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5 Common Themes of the Best Companies to Work, According to Employees

July 3, 2018

best places to work

It’s no secret that in today’s economy, it’s crucial to be an employer of choice. It’s a candidate’s market, so in order to hire top talent, you need to be a top company – somewhere that people want to work. Recently, Fortune partnered with Great Place to Work to determine the 100 Best Companies to Work For.  Over 315,000 employees provided feedback to determine the winners of the 2018 list. Below are some of the common themes among the companies that made them great.

Trust and Transparency

In top organizations , surveyed employees mentioned that within the company, there is transparency from the executive level all the way down to the entry level. The organizations are open and encourage information sharing. The employees also mentioned that they trust their employers to do the right things for the organization and for the employees. The employees aren’t left in the dark and they trust that their employer has good intentions. For the company that was ranked number one, 96% of the employees said management is honest and ethical in its business practices.

Related: Organizations Thrive When Leaders Trust Their Employees

Value Diversity

Employers that were rated as the best valued diversity – diversity in thought and in their employees’ backgrounds. They embrace their employees’ uniqueness. One employee wrote - “…we value individuals and celebrate people for who they are, no matter who they are. Honestly, leadership encourages people to let their ‘freak flag’ fly.”

Culture Check: How Progressive, Diverse, and Inclusive is Your Company Culture?

Growth Potential

Another common theme that stood out was the organization’s willingness to train and support their employees to help them grow in their careers. Some specific call outs included:

  • Having a supportive manager

  • Being provided with training

  • Having the ability to try new things without fear of repercussions

For the top 5 companies, at least 95% of the employees said that they had great challenges and great bosses. Additionally, many of the companies have formal development and/or mentoring programs.

Giving Back

Employees really value working for companies that are socially responsible, and these survey results support that idea. The best employers offered their employees opportunities to get involved with the community and support charities – many of them offered paid time off to volunteer. Working for organizations that give back to the community make the employees feel good through association. For the top company, 97% of employees said they feel good about the ways the organization contributes to the community. Additionally, 96% said they were proud to tell others that they worked for the organization.

A Supportive and Caring Culture

Overall, the primary theme throughout the survey responses were that the companies had a supportive and caring culture. One employee said “I have never been surrounded by so many people that genuinely want what is best for me and care about me as a person above all else.” While another described the company they work for as their "home away from home.” Sure, everyone loves an awesome insurance plan and extensive benefits, but at the end of the day they like being valued and supported more.

If you want to be an employer of choice and be able to hire the best talent, think about ways your organization can incorporate some of these into its culture. And if you’re already doing these things, make sure potential applicants know about it!

Did you hear, we launched a podcast! If you want to learn more about being an employer of choice, listen to our recent episode about the importance of being an employer of choice in a tight labor market.

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Cassandra Walter Cassandra Walter is a Consulting Associate located at PSI's Pittsburgh office. She holds a Master's degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. She works with clients across many different industries, including manufacturing, retail, customer service, and healthcare. Her areas of expertise include providing training and support for PSI’s applicant tracking system, as well as assisting clients with requests and questions regarding tools and processes.