What Do All The 2017 Best Places to Work Have in Common?

What Do All The 2017 Best Places to Work Have in Common?

Ever wonder why some companies consistently earn the Employees’ Choice Award for Best Places to Work? Do some award-winning companies surprise you because you’ve never heard of them?

While Glassdoor Best Places to Work lists are based on quantitative measures of employee ratings, it’s often the qualitative traits that influence employees to accept job offers and stay with a company. These “soft” factors like mission, culture, people and transparency motivate employees to show up to work every day – and their reviews on Glassdoor reflect that.

To uncover the traits every Best Place to Work has in common, we interviewed the winners and our data science team scoured their Glassdoor pages and underlying quantitative ratings, looking for commonalities. The checkmarked items below each category were the specific items that fell into each of four overarching traits. We hope our distillation and the best practices we uncovered inspire you to work on your company’s mission, culture, people and transparency in new ways within your organization and on Glassdoor.

Trait #1: Mission

A company’s mission is its reason for being. It gives employees a sense of purpose, and motivates them to come into work every day. Research shows that mission-driven companies have 30% higher levels of innovation and 40% higher levels of retention, and they tend to be first or second in their market segment. These Glassdoor Best Places to Work winners use their mission to inform everything they do.

  • Mission/values driven
  • Challenging/exciting work
  • Clear direction

Trait #2: Culture

Culture and engagement is the No. 1 challenge faced by companies around the world, according to a recent survey of business and HR leaders. Creating a strong culture of engaged employees is now seen as essential for attracting and retaining talent as well as enhancing productivity. Glassdoor Best Places to Work companies invest in their culture – and it pays off with happy employees. And, in analyzing Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work winners and what drives employee satisfaction, a common thread is consistently high marks for “Culture & Values.”

  • Unique culture that aligns with mission
  • Great perks and benefits

Trait #3: People

If culture is all about the group mentality that makes an organization great, a focus on people is about empowering the individual employee. A people-focused organization helps its employees grow to become their best. As Josh Bersin wrote in the Deloitte Review article Becoming Irresistible, “the balance of power has shifted from employer to employee, forcing business leaders to learn how to build an organization that engages employees as sensitive, passionate, creative contributors.” These Glassdoor Best Places to Work winners make employees their No. 1 focus.

  • Smart colleagues
  • Employees feel valued

Trait #4: Transparency

Being on the Best Places to Work list doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. While many factors are considered in our calculations to determine placement on the list, one of the most important is the company rating according to employees. The average for the Best Places to Work 2017 U.S. Large Employers List is 4.3 on a scale of 5. The average overall rating for Glassdoor companies is 3.3. Best Places to Work companies know that they’re not always going to get it right, and are willing to admit it when they don’t. This transparency is often reflected by their management’s approach, and in the company’s willingness to engage on Glassdoor by completing a robust profile and responding to reviews. Because nearly two-thirds (62%) of Glassdoor users agree that their perception of a company improves after seeing an employer respond to a review, actively joining the conversation and sharing your company’s point of view is becoming essential.

  • Transparent senior leadership
  • Opportunity for advancement

If reading about the common traits of Best Places to Work winners makes you green with envy, take a step forward and claim your Glassdoor Free Employer Account. As these winners have shown, taking an active approach by focusing on mission, culture, people and transparency may just be what lands you on the list in years to come!