Creating Great Places to Work – For All

August 30, 2017 Chinwe Onyeagoro

Listen to our interview with Chinwe Onyeagoro in the latest episode of WorkHuman Radio, embedded at the top of this post.

The results are in. There’s a new business standard to compete in today’s marketplace and it’s all about your workforce – all of your employees.

Most leaders know that the secret to a successful business is unlocking the human potential of all of your people. You can’t drive innovation, client satisfaction, and profitability without having employees who are engaged and committed to your organization.

Great Place to Work has been evaluating workplace performance for decades, with our research on leading companies from around the world and our selection of the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For®, among others. We’ve found the one trend connecting the most high-performing businesses is a consistently positive employee experience defined by trust. At the best companies, there’s a spirit of camaraderie between co-workers. Employees are inspired and supported by their leaders to make a difference. And they think of their work as more than a job.

The results of a high-trust company culture are clear. Companies that have made our 100 Best list have consistently shown stock market returns 3x the average. They’re reaping the financial benefits of that unlocked human potential.

Trust has been the core of our model and methodology for decades when we talk about what makes a Great Place to Work. Yet this year, we raised the bar. Now, we’re talking about Great Places to Work For All.

Why the change? And why now?

Traditionally we’ve evaluated best companies by looking at their average employee experience. But as we dug deeper into what it means to maximize human potential at an organization, we started noticing gaps. Even among the best companies, employee experience can vary widely across demographic groups, by gender, tenure, or job level. A high average employee experience sometimes concealed a not-so-great workplace experience for some.

That’s how we came up with Great Places to Work For All. The new competitive business advantage will come from creating a great place to work for everyone, no matter who you are or what your role is in the organization. If you’re five feet below ground digging ditches, it should be a great experience for you. If you’re in the executive suite, it should be a great experience for you. If you are on the frontline directly serving customers, it should be a great experience for you, too. We’re really focused on measuring this consistency of experience because we know it’s not only great for the employees, it’s also great for business.

And once again, the data proves this true. This year we examined more than 230,000 employee surveys to create two separate lists of best companies. We applied our traditional methodology to develop a list based on companies that showed a high-trust company culture on average. We also created a Great Place to Work For All list of companies that showed the most consistent, positive employee experience for all employees. The bottom line? Companies on the Great Place to Work For All list had higher median annual revenue.

Without unlocking the potential of everyone in your organization, without creating a great employee experience for all, you’re leaving money on the table.

So how do leaders turn this vision into reality?

It starts with a commitment to creating a positive employee experience throughout your organization. For many that means getting a baseline by surveying your employees and finding out where the gaps are. Do all employees view leadership as credible? Do they see them as approachable and available for feedback? Are employees connected to each other and willing to put forth new ideas to innovate? Does a certain department feel like there’s a culture of politicking? Is there a large experience gap between middle management and executives?

These are the kinds of questions we routinely ask our clients to assess the level of trust in their organization and help move them toward that goal of building, and then sustaining, Great Places to Work For All.

As change accelerates in workforce demographics, in technology, and in consumer needs, the drive to create Great Places to Work For All will only increase. The organizations that take the steps today to close those gaps will be the marketplace leaders of tomorrow.

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