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Here’s what great companies to work for have in common

What motivated employees 20 or 30 years ago doesn’t inspire today’s millennial workers. Attracting and retaining talented employees requires creativity, experimentation with benefits and work structure, and more.

3 min read



What are the best companies to work for in the US? Write down what you think are the top 10.

Look at your list. If it includes Google and Apple, you’re right on it. Salesforce and Southwest Airlines? Yup. However, I’ll wager your list doesn’t include Smucker’s or Eli Lily — companies founded in the late 1800’s. They placed seventh and eighth, respectively.

Employment review site recently published a top 50 list. Indeed analyzed its database of over 10 million employee reviews of companies to discover what drives employee happiness and productivity today.

The discoveries may surprise you.

The demands on companies today across the globe are increasingly complex and powerful. Generational shifts challenge long-held assumptions about what employees need and what they want in their workplaces. What motivated employees 20 or 30 years ago doesn’t inspire today’s millennial workers. Attracting and retaining talented employees — and keeping them engaged and inspired — requires creativity, experimentation with benefits and work structure, and more.

What are these companies doing right? Compensation is important, but money doesn’t inspire consistent employee satisfaction. Fair pay is the requirement today, but then factors like a fun and engaging culture, trusted colleagues, respect from and of leaders really make the difference.

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Indeed found that today’s workforce is inspired not by their paycheck or status but by jobs where the work is meaningful, engaging employees as part of a bigger community working together. Happy employees embrace their company’s values. And, happy employees benefit from innovative approaches to support life outside of the workplace, like flexible scheduling, supportive and cooperative colleagues and leaders, community volunteering opportunities, and more.

These companies are constantly trying out new ways to remove employee frustrations, like a structured work schedule that doesn’t allow an afternoon off to see their kid’s soccer game or the freedom to volunteer at a community kitchen a couple of mornings a month.

How do companies know what policies to tweak or new approaches to try? They ask employees and test new approaches. Those that work — that are engaging and fun and support ongoing production demands — they keep. Then, they test some more.

As the global economy continues to improve, employees won’t stay in a staid, restrictive environment. They want to serve their communities, feel valued for their contributions, cooperate with peers to serve others, and enjoy their lives outside work. If your environment doesn’t support these creative avenues, you might see talented players walk out the door.

How is your organization testing out new perks and employee-friendly policies? How fun and cooperative is your team’s culture?


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