15 Attributes of a Great Workplace

Great Places to WorkThis year marks the 15th anniversary of ERC NorthCoast 99 program which recognizes great workplaces that excel at the attraction, retention, and motivation of top performers.

Here are 15 attributes that they believe are characteristic of great workplaces for top talent, based on our research over the last 15 years.

Great Workplaces:

  1. Keep employees’ work interesting, exciting, challenging and meaningful, because top performers say that challenging and meaningful work is the number one attribute they seek in a job.
  2. Have great people who work alongside other top performers who are positive, hardworking, committed and loyal, and believe in what the organization does.
  3. Offer competitive and fair compensation, above-average pay increases, and opportunities to earn bonuses, profit-sharing, and other incentives. Show appreciation and value employees and their contributions.
  4. They celebrate success often, and praise, recognize, and reward employees in a variety of formal and informal ways.
  5. They never miss an opportunity to say ‘thanks’ for employees’ hard work.  Invest in training and development to grow their talents and capabilities. They make time for learning and support it by paying for employees training and career development programs.
  6. Performance management practices guide, support, develops exceptional performance, provide clarity on how to be a top performer and help other employees become top performers.
  7. Provide flexibility to employees’ work-life needs, flexible schedules, generous paid time off, accommodations that are supportive of personal and family obligations.
  8. Care about their employees’ well-being, offer wellness options and provide an array of benefits which support their employees’ health and personal welfare.
  9. Involve and empower employees by listening to their input, involving them in moving the organization forward, give them opportunities to lead initiatives, collaborate, participate in decision-making, and make a meaningful difference at work. Associates believe that their opinions matter and positively impact their organizations.
  10. Share information about the organization’s performance, financials, vision and direction of the organization.Leaders regularly interact with and communicate with employees one-on-one, in small groups, and as an entire staff to help everyone understand the mission and purpose of the organization, and how their work connects to the big picture.
  11. Are led by exceptional and inspiring leaders who set the example from the top and lead the organization well. They care about and value associate relationships with characterized by mutual respect, trust,honesty, and support.
  12. Innovative, hold to high standards, focused on delivering exceptional customer service, quality, and continuous improvement. They continuously raise the bar in the businesses and workplaces.
  13. Hire only the best to form a culture of great people. They strategically define the talent they need, strategically recruit it, and use selection practices that identify top performers, and set them up for success from the beginning.
  14. Have a unique culture, often described as fun,congenial, collaborative, positive, passionate, and creative. Their work environments, people, and workplace practices all help create a vibrant, positive, magnetic, and infectious culture.
  15. Impact and give back to their local community, serve their communities by helping others in need and offering their staff’s time and talents.

There is no magic formula for achieving a great workplace, and these are just some common attributes. While no workplace is perfect, many organizations strive to become a truly great workplace and come close.

Please “Like” and share your comments. Additional training resources are located here.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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