Thursday, January 20, 2011

Best Companies to Work For

Fortune just named its Top 100 companies to work for. You can see the list here:

Nothing is more indicative of what makes a great company to work for than this quote from an SAS (#1 on the list) manager:  "People stay at SAS in large part because they are happy, but to dig a little deeper, I would argue that people don’t leave SAS because they feel regarded -- seen, attended to and cared for. I have stayed for that reason, and love what I do for that reason."

As I look down the list, I do see some companies that are attractive to their employees because of pay, but it's not all about pay. It's about engagement. It's about providing benefits that appeal to THEIR employees, not the ones that appeal to other company's employees.

So, business leaders and heads of HR, you're smart people. THINK! That's part of what you get paid for. 

Again, when I look at the list, I don't only see happy companies, in general, I see very successful companies. These are organizations who have discovered that by spending money to engage their employees, their employees are happier and necessarily more productive and serve their clients/customers better. 

Consider this scenario. A consultant or salesperson is visiting your company. Their first stop is with the receptionist. As they arrive a bit early, they spend some time talking to the receptionist. Would your receptionist sell her company, or would she say it's ok or not bad?

Large law firms certainly have a reputation as sweat shops. Alston & Bird has its own private day care a block away from its facility. It subsidizes rates for its lower-salaried employees.

The list goes on, but certainly near the top of the list, you can find unique benefits that fit the company at each of the Top 100. So, think about it -- what do your employees want? Whatever it is, it may not cost much, and even if it does, it may not cost as much as either the savings you will generate or the productivity you will get.

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