Today, few business leaders would argue employees’ workplace experience matters to their bottom-line. Companies, like products, require yelp-like reviews and rankings to attract prospective talents. One of the most well-known rankings for employers is Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Released annually, Fortune draws insights from over 230,000 anonymous employee surveys to compile lists of companies that provide the best working experience.
In 2017, Fortune announced they are making some changes to the methodology to “reflect a new vision of the American workplace – one where employees have a level playing field and companies realize the full human potential for their workforce.” While the methodology will continue to place the most weight on what employees report in anonymous surveys, it’ll now set even higher expectations for each company to ensure that employees’ experiences are consistent, regardless of their functions, job titles and personal background. Moreover, additional weight will be placed on evaluating executive team’s leadership effectiveness – including leaders’ ability to connect authentically with their employees and their skills in communicating a clear path to success.
What can leaders do to make their company a great place to work?
- Providing meaningful work for everyone – to be satisfied and motivated, people need to have opportunities to do meaningful work, and feel great about the work they do. To achieve this, leaders need to set up an inclusive working environment that fosters conversation, creativity and high trust, and build a healthy company culture that encourages diversity of thinking and respect for different opinions. Moreover, what’s meaningful to one individual may not be as important to someone else. Leaders and managers need to bear in mind that motivators for great work are different for everyone, and it’s crucial for managers to get to know what truly motivates their employees and reward them in the way that’s most meaningful to them to foster long-term retention.
- Delivering effective and authentic communication – more than ever, leaders must be equipped and empowered to be effective communicators to ensure employees understand and believe the corporate mission and strategy, and live the corporate values in their daily roles. In today’s age, the boundaries between “internal employee communication” and “external communication” are becoming blurred. Everyone is a reporter today and information can get out within an eye blink. Leaders need to be ready to respond to questions and remain connected with employees, hear their voices and concerns through ongoing touch points.
- Building a stronger employer brand – companies who are known to be great employers often make a conscious effort to build a strong and unique employer brand. Such companies experience significant talent benefits at each stage of the employee life cycle, from attracting the best prospective talent, having the most motivated employees to forming a network of happy alumni. Part of a strong employer brand is a company narrative – a story that pieces everything (mission, vision, strategy) together in a compelling way. An aligned corporate narrative, relatable to everyone working for the company and unique to the company brand, helps set the foundation for delivering consistent employee experience across the board.
There’s no end point for making your workplace better.
 Fortune, Here’s How to Get on Our Best Companies to Work for List, March, 2017