3 Key Lessons Learned from the Best Places to Work

Blog post

Company-paid getaways. Thirsty Thursdays. Free swag.

Don’t offer these to your employees? Don’t worry. While employees enjoy perks like these and opportunities to have fun and unwind, top workplaces are characterized by the meaningful, thoughtful measures they take to recruit, retain, and engage top talent.

The Baltimore Sun recently recognized our company, SIG, as one of the Top 100 Workplaces in Baltimore. It was our second year receiving the recognition, and we were proud to cheer on the dozen or so SIG clients that were celebrated at the awards ceremony as well.

So, what does it take to be a top workplace? What are some of the secrets to success that those who achieve that status live by?

WorkplaceDynamics, the company that aggregates all of the data from the companies who apply for the award, shared three key characteristics that top workplaces have in common. From a pool of nearly 18,000 employees across 170 organizations in Baltimore, employees indicated what matters most to them. Confidence in leadership and future direction, clued-in senior management, meaningfulness, strong ethics, robust benefits, training opportunities, innovation, work/life flexibility, and appreciation were some of the metrics that were included in words and phrases used to describe the top workplaces. Of those, the three that ranked as most important were:

#3 – Having confidence in the leadership of the company

#2 – Believing that the company is going in the right direction

#1 – Feeling genuinely appreciated

In a previous blog post, we shared why appreciation is the #1 secret to employee engagement. When it’s lacking, it’s the top reason people leave their employer and, when done well, is one of the primary reasons people stay. One of the associates at our client, The Shelter Group, had this to say about their award-winning culture:

“I truly believe this is the best company I’ve ever worked for. There is a true spirit of really caring about the customers, both internal and external, and not just the bottom line.”

Having strong leadership, a clear vision for the future and a culture of appreciation boosts retention, something many employers are concerned about these days as the job market picks up. Only 20% of employees at Top Workplaces reported that they were planning to look for other employment in the coming year, whereas 55% of employees who were not Top Workplaces had plans to pursue a new job.

This isn’t just about adding another plaque to the wall or putting a few more icons in your email signature or on your website. It’s about authentically caring about and engaging your employees in ways that give them a vision for why you do what you do, trust in the decision makers and other leaders and a sense that they are genuinely and regularly valued for their contributions.

To learn more about what it takes to become a Top Workplace and to take your company culture to the next level, contact our Director of Wellbeing, about how we support companies in that way.

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Congrats to our clients and friends of SIG who were recognized as Top Workplaces, too! Kudos for all you do to foster a strong company culture for your employees.