What It Takes For a Company to Be a Great Place to Work

Pinterest is an example of a great place to work ... photo by CC user david basulto on Flickr

It’s a well-known fact that employees who are engaged, committed and fully invested in their jobs are significantly more productive.

They almost always outperform employees who are less engaged. Activision Blizzard is one such company as you can see on Bobby Kotick tweets.

Many employees who are employed in a great place to work regularly tell others that their work environment is fun.

There are some attributes that can be found in all companies that are listed as the best companies for which to work.

Some Attributes of a Great Place to Work

• The company values employee input and the employee know it
• Employees are allowed to use their own common sense for problem solving
• There is good communication between management and staff
• Team members feel like a family
• Employees are free to learn and develop
• The company culture is about continuous improvement
• Recognizing and appreciating employees’ good work
• Appreciating laughter and fun in the workplace

The Fun Effect

According to research at California State University, Long Beach, people who have fun at work are not only more productive, they are also more creative, work better with others and take sick leave less often.

The main reasons for this is because fun is a good motivator for showing up at work, breaks up boredom and reduces fatigue.

Happy employees are more willing to help others and this causes other employees to be more energetic.

When challenges at work are faced with a sense of humor, employees are happier, and that makes customers happier.

The Financial Side

Most people need their salary to live. Some may work because they want to and not need the pay check, but they are very few.

A great place to work always pays a living wage. When an employee works hard all week, they need to be able to buy food, pay rent or mortgage and other bills and have something left over for fun.

If their paycheck is below the poverty line, they will most likely not be motivated employees.

It is also recommended to give employees a stake in the company through profit sharing and/or stock options.

Bonuses tied to performance are another motivator. If the employee benefits when the company is successful, they will work harder to ensure that success.

The Physical Space

Everyone can imagine the dark corners in which Charles Dickens’s characters worked, and know that isn’t an attractive option.

However, even in today’s workplace there is a difference between a dull and boring workplace and a safe, comfortable and appealing work environment where there is plenty of space, light and a place to relax.

If the company has a cafeteria, it should make sure tasty, healthy food is served at a reasonable price. Even if there are only vending machines, the food offered should be healthy.

Employees need to take breaks away from their desks. There should be a room where they can rest, eat and maybe even doze off for a minute.

This has shown to make the afternoon hours more productive. Some companies offer a gym and the time during the day to use it.

Treat Employees like the Adults They Are

It’s unproductive to employ a top person who is a great candidate for a job and then micromanage him or her.

It’s recommended to give clear job descriptions and let employees know what management expects. Once the employee understands, management should give them the autonomy to choose when and where they work as long as they meet and, sometimes exceed, expectations.

The people at the top may have great ideas for a good work environment, but if the mid-level management doesn’t follow that culture, it doesn’t reach the employees.

Being on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list means the company’s culture includes most, if not all, of the above suggestions.