…how do big companies or major corporations achieve this kind of status? Do they need to go the Google route and have perks that seem focused on attracting millennials, or are there other things they do and promote that attract the best and brightest?

Best big companies to work for

Fortunately, I didn’t have to go far to find the information I needed. Fortune published its 2019 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®. This list includes a “what employees are saying” statement for each company listed. From the world’s biggest corporations to software companies to hospitality companies to food markets, what the employees say is interesting; however, what they don’t say is even more eye-opening:

  • Hilton – “The company invests in me and my team, and encourages an entrepreneurial approach to work.”
  • Salesforce – “They truly care about empowering employees and improving the entire community in which we are involved.”
  • Wegmans – “We’re given endless opportunities to learn and grow. It’s a place where those who seek to build a career for themselves while following their passions can do so.”
  • Cisco – “You are recognized for your hard work, you get to work with amazing and talented people, and you can get involved with your community by giving back.”
  • Workday – “The genuine focus on the core values as a main driver for most decision-making distinguishes Workday from other places I’ve worked.”
  • Edward Jones – “Knowing that the most important thing to do is the RIGHT and ethical choice, makes me feel good about my work here.”
  • American Express – “American Express has a strong culture that offers mutual support, promotes trust, rewards employees’ efforts, and ensures that employees know their work is meaningful.”
  • Publix Super Markets, Inc. – “Managers tell us thank you at the end of the night and appreciate our work. Co-workers pitch in and help each other. I feel cared about and supported.”

What you don’t hear mentioned is salary and benefits. We know those are both important and meaningful and necessary for employees, but where you spend the major portion of your life should be more than just about money. For the people in these companies, that is definitely the case. Being appreciated; being encouraged; being trusted; helping one another; and dedication to ethical behavior all matter. If you were to go through the entire list of 100 companies, you would see these themes repeated again and again.

The Fortune list shows that big companies that practice the same caring, encouraging, and trusting behavior as smaller companies like Tasty Catering can create a workforce that is loyal and hard-working, and one that will stay with you for the long haul.

Read more of Jane’s blogs.

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